Metro Mayor visits marvel Midsomer Norton Railway Station

The Metro Mayor Dan Norris recently visited the Midsomer Norton railway station, proving very popular amongst rail staff, with a warm demeanour.

Saturday 6th August 2022 11:00 am
Metro Mayor about to hop on  board.
(Jessica Bateman )

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The Trust would naturally like to complete the purchase of the train ‘Joyce’, so that she can be enjoyed by future generations at Midsomer Norton.

Although not historically a Somerset & Dorset locomotive, her design was the basis for two almost identical locomotives, that were purchased by the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway Company for use at Radstock to shunt coal wagons. They were numbered by the LMS as 7190 and 7191, and latterly by BR as 47190 and 47191.

The Trust has launched an appeal to raise £55,000 which will not only cover the purchase of ‘Joyce’, but will also provide them with a strategic reserve to help cover the cost of her next major overhaul which is scheduled for 2026.

These overhauls have to be carried out every ten years. Donations can make the purchase of ‘Joyce’ possible, and any persons donating over £750 will be invited to a special day at Midsomer Norton, where they will be able to experience operating ‘Joyce’ under supervision. Donations can be made online by visiting the railway’s website (select Fundraising & Appeals), in person at the station, or by cheque payable to the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and sent to ‘Joyce appeal’, Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust, Midsomer Norton Station, Silver Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2EY.

Volunteer Matt Cornborough, said: “I really enjoy volunteering at the Somerset & Dorset Railway. The tasks I undertake are varied and it is a great opportunity to work alongside some wonderful people. I highly encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch so that we can help them to find a role that suits their interests.”

Better physical and mental health and wellbeing, giving something back, more confidence, learning new skills, being part of a community and making friends are just some of the many benefits of volunteering and reasons why people love to be volunteers.

Volunteering can take many forms and can take place at all stages of life. Volunteering is often flexible in terms of days/hours and many opportunities often don’t require prior experience. It is often very rewarding and there is even scientific research to support the benefits that it can have for your health.

Current opportunities include being a Guard, Signaller, working in the museum, and retail outlets, as well as dealing with the upkeep of the award-winning gardens. Most of these roles don’t require any prior experience, just an appetite to be part of a team, learn the ropes and take on shifts across the year.

The Metro Mayor who is encouraging local people to rediscover our region this summer, decided to travel the full length of the Somerset and Dorset Railway operating line and see how everyone can enjoy a great day out.

With over a mile of stunning countryside, and challenging gradients, there is something for everyone, from the novice to the experienced enthusiast. The Mayor will also get a unique view of the impressive restoration of the historic station building.

Before officially launching the ‘trif-ic’ trolley rides, running from Wednesday, 27th July to Wednesday, 26th October by tootling along towards Chilcompton and back again, the Mayor will with Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust Chair Stephen Lacey.

They will discuss how local attractions, including ‘hidden gems’ like the painstakingly restored Victorian railway station, are vital to the region’s overall tourism economy.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Summer is upon us, and what better way to spend it than taking part in some trif-ic trolly fun at a charming and charismatic railway with a remarkable history.

“We’ve got ships, planes and trains galore in the West of England. Whether its the SS Great Britain in Bristol, Concorde in Patchway, and, of course, Somerset and Dorset railway here in Midsomer Norton, there’s so much to explore. Charming scenery and friendly people, Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust is a super day out for visitors of all ages. I can think of no better place for West of Englanders to explore local”.

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