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Locomotion looks to the future with appointment of new museum head

Locomotion in Shildon has appointed Dr Sarah Price as its new Head. Sarah is the first senior appointment since the museum moved into the management of the Science Museum Group last December.

Sarah heralds from Durham University, where she is currently Head of Engagement and Learning, responsible for the visitor operations and the public programme at all of Culture Durham’s venues, including award winning exhibits such as the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition and the new Durham Light Infantry gallery.            

Sarah will join in late August and will have a number of key priorities including forging stronger links with the local community and reinvigorating the museum’s programme of events and exhibitions for the museum’s audience of schools, families and rail enthusiasts.

The announcement follows a ‘Meet the Museum’ open event held last night, aimed at providing the local community with a unique taste of what happens at the museum. Over 100 people were treated to music from local school children, access into locomotive cabs and a peek at work on the 2HAP carriage, which is nearing completion.

The 2HAP is possibly the furthest travelled train in the National Railway Museum’s collection and the project to restore its two historic carriages, is the most comprehensive restoration of an electric train undertaken in the UK. Only a handful of the carriages now remain in existence and the work has been lovingly undertaken by a dedicated team of workshop staff and volunteers.

Work is also progressing on Locomotion’s historic structures, commencing with the stabilisation of the Grade 2-listed historic coal drops by Durham County Council. The Science Museum Group has also appointed a Project Manager with a heritage background to oversee conservation of the museum’s historic buildings, with ecological surveys due to start later this month. It is hoped that work to appoint the building contractors will start in the Autumn, once architects have been appointed.

Locomotion also aspires to improve the museum to better showcase the stars of our national collection of rail vehicles and tell the story of Shildon’s history and importance as a railway town. Emerging ideas for the future include a new building to house more rail vehicles and a larger workshop facility to support a programme of engineering and heritage apprenticeships.

Locomotion visitors are welcome to look at panels showcasing these emerging ideas and to comment on them until the Autumn. These ideas will be used to develop a longer term Masterplan over the coming months. Information can also be found on the museum website.

A copy of the panels will also be displayed in other local venues over the summer. If your venue has good footfall and you would be interested in displaying them, please get in touch via futureplans@locomotion.org.uk.

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, commented:

“This was the first of what we hope will be many future events to give a unique glimpse into what goes on at the museum. We look forward to sharing our plans for the future as they shape up and for local people to meet our new Head of Locomotion when we welcome her in late August, along with other members of our colleague and volunteer team. It is an exciting time at Shildon, especially as we await the visit from Flying Scotsman in July.”

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Simon Baylis, PR & Communications Manager
01904 686 299
simon.baylis@railwaymuseum.org.uk

About Locomotion:

  • Locomotion offers visitors the chance to see highlights of the national collection of railway vehicles in Shildon, the world’s first railway town
  • Locomotion forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York
  • Locomotion is a partnership between the Science Museum Group and Durham County Council, which is a major funder of the museum
  • Admission to Locomotion is free—for more information visit our website.
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