OTR Online: Heritage Loans

OFF THE RAILS Online Exhibition: Sunday 24th January – Saturday 20th March

HERITAGE LOANS

In our latest exhibition, OFF THE RAILS, we have partnered with Isle of Wight Steam Railway to celebrate their 50th anniversary moving from Newport to Havenstreet, by showing artefacts, signs and memorabilia from their collection, related objects and artworks from the IW Heritage Service Collection and AJ Wells & Sons.

Oil painting of Newport Harbour / Artist & date unknown, 97 x 63cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Newport sign enamel on steel  / 90 x 26cm /On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Painting of Engine Ryde by Stan Hider, 1989 / 49 x 39cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Small painting of Adams Tank on Ryde Pier, if it had come down to the IW but didn’t – a ‘what if painting’ by John Burgess, March 2015 / 34 x 27cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Hand drawn wooden carriage sign, double sided / 72 x 62cm x 13mm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Photograph of Mrs Merwood / 23 x 18cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Photograph of Mill Hill Station / 32.5 x 23cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Photograph of Havenstreet IW Central days / 32.5 x 23cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Gradient drawing of Smallbrook Junction to Cowes, 2nd June 1959 held in the signal box / 54 x 31cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Carriage map of the IW Network Trainline / 49 x 27.5cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Railway passenger services public notice, 1965 / 68 x 106cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Sign shown at Ryde Pier, hand drawn on metal, wooden frame / 55 x 80.5cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Red closure notice of all stations with individual dates & replacement bus sevices, 1966 / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Photograph of the first of the last trains leaving Newport, Sunday 24th January 1971, by David Thrower / 69 x 60.5cm / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Large Diagram of Newport Station, cc 1913-23 / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Selection of lamps / various sizes / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Selection of lamps / various sizes / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Selection of lamps / various sizes / On loan from Isle of Wight Steam Railway

A used screen from Paris Metro print job / On loan from AJ Wells & Sons

Vinyl on metal train driver sign / On loan from AJ Wells & Sons

IW Central Railway Vinyl on metal train sign / On loan from Isle of Wight Heritage Service collection

Southern Railway iron train sign / On loan from Isle of Wight Heritage Service collection

Click image to see full size

HISTORY

History
The first of the Island lines opened in 1862 between Cowes and Newport, but it was not until 1900 that Ventnor received its second railway and the Island rail complex was complete. However, by the mid 20th century, after two World Wars and a lengthy depression, it was not surprising that rural branch lines came under the spotlight and their economic status was in question. The 1950’s saw lines to Bembridge, Freshwater and Ventnor, all closed.

The Island’s steam hauled railways were becoming a sad reflection of their former glory but still retaining a fascination for historians and enthusiasts as the Island’s isolation had seen the retention of antiquated locomotives and carriages, most of which had arrived as hand-me-downs from the mainland. It was then, on Sunday 24th January 1971, at 8.30pm, the last steam train rumbled across the Medina Drawbridge, Newport, high above the river and its quays, ending a chapter in the Island’s transport history and thus, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway was born.


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