A series of events embracing the concept of the ‘Past, Present and Future of the Railway’ have been running in the South West of England to mark the 175th anniversary of the Southampton to Dorchester Railway.
A collaborative project between Purbeck Community Rail Partnership (CRP), Three Rivers CRP, New Forest CRP and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s Mind the Gap project, there were a host of different events in the wider community to mark the occasion.
Station volunteers and CRP representatives were positioned at stations including Southampton, Brockenhurst, Bournemouth, Wareham, Wool and Dorchester South, handing out information on current projects as well as cake and wildflower seed packets. Wareham Museum led a series of guided walks from Wareham Station, and community café Not Just Sundaes held a photo exhibition. Bournemouth Station played host to community drumming, and Wareham Library hosted a talk by Paul Atterbury on the history of the railway.
History students from Bournemouth University also contributed to the celebrations, working hard on a final year project for Purbeck CRP. The group have created a record of the history of Moreton, Wool, Wareham and Dorchester Stations with photos, interviews and information, all of which can be found here. The project will also be in the form of information boards located at each of the stations, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.