Keswick Museum is launching a new exhibition about the history of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway.
Rails, Trails and Steamy Tales will use objects from the museum’s collection to tell the story of the railway company, the line, and the people who worked and travelled on the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway.
The exhibition will feature plans, posters, and the wheelbarrow and spade used by Thomas Hoskins to cut the first sod of the line in 1862, alongside more personal stories, such as the wedding of a couple who met working on the line.
Rails, Trails and Steamy Tales will be accompanied by a learning and events programme that will expand the museum beyond the gallery walls, including storytelling, STEAM sessions, and much more.
Nicola Lawson, project curator, said: “The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway changed Keswick completely; the town’s population increased and it became the tourist hub it is today. With the Lake District National Park having recently opened the Keswick to Threlkeld Trail, there’s no better time for us to explore the story of the line: what it has meant to people through time and what it means our communities now.”
Chris Tomlin, ranger team leader with the Lake District National Park Authority, who was heavily involved in the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail reconnection project, added: “We’ve been delighted with the response to the newly reconnected railway trail and have been pleased that people have been enjoying learning more about the history of the route through the interpretation and information boards along the way. This exhibition is ideally timed and will give people the chance to delve deeper into this exciting local history.”
Eilidh Young, Keswick Museum manager, said: “We are eager to welcome visitors back to Keswick Museum.
“It has been a difficult year for museums and heritage venues as Covid-19 has caused a significant drop in visitor numbers, which our charity relies on. The Culture Recovery Fund grant is helping us to come back and engage with our audiences in exciting new ways.”
Rails, Trails and Steamy Tales: The history of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway will run from June 5 to November 14.
The museum said it was working hard to bounce back from the impact of COVID-19, and the support of the Culture Recovery Fund has allowed it to reopen full time in a COVID-secure manner.