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.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Local Tree Surgeon Helps Nunckley Trail

We would like to give a big thanks to Martin Spratling of Martin Tree Care (01509 212421), who over the last few weeks has been kindly donating wood chippings for our volunteers to cover the Nunckley Trail path.

If you have a local business and would like to help the project, please get in touch.

Friday, 28 March 2014

First Open Day a Tremendous Success!

Our first of two public consultation open days was a great success last Saturday.

186 visitors came to see the project and to gain a fuller understanding of the benefits the community heritage centre will bring.

Visitors view the location for the heritage centre which is pegged out on the ground

The plans for the heritage centre, museum and tea room were on display and our architect was available to answer questions about the design and how the historic buildings will come together. In addition to this there were tours of the heritage centre site, which has the positions of the heritage centre, tea room and museum staked out on the ground, so visitors can see scale and position.

Visitors see the proposed historic quarry recreation area at Nunckley Hill

In addition to this there was a stall selling home made cakes and plants to raise money towards the match funding we need to release the £540k grant to build the centre, the Mountsorrel Railway Project display stand was also there, explaining the history of the railway and the story of its restoration.

Young project volunteers staff the cake stall

Rothley History Society's plant stall
There were also tours of the Nunckley Trail which proved hugely popular as well.

First of the new Nunckley Trail information boards. Note the Braille panel in the bottom right

Tomorrow, Saturday March 29th is our second open day, so if you missed last Saturday please come along and see us. The weather promises to be fine and we'll have everything running again including the plant and cake stalls. If you would like to "sponsor a brick" then they'll be a stall where you can do that as well.

Mountsorrel Railway Project stand

Members of the Mountsorrel Heritage Group and the Rothley History Society will be there to answer questions about the historical displays that will be on show in the heritage centre when it is completed.

Visitors tour the area for the recreation stone masons' huts
The site will be open from 11am until 2pm via the entrance on Swithland Lane Rothley, next to the Halstead Road junction. There is no off site parking so please try to arrive on foot or by cycle if you can. If you do come by car please bear our neighbours in mind and park courteously.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Heritage Centre Appeal Raises £17,000 in First Two Weeks!!

The public's response to our match funding appeal for the Mountsorrel & Rothley Community
Heritage Centre has been remarkable, with over £17,000 raised in the first two weeks!

We launched our "Sponsor a Brick" appeal in the hope that the public would share our belief that the heritage centre will bring significant benefit to our local communities. It is clear from your response that you are firmly behind us!

Our thanks go to the Loughborough Echo for running an article on our appeal and 103 The Eye for giving us the opportunity to talk about the project on their Sunday morning radio show.

We have £56,000 match funding to raise by July before the £540,000 grant from Lafarge Tarmac's Landfill Communities Fund will be released. The heritage centre must be complete by August 2015 as per the conditions of the grant.

There is still a long way to go to reach our target. If you have donated already or sponsored one or more bricks, thank you very much indeed! If you haven't donated yet please do so as soon as you can. The details can be found here "Sponsor a Brick".

Wood Chip

Our Ecology Group volunteers need wood chippings to place along the Nunckley trail path. If you are a local tree surgeon or know a local tree surgeon who may like to donate chippings resulting from a nearby job they are doing, please get in touch

We can publicise your help on our website. Most recently Oakdale Tree Surgery of Mountsorrel 07867 787744 dropped off a load of chippings for us.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Heritage Centre Site Virtual Tour

mi360 Virtual Tours is a local company based in Rothley who specialise in producing 360 degree views of an area, building or venue. This allows viewers to full immerse themselves in the tour and to gain an understanding of the area without actually visiting the site.
We are pleased to say that mi360 Virtual Tours has very kindly sponsored the production of a tour for the proposed heritage centre at Nunckley Hill. In fact there are three tours, one in the base of the old quarry showing where the museum building (phase 2), the stone masons' demonstration huts and the halt platform will go. The second tour shows the heritage centre and tea room as well as the car park area. The third tour is on the Nunckley Trail looking out over the old quarry.
We are very grateful to mi360 Virtual Tours for producing these tours for us. Not all our supporters live locally and can come along to see the site for themselves on one of up coming consultation days on March 22nd and 29th, so the virtual tours allows them to gain an understanding of how the scheme will fit into its surroundings.
John Shelton of mi360 Virtual Tours commented "When we heard about the community project to create a heritage centre for Mountsorrel and Rothley, we looked at the project and were in awe of what has been achieved so far and the benefit the new heritage centre will bring to our local communities. We felt we wanted to be involved so hopefully the 360 degree tours we have produced will help people to gain a better understanding of the project and maybe encourage a few people to sponsor a brick".

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

“Sponsor A Brick Appeal” Launched

Having received a conditional grant from Lafarge-Tarmac’s Landfill Communities Fund of £540,000 towards the proposed Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre on Swithland Lane, the Mountsorrel Railway Project still has to raise £56,000 in matched funding. This is urgent since the project needs to be completed within eighteen months and work cannot start until the match funding is raised.

To help raise this figure a “Sponsor A Brick Appeal” has been launched where you can sponsor the bricks that will be used to combine, into one unified building, the different structures that 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. The price of sponsoring an individual brick has been set at £50.

Project Leader Steve Cramp said “Whilst we are ready to go with the construction of Bond Lane Halt, we are also set for a very busy few months raising the relatively small remaining balance needed to progress the Community Heritage Centre. I hope this ambitious scheme will capture the publics' imagination and they will want to join us in clearing this last financial hurdle.”

If you want to view progress on the railway, walk round the newly created nature trail and see the plans for the Community Heritage Centre, there will be Open Public Consultation Days on March 22nd and March 29th from 11am to 2pm with guided tours starting at the Swithland Lane entrance. Please note that there is no site parking so please make every effort to arrive via other means where possible.

If you want to help the Brick Appeal, cheques for £50 (or multiples of £50!) should be sent to The David Clarke Railway Trust (Registered Charity 1104839) 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, LE12 7EW. Please write “Sponsor a Brick” on the back of the cheque.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Local Radio Interview on Sunday February 23rd

Project Leader Steve Cramp is being interviewed live between 11:00am and 12:00 this coming Sunday morning on radio station 103 The Eye.

103 The Eye is a local radio station which broadcasts from Melton Mowbray on 103 FM. If you can't listen locally they also broadcast on the internet via their website.

This is an ideal opportunity for you to find out all about the restoration of the Mountsorrel Railway and our exciting new project to build a community heritage centre! Don't miss it!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Two Major Funding Successes Totalling £606,000 for the Mountsorrel Railway!!

The Mountsorrel Railway Project has secured conditional promises of two significant grants from Lafarge Tarmac’s Landfill Communities’ Fund to develop its plans to complete and enhance the project that began back in 2007.

Mountsorrel Halt Station

Currently, the reinstated track runs to the end of the line at Bond Lane, Mountsorrel, where it is intended to construct a station and car park. A conditional grant of £66,008 from the Lafarge Tarmac fund , which represents 90% of the capital cost, means that finance is now fully in place for work to commence. The remaining 10% has already been promised or secured by the combination of an award from the Bradgate, Rothley, Mountsorrel and Birstall Community Forum and an award from the David Clarke Railway Trust.  

Artist's impression of Mountsorrel Halt.
Planning permission for the platform and associated works was granted at the end of January. It is hoped to start work in a few weeks time with completion hopefully by the end of this year.

Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre

This grant is, however, accompanied by another conditional grant from the same source towards the proposed Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre at Swithland Lane, Rothley. Here the contribution from Lafarge Tarmac’s Landfill Communities Fund is a very substantial £540,000! Again representing almost 90% of the proposed total project cost. The Mountsorrel Railway Project will need to raise an additional £56,000 of match funding to release the Lafarge Tarmac grant.

Proposed new community heritage centre viewed from the south.

Proposed new community heritage centre viewed from the north.
This particular project aims to create and develop a new recreational and educational resource on the eastern side of the proposed Charnwood Forest Regional Park. The Community Heritage Centre will be alongside the restored Mountsorrel Railway, which itself functions as a heritage corridor between the Loughborough-based Great Central Railway and Stonehurst Family Farm and Motor Museum. The existing “Nunckley Trail”, which is a community created nature and history trail, will also form part of the overall attraction.

Historic Time Office

Kinchley Lane Barn

The scheme intends to save, relocate and restore three historic buildings which are at risk of being lost. These are a 200 year old granite barn from Kinchley Lane, Rothley, once used as a mess room for German prisoners of war during World War 1; the only remaining original building within the old Mountsorrel quarry site, the ‘Time Office’; together with remnants of a granite built explosives store at the disused Nunckley Hill quarry, will be carefully dismantled and rebuilt to form the basis of the Heritage Centre and a tea room.

The heritage centre has been designed to tell the story of both Mountsorrel’s and Rothley’s village history. In addition, to the heritage centre and tea room there will be a car park with access to the adjoining road and a quarry museum area telling the story of granite quarrying in the area. This will include demonstration stone masons’ huts, recreating a quarrying scene that would have been common in the late 19th century. A small railway platform will allow passengers to join and leave the trains to visit the new attraction. At a later stage, there will also be a small museum building linked by rail to the Mountsorrel Railway. The museum will exhibit historical railway vehicles that once worked at Mountsorrel.

Proposed site plan
Subject to detailed planning permission, the various components of the project will all be constructed in and around the disused Nunckley Hill quarry on the Rothley/Mountsorrel parish boundary. The quarry is designated as a Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Site (RIGS) and will help visitors gain an understanding of both granite quarrying in Leicestershire and the general geological importance of the area.

Mountsorrel Quarry Time Office pictured in front of the chimney in the 1870's.

Stone Mason's huts at Mountsorrel Quarry circa 1890's. These would be recreated at the new heritage centre.
Project Leader, Steve Cramp, commented “The reinstated railway is now viewed as a unifying force for the parishes of Rothley and Mountsorrel and the construction of Bond Lane Halt and the Community Heritage Centre are vital further steps towards realising the potential benefit that the project can bring. We will be working with the Rothley History Society, the Mountsorrel Heritage Group and the Rothley Heritage Group to ensure that the heritage centre tells the story of our past in as thorough and accurate way as possible. We are enormously grateful for the support we have received from the local communities and, of course, our tireless volunteers who have worked to bring the project to its current stage. This is a community project built by the community for the community. If you would like to volunteer and help make this a reality then please get in touch by email to

He added “The level of support from Lafarge Tarmac for this project through their Landfill Tax Communities Fund grant scheme is hugely appreciated.  We have an opportunity to create an outstanding recreational and educational resource for our local communities to enjoy. We are grateful to Lafarge for sharing this vision and providing such a generous grant. We now need to justify the level of Lafarge’s confidence in us by raising the remaining £56,000. Work cannot progress further until the match funding is in place. If you want to help make this a reality then, please, consider making a donation. Maybe you are a local business who would like to make a donation towards our match funding? Everything helps, but one thing is certain, we need to raise the money quickly as the grant offer is only available for a short time and will be lost if we don’t reach our target.”

To make a donation please send a cheque made payable to "DCRT" (David Clarke Railway Trust) and write "Mountsorrel Railway" on the back and send to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough, LE12 7EW. If you are a UK tax payer please print and fill in our Gift Aid Form. Send this with your cheque and we can reclaim an additional 20% from the Tax Office at no additional cost to you.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

First Item Made For Mountsorrel Halt

Local wood craftsman Dave Richardson, has very kindly made and donated a solid Oak timber bench for Mountsorrel Halt platform. The bench will look wonderful on the new platform when it is built and we are hugely grateful to Dave for creating this for us!

Dave's website is check out his gallery page, it is well worth a look, he makes some fantastic things.

We will shortly be starting the tender process for the construction of Mountsorrel station and car park. If you are a local building company who would be interested in quoting for the work please get in touch.
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