Barkby and Beeby W.I

A talk entitled ‘Railways Revisited’ was given by Patrick Neal, which certainly opened my eyes to something on the doorstep that I had previously not taken much notice of, although several members had visited this site in the past. Patrick not only told us how the Mounsorrel railway and Heritage Centre came into existence thanks to the foresight of Steve Cramp, but also about the construction.  On the 7th of September 2007 five adults and four children started to clear what had been the old railway line, cutting back brambles and weeds and getting extra volunteers to help clear the trees which they then used later on-site. Once cleared, they set about laying the tracks with a little guidance from some railway workers, they then rebuilt two bridges and the station. Once this was completed they made nature trails and picnic areas built from the wood of the felled trees and planted more trees to replace those lost. During this process they learned how to build dry stone walls and lay a hedge, they made bird, bat and owl boxes, put up bird feeders and built bug houses, after which they put up posters to help people identify the different fauna and flora along the trails involving the local children throughout. They also run fox and bat watching evenings and although it’s not possible to catch a train to any where from Mounsorrel Station as yet, this is the goal they are working towards once the signals etc. are in place.
Steve then decided to build a Heritage Centre. They bought two old buildings which they renovated, one being moved from another location and the volunteers set once again to make the centre and café what it is today. They are now planning an Education centre if they can secure funding. The talk was accompanied by slides showing the progress and a short video of a visit by Prince Charles to the centre. It certainly looks like a place well worth a visit.