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‘Crisis has hit hard’ - future ‘uncertain’ for iconic East Anglian Railway Museum

PUBLISHED: 10:34 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 14 April 2020

The East Anglian Railway Museum has warned its future is uncertain amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM

The East Anglian Railway Museum has warned its future is uncertain amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM

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A historic railway museum which provides a living record of the region’s transport history has warned events which make up its income are “uncertain” amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Chappel Beer Festival is one of the museum's biggest fundraising events. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUMThe Chappel Beer Festival is one of the museum's biggest fundraising events. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM

The volunteer-run East Anglian Railway Museum has been dedicated to preserving the area’s train heritage for the past 25 years.

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However the current pandemic, which has forced the closure of all non-essential businesses and activities, means that a packed season of steam and diesel event have been postponed.

That includes grand old locomotives in action, classic cars and 1940s vintage encounters, while “cautious preparations” are being made to stage signature summer beer festival - “albeit on a smaller scale”.

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A spokesman for the site, at Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, near Colchester, said: “The museum is a registered charity and relies heavily on income from events, annual memberships, ticket sales, visitor spend in the shop and cafe as well as railway experience courses and donations.

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“The crisis has hit hard and their future is uncertain.”

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The museum, which had been enjoying a rise in visitor numbers, is urging people to make donations towards its future, as well as enter the Essex Lottery – which supporting the site.

Marketing manager Catherine Harrison said: “Whether beer festivals are your thing or you bring the family along each year to see Thomas and friends, the East Anglian Railway Museum is held in great affection to many people in the community.

“We hope to be able to raise enough money to keep going and continue welcoming visitors for another 50 years…at least!”

Donations can be made by sending a cheque, made out to East Anglian Railway Museum, to East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel Station, Colchester, Essex C06 2DS.

Alternatively call the museum on 01206 242524 to make a donation by card over the phone – the museum reception is manned on a part-time basis so leave a message for a call back.

For more information, visit the museum’s website or email the museum here.


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