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A New Look at an Old Railway

A new window into post war life at England’s first public narrow-gauge railway, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has turned up. In December 2020, a lot containing negatives which were taken by railway photographer HC Casserley came up for auction.

Claire Winter-Moore, collections assistant, said: “We are thrilled to have acquired this collection of negatives which gives us a more detailed and representative view of the railway during a decade that was to signal great change for the R&ER. Taken on a visit in the fifties photographer, Henry Cyril Casserley, visited the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway at a difficult time for the company. Both money and materials were scarce and the railway was facing an uncertain future. The photos that he took offer a window into this turbulent part of the railway’s past and also show the task that was facing the then fledgling Preservation Society."

The museum’s volunteer photo archivist, Dave Simpson, said: “Being taken from the back of the train, these images will enable us to produce some interesting Then and Now features. One of the future projects we wish to do at the museum is to show the tremendous changes in the valley, with vegetation creeping up on the line, almost hiding it from view in places. This will contrast to modern views of the line in very good condition."

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