Hopes raised for a Doncaster railway museum

The Mallard, built in Doncaster.

The Mallard, built in Doncaster.

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PLANS are being drawn up which could lead to Doncaster finally having a permanent railway museum.

A collection of rare memorabilia - described as ‘amazing’ - has been uncovered and talks are under way over the possibility of using it as the centrepiece of a visitor attraction.

Doncaster was one of the most important railway towns in the 20th century, with the Plantworks in Hexthorpe manufacturing some of the most famous steam locomotives in the world - including the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard.

But despite its long and illustrious tradition, many high profile figures in the borough, including elected mayor Peter Davies, have voiced concern about the lack of anywhere in the town which reflects its heritage.

Mr Davies has seen the collection which is being lined up to go on display and is keen for something to be arranged.

He has held talks with the collection’s owner, Doncaster Council’s tourism manager Colin Joy and the National Railway Museum.

Mr Joy said: “We met with the National Railway Museum last week. They came to Doncaster to discuss establishing a closer relationship.

“We would like to create something more permanent that celebrates Doncaster’s railway history.

“It is early days and we have spoken with the trustees of the collection we have found in Doncaster.

“The director of the NRM who had never seen it before was amazed by the collection. There are things that pre-date the NRM’s collection in York.

“If we can find the right location, the owners would like to put the collection on display. The NRM did agree that the ideal place was for it to stay in Doncaster.

“It is an amazing collection.”

The collection includes locomotive name plates, parts of engines, funnels from early locomotives, and signs from stations across the country.

The scheme is the latest railway related project tourism bosses have examined. There are also plans to build a new steam engine in the borough - similar to the construction of the engine Tornado in Darlington.

Tornado was initially planned by enthusiasts who met in Doncaster.

The engine which would be built in Doncaster would be the P2 class of engine, called Cock O‘The North.

Last month Mayor Peter Davies revealed he was hoping for Doncaster to borrow the Mallard from the National Railway Museum next year to mark the 75th anniversary of it setting the world speed record for a steam engine.

He said: “We have discovered a treasure trove of railway memorabilia which may be put on public display.”

Property consultants have in the past suggested the former railway buildings at Denison House, overlooking the railway lines, as a venue for a railway themed attraction.

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