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On track for fun at Head of Steam

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

During September, the museum will be hosting a series of exhibitions, lectures and model railways as well as throwing open its doors for the annual Heritage Open Days and a special family fun day to celebrate the birthday of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.

Darlington Model Railway Club will be taking over the museum for its annual Model Railway Weekend on Saturday and Sunday 2-3 September, 10am-4pm.

Club members and visiting exhibitors from across the North East will be showcasing 13 different layouts in a variety of gauges, from ‘Z’ to ‘O’, many of which have not been shown in the North East before.

This year the club is also hosting a member’s competition for best operating layout of any gauge on a base board measuring 48×15 inches, which will also be on show during the weekend.

The layouts are based on a variety of subjects, some real and others imaginary, ranging from British outline steam and diesel traction, as well as European, Japanese and narrow gauge industrial lines. There will also be traders offering a host of modelling supplies, a demonstration of 2mm scale modelling and a Darlington Model Railway Club sales stand and tombola.

For more details and a sneak preview of some of the layouts booked for the exhibition visit Darlington Model Railway Club’s Facebook page – Darlington Model Railway Exhibition 2017.

Admission to the event is adults £5.50, children £2.50 or family (2 adults+3 children) £12.50, which includes entry to the museum.

The North Eastern Railway Association (NERA) will be curating a special ‘Hopetown Heritage’ exhibition looking at the history of buildings, present and lost, located within the Head of Steam museum campus and the immediate surrounding area. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 6 September and runs until Sunday 19 November. Contact the museum for entrance times. Admission is included with the normal entrance fee.

The latest of The Afternoon Lectures, organised by the Friends of the Museum, will feature ‘Tanfield Railway Past and Present’ a talk by Alan Thompson, on Thursday 7 September, at 1.45pm in the museum meeting room. The talk is free to members of the Friends and non-members are also welcome, contact the museum for price details.

Crime and Death on the Railways will be the focus of another new exhibition, which runs from Saturday 9 September until Sunday 5 November in the temporary exhibition gallery. It will explore historic, unsolved murders, accidents and robberies on the railways here in the North East. Contact the museum for opening times.

The weekend of Saturday and Sunday, 9-10 September, will see the museum throw open its doors for Heritage Open Days, 10am-4pm giving visitors free entry to the museum.

The museum will also be helping celebrate Darlington’s ingenious past, present and future as part of the Festival of Ingenuity on Friday and Saturday, 22-23 September where there will be a host of events at the museum and in the town centre. For more details visit the festival website at www.festivalofingenuity.co.uk

The museum will then celebrate the birthday of the Stockton & Darlington Railway with a special family Fun Day on Sunday 24 September, 10am-4pm. Entertainment will include mini train rides, children’s entertainers and face painting and entry is free.

The Friends will be hosting another of The Afternoon Lectures on Thursday 28 September, from 1.45pm, when Michael Taylor will give a talk entitled ‘Rocket Man with Cousin Jacks – Robert Stephenson in Colombia’. The talk is free to members of the Friends and non-members are welcome, contact the museum for price details.

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

“After what’s been a great summer, we’re looking forward to welcoming many more visitors, both new as well as old friends, in the weeks ahead as our packed programme offers something for everyone.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming two new temporary exhibitions and are really excited to be part of this year’s Festival of Ingenuity as well as the national Heritage Open Days initiative – it certainly promises to be full steam ahead for a fun-filled September.” 

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

By admin