By Geoff Courtney
The country’s newest railway museum, which forms part of an ongoing £2½ million project to convert the 150-year-old Harwich Town station in Essex into a major historical railway and maritime attraction, is to open on April 15.
It was originally hoped that, appropriately, David Buck’s B1 No. 61306 Mayflower would mark the opening at the head of a London-Harwich railtour, but the 4-6-0 has been declared out of gauge by Network Rail.
Despite his disappointment at missing out on an LNER locomotive gracing the event, Bob Clow, whose large collection of railwayana will be at the core of the museum’s railway displays, is eagerly awaiting the opening of this first stage of the ambitious museum project.
The station, which is the terminus of an 11-mile branch from Manningtree on the Colchester to Ipswich main line, is operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, which has granted a 25-year lease to the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre to enable the museum scheme to proceed.
Bob, who is 71, has railways in his blood. His grandfather was a GER and LNER driver, his father an LNER fireman, and he himself enjoyed a 34-year career that started in 1962 when he joined BR as a cleaner at Parkeston Quay (30F) and ended in 1996, by which time he was chief motive power inspector Freightliner division.
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