Arsonists may have mindlessly caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the historic Middleton Railway last weekend but local Councillor Judith Blake and the Trust who run the site have vowed not to let the actions of those individuals stop celebrations that are planned for this Saturday (21 July 2018).
A brand new Running Shed is being opened and is the result of a great deal of hard work from volunteers and a community campaign where people were encouraged to ‘buy a brick’ to help pull the project together.
Councillor Blake will be opening the new Running Shed on Saturday and is looking forward to the seeing the finished shed which reuses wooden flooring from Braimes Sheet Pressings and uses approximately 4,250 bricks.
The Running Shed will enable the locomotives to be kept inside, reducing the negative impact of adverse weather and meaning that the work undertaken by volunteers will last longer.
Middleton Railway was founded in 1758 and is the world’s oldest continuously working railway, the Railway Gala that was planned for last Sunday had to be cancelled as a result of the arson attack that resulted in approximately £30,000 of damage to the site.
Councillor Judith Blake, Middleton Park ward, said:
“I am delighted that the actions of a mindless few will not impact on the festivities planned for this Saturday. Middleton Railway is a fantastic part of the heritage of our area and something the local community are quite rightly extremely proud of.
“The way they have rallied round after the fire has really demonstrated the community spirit that is so strong here.
“I hope that as many people as possible come along on Saturday to show their support for the Trust and volunteers who have put so much effort into bringing this new Running Shed into existence and who work hard every day to maintain this gem in Middleton.”
Middleton Railway will be open as usual this weekend, but they continue to run a diesel only service whilst the hot and dry weather continues to avoid sparking any trackside fires.
The Trust has set up an appeal to raise funds for the costs that will not be covered by their insurance. You can donate via their website at middletonrailway.org.uk or at their Moor Road station.