The Priest's House Museum & Garden, 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1HR
01202 882533

Latest News & Events

Lost Tracks

Posted on 09 Apr 2014
'Lost Tracks – Remembering East Dorset's Railways' is a new exhibition developed by the museum and the East Dorset Heritage Trust, and runs from the 1 April to 30 June. It marks the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of passenger train services from the area. The exhibition remembers the railways that served East Dorset until the mid 1960s. It looks at why the railways came to the area; who promoted, paid for and built the lines; who used the local stations, from passengers to traders; and who worked on the railways. The exhibition is spread over two sites in Wimborne. At Allendale House the story begins in the 1830s and continues through to the second world war. Charles Castleman promoted a line from Southampton to Dorchester via Wimborne in 1844. Eventually bricks, pottery, watercress, milk and cheese, and horticultural products were transported by rail, along with passengers. Discover the mystery of Wimborne's goods shed and the part played by the railway during wartime. At the museum the story is taken up in 1945 and continues through to the closure for passengers of the Salisbury & Dorset line in May 1964 and the Somerset & Dorset line in March 1966. Discover the people who worked at the local stations, from the station master to booking clerk and crossing keeper. Passengers arriving and departing from these stations included school children (catching up on homework or carrying out the odd prank), commuters to work and holidaymakers. Examples of railway memorabilia on show include station signs, signal box apparatus, railway staff equipment and advertising fliers. A booking office has also been recreated complete with ticket machine, luggage label rack and railway clock. The exhibition has been developed with guidance from Professor Colin Divall, University of York, and Peter Russell, Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. The museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10 to 4.30. There is an admission charge to see this part of the exhibition. Allendale House is open Monday to Friday (closed Bank Holidays), 9 to 5. Admission is free, donations welcome. For further information please contact the museum.