The Moseley Railway Trust has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £10,000, it was announced today. This money will be used to develop the Trust’s interpretation of the role of the horse with both civilian industrial railways and in delivering supplies to the front lines during the First World War.
During the 1914-1918 conflict, both sides used horses not only for direct combat (cavalry regiments and the like) but also as a means of moving the huge weights of supplies which a fighting army needs to sustain itself. Light Railways were laid as a means of increasing the amount which a horse could haul, and also to spread the weight of wagons in the infamous mud of Flanders Fields and elsewhere. Frequently, supplies would be hauled by steam or petrol-powered locomotives to a point near the front lines, and then horses were often used for the last mile to the front – the so-called Trench Tramways. Using the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the Moseley Railway Trust will replicate these operations and demonstrate them to visitors.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the Trust will now be able to fulfil two key objectives. Firstly, it will enhance the displays which will be available to the public at the forthcoming Tracks to the Trenches 2016 event at the Trust’s Apedale Valley Light Railway site. During this event, part of Staffordshire is transformed into the Western Front in 1916 – including a replica trench for visitors to experience. The event will include displays of working horses, mules and horse-drawn vehicles. This event takes place on May 13, 14 and 15 2016, and further details can be obtained from this website.
Secondly, the grant will allow permanent improvements to the facilities and exhibits at Apedale. These will be constructed by volunteers at the Apedale Valley Light Railway, and will include an extension to the existing demonstration railway and an interpretative panel. These will further enhance the Industrial Railway Trail which was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014. A Trench Tramway wagon will also be constructed – these vehicles were hauled by horses on the very lightly-built railways which spanned the vital last yards to reach the troops fighting at the front.
Commenting on the award, Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “We are once again delighted that the HLF have rewarded the efforts which our dedicated team of volunteers have made. Working with the HLF, this grant will not only transform the Tracks to the Trenches event in May 2016, but also allow permanent improvements to the visitor facilities at Apedale. We are very grateful to HLF for their continued support”.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £70million in projects – large and small – that are marking this Centenary. Our small grants programme is enabling even more communities like those involved in The Power of the Horse to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”
We are very pleased to be able to confirm a comprehensive model railway show within “Tracks to the Trenches 2016”, including trade support.
Entertaining modellers, model engineers and families alike, we are pleased to be bringing enthusiasts and craftsmen from all over the UK with First World War and/or related military railway models. Our younger visitors will also be delighted to know that there is also a Hogsmead on Sodor – a large Thomas the Tank engine inspired layout too!
The Tracks to the Trenches events give you a very rare opportunity to see both the models and the full size real thing in action at the same time! More details of attending exhibits of all types can be seen from the “What’s attending” menu link at the top of the page.
We are always interested to hear from modellers and model engineers of First World War/Military prototypes, plus supporting traders. Please contact us via the form on the front page – or via the comments below.
Posted in Booked Attractions, Event News
Tagged 009, 4mm scale, 7mm, EM, event, model, O14, O16.5, OO, railway, show
Yet more arrivals from all corners of the UK (& France indirectly) – Vale of Rheidol, Deepest Derbyshire, Statfold and Leighton Buzzard. The booked RAILWAY line-up is nearly complete for Tracks to the Trenches. But will there be any last-minute surprise extras? There’s only one way for you to find out!!
ROAD VEHICLES, TANK and LIVING HISTORY displays start arriving today!!
One of the good things about doing this job (in addition to the fantastically long hours!!) is the ability to pass on good news!
The Titanic brewery (our local one!) has kindly agreed to provide a full real-ale bar during the event. From the description provided, this bar appears to be a mini-beer festival in its own right!!
Visitors to previous galas will no doubt have sampled the excellent “Rough Shunter” and “Twisted Link” that Titanic provided for us. We are pleased to report that these always go down well (especially during a special event).
Why not say hello to the friendly bar staff – they will be located in our large event marquee.
We are pleased to confirm that 2 more locomotives have now been added to the line-up at Tracks to the Trenches.
Armoured MotorRail 435 of 1917 (WD number 2156) is coming to us from the Ffestiniog Railway/Mike Hart – this locomotive, exported to St Kitts after WW1, was re-built to its current form a few years ago and is normally resident on the Ffestiniog Railway. As a 1917 built Motor Rail, and a very low works number, we know that this machine saw active service in France during some of the main fighting.
The 2nd loco is somewhat different – A Kerr Stuart “Wren” (number 3114), built in Stoke-on-Trent in 1918 whilst Reginald Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire WW2 Aircraft) was serving his apprenticeship in the company. This is diminutive locomotive, representing the home-front, was built for the Ministry of Munitions and worked at an armaments dump in Driffield during the war. It has been restored and is normally based on the Vale of Rheidol railway. 3114 will also be accompanied to Apedale with a German Wasserwagen – these water tenders were often seen with the “Brigadelok” locomotives.
We are extremely grateful to both organisations for their help and support towards Tracks to the Trenches.
Time is certainly speeding up as we approach the start of the Tracks to the Trenches event!
The last weekend has again seen terriffic progress on-site and after much blood, sweat and tears (mostly the event organisers!) we are very pleased to announce that the Tracks now really do reach the trenches!!!!
Below are a couple of photos of the latest arrivals to site. More to come, watch this space….
Today (1st September) is the deadline for advance ordinary ticket sales – local schools are still able to group-book until 5th September (please contact us – we will do our best to help).
Advance tickets are still available direct from our on-site station shop on Saturday 6th September.