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 Steam train stokes railway memories for residents

Steam train stokes railway memories for residents

By 11th February, 2021 Press Releases Comments Off

THORNABY care home residents took a train ride into the past when Tees Valley Museums stoked their memories of riding the rails.

It was all aboard the reminiscence train at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, after residents explored the Museums’ “Talking Tees Valley Activity Pack”.

Monthly editions of the pack focus on different exhibits across the consortium’s museums – with the latest taking a close look at “Locomotion No 1”.

Residents were able to learn about the almost 200-year-old steam train, which is on display at Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum.

Among those who read the pack was Joan Cox, 81, who said it brought back memories of her school commute. She used to travel on the train every day from Horden to Hartlepool.

Joan said: “I enjoyed reading about the old steam train and how trains were invented. I always loved trains. I was always fascinated by them.

“When I was a young girl, I would leave home early in the morning and head to Horden train station and board the train to Hartlepool. It was quite the journey.”

The activity pack inspired Joan to find pictures online of the train she travelled on as a schoolgirl.

With the help of the care home’s activities coordinator Sarah Robinson, Joan found images of the station from the 1950s, as well as her old school, the now demolished Henry Smith Grammar.

The pair created a reminiscence book of Joan’s childhood, which she enjoyed showing to her husband, fellow residents, and staff.

Sarah said: “It was a wonderful experience seeing Joan so excited to show me the way she would travel, which was very different to my experiences.

“Joan said the photos from the 1950s were exactly how she remembered Horden station and we talked about how it had changed over the years.

“After we made a reminiscence book, she loved showing it to everyone in the home. She also showed all the staff and even told her husband.

“All of this was sparked from reading the articles on the first steam locomotive. Our thanks to Tees Valley Museums for sending the activity pack. We look forward to the next edition, so we can explore another era of history.”