Chappel: Full steam ahead as railway museum gets Lottery funding for living history events
Staff at a regional rail museum are celebrating after being handed a grant of nearly £100,000.
The East Anglian Railway Museum, based at Chappel and Wakes Colne Railway Station near Colchester, has been given £99,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The museum, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the railways in the eastern counties, will use the cash for a project to provide period settings for a range of living history events.
Museum trustee Ian Reed said: “We have long felt that we need to get more engaged with visitors and particularly young people to foster interest and understanding about our heritage.
“This HLF grant is a great way to take the museum forward to provide living history events and one we want to promote to local schools in future years.” The project, which will cost £114,850, will return features of the 19th century site that were lost during the rationalisation of the 1960s and provide new interpretation facilities.
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Mr Reed added: “It allows us to finally put a range of artefacts back into appropriate period settings and give visitors a real experience of life when railways were the lifeblood of the region.”
Two new platforms with period buildings and furniture adjacent to the heritage centre will provide a backdrop for vintage and veteran coaches to tell their story of passenger traffic in the 19th and early 20th Century.
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Cattle pens and loading docks, coal merchants yard, weighbridge and yard cranes will also allow living history events to be staged so visitors can experience the work of their forefathers.
The project will enable the museum to bring artefacts, which have been kept in storage, out for visitors to admire.
It is hoped the project, which starts this month, will be completed by the end of the year.