Narrow Gauge Railway Museum announces Heritage Lottery Funding

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Locomotive Jubilee 1897 is turned ready to be loaded after being removed from the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn Wharf on 9 November 2016. It has been transported to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway in Bethesda where it is hoped it will be returned to steam. (Photo: Keith Theobald)

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum, Tywyn,  has received a grant of £42,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to refresh its collection and displays to enhance its education programme.

Locomotive Jubilee 1897 is turned ready to be loaded after being removed from the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn Wharf on 9 November 2016. It has been transported to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway in Bethesda where it is hoped it will be returned to steam. (Photo: Keith Theobald)
Locomotive Jubilee 1897 is turned ready to be loaded after being removed from the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn Wharf on 9 November 2016. It has been transported to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway in Bethesda where it is hoped it will be returned to steam.
(Photo: Keith Theobald)

Physical work on the displays starts immediately, with completion set for early March, 2017. The expanded STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programme will run for the remainder of 2017, focusing on helping children understand how steam engines work and how their use influenced the shape of our society.

This will build on the museum’s existing objectives of providing exciting opportunities for visitors young and old to learn about the locomotives and railway artifacts in the collection and to provide a window into the many roles of small narrow gauge railways in everyday life in the British Isles.

Located at the historic Talyllyn Railway, the world‘s first volunteer run railway, the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum is entirely run by a small group of about 30 volunteers, mostly local, who will undertake much of the work involved.

The generous support provided by the HLF will allow the museum to employ professional suppliers to deliver the more technically demanding parts of the project.

The project will enable visitors of all ages to see how narrow gauge railways played a vital part in two industries previously unrepresented in the collection – limestone quarrying and forestry – and how the internal combustion engine supplanted steam motive power in railway operations in the 20th century.

Rebecca Cottrell, the museum’s education advisor, said “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are really looking forward to working with children to allow them to better understand our heritage.”

Richard Bellamy, head of HLF in Wales, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF grants preserve fine examples of Britain’s industrial and transport genius that not only helped create the nation, bringing jobs and economic prosperity, but also influenced the world.

“HLF is pleased to support the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum to pass on the experiences and achievements from our working past to future generations.”