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A fun-packed programme of events is on the way for visitors to enjoy at the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum.

The museum will be hosting a series of exhibitions, lectures and other events in the next few weeks with plenty to interest visitors of all ages.

The North Eastern Railway Association (NERA) will be meeting at the museum on Saturday 19 May, in the museum meeting room at 1.30pm, when Sam Wood will present three short talks entitled ‘A creative tourist eclipses the Scout Cruise’. The talks will cover the CTAC Scottish Tours Express which ran through the North East, some of LNER’s arrangements to handle the huge influx of passenger traffic prompted by the solar eclipse of 1927 and a pre-War Cruise Train for Boy Scouts – a kind of ‘Northern Belle’ with billycans and badges!

NERA will also curate a new temporary photographic exhibition – ‘The Richmond Branch’ – on the museum platform, which opens on Tuesday 5 June and runs until Sunday 15 July. Admission is included with the normal entrance fee.

A new ‘Posters Exhibition’ will also be on show in the temporary exhibition gallery, from Saturday 19 May until Sunday 8 July, featuring a range of railway posters from the museum’s collection.

Meanwhile, the ‘Snack on the Track’ exhibition, which opened earlier in the year, invites visitors to take an imaginary journey and sample the delights of railway catering through the ages in an exhibition focussing on railway dining. It will run in the temporary exhibition gallery until Sunday 13 May. Normal entrance fees apply, but do contact the museum for opening times.

The latest of The Afternoon Lectures, organised by the Friends of the Museum, will feature ‘The History and development of the Darlington Railway Museum’ a talk by former curator Stephen Dyke, on Thursday 3 May.

The June lecture will focus on ‘The History, development and current role of the British Transport Police’ on Thursday 7 June, when Timothy Woollen of the British Transport Police will reveal how the work of railway police officers has evolved since the earliest days when they acted as the first signalmen through to the many challenges they now face on today’s railway network.

Both talks start at 1.45pm in the museum meeting room and are free to members of the Friends. Non-members are also welcome, contact the museum for price details.

There will also be plenty of fun to be had during the May half term holiday, with exciting Family Activities running each day, Tuesday-Friday 29 May-1 June, 10am-3pm, visit out Facebook page for more information. Included in the normal entrance fee and with annual family passes.

Every Friday is now Play Friday for Station Scamps at Head of Steam. Children under three and their grown-ups, are invited to stay and play at the museum, between 10am and 12.30pm. Play Fridays are FREE to Museum family annual pass holders and snacks and drinks are also provided for the children. Price for non-members is £2 per session. No need to book.

The museum also hosts regular dementia-friendly sessions in the Railway Museum Café on the third Wednesday of every month (next one 18 April), 11am-12.30pm, giving those suffering from dementia and their families or carers the chance to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat, and meet staff. Free admission to the museum is also included.

Leona White-Hannant, manager curator at the Head of Steam, said:

“We have a regular programme of events and temporary exhibitions, so there’s always something of interest for visitors, old and new, to enjoy.

“Our Station Scamps play days are proving very popular with our younger visitors and our staff always enjoy the chance to chat and reminisce with our older visitors, whether it’s during our regular dementia-friendly sessions or at other times. We hope our latest programme will encourage more people to come and explore the museum.”

For more information about the events or Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum visit the website at www.head-of-steam.co.uk or you can follow us on Twitter @HeadofSteamMus or Facebook at www.facebook.com\headofsteammuseum or telephone 01325 405060 or email headofsteam@darlington.gov.uk

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