Conserving the Mersey Railway poster

Over the last two years we’ve been working to conserve and frame the biggest poster in the National Railway Museum’s collection. At more than 2m x 3m its been a challenge, but it’s finally complete and ready for the wall.

Mersey Railway poster, detail, after conservation

Mersey Railway poster, after conservation, Feb 2014

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Port of Richborough and the birth of the cross channel train ferry.

How to keep an army in the field supplied with sufficient arms, ammunition, food and other essential supplies to keep it effective is a fundamental question asked by all military commanders. The difficulty of this undertaking is increased when that army is fighting overseas, and it was a question which had to be addressed in 1914.

Supplies manufactured all over the United Kingdom had to be transported to all theatres of war and therefore it is not surprising that the government sought control over the bulk carrying transport infrastructure such as railways and canals. Nor is it surprising that the military developed specialist units to build run and maintain such facilities in the war zones.

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MOR Music: Music On Rails – Spotlight on Vinnie & the Stars

Last week we met up with Craig Whitehead (lead singer of Vinnie & the Stars) to discuss their upcoming performance at our Music On Rails festival. Here is what he said:

Vinnie & the Stars

© Flaming Pint Productions

What type of music do you perform and how did you all get into music? 

The Vinnie & The Stars genre is what we have come to call Hull-Hop, it’s Rock, Blues, and Funk with a Hip-Hop thread binding it all together. I started as a solo acoustic singer and the current line-up is really made up of friends who have seen me play that I knew where all great musicians that’d I’d asked to join the band. Andy Precious (Bass) has been in the band since pretty much the beginning. Tom Shillito (Drums) and Kath Perring (Keyboards) are newer additions. We all have a diverse taste in music and it’s fun to bring it all together to create our sound!

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Recreating a First World War Ambulance Carriage

This is a post written by our Interpretation Developer Jane Sparkes

The role of the British railways in the First World War is almost too huge to begin to contemplate: from 10 to 17 August 1914 alone, 68,847 men, 21,523 horses, 166 guns, 2,446 vehicles, 1,368 bicycles and 2,550 tonnes of baggage and stores were moved from the UK to France by rail.  184,475 railway workers joined the forces, and many more stayed behind to build the vehicles required for the war effort and to keep the UK’s railways running.

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MOR Music: Music on Rails – Spotlight on The Rodeo Falls

We recently caught up with The Rodeo Falls, who will be performing at our MOR Music: Music On Rails festival on Saturday 6 September. Here’s what they had to say:

What is the band’s background and how did you form?

© Glossy Onions Photography

© Glossy Onions Photography

With York being fairly compact and full of those “it’s a small world” stories, we all met through friends of friends and loosely spoke of getting together for a jam. A text message was sent out by Marck (vocals and acoustic guitar) to Bob (bass guitar), Dave (lead guitar and vocals) and Mike (drums) with a time, date and place to meet in putting together the band. Everyone turned up, we exchanged vows and the rest will one day be available in an anthology.

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MOR Music: Music On Rails – Spotlight on Plumhall

We recently met up with Plumhall, who will be performing at our MOR Music: Music On Rails festival on Saturday 6 September. Here’s what they had to say:

What genre of music do you play and what/who inspires your songwriting?

© Mike Thrussell

© Mike Thrussell

There are layers of folk, Americana and pop in what we do. Our set is full of rootsy melodic acoustic guitar led big songs with pop sensibilities. Nick and I both take lead vocals at different points and provide vocal harmonies, so there’s always a fresh dynamic in our set. We both write songs separately and together, and one of our songs was written especially for us by Chumbawamba’s Boff Whalley.

Nick’s biggest songwriting influences have been Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Icicle Works, Neil Young and The Everly Brothers…and Michelle’s are Aimee Mann, Nanci Griffith, Kate Bush, Maria McKee, The Everly Brothers, Sarah McLaughlan and Annie Lennox…although the list is endless!

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The Million Go Forth: Early Railway Excursions

This is a guest post written by Susan Major

PhD Excursion HandbillWhat was it really like for ordinary people? When I started exploring topics for my research degree I wanted to investigate what the new 19th century railways in Britain meant to the masses at the time, the working classes. I was studying with the Institute of Railway Studies at the National Railway Museum/University of York and keen to approach the subject with new eyes. People like Michael Portillo paint a picture of travellers sitting tidily in their railway carriages, consulting their Bradshaws, but was it really like that for most people?

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