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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 This website is no longer updated.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:

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Brian Simpson MEP visits Mountsorrel Railway

Last Saturday we received a visit from European Member of Parliament Brian Simpson.

He had heard about the the project and wanted to see for himself the work we are doing with local children, and the community spirit that the project is creating. Project leader Steve Cramp showed him around, together with Great Central Railway (GCR) Director Nigel Harris and Chair David Morgan.

Brian Simpson MEP visits

Mr Simpson spent quite sometime on the trackbed talking to members of the Junior Ecology Group and other volunteers. He was very impressed with the progress being made and that it was great to see the community working together.

Brian Simpson MEP visits

We are very grateful to Mr Simpson for endorsing the project in this way and we will be sure to keep him fully informed of our continued progress.

Ballast laying gets underway!

We are please to announce that ballast laying has finally started! Ballast is the small stones that support the sleepers and track. This is the final stage in the process before track laying commences. We hope that the head of ballast will reach the GCR junction at Swithland Sidings in a few weeks time. We are extremely grateful to Lafarge Aggregates for donating the ballast to allow this to take place.

Ballast laying, looking away from Swithland towards Wood Lane bridge

Lafarge have commented that they are pleased to be able to support what has turned out to be an inspirational project that has reached out to all age groups of the community.

Junction signal ready to be installed

The GCR's Signal and Telegraph volunteers have been working to restored a signal for use on the Mountsorrel Railway. Once installed the signal will control the flow of trains off the branch line and onto the GCR mainline.

Mountsorrel Railway signal awaiting installation at the junction with the GCR

As you can see, we are making very speedy progress with the reconstruction of the Mountsorrel Railway. To show your support, please consider making a donation to the project.

Are you free this Saturday morning 27 June?

Are you free this Saturday morning 27 June between 9.30am and 1pm please?

If so we really need you to help with some urgent surveying of the trackbed of the soon to be recreated Mountsorrel Railway. No experience necessary.

To those of you sitting on the sidelines, waiting to get involved, this is your chance to come and make a difference.

To offer your help or to find out more, please e-mail Steve Cramp or add a comment to this message ASAP. Thanks.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Phase two Wood Lane bridge wall repairs completed

The restoration of the bridge wall at Wood Lane by our project volunteers has now been completed. The final cornerstone, weighing in at around 250kg, was too heavy to lift into place by hand. We are pleased to say that Stonehurst Family Farm came to our assistance and offered to lift the final stone as a donation to the project. We are very proud of the completed restoration. All of the marked up stones fitted perfectly into their original positions ensuring that the wall retains it's original appearance.

Wood Lane bridge wall repair completed

Whilst we had lifting machinery on site the opportunity was taken to remove one of the large hand carved capping stones which had become slightly dislodged from its original position by ivy growing underneath it. The ivy was removed and the stone replaced all within a couple of minutes.

Stone lift

The restoration of the bridge would not have been possible without the donation of tools, materials and a new foundation concrete pour by Lafarge Aggregates. We are very grateful to Lafarge and Stonehurst Family Farm for their assistance in restoring the bridge.

Attention is now turning to phase three of the bridge restoration work which involves the removal of a small elder tree which was growing out of the top of the stonework. Again the stones have been numbered to ensure that they all go back in their original positions. We hope to complete the restoration of this part of the bridge over the next three weeks.

School and group visits continue!

We are now over half way through our program of school and group visits. Last Saturday we hosted a visit from pupils of Christ Church and St Peter's Primary school in Mountsorrel. Children, parents and teachers came along to take part in our ecology project to plant native wild flowers along the sides of the railway. The purpose of this is to encourage the wildlife of the trackbed to diversify and expand forming an haven for insects, small animals and birds.

Mountsorrel Primary School

The children also had a go at our history and ecology hunt that encourages them to look around them to discover the historical and ecological areas of interest along the railway.

The visit went very well indeed, so well in fact that a second visit has hastily been organised for later this month to allow more children from Christ Church and St. Peter's to expeience and learn from the Mountsorrel Railway!

Mountsorrel Primary School

We have so far received visits from St. Bartholomew's Primary School in Quorn, both the Monday and Tuesday Quorn Scout groups, Mountsorrel Boys Brigade, and Quorn Guides. Over the coming weeks, as well as a second visit from Mountsorrel primary school, we will also be hosting visits from Mountsorrel Guides, Mountsorrel Scouts and Woodhouse Eaves Scouts.

Mountsorrel Boys Brigade exploring the site of the old level crossing

Humphrey Perkins High School at Barrow Upon Soar are also planning a series of visits in conjunction with Leicester University Archaeology department to allow pupils to undertake a detailed industrial archaeological study of key areas of historical interest along the trackbed.

1st Quorn Guides taking part in our program of wild flower planting

The Mountsorrel Railway project is making no charge to the schools, groups or universities taking part.

Mountsorrel Charities Fayre

Despite the rain on the Saturday morning of June 6, we still had many visitors to our stand at the Mountsorrel Charities Fayre. Thank you for coming to see us and for your overwhelming support for the project! We gained several new volunteers throughout the morning and thanks to those of you that help us with information for the wagon restoration.

Mountsorrel wagon restoration continues

The restoration of the first of three historical wagons into the livery of the Mountsorrel Granite Company is progressing well. Work on the frames is now complete and volunteers are restoring the timber work of the wagon. We hope to have her ready for the signwriter to apply the final livery within a matter of weeks!

As ever, raising funds is an essential part of the project. Without money we simply won't be able to buy track or other related materials:
  • to make a donation please click here to download a standing order form; or send a cheque, made out to "RVP Ltd" with "Mountsorrel Railway" written on the back, to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 7EW, or e-mail George Overton
  • to volunteer please e-mail Steve Cramp, project coordinator
Thank you.

PS the first ballast has just been laid on the trackbed! And a local MEP is visiting today to see the work which he has heard so many positive things about! More about these two key developments in a future update.
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