Railways at War Armoury transportation. Courtesy Sedgefield Borough Council
Two railway museums have joined forces to launch a research and outreach project that looks at the vital role railwaymen played during the Second World War.
Railways At War: Reserved Occupations, Our Unsung Heroes is a year-long intergenerational project between Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon and Head of Steam, Darlington Railway Museum.
Funded by the Their Past Your Future Initiative, the project looks at the role of the reserved occupations in the local area and, in particular, that of Second World War railway workers and munitions workers. The aim is to preserve their story for future generations to learn and benefit from.
Both museums are interested to hear from ex-railway workers, munitions workers and workers from reserved occupations or their family members able to contribute to the project in the form of old photographs or possibly to supply information about the period.
Railways at War Landing craft transportation. Courtesy Sedgefield Borough Council
Of particular interest are the practices of the workers, and how this links to learning opportunities for the present generation of schoolchildren. Upon completion a set of interactive learning tools will support a travelling exhibition.
The project themes are remembrance, recognition and identity, of the veteran workers from the pre-nationalised North East Railway system and the industries connected to it.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the project, or become involved, should contact Tony Attle at Locomotion on (01388) 771444 or Sarah Gouldsbrough at Head of Steam on (01325) 734128.
Their Past Your Future explores innovative and creative ways of increasing community learning and young people's knowledge and understanding of the impact and ongoing legacy of 20th century conflict on people and places in the UK and around the world. It is being managed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Partnership and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Find out more about Their Past Your Future at www.culture24.org.uk/tpyf