The partnership’s community rail officer, Fiona Forsythe addressed the society via Zoom on 14 January with a presentation entitled “From Stone Blocks to Apps -the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership”. Fiona’s technical expertise with the online platform meant she was chosen as the first speaker in a series of online events being held by the RCTS.
Fiona spoke to over 40 audience members, many attending online from around the country, about TVCRP working with statutory bodies, regional businesses of all scales, rail stakeholders, tourism industries and the public, outlining how TVCRP aims to promote, strengthen and protect the role of the Tyne Valley railway between Newcastle, Hexham and Carlisle for residents, tourists, employees and service providers. Case studies and success stories presented included the partnership’s preservation of the 1855-built booking hall at Haltwhistle, now used as a hub for regional and recreational activities for all ages and a recap of the Blaydon station adoption group’s Angel Award for an outstanding contribution to the local community during the pandemic.
The RCTS recorded the talk and it will be uploaded on YouTube in the near future. A report on the talk will appear in the next edition of the Railway Observer, the magazine of RCTS.
Malcolm Snowball, RTCS Newcastle branch secretary said: “Thank you for a great evening, which has been much appreciated by our countrywide audience.”
Fiona Forsythe added: “It was a great way to reach an audience and an added bonus that folk were able to join us from other parts of the country”.
TVCRP are currently collecting memories and photographs about the wartime evacuation from Wallsend to the Haltwhistle area and welcomes contact from those involved so their experiences may be preserved for posterity. TVCRP looks forward to welcoming visitors to the area’s outstanding scenery and 2000 years of history – the line parallels Hadrian’s Wall for most of its route – which, like Thursday’s talk, is something not to miss once the circumstances allow.