The Mid Suffolk Light Railway’s brand new Restoration Engine Shed was officially opened this afternoon in a ceremony at the museum.
Lord and Lady Deben were present along with various dignitaries and guests to see the new shed. Lord Deben expressed his lifelong fascination with steam trains, using firstly his sons and now his grandson to continue this passion. He said he was a regular visitor to the museum and therefore pleased to see it thriving.
Later Lady Deben also cut a ribbon to bring into service a recently restored Victorian Smoking Carriage. Guests were then invited onboard to take a train ride in “Victorian First Class”.
The new loco shed provides a more comfortable and professional environment to work in, even including kitchen, showers and toilets. A greater range of tasks can now be conducted on site under the watchful eye of Restoration Team Leader, Paul Ebsworth, a retired marine engineer, and Works Manager, John Holmes, a retired electrical engineer.
The Middy already has an enthusiastic band of volunteers who meet every Wednesday to progress work in hand, activities range from metal working, carpentry, painting, engine maintenance, building and environmental maintenance, but the key project is to restore the MSLR’s own locomotive – a 1928 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T no.1604 – back to working order.
The Middy is open every Sunday and Bank Holiday until 28th August, then on September 9th and 10th there is the main event of the year, the Steam Railway Gala with no less than four locos in steam plus other road steam engines on display. This amount of activity requires constant control and maintenance and the Middy is always on the lookout for more ‘men in their sheds’ and you don’t even have to be a man!
If you are interested in this Lottery funded programme or just would like to volunteer at Brockford you can either contact the museum on 01449 766899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org