Rocks By Rail – The Living Ironstone Museum at Cottesmore is pleased to announce exciting news about its forthcoming Spring Gala.
Rocks By Rail celebrate the iron ore quarrying industry which once was common in the East Midlands. The 2015 Spring Gala is set to remember the Stanton Ironworks Company, based at Ilkeston, but with quarries around the region.
The museum has secured the hire of an iconic ironstone locomotive, which once worked the Stanton Ironworks quarries of Harlaxton and Harston. The engine, named Salmon, was made by Andrew Barclay in 1942, and has been transported by road from its current home at The Royal Deeside Railway near Aberdeen especially for the Spring Gala.
The engine will once again be seen working authentic iron ore trains, providing the sights,sounds, and smell of an industry long since vanished from this region. There is also the chance to see Salmon alongside her sister engine Belvoir, a locomotive resident at Rocks By Rail. These two engines have not met in many years.
The museum’s locomotive workshop is the original locomotive shed from the Woolsthorpe Quarries; it was dismantled and reconstructed on site. So not only will this event reunite Salmon with her sister, but also with her old shed, thus providing unique opportunities for enthusiasts and photographers to relive the golden age of small ironstone quarry railway systems.
Salmon will take turns with one or both of the museum’s resident Andrew Barclay locomotives at working the quarry demonstration train, and providing brake van rides for visitors.
The popular quarry trains include runs of wagons up the 1/60 gradient into the quarry interpretation area, where diesel machines will simulate loading the precious iron ore into the train.
The museum hopes to run a diesel locomotive too, as nearing restoration in the workshop is Graham, a Rolls Royce Sentinel diesel locomotive which once worked for Stanton and Staveley at Ilkeston where it received a brass number plate, No.61. While the museum hopes to make the cab of GRAHAM accessible to visitors, it also hopes that a very similar loco will join the steam engines in order to portray both steam and diesel era ironstone quarrying.
Steven Parker, a volunteer at Rocks By Rail said: “Securing Salmon as a visiting engine for this event will allow many scenes from a bygone age to be recreated, some of which we may never see again.
“We hope visitors not only from the immediate area, but also those further afield that may have relatives or themselves worked for Stanton Ironworks will come and enjoy the event with us and share their own memories.”
The event takes place between 10am and 5pm on Sunday, March 15 at the museum near Cottesmore.
Anyone who wishes to attend can find out more at www.rocks-by-rail.org.