Rocks by Rail Exhibition Centre
It has been a long held aspiration of Volunteer run Rocks by Rail museum at Cottesmore, Rutland to have a dedicated display and restoration facility to parade the UK’s only comprehensive collection of standard gauge railway locomotives, celebrating the industrial heritage of the former ironstone and cement quarry railways in the East of England.
Just shy of two years after the concept was initiated, the museum can now boast a stunning new exhibition centre following its recent completion thanks to a £100,000 grant from the Mick George Community Fund. The grand unveiling is on November 15th from 2pm where demonstrations, guided tours and a presentation with the High Sherriff of Rutland will take place.
The funding was utilised to erect secure covered accommodation over three rail tracks and the conservation building, housing the quarry railway exhibits. The facility will be used to encourage more conservation work, traditional skill training, and providing an educational environment in which younger generations can learn about the industries past.
David Atkinson, Rocks by Rail trustee commented: ‘’We are grateful for the generous support provided by Mick George Ltd, past and present, which has enabled us to achieve a major goal in our development plan whereby the heritage of the quarry railways can be more fully interpreted by visitors. It is a great credit to all involved to deliver a facility we can be proud of.’’
Visitors to the attraction will be able to witness the restoration of historical locomotives from the new facilities. This provision expands on the fascinating nature trails, workshop tours and general exploration and experience of industrial landscapes that the amenity already provides.
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’This is one of our biggest single commitments through the Community Fund. We were particularly keen to support this project given the direct links to our historical roots. The development seeks to preserve the heritage behind mineral extraction which is fundamental to our core product and service offering to the very day.’’
‘’The countries rich industrial heritage can easily be mistranslated over time but projects such as this go a long way to safeguard for the future and help our younger communities learn what role quarries played within the economy historically.’’
The Mick George Community Fund provides grants to the local community. To see if you are eligible and to find out more, please visit http://grantscape.org.uk/fund/mick-george-community-fund/