Two Railway Heritage Walks, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of England’s olde…

Two Railway Heritage Walks, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of England’s oldest continuously running commercial railway
Organised by: Mansfield & Pinxton Railway Project (part of the Kirkby & District Archaeological Group)

Event Dates: Wednesday 30th October & Sunday 10th November 2019

The Mansfield & Pinxton Railway Project group are to hold two Heritage Walks as part of its programme of celebrations.
The first walk will be a linear walk starting from the Sutton-in-Ashfield Parkway Station car park (Mansfield bound side), Low Moor Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts at 10.00 am on Wednesday 30th October and finish at the Mansfield railway station.
This walk will be approximately 2.2 miles in length and may be suitable for a child’s pushchair but not suitable for a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Please wear suitable footwear for paths that may be muddy in places. The route includes crossing two footbridges over the railway.
The second walk will start from the lower end of Portland Park, Lindley’s Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts, close to the current railway (near the pedestrian crossing) at 11.00 am on Sunday 10th November 2019 and finish back at Portland Park. Please park your car in the main (upper) carpark.
This walk will be approximately 4.6 miles in length. It is not suitable for either a child’s pushchair or a wheelchair/mobility scooter. Please wear suitable footwear for narrow footpaths that may be muddy in places. The route includes crossing a footbridge over the railway.
The Mansfield & Pinxton Railway has now been running for over 200 years, making it England’s oldest continuously running commercial railway. The walks will stay as close as possible to the original route, using public footpaths, and will stop at several sites along the way to discuss items of heritage.
Places will need to be booked, so please email Denis at denishill1066@gmail.com or call 0744 353 6811 to book a place.
The whole railway is about 7.5 miles in length. We are splitting it into three walkable sections and will consequently be running three separate walks; the third one to be announced soon. To learn more about the railway project or to request a private walk for your group or organisation, please contact Denis, as above. You can also visit our website: www.mansfieldandpinxton200.btck.co.uk/ or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pinxtonandmansfieldrailway200

TO THE EDITOR: Should you prefer to insert these walks into your diary dates section, then please see the following, which has split the above Press Release into two easy to insert sections:

First Walk
Wednesday 30th October 10.00am
Heritage Railway Walk, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of England’s oldest continuously running commercial railway; the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway. This is the first of three public walks to be held to celebrate this anniversary. It will be a linear walk starting from the Sutton-in-Ashfield Parkway Station car park (Mansfield bound side), Low Moor Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts and finish at the Mansfield railway station.
This walk will be approximately 2.2 miles in length and may be suitable for a child’s pushchair but not suitable for a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Please wear suitable footwear for paths that may be muddy in places. The route includes crossing two footbridges over the railway.
The walks will stay as close as possible to the original route, using public footpaths, and will stop at several sites along the way to discuss items of heritage. Places will need to be booked, so please email Denis at denishill1066@gmail.com or call 0744 353 6811 to book a place.
The whole railway is about 7.5 miles in length. We are splitting it into three walkable sections and will consequently be running three separate walks; the next one is on 10th November and the third one will be announced soon. To learn more about the railway project or to request a private walk for your group or organisation, please contact Denis, as above. You can also visit our website: www.mansfieldandpinxton200.btck.co.uk/ or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pinxtonandmansfieldrailway200

Second Walk
Sunday 10th November 2019
Heritage Railway Walk, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of England’s oldest continuously running commercial railway; the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway. This is the second of three public walks to be held to celebrate this anniversary. It will be a circular walk starting at the lower end of Portland Park, Lindley’s Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts, close to the current railway (near the pedestrian crossing) at 11.00 am on Sunday 10th November 2019 and finish back at Portland Park. Please park your car in the main (upper) carpark.
This walk will be approximately 4.6 miles in length. It is not suitable for either a child’s pushchair or a wheelchair/mobility scooter. Please wear suitable footwear for narrow footpaths that may be muddy in places. The route includes crossing a footbridge over the railway.
The walks will stay as close as possible to the original route, using public footpaths, and will stop at several sites along the way to discuss items of heritage. Places will need to be booked, so please email Denis at denishill1066@gmail.com or call 0744 353 6811 to book a place.
The whole railway is about 7.5 miles in length. We are splitting it into three walkable sections and will consequently be running three separate walks; the third one will be announced soon. To learn more about the railway project or to request a private walk for your group or organisation, please contact Denis, as above. You can also visit our website: www.mansfieldandpinxton200.btck.co.uk/ or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pinxtonandmansfieldrailway200
END

Further Information
The Kirkby & District Archaeological Group has joined with the Old Mansfield Society, Sutton Heritage Society, Pinxton & South Normanton History Society & railway historians to celebrate this wonderful piece of our heritage. Thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of nearly £90,000, we are celebrating with exhibitions, talks, walks, book, trail leaflet, website, archaeology, teaching materials, activities and heritage boards along the route.

Background to the railway

Just over 200 years ago discussions took place to see how Mansfield could be connected to the rapidly increasing network of canals, to boost the town’s economy. Due to the terrain, it was decided not to extend the canal but to connect the two together with a railway. Therefore, on the 13th April 1819 the 7.5-mile Mansfield & Pinxton Railway was officially opened amidst pomp and ceremony. Coal was more easily brought into the town to fire the industrial boilers & furnaces and exports of stone, malt and sand, amongst other items, rapidly increased. Mansfield had joined the transport revolution!

Have you stopped to think! This predates steam locomotion! Those first wagons were pulled along by horses. It wasn’t until 1849 that Mansfield saw its first steam locomotive.

However, the story doesn’t stop there, because this line, although undergoing a few upgrades and adjustments, has been running continuously ever since; making it the oldest continuously running commercial railway in England! Even when passenger services ceased, in 1964, freight continued, and today, the story is almost reversed.

Half of the original line has now been incorporated into the Robin Hood line, while the other half branches off toward Pinxton, still carrying a few freight trains each week.

Interesting Facts:
• The original route went from Mansfield Wharf, over the viaduct at Kings Mill (which is the oldest railway viaduct in England), past Kirkby Hardwick, over the Summit, through Kirkby, Portland Park and New Selston before arriving at the Pinxton Wharf.
• The opening celebrations included a marching band, a bonfire in the Mansfield Market Place, the ringing of church bells, a procession, and feasting at the Swan! Many of these items were repeated when we celebrated its 200th anniversary on the 13th April 2019.
• The original rails were laid on stone blocks, known as Pad-stones, not wooden sleepers and were “fish-bellied” in shape. Each rail was only 36 inches long. Sleepers would have caused the horses to stumble.
• The whole 7.5-mile length had a double track; believed to be the first full double track railway between two towns in England (others were single track, with passing points).
• A passenger carriage was added in 1832 to take people from Pinxton to Mansfield Market on Thursdays; this was a basic coal wagon with seats placed inside. Later, a purpose-built coach was introduced.





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