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When the Railway ran to Portland, what do you remember?

Portland Rocks, previously known for its music and art workshops, has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting project collecting the memories of those who knew and used the railway line from Weymouth to Easton, Portland; a social rather than technical history of the line.

Having lived on Portland in Dorset for the last thirteen years, Director Martyn Mullender said:” I have become increasingly fascinated by the railway that ran from Weymouth along Chesil Beach and then climbed from sea level to around 285 feet above. It then followed a circuitous route around the cliffs to arrive at Easton.”

 As many will know, the railway to Easton closed to passengers in 1952 and finally to all traffic in1965, over 50 years ago.

 Martyn remarked: “The line was unique in many ways: the traffic it was built for, the manner of its working, the challenges of getting the line built and the protracted amount of time this took. There will still be some residents and former residents with memories of the line that form a vital link to its history, which have not been recorded. Using audio visuals and the Internet, we plan to record as many memories as possible, making them available to the public for research or even genealogical purposes. “

 An online archive will be created, including photos and transcribed recordings, which will be placed with the Dorset History Centre and freely available online. The project has received letters of support from the Portland Museum, National Railway Museum, the Professor of Railway Studies at the University of York and local historian Stuart Morris among others.

 In order to develop the project, Portland Rocks will be recruiting a small group of volunteers, for which a letter of application is available at www.portlandrocks.co.uk or can be collected from and returned to the Island Community Action office in Easton, Portland, if people would like to register their interest in supporting the project.

 The project will run until November 2018 and Portland Rocks also hopes to run an arts project linked to the research, involving visual and sound art in September 2018, if they can secure further funding.

 The proposal includes taking display boards of information currently available to local events and gathering evidence from people who come along to talk about their memories of the railway.

 If you wish to know more about this proposal, please contact Martyn Mullender at: portlandrocks@live.co.uk

 Tel:07596657363

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