End of The Line Exhibition

End of The Line Exhibition

After the success of the virtual exhibition which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Horncastle Railway, easing of lock-down restrictions means the “real exhibition” is open from Thursday 29th July to Saturday 4th September 2021 here at the Joseph Banks Centre.

The exhibition will offer visitors the chance to see discover the history of the railway which opened in 1855 linking Horncastle and Woodhall Spa to the main Lincolnshire Loop Line at Kirkstead. It will include recently rediscovered photographs of the line which have never previously displayed in the town, as well as original items from the railway preserved in Horncastle History & Heritage Society’s Town Archive.

Chairman of the Society, Dr Ian Marshman said:

“Today many people don’t realise Horncastle ever had a railway, as almost every trace of the station is gone. We hope this exhibition will show how the line changed life in Horncastle.

“There are many fascinating stories to be told, such as how local people fought to build the line in 1850s and how it broadened horizons for ordinary people living here. It is also tantalising to discover how history could have taken a different path, with several schemes having been proposed that would have put Horncastle on the main route from Lincoln to the coast.”

Talk on the Last 10 Years of East Lincolnshire’s Railways

Join railway historian Mike Fowler on Friday 13th August for a talk examining the significant events in the 1960s that led to the closure of most of East Lincolnshire’s railway network on October 5th 1970.

The talk will feature films of interviews with railway staff who worked on the routes, video footage and old photos of the lost lines.

Many local stations will get a mention, from town’s left cut off from the rail network like Horncastle, Louth and Mablethorpe, to rural stops like Midville and Willoughby, and once busy junctions like Woodhall and Firsby.

There will also be local railway books and framed railway carriage prints of East Lincolnshire scenes for sale. Doors and a licensed bar will be open from 6:30pm, with the talk starting at 7:30pm sharp.

The talk will be held at Horncastle Community Centre, Manor House Street, Horncastle, LN9 5HJ.
Admission £4, or £2 for members of Horncastle History & Heritage Society.

Exhibition Special Open Week 14th-22nd August

For one week only we present a rare chance to see artefacts saved from the Horncastle and Woodhall Spa branch line, and other nearby stations. Loaned by private collections, many of the items have never been on display in the town before!

From beautiful railway posters promoting local resorts, to carriage prints, old signs and real artefacts that once kept local railways running.

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th there will also be an opportunity to see a working model of Horncastle Station made by a local modeller. What better way to capture the spirit of the lost branch line that closed 50 years ago this year.Admission is free.

Open 10am-4pm daily.

Part of the End of the Line Exhibition on the history of the Horncastle Railway which will continue until 4th September. Usual opening times for which are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10am-4pm.

Spa Trail

Today, much of the route forms part of the Spa Trail for walkers and cyclists between Horncastle and Woodhall Spa, since it opened in 2010. Thanks to funding from Lincolnshire County Council’s Countryside Service, the Society has produced a new leaflet and map to promote the trail.

It’s hoped that with staycations increasingly popular this year, local people and visitors will be encouraged to explore the trail, which features a collection of sculptures and information boards about the railway’s history.

Local railway enthusiast, Chris Bates, who helped compile the exhibition, said:

“It is interesting to think that the line probably carries more ‘passengers’ today than it did when it closed. Even without its rails, it continues to be a great asset to the town”.

The free leaflet can be collected from the Joseph Banks Centre, or as a free download from Horncastle Walkers Are Welcome.

Dr Marshman added:

“It’s a great asset for Horncastle that the town now has a dedicated exhibition space in the relaunched Joseph Banks Centre, where local heritage, nature and culture can be celebrated. The refreshed tourist information centre for the area is also proving popular, with people popping in to pick up walk and cycle leaflets”

In addition, at the “other end” of the Horncastle branch, the award-winning Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum has included much information about the railway and some exhibits in its displays. The Society would like to thank the Cottage Museum for its help preparing the exhibition.