The founder member of the new Mid -Suffolk Light Railway, Paul Davy, has reminded us that the first meeting to get the museum project off the ground was held on the last Friday in August 1990, just 30 years ago.
“From the beginning our aim was to preserve, rebuild and recreate the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. By having such a specific project we were confident that we could add to the national railway heritage (subsequently confirmed by national awards) and create a unique museum for Suffolk. From a practical point of view the project had the advantage that its potential and viability was enhanced by the simple structures and equipment of the MSLR. In short, the MSLR Museum was, and is, not just ‘another heritage railway”. Judging by the success of the Brockford site, the original aim has been more than achieved.
The creation of the museum site with many genuine buildings rescued from other uses and restored, the relaying of track on a long disused and overgrown trackbed, the return of steam trains in 2002 and the continued development ever since is a huge achievement by any standards.
There is still much to do, not least finishing the extension plan to more than double the length of the line and returning our own locomotive, Hudswell Clarke no.1604 to steam, hopefully in 2021. Despite the dreaded viral times we are living through, the Middy will continue to thrive and grow, thanks to the great band of enthusiasts and volunteers who continue to contribute time and expertise to keep the MSLR on track.