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It’s all change here

A new chapter in the life of the Museum is opening.

In 2015 we had to close. The advancing age of its owners meant that the work of maintaining the gardens and exhibits became so onerous that we just couldn’t go on. One of our founders was shortly afterwards sadly killed in a road accident. But at that moment, when the future of the collection was in doubt, we were offered an association with the Vale of Berkeley Railway (VoBR) to recreate the museum at its main site at Sharpness.

Sharpness station
A picture postcard of Sharpness station taken about 1904. VoBR hope one day to rebuild it. The museum is likely to be nearby.

VoBR is developing the existing line between Berkeley and Sharpness as a largely steam-operated heritage line. Together with other local attractions — Slimbridge, the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Berkeley Castle and the Jenner Museum — this will create a new tourism focus on Severnside. Add to this the proposed developments at Sharpness by the Canal and River Trust and the longer-term proposal by the Gloucestershire 2050 Scheme for a new river crossing between Sharpness and Lydney and it’s clear Sharpness has a fine future. We have a wonderful opportunity to reach an even wider public than at Winchcombe.

Berkeley - Sharpness ticket
Passengers may once again need one of these to travel between Berkeley and Sharpness (though alas costing a little more than 2½p ...)

The Museum’s collection of smaller railway artefacts and documentation is probably the best in the UK outside the National Railway Museum in York. Our long years of public access in Winchcombe have taught us what a good way it is to tell people about the history of British railways and the lives of the people who worked and travelled on them. We hope the new Museum will complement the living steam of the Vale of Berkeley Railway’s operations as a vital educational resource for local people and visitors.

This won’t be a quick job. It will be several years before the museum can open at Sharpness and many obstacles remain, to the extent that we must also consider other options for our future. Meanwhile, we are turning ourselves into a charitable community interest organisation, expanding our team, and preparing the eventual move of more than 12,000 objects to the new site.

We will tell you more as plans evolve. We look forward to welcoming you to view the collection when it arrives in its new home.

News

Catalogue project complete: A team of 16 volunteers under Michael Quinion as project manager has completed a project to convert our paper catalogue into a searchable database.In only six months they transcribed the records of more than 12,000 items.

Charity registration: We shall shortly submit an application to the Charity Commission to become a community interest organisation (CIO) headed by trustees. Our partners, the Vale of Berkeley Railway, have just gained registration and we hope ours will not be far behind.

More news as we have it. Please check in again for regular updates on how you can get involved in creating the museum in its new home.

We shall be delighted to hear from you. Your comments and suggestions will be most welcome. And do please contact us If you would like to help us develop our new site.

Contact us

Winchcombe Railway Museum
23 Gloucester Street
Winchcombe
Gloucestershire
GL54 5LX

01242 609305

Email us using our contact form.