Miniature Railway Museum Trust is launched
Friends Group and Sutton Miniature Railway Display are first public projects
The first museum for Britain’s miniature railways, the Miniature Railway Museum Trust (MRMT), will launch on Saturday 6th September. This new group will preserve, display and interpret items relating to the history of miniature railways. The Trust are looking at potential sites, and one candidate is near the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, itself already well known for its collection of historic miniature railway equipment.
On Saturday 6th September, the MRMT will also launch its supporting and fundraising group “The Friends of the Miniature Railway Museum Trust” which enables the public to join in with projects and contribute.
The MRMT’s first project will also be on show – a display on the history of the Sutton Miniature Railway – which is based in the Griffin Hall of the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway.
The annual Sutton Miniature Railway Gala coincides with this public launch: the entire weekend of the 6th and 7th of September will be focused on this prolific railway from Sutton Coldfield that closed in 1962 and was moved almost in its entirety to Cleethorpes in 2001 after almost 40 years of storage.
It is hoped that the new display will be formally opened at 12.30 pm on Saturday 6th September by Bill Hunt, son of former Sutton Miniature Railway proprietor Tom Hunt.
The MRMT has been formed to preserve the heritage of Britain’s miniature railways. Amongst its trustees and advisors are owners and operators of some of Britain’s most popular and historic miniature railways, as well as staff from top railway and transport museums.
David Humphreys, a spokesman for the group said, “We are planning to create a museum which will tell how the country’s pleasure railways became such an important part of Britain’s social history. It’s important too that the museum isn’t just about locomotives, but includes all the other artefacts that made miniature railways such an important part of the leisure and holiday industry from the 1900s onwards.
“We are concentrating on an area of railway heritage hitherto neglected – that between model and narrow gauge railways. Hundreds of lines and thousands of items of stock existed, and millions of passengers have travelled on them – yet there has been no place for them to be centrally recorded, interpreted and made available for the public.”
“The physical museum is now in the planning stages but will not only provide the world’s first dedicated centre of miniature railway heritage, but also an incredible resource of archive and documentary material for researchers.”
The Friends of the Miniature Railway Museum Trust is being formed as a fundraising and support group to enable the Trust to concentrate on preserving, displaying and interpreting items relating to the history of miniature railways. Membership of the Friends will include several benefits including discounts on travel at some of Britain’s varied miniature railways.
The launch meeting of the Friends will be held at the Cleethorpes Discovery Centre on Saturday, September 6th at 3 pm. The Friends will then hold routine meetings at different railways around Britain as membership grows.
Anyone interested in the work of the Trust can get details by contacting Chairman David Humphreys on 07787 967 694 or emailing Secretary Colin Peake - firstname.lastname@example.org
A website www.miniaturerailwaymuseum.co.uk will be launched during August 2008 with more information.