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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 This website is no longer updated.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:

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Work Starts on Heritage Centre Build

Work is finally underway on the construction of the heritage centre project.

The new entrance onto Swithland Lane was the first element to be built.

The old Time Office from Mountsorrel Quarry has been dismantled and relocated to Nunckley Hill. The Time office will be rebuilt to form the new tea room.

Time Office can be seen in the centre of this late 19th century picture, next to the tall chimney. (Lafarge Tarmac archive)

Volunteers are sorting through the Time Office stones/bricks into sizes and cleaning ready for re-assembly.

The historic barn on Kinchley Lane has also been dismantled. This will be relocated and rebuilt to form the heritage centre itself. This building was saved just in time as the area where it stood will soon be lost through expansion of Mountsorrel Quarry.

Contractors Carlin Construction from Nottingham were successful in winning the contract to build the heritage centre, as well as the new station platform at Nunckley Hill. The new platform will allow visitors to join and leave the trains running on the restored Mountsorrel Railway.

Mic Robins of Carlin Construction commented "We were in awe of the work that the volunteers have already done and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to work on such an exciting and unique project, that has so much community support."

Foundations for the heritage centre are now being dug and it is hoped to see the centre start to rise from the ground over the coming weeks.

Local digger operator Steve Barsby is working to create the site road way. This will give access to the base of the old Nunckley Hill quarry and allow historic railway vehicles to be brought to the new railway museum, which will be built as part of phase 2 once funding is in place.

Project volunteers have spent the past few weeks laying the new point into the branch line that will feed the new demonstration sidings and museum.


A new path is also being created to connect the Nunckley Trail to the heritage centre site.

Much work is taking place by volunteers on the Nunckley Trail itself. Over the past few months many thousands of wild flower seeds have been planted by volunteers and over 150 Guides, Brownies and Rainbows who have visited the project.

The sensory area is also being developed and dry stone walls restored. A small Victorian herb garden has been created mimicking the Dobb Hall herb garden that may have served the old ruined house in the middle of the site.
Sensory Area
Victorian era herb garden
Wildlife certainly seems to be appreciating the work our ecology group volunteers are doing!

Work continues to complete the remaining railway related tasks required before the line can open. At present, the opening date for the railway and Mountsorrel Station for passenger trains is looking to be mid October. More details to follow as soon as they are finalised.

As the heritage centre project moves into top gear, now is your time to come and get involved. We have so many varied and interesting tasks to tackle over the coming months that we very much need your volunteer help with. If you can spare a few hours on a Tuesday or Thursday, or especially on a Saturday, then please get in touch with project leader Steve Cramp.

Fund raising is now firmly focused on the phase 2 Mountsorrel Railway Museum and Exhibition buildings in the base of the old quarry. The museum will allow historic railway vehicles from the old Mountsorrel quarry to be displayed to the public and the exhibition building will tell the story of the geology of the Charnwood Forest, the history of quarrying in Mountsorrel and the story of the Mountsorrel Railway.

Site plan with the phase 2 Mountsorrel Railway Museum and Exhibition buildings circled in blue. 
Planning permission has already been obtained for the construction of both buildings, which will cost £70,000. It is more cost effective and simpler to add these buildings during the current construction phase rather than once the centre is open, so please consider making a donation to our phase 2 appeal. Our sponsor a brick appeal is still open. Bricks cost £50 each and can be sponsored by individuals, couples or families, or even as a present for a friend or relative. Sponsors will have their name displayed on the large sponsorship plaque on the wall of the heritage centre tea room.

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