A NEW display celebrating Bromsgrove’s rich railway history will be available to view when the Norton Collection Museum reopens in the spring, following its revamp.
Dennis Norton, who owns the collection, has teamed up with Ron Swift to bring together some unique items from the town’s train past.
Among the items from the an signal, name plates, running boards and even the balcony from the old station.
Cast iron foot scrapers – identical to those outside Number 10 Downing Street – which were outside the station master’s house are also in the haul, along with the original whistle from much-loved locomotive Big Bertha. The whistle has two engine numbers on it – the original one from when Big Bertha was registered and another given to it after improvements were carried out.
Whether it was the lengthy campaign to get a new station or the Lickey Incline – the steepest sustained mainline railway incline in the UK – the town has always had a passion for the railways and this new display is likely to entice rail enthusiasts to the museum from Bromsgrove and beyond.
Mr Norton said: “When the redevelopment is carried out we will have an enormous amount of extra space and with all these items, it should make a super display.”
Ron, the only surviving member of a group which saved Bromsgrove Station in the 1960s, has donated a variety of artefacts from Bromsgrove’s railway past.
He was also one of the original voluntary ‘friends of the museum’ and has given 30 years service to the project.
He said: “Bromsgrove has always been an important transport hub – right back to stage coaches and has come so far with regard to the railways.
“We have seen some extraordinary changes over the years – in the town we used to build banking engines and carry out repairs to a very high standard at the old Wagon Works.
“I hope there will be a lot of interest in the new display.”