The trust would like to raise funds to purchase or long term lease with the option to buy, some land and start to create a living museum to celebrate and educate on Ashford's railway heritage.
We would like to firstly obtain land, so we can have a home to place donated items, too large for the part of the little Ashford museum, together with old engines that have been offered in the past.
From this, we plan to utilise the land to raise funds through various ways to boost trust funds.
using volunteer labour, we would landscape the area, to provide a wildlife area for public to visit for walks, whilst slowly increasing our railway collection.
This is planned to start with some temporary buildings to house photos and small artefacts, whilst a Dutch style barn placed over a length of track to assist in working on our first train engine.
As funds increase (through provision of drinks/snacks at park) and fêtes and fairs on land, then the railway element would grow
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
With the development of the area, many green areas are beginning to be threatened for new housing.
This idea, creates two opposing elements of society - a celebration of an huge industrial undertaking in Ashford, whilst being balanced with a new nature / wooded park, the like of which are disappearing
The creation of one, will hep to finance the other, with each contributing in their own way to the town
The burning of coal is bad for the environment, however, the creation of a green space with managed woodlands, is good for the environment
The other aspects, will include the laying of some railway track, to allow the museum exhibits to move out of the buildings on a short circuit (at a later date), and the woodland would therefore provide an excellent filming location for films of photos, for added interest and revenue.
The museum would eventually provide an interesting attraction for the town, whilst the park an asset to the town.
Steps to get it done:
The town needs a visitor attraction, and preferably one that can sustain itself rather than rely on funding.
Our initial views are that once the initial expense of purchasing the land, much of the costs can be self funded by fund raising and management of events on the land
the final vision is of a natural wooded park, encircled by a rail track, offering wooded walks
The rail track would be used for special events and the like to allow the museum a chance to exercise the engines (steam and diesel) inside and outside. The events would of course be to raise funds
Beside the wooded park, would be a large museum and conference / educational building, together with a large engineering shed.
Both would be created to blend as much with the landscape as possible using environmentally friendly designs and low impact technology
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