Tywyn Museum awarded Heritage Lottery Funding

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum, based at Tywyn on the Talyllyn Railway, has received a £42,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

William Finlay was one of the stars at the gathering of the five surviving Fletcher Jennings locomotives at the Talyllyn Railway for the line’s ‘Grand Finale’ gala on July 1-3. The 3ft2¼-in gauge locomotive is second from the right. DARREN TURNER

William Finlay was one of the stars at the gathering of the five surviving Fletcher Jennings locomotives at the Talyllyn Railway for the line’s ‘Grand Finale’ gala on July 1-3. The 3ft2¼-in gauge locomotive is second from the right. DARREN TURNER

In addition to refreshing the museum’s current collection and displays, the money will be used on enhancing the museum’s latest acquisition, Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0T William Finlay. The plan is to make the locomotive’s footplate accessible to visitors whilst the engine will face out of the museum behind a new up-and-over door that can be opened on sunny days.

Physical work on improving the exhibits and displays will begin immediately, with a projected completion date of March next year.

The HLF grant will also be used on enhancing the museum’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education programme. The programme will run throughout 2017 and focuses on helping children to understand how steam engines work and how their use influenced the shape of society.

Rebecca Cottrell, the Museum’s Education Advisor, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and are really looking forward to working with children to allow them to better understand our heritage.”

Recently one of the museum’s exhibits, Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST Jubilee 1897, was sent to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway where it is planned to be restored to working order.

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum was established in 1956, five years after preservationists took over the Talyllyn Railway. The present building at the railway’s headquarters in Tywyn was built with support from the HLF and opened by the Prince of Wales in 2005.