Lottery grant boosts Peak line history project

A NEW project is seeking help from local communities as it compiles a new history of the Midland Railway main line between Derby and Manchester.

The first phase of the Derwent & Wye Valley Railway Trust project has just received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Tracking Our Heritage project.

The money will allow dedicated research to explore and record the oral histories of former employees of the section of the railway that ran between Matlock and Rowsley, former commuters as well as volunteers who have worked on the route since it was relaunched as Peak Rail four decades ago, with the intention of rebuilding it from Buxton to Matlock.

Pete Waterman (third from left) launches Tracking Our Heritage with (from left) the project’s Catherine Croney, Mick Bond of the Peak Rail Association, project manager Richard Godley, plus Roy Mckinley and David Lathrope of the Derwent & Wye Valley Railway Trust. NIGEL CORLETT

Peak Rail president Pete Waterman unveiled the project in mid April. He said: “It’s important we don’t lose our history. The spoken word is the best way to record events. People’s memories are fantastic and you find out stuff they would have never written down.”

Project manager Richard Godley said: “Tracking Our Heritage will engage the local communities of Matlock, Darley Dale and Rowsley in uncovering local heritage based around the section of the former mainline railway by working with people of many ages so they can enjoy learning together through intergenerational events.

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