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SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY TRUST Museum Launches Tableware Collection
The tableware display in the museumPhoto © J.Brodribb 2013

The South Devon Railway Trust Museum officially launched its collection of tableware on Wednesday 30 October 2013. Although most of the items have been on display for much of the 2013 season, work to display and interpret the collection has been completed only recently.

There are three parts to the collection. Part, including some cutlery and crockery, was collected by the late Colin Treglown, and has been loaned to the Museum by his son Peter, who is a Director of the SDR Trust.

Another portion comes from the former Paignton & Dartmouth Railway Society, who have also donated their collection. It includes cutlery, condiment sets and other items that were once used by the Great Western Railway on its restaurant cars and in its cafés and buffets.

Susan Johnston points out some of the features of her father’s tableware collection, watched by (L-R) Rowena Houghton, Peter Houghton and Barry Cogar.Photo © J.Brodribb2013

The third part of the collection comes from the late John Evans, a founding director of the Dart Valley Railway. A life-long railway enthusiast, he was involved with the Ashburton branch from the earliest days of railway preservation, and later with the Paignton to Kingswear line. His daughter, Susan Johnston, has now generously donated the collection to the Museum, and today performed the ceremony to launch its display. Accompanied by members of her family and a number of other guests including Rowena Houghton (Bob Saunders’ daughter), Barry Cogar, Richard Elliott, John Haslam and several SDRT Museum Support Group volunteers she unveiled the collection.

Colin Harmes with Barry Cogar (left) and Susan Johnson (right) at TotnesPhotos © J.Brodribb2013

The party then boarded the 12.15pm train to Totnes and return, with Susan Johnston being treated to a ride on the footplate in the company of long-serving fireman Colin Harmes. Steve Parkinson was the driver. On the return members of the party were taken on a guided tour of the SDR Engineering workshops by Richard Elliott. As he said afterwards: “Events like today help show people what we are really like and what we can achieve. It was a great pleasure showing them around the works - they were duly astonished. I made the point to Sue Johnston and her brother David that I hoped their father would be happy to see what we had achieved to help keep his vision alive”

All in all, a very good day for the South Devon Railway – and the trains were really busy too!

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© South Devon Railway Association 2013

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