An exhibition to mark the 160th anniversary of the opening of Crewkerne Railway Station and the rail line between Yeovil Junction and Exeter Central, opened today in the Local Information Centre at the town hall. The public exhibition recording the momentous occasion on July 18th, 1860, when the inaugural train consisting of 20 coaches was hauled in by three locomotives, Britannia, Montrose and Vulcan, has been set up by the Friends of Crewkerne Station and includes a powerpoint presentation on the LIC screen, put together by FOCS historian Mike Frackiewicz.
The anniversary celebration is a visual story of historic photos, memorable accounts, artefacts from the Coal Yard, Paul Thurston’s painting of the station and two model steam locomotives, evocative of the line in the 1940’s, displayed in a cabinet. FOCS Secretary, Gail Coleshill said: “We are hoping that as many people as possible will come to see our very interesting exhibition, which is full of photos and information about the station and railway. If anyone has any of their own personal railway stories, we would love to hear them and are hoping to get a collection of community railway stories together, to keep in our archives.”
Opening hours are from 9.30 am until 1 pm on Mondays to Fridays from October 19th – 24th and will hopefully continue for a further week from October 26th. Crewkerne Town Council and the LIC committee have set up a safe one-way system for up to three people, wearing face coverings, to visit at a time. Hand sanitiser is supplied and signing in is being conducted with the QR Scanner or by an LIC steward. Visitors will not be able to touch the objects on display and no leaflets will be handed out. Banners announcing the 160th railway anniversary and depicting a Canute Class 2 engine, the same class as the original one that pulled in the first train, are being displayed on railings at the rear of the town hall.