Sat, 11 Jul 2020
2999 Lady of Legend
THE 21-acre living museum Didcot Railway Centre – the go-to place for many local families – so it’s great to hear it has been shortlisted in the Restoration/Conservation Project category of the annual Museums & Heritage Awards coming, just as it prepares to re-open following lockdown.
The nomination is for the project to build Saint Class locomotive No. 2999 Lady of Legend, recreating an iconic type of Great Western steam engine last seen in 1953 when the last of the original examples was scrapped. The £825,000 project was undertaken by a team of dedicated volunteers and took almost 24 years to complete.
Chief executive Emma Jhita said: “This is wonderful news, a real tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of the team here at Didcot and is a great boost for morale as we get ready to re-open after being stopped in our tracks by coronavirus.
“It is particularly rewarding to be recognised nationally, especially as we’re not a conventional museum or gallery. The competition is going to be extremely tough, but making the shortlist alongside the Palace of Westminster, Chatham Historic Dockyard, The Box at Plymouth and Aberdeen Art Gallery is a huge achievement.”
2999 will take pride of place in front of the centre’s iconic Engine Shed as visitors return to the site for a series of Open-Air Discovery Days this month. Visitor numbers are strictly limited and tickets must be booked in advance at DidcotRailwayCentre.org.uk
The Open-Air Discovery Days will also feature outdoor exhibits and photographic opportunities, including a locomotive on the turntable and a branch line goods train, along with the chance to see historic carriages including one from the Great Western’s Royal Train, a Travelling Post Office and several dating from Victorian times.
Further details, including booking, at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk
The winners of Museums & Heritage Awards will be announced at a ceremony on September 22.