Bishops Lydeard’s Gauge Museum scoops £40,000 National Lottery cash

THE West Somerset Steam Railway Trust has been given a National Lottery grant of £40,000 to relaunch the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard station.

The grant will improve the displays in the museum, which is housed in the Brunel-designed goods shed and dates from the opening of the line in 1862. The museum contains a unique 1897 GWR sleeping car, owned and restored by the trust.

The 1897-built GWR sleeping car takes pride of place in the Gauge Museum. WSRT

A statement from the trust said: “The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage railway in Britain. It is one of Somerset’s most visited attractions. However, apart from enjoying a journey behind a steam locomotive, visitors to the railway do not currently have many opportunities to learn about its history.

“The project will, for the first time, seek to present and develop the trust’s collections in a way which enables and encourages broader public engagement with both the local community (including schools and colleges) and visitors.

“The trust, which took over management of the museum in January 2017, will improve displays and make use of audio-visual equipment to tell the story of the railway more clearly and illustrate the social, physical and economic impact of railways in Somerset.

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