Background

The mission of the Mountsorrel Railway project is to recreate this once forgotten industrial steam line, which was crucial to the local Leicestershire community. We have nearly finished recreating the railway - thanks to your support!

But in 2014 the work does not stop there and the project enters a major new exciting phase - with the proposed Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre.

Please make a donation today, or volunteer your skills. Thank you.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Only £3000 Needed to Reach Heritage Centre Target!

It feels like the entire community has been beavering away over the past few months with various fund raising activities to help raise the £56,000 match funding needed to release the £540,000 grant awarded by Lafarge Tarmac's Landfill Community fund to build the heritage centre.

Volunteers have undertaken sponsored activities, local schools have been fund raising, there have been community garden parties, to name but a few.

A huge thanks goes to everyone who has donated to our appeal and to all those who have been fund raising!

With just over £53,000 raised since February,only £3000 remains to complete the match funding. We only have until the end of the month to raise the remaining £3000 though. Time is running out and we need everyones help to take us over the finishing line!

Please sponsor a brick or make a donation of any amount large or small. If you work for a local company who might want to make a donation please get in touch. We are so close to our target now.

If you would like to find out about our project to create a community heritage centre next to the Mountsorrel Railway at Nunckley Hill, please see the details here.

To donate/sponsor a brick please send a cheque payable to "DCRT" (David Clarke Railway Trust) to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough, LE12 7EW. Don't forget to fill in a Donation and Gift Aid forms.

Don't delay! With your help we can do it!   

  

Young People Group Visits

Many local Scout, Guide, Cub and Brownie groups have sponsored bricks for our heritage centre match funding appeal and have enjoyed evening visits to the Nunckley Trail throughout May and June.




Through their visits to the trail the children have been able to learn how to identify different types of birds by their bird song and to discover the other wildlife of the Nunckley Trail through fun eco quizzes and other activities.

Evening visits have come to a close now for this year.

Stephen Dorrel MP Visits

In early July MP for Charnwood Stephen Dorrel kindly took time from his busy schedule to come to visit the railway to see the Nunckley Trail and to learn about the community benefits the proposed Mountsorrel And Rothley Community Heritage Centre will bring. Mr Dorrel was very impressed with what he saw and was astounded by the progress made on the railway restoration and the Nunckley Trail since his last visit three years ago.

It was our vision for the heritage centre project that really impressed him the most though. Our careful attention to detail, in particular with the quiet room for disabled visitors and visitors with long term illness, was just one of many examples of how the project will provide an invaluable resource for the community.

Mr Dorrel has pledged his full support for the heritage centre project.

Nunckley Trail

The wild flower meadow, funded by Leicestershire County Council's Stepping Stones Project and planted by local school children last October, has been a resounding success. The first year wildflowers have been fabulous and the insect life they have encouraged has been clear to see. We look forward to the meadow looking even more colourful next summer. Pictures thanks to Mark Ramsell.



 

 

Work has started on creating a sensory area aimed at stimulating touch, smell, sight and sound, for both able bodied visitors and visitors with disabilities.

An outside Eco classroom has been created for use by local schools and young people groups. The classroom has already been used by local Cub, Guide and Brownies and should help in our quest to encourage children and young people to learn about the wildlife around us.

Loughborough Round Table

Loughborough Round Table have very kindly provided a grant of £260 to sponsor the provision of Braille information panels on the next 7 information boards that are to go up at points of interest around the Nunckley Trail.

The boards themselves are sponsored by Loughborough University. It is important to us to ensure the trail is as inclusive as possible, so being able to include Braille for visitors who are visually impaired is paramount. However, the provision of Braille doubles the cost of each board, so we are very grateful to Loughborough Round Table for allowing us to include Braille.


In all there will be 14 boards. Funding is still required for the Braille panels on the final 6 boards, so if your group or company would like to sponsor the £230 Braille cost for the remaining 6 boards, please get in touch.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Branch Line Restoration Progress

Our track volunteers have spent the past 6 months "fettling" the ballast around the track. The ballast is very important to a railway as it holds the track in place. The process is a painstaking task which involves shovelling up excess ballast onto trolleys for transport to other parts of the track where there is not enough. The shoulders either side of the track need to be supported, especially on the tight curves. Our volunteers have worked very hard at this and the process is finally complete.
 


There was one area close to the Swithland Lane bridge where there was a small hump in the track. The only way to deal with this was to shovel all the ballast away, jack the track up so that ballast under the sleepers could be removed, which allows the track to sit lower.

Ballast is hard to shovel and with some 20 tons to dig out were lucky to draft help form AON Insurance who were running a volunteer day for their staff. A team of 14 AON volunteers consisting of 10 ladies and 4 men came to help with the process. There is sometimes the misconception that ballast work is a heavy job best suited to big strapping lads, but the girls from AON certainly dispelled that myth and on a very hot day managed to remove all the ballast from the track!


 
 
With help from our track volunteers the track was lowered, the hump removed and the line repacked with ballast and ready for trains.



A big thanks goes to AON for their help!

This means that the track is complete along the full length of the line with the exception of the final 100m which is still to lay at Mountsorrel Halt.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Mountsorrel Halt Progress

If you have passed along Bond Lane, Mountsorrel in recent weeks you will have noticed activity at the site of the new Mountsorrel Halt. We are very grateful to Lafarge Tarmac and in particular to their loading shovel/digger operator Nigel Copson who have provided free digger and materials assistance to help get the build under way.


Nigel Copson of Lafarge Tarmac digs new drainage channels in the car park.



Mountsorrel Halt car park starts to take shape. A Geogrid mesh system will be added to give a hard wearing surface that still allows grass to grow through.


Nigel has reprofiled the cutting side, dug out the car park area and covered with a sub base. He has also dug out the base of the cutting where the platform will go and added additional drainage to the cutting side.

In addition to this Soar Valley Landscapes have cut out the access path route on the cutting side.

Our volunteers have also assisted rebuilding dry stone walls and surveying and setting out for the work.
 

 
The main contract for the rest of the build should be awarded within the next week with work expected to start quickly.



Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Almost there for Heritage Centre’s £56,000 funding appeal

The public has taken to heart the proposal to build a heritage centre for the villages of Mountsorrel and Rothley. The Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre will be situated next to the recently restored Mountsorrel Railway, which itself functions as a heritage corridor between the Loughborough-based Great Central Railway and Stonehurst Family Farm and Motor Museum.

In February, Lafarge-Tarmac’s Landfill Communities Fund awarded a £540,000 grant to fund the project, but the terms of the grant required that a further £56,000 be raised as matched funding.

Donations have come in from not only local people, but from all over the country and abroad. After only four months £50,000 has been raised leaving only £6,000 still to be raised to release the grant.

However, time is running out as the terms of grant mean that the heritage centre has to be complete by July 16th 2015, which in turn means that the remaining match funding must, realistically, be raised by the end of July this year as work cannot start until the match funding is in place!

Project leader Steve Cramp commented “The response from the public has been superb. We are now within sight of the target we need to achieve in order to get work started. But it's essential that we succeed sooner rather than later. We have two old granite buildings to dismantle and reconstruct, stone by stone, as part of the heritage centre, within a year. This will be a tough ask but we are confident of success if we can start early enough.”

To help raise this figure a “sponsor a brick" appeal was launched where the public can sponsor the bricks that will be used to combine, into one unified building, the different structures that will form the core of the Heritage Centre. The names of sponsors will appear on a large commemorative plaque that will feature in the tearoom at the Centre.

With only just over £6,000 still to go, the project is launching a final push to bring in the relatively small remaining balance. If you want to learn about the benefits the new centre will bring then go to: www.heritage-centre.co.uk

And if you want to make a donation to the appeal, please send a cheque to the David Clarke Railway Trust, c/o 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Leicestershire LE12 7EW (and write "Heritage Centre" on the back of the cheque).

Many thanks for your support.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fund Raising Passes the £40,000 Mark!

The public has really taken our appeal to heart with donations coming in from all over the country and even from abroad! In less than three months the public has donated a remarkable £26,000 to our appeal.

This has been boosted further by 3 recent grants totalling £14,000! The Rothley History Society have donated £2,000, the Harry Hames Cottage Charity, which is administered by Rothley Parish Council, has given a grant of £5,000 and we have just been awarded a further £7,000 grant from another charity who's name we will release once we have permission to do so.

This has taken our appeal total to £40,000 with only £16,000 still remaining to be raised to release the £540,000 grant from Lafarge Tarmac's Landfill Community Fund.

Time is running out though as the terms of Lafarge Tarmac's grant mean that the heritage centre has to be complete by July 16th 2015, which in turn means that we need to raise the remaining match funding by July this year to be able to achieve the completion date target.

If you haven't donated yet time is running out. Donations of any amount, large or small are greatly appreciated. Our "sponsor a brick appeal" has proved hugely popular, particular with families wanting to sponsor a brick or donors sponsoring bricks as presents for friends or in memory of someone. Bricks cost £50 to sponsor and names of sponsors will appear on a large commemorative plaque in the heritage centre tea room. Larger donors are also recognised on a further role of honour that will appear in the heritage centre.

For details of how to donate and where to send your cheque to, see our
donation form. If you are a UK tax payer don't forget to download a Gift Aid form. Completed gift aid forms sent in with your donation will allow us to claim an additional 25% from the taxman at no additional cost to you.

If the company you work for has a charitable fund that supports local good causes, please
get in touch to let us know.

Together with your help we can reach our target!
 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Local Children Learn About Nature at the Nunckley Trail



Our latest Wildlife Warriors event was another resounding success! Despite the poor weather forecast the sun shone and we all stayed dry.
 

This event focused on bees. The children were able to learn about the important role bees play in pollinating a wide range of crops to make every day things we use ranging from sun flower oil to cotton for the clothes we wear.

They learnt how to make a bumble bee nest for their gardens at home and undertook a bee themed scavenger hunt around the Nunckley Trail.

 

We would like to thank the Mercury News Agents on Leicester Road Mountsorrel who kindly provide juice and biscuits for those attending.

Wildlife Warriors events are free to attend, although donations are welcome towards our heritage centre appeal fund.

To help raise further money for our appeal fund, through May, June and early July we are running a programme of evening visits for local Brownie, Guide, Scout, Rainbows and other young people groups.
 

Last Tuesday 1st Quorn Brownies came to learn about the different birds that can be found along the Nunckley Trail. At a safe distance they were able to observe nesting birds flying in and out of the many bird boxes erected around the trail by our volunteers. They were also able to learn how to identify birds by the bird song they sing and there was a nature and history quiz.

 

If you run a local young people group who would like to visit the Nunckley Trail and sponsor bricks for our heritage centre appeal, please get in touch as there are just a few dates still available.

 
 

A big thank you to all our volunteers who allow these visits to take place! 
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