VIDEO: Flying Scotsman steam train arrives in Skegness on nostalgic Jolly Fisherman excursion

Steam train fans crowded onto the railway station when the legendary locomotive the Flying Scotsman recreated the nostalgic Jolly Fisherman excursion from London to Skegness.

The 98-year-old engine could be forgiven for being 20 minutes late - many of the more modern rail services due that day had been cancelled due to staffing shortages caused by Covid-19.

There was great excitement as train steamed on to the platform on Saturday lunchtime - the announcement of its arrival by Mablethorpe Town Crier David Summers interrupted by the station's intercom much to the amusement of the onlookers.

The Jolly Fisherman experience is a popular excursion planned by the Great Northern Railway - and every seat on the carriages had been sold.

The Flying Scotsman arriving in Skegness as part of the nostalgic Jolly Fisherman excursion.

Passengers who embarked at Kings Cross in London were up early to start the journey along the East Coast Mainline. The rail tour organised by West Coast Railways headed for Peterborough, then passed through Spalding to Sleaford, where the train paused to run round the steam locomotive.

Following a reversal, it headed eastwards along the former Great Northern line towards Boston. It then took the remaining section of the former East Lincolnshire line that once went through to Louth and Grimsby, but now only runs as far as the junction at Firsby.

There was a stop at Wainfleet for anyone wanting to visit the attractive town and its interesting Batemans Brewery, before the final stretch of the journey to Skegness.

Inevitably, there was some disappointment that the train had been turned to be pulled into Skegness backwards by the steam locomotive.

Carolyn Sharp, Skegness Station adopter, was there to greet passengers and her daughter, Holly Disney, who was working in the train's dining car. Accompanied by her dog, Charlie, Carolyn said: "I'm especially excited because I haven't seen my daughter since June.

"It's going to be amazing to see the steam train but a lot of people are going to be disappointed that it is coming into the station backwards.

"The excursion well to get here though - a lot of the services due in today have been cancelled due a shortage of staff because of Covid-19."

For Holly, the excursion was all in a day's work. "I do these all the time but I can see why there is a lot of interest in this Jolly Fisherman excursion," she said.

Fortunately for the passengers, the trip was more nostalgic One family from Peterborough - Brian Eldergill and his daughters Anne Wilson and Emma Eldergill - had got up early to experience the full journey from Kings Cross. "It's my 70th birthday and I can remember when steam trains ran along the line so this is a really special family trip for me.

"And Anne and Emma get to come along and just be my daughters.".

John Caborn, of Burgh-le_Marsh, said he could remember seeing the Flying Scotsman pass through Peterborough in the 1960s. "I had gone train spotting with a friend and was sat on the platform when it went through. It was going so fast it made the tea I was holding shake."

After an afternoon in Skegness, the rail tour set off retracing its earlier route back to Sleaford, where it continued to Grantham and joined the East Coast Main Line.

It faced a spirited climb up to Stoke tunnel towards Peterborough, before heading back to London.

The Railway Touring Company asked the public to enjoy the railway from a safe distance and not to trespass on any area of the railway that was not available to passengers. A statement had read: "Trespassing on the railway is a criminal offence and dangerous. It risks your life as well as the lives of others, endangering passengers and railway workers.”

The Jolly Fusherman experience was one of three special excursions passing through Lincolnshire to Skegness this summer.

West Coast Railways will also run their beautifully restored vintage land cruise train ‘Spirit of The Lakes’ excursion Skegness to Llandudno on Wednesday, September 29.

Vintage Trains also operated a Jolly Fisherman excursion on August 4, using the same type of diesel loco which operated this service (from Birmingham and Burton on Trent) in the 1980s.