The already relentless pace of the Mountsorrel Railway project is moving up into an even higher gear over the next few weeks. Last Tuesday we hosted a visit from the entire year five of St. Bartholomew's Primary School in Quorn. 57 children came with their teachers and volunteer parent helpers to experience and learn from the Mountsorrel Railway.
The children undertook activities involving metal detecting, archaeological investigation, wild flower planting and recording the history of the railway through sketching and report writing. The visit was a massive success with several children commenting that it was the best school trip they had ever been on! This is testament to the hard work put in by the school and our volunteers to plan the visit to ensure that the children got as much out of it as possible.
In all the children discovered two wheelbarrows full of metal artefacts from the railway which they have taken back to school for further study.
This was the first of 11 visits we have planned with local schools and community groups over the summer term. In all just over 300 children will be able to experience and learn from the railway over the next few weeks. They will also be taking part in our ecology project to restore the sides of the formation to how they would have appeared during the original operating life of the railway. Each group or school has been allocated a section of trackbed to plant up wild flowers, which they have been growing in the classroom and at home. It's a great way to allow our younger generation to get involved with ecology and experience it in a natural surrounding.
Hot on the heals of this was a visit from the 2nd Quorn Scout Group on May 12th. The Scouts planted wild flowers in their adopted section of the trackbed and also had a go at an "ecology hunt" we have devised to encourage the children to look around them and discover the wildlife of the trackbed.
Last weekend we ran a very successful series of trackbed tours for visitors to the Great Central Railway'ss 40th anniversary gala. With most of our work away from publicly accessible locations, this was one of the first chances for people to see all the hard work that our volunteers are putting into the project. We hope to be able to repeat something similar in the future.
As well as the tours last weekend we also had multiple volunteer work parties beavering away on various aspects of the project. Work on restoring the bridge wall at Wood Lane is continuing steadily. This is quite a complex job to ensure that the predominate stones all fit back into their original places. Thanks to the volunteer help of a local builder with stonemasonry skills, the bridge is looking absolutely fantastic. Another few weeks should see it returned to its former glory! The bridge restoration would not be possible without the very kind donation of materials by Lafarge Aggregates and the donation of a concrete pour for the foundations by Lafarge Ready-mix.
Work was also progressing at Rothley carriage and wagon works to restore the first of three wagons into the livery of the Mountsorrel Granite Company. Restoration of the frames is continuing well and we will soon be working on the timbers. East Midlands Airport has kindly agreed to fund the sign writing costs for all three wagons. This is fantastic news, allowing us to employ a professional sign writer to ensure the livery is to a very high standard. We are very grateful to the airport for this donation.
Our ecology group was also at work clearing nettles ahead of the wild flower planting.
The project really is a hive of activity at the moment! The pace will not be letting up over the coming weeks with work on the bridge continuing, wagon restoration and our ongoing visits from schools and groups.
There couldn't be a better time to get involved with this vibrant and very active project. If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with Steve Cramp. If you'd like to donate, please download our standing order form or contact George Overton.
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The Mountsorrel Railway is part of the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre. This website is no longer updated. For updates see: http://heritage-centre.co.uk/