Spend a moment of your visit to the Dean Forest Railway to look around our packed museum, specializing in Forest of Dean and Severn & Wye joint railway artifacts.
The museum is located through the shop at Norchard, and being on the ground level is accessible to all visitors, elderly and wheelchair users included. You are welcome to browse the museum every day the shop is open. You do not need to purchase a travel ticket to visit the shop & museum at Norchard. Well worth a visit to find out about how the railway used to look, what they wore and what they used in yesteryear.
MUSEUM NEWS - October 2023
The Museum, a charitable trust situated within the Dean Forest Railway HQ at Norchard is dedicated to preserving relics of local railways, especially the Severn & Wye. Bona fida researchers should contact the Honorary Curator on 01594 541831 or email [email protected] if they wish to access items that may not be on display or to apply for additional access to items in the gallery for research purposes. In April 2018 the Charity Commission agreed to convert the Trust into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
In 2020 the museum celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Dean Forest Railway Society and the 210th anniversary of the opening of the line between Parkend and Lydney together with the Act of Parliament which established the name as the Severn & Wye Railway & Canal Company. October 23rd, 2011 saw the 40th anniversary of our first public open day held at Parkend, while 2020 marked thirty -five years since the line passed into DFR ownership and twenty years since we extended our train service to Lydney Junction. In 2013 the museum published ‘Rails through the Forest’ a 200-page book of photos and descriptions of the line between Norchard to Lydbrook, Coleford & Cinderford to complement ‘Rails to the Forest’ first published in 2010 which covered the Severn & Wye Railway from Berkeley to Norchard. The second edition of this book, containing many new photos and information is due to be published in the Autumn of 2023. The history of the DFR Society and its achievements in the first 25 years can now be seen in a new DVD ‘The DFR Archives’ on sale in the shop.
The DFR Museum was first officially “Accredited” by the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (MLA) in May 2007. The Museums Accreditation scheme, now administered by Arts Council England (ACE), sets nationally agreed standards for all museums in the UK. In February 2015 after re-appraisement by ACE, they awarded the museum the status of Full Accreditation. The award proves that it meets the guidelines on how it is run, how it looks after its collections and the services it provides its visitors.
Christopher Hill, the Hon. Curator, said accreditation recognized the high standard and service the DFR museum provides and acknowledges the hard work put in over many years by the volunteers. It also demonstrates the museum is a potential recipient for sponsorship and donations.
The Curator is always pleased to hear of the whereabouts of railway artifacts from the Forest of Dean,
especially from the Severn & Wye Railway. If anyone owns such items and is considering disposal he will be pleased to hear from them.
If you are a member of the Dean Forest Railway Society and might be able to offer a few hours a week helping Christopher, our Curator, in general duties in the museum, why not write to Christopher at the:-
Dean Forest Railway Museum Trust
Or contact him by email at [email protected].
We’re always on the lookout for some friendly helpful faces!