Here at “MARCH” we are constantly looking at ways of improving the Heritage Centre, Nature Trail and Railway. Our volunteers work tirelessly to maintain, improve and extend the site. We have achieved so much that on January 25th, 2017 HRH The Prince of Wales chose to visit and acknowledge the amazing work of our volunteers.
Narrow Gauge Railway
Our £14,000 workshop extension appeal target was reached in February 2022. Thanks to your generosity we now have an extension to house our two narrow gauge diesel locomotives and provide us with a workshop area to maintain them. This also frees up our existing NG engine shed which we hope to refurbish.
The second stage of this project is to obtain coaches for passengers to ride in. Our solution is replica Penrhyn Quarry Railwayman’s coaches of which we need three. Our versions would have two compartments with hinged sides and fold up benches so they could be quickly converted to carry general visitors or wheelchair users. The three coaches are costing £38,500, which was going to be a very large sum to raise! However, one of our supporters was planning to leave the Heritage Centre a generous bequest in his will but has very kindly offered to make that bequest available immediately. As a result we are delighted that the coaches have been ordered and should be ready and delivered to the Heritage Centre around May 2023.
The third and final stage involves creating a small station and platform area to allow passengers to board and leave the trains. We have already made significant alterations to the track and the new site for the station is clearly visible behind the botanical garden. We’ve launched an appeal to raise the £4,500 required for materials to build the station platform. Although the appeal is primarily for the platform it also includes money to concrete the floor in the workshop, complete with inspection pit as well as the final few track components required before passenger trains can run.
We very much hope that, once again, you will be able to support our appeal to allow passenger trains to run on our narrow gauge railway in 2023!
If you wish to assist with our Narrow Gauge Appeal, then the following options are available:
- Smaller donations by cash can be made in our donation boxes, either on the counter in Granite’s or at the top of the path from the patio that leads to the interest areas of the site.
- Larger donations can be made by cheque, made out to “MARCH” (Mountsorrel And Rothley Community Heritage Centre), and can be handed in at the Heritage Centre or posted to the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre (MARCH), 240 Swithland Lane, Rothley, Leicester LE7 7UE.
- Direct donations to MARCH via internet transfer are also welcome. If you would like to donate in this way, please email David at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will explain what to do.
- If you wish to make a donation plus Gift Aid then we are happy to accept these provided the donation is for £25 or more. This is because we have to use the outside services of the David Clarke Railway Trust (Registered Charity 1104839) to administer Gift Aid donations. You can download our Donation Form and please email David at email@example.com if you have any queries.
- Finally, you can also donate via our GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/6dd414a5 or by clicking the button below
What have we got planned after that?
If we can successfully reach this target we will move on to complete the financing of the restoration of the 1834 Robert Stephenson Lifting Bridge. The remnant bridge parts have been donated by Leicester City Council and can be seen in the workshop. The footings for the bridge have been created in the sidings outside the workshop. But despite having already secured three substantial grants we still have some way to go with financing the Lift Bridge project.
If you love what you see at the Heritage Centre we very much hope you will be able to support our appeal by making a donation. If you require any further information or have any queries about what is envisaged, then please do not hesitate to ask.