Final preparations underway for Barrow Hill Roundhouse relaunch celebrations
World famous steam locomotives, the National Railway Museum’s Flying Scotsman and Tornado have arrived at Barrow Hill Roundhouse ahead of this weekend’s celebrations to mark the reopening of Barrow Hill Roundhouse following its £1.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund supported refurbishment.
Sir Peter Luff, Chairman to the Board of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund will visit Barrow Hill Roundhouse on Thursday 21st September 2017 to officially open the new entrance building at the unique Midland Railway roundhouse.
The celebrations to mark the completion of the £1.2 million restoration, made possible by National Lottery players, will continue as the Grand Reopening Gala commences on Friday 22nd September, continuing on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September. The gala will star two icons of steam, the National Railway Museum’s A3 60103 Flying Scotsman and A1 60163 Tornado. This will be the first visit to the Roundhouse by Flying Scotsman since a British Railways Open Day in 1974. It will also be the first opportunity for many to get up close to the locomotive alongside her sister East Coast racehorse, the 100mph Tornado – recently the subject of a BBC4 documentary – against the unique and authentic backdrop of the Roundhouse.
The Roundhouse is also delighted to announce a last minute addition to the line up of steam locomotives with the arrival of LMS Jinty Fowler 3F No. 47406, last seen at the Roundhouse’s LMS Gala ‘Barrow Hill 1965’ in September 2015. The commercial customers based at Barrow Hill Roundhouse are also supporting the celebrations, demonstrating the vibrant future that the Roundhouse has as a part of the modern railway network of the UK. Direct Rail Services, Colas and GBRf locomotives will all be on display at the event.
Throughout the gala both Flying Scotsman and Tornado will haul passenger trains from the platform at Barrow Hill Halt up the Springwell branch line, supported by the Jinty. There will be brake van rides in the yard with the assistance of the Roundhouse’s Class 03 shunter.
Visitors will be also be able to enjoy the new exhibitions and interactive displays, featuring many items in the Roundhouse museum collection that have never been seen in public before. The new Roundhouse shop will open its doors for the first time, selling unique Barrow Hill mementos. There will be merchandise stands in the Roundhouse selling a wide range of railway memorabilia and gifts. The new Roundhouse café, a real ale bar and other catering outlets will serve visitors a wide range of refreshments and drinks.
There is plenty of free parking at the Roundhouse and the nearby Staveley Works and a mini bus shuttle service will also run between the Roundhouse and the further car parks. Visitors should follow the event parking signs from the A619. For those coming by rail, there will be a free bus service from Chesterfield railway station.4. It will also be the first opportunity for many to get up close to the locomotive alongside her sister East Coast racehorse, the 100mph “Tornado” – recently the subject of a BBC4 documentary – against the unique and authentic backdrop of the Roundhouse. Entry to the event will include a train ride behind these locos.
Flying Scotsman will be also be one of the stars of “Down the Line”, a play written by Kevin Fegan and directed by Carole Copeland. The play has been specially commissioned for the relaunch celebrations and is supported by The Arts Council. The show will involve a cast of professional actors and local people, including a community choir and Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band. The audience will be an integral part of the play as they follow the drama in and around the Roundhouse building. The play tells the story of Barrow Hill from the coming of the railways to the present day and our guide is a fictional Site Foreman, “Shunter”, whose family have lived in the area for generations. Act 1 of the play will be taking place outside so visitors should dress accordingly for a September evening. There is plenty of free parking on site and a bar will be open before and during the performances.
There will be three performances on the evenings of Thursday 21st, Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September. Doors open at 6.30pm, performances commence at 7.30pm and finish at 9.30pm.