U3A Shared Learning Project Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway 2019 / 2020
Project Title: Building the Railway Archive
We are now starting a project to build an archive for the Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway. We need to collect everything we can find from the early 20th century to the present.
Volunteers on the project will need to visit local and national archives, make contact with those connected with the railway past and present, and search a wide range of publications.
We hope to find photographs, plans, maps, documents, memorabilia, objects and artifacts, personal reminiscences and film.
Having everything in a central archive will assist us in many ways. It will help with providing material for future exhibits and displays; website and social media; publicity material; articles in magazines and future publications; for people researching railway history; and for future talks.
About the railway
We are arguably one of the best kept secrets in West London and we have one of the oldest working steam locomotives in the south of England. Visitors can ride around the Hanworth Loop – our 2 foot gauge railway line – in period coaches hauled by our 1903 steam locomotive.
The Hanworth Loop is the first stage of a major project to reinstate the historic narrow gauge line that hauled coal from the River Thames at Hampton to the giant steam pumping engines that are in the beautiful listed building adjacent to our railway.
We work closely with the Kempton Great Engines and when the Museum has a weekend steaming we run on a Saturday as well. On these weekends the giant triple expansion steam pumping engine is operating. There are seven full weekend steamings and they each have extra attractions.
How the project works for volunteers
Volunteers on a U3A Shared Learning Project enjoy working as part of team and learning from each other. They develop new skills in research.
To decide if this project interests you, see the railway website or visit us on an open day and learn about the history. The railway is open every Sunday in 2019 until 17 November and some Saturdays.
While some research can be conducted online it will be necessary to visit various archives including: London Metropolitan Archives in Islington, National Archives at Kew and local archives in Hounslow and Richmond.
The first meeting of the group will discuss the overall theme of the project and consider what each person may like to research.
Volunteers should ideally attend all the group meetings to report on progress. Prospective volunteers should consider before committing to the project if they have enough time to attend the meetings and carry out the research.
Some volunteers may have experience of a previous U3A project. Other volunteers are coming with little previous knowledge of a Shared Learning Project. All are welcome. In between meetings volunteers work on their own though they can email each other for advice. Volunteers will need to use Microsoft Word, the internet and email. PowerPoint or Excel may be useful.
For the project to go forward we will need a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 volunteers.
What happens at the end of the project
At the end of the project the group deliver a PowerPoint presentation of their research to an invited audience. Each volunteer prepares their own section.
The research from the project is kept in the archive with a short version appearing on the railway website. The material may also be used in future talks and displays.
Meeting dates in 2019 / 2020
Meetings will be every two or three weeks and are all on a Tuesday from 2pm to 3.30pm
- First meeting in September. Outline of the project and agree on each person’s area of research.
- Other dates to be agreed between September 2019 and April 2020 Getting to the railway
For enquiries / application form: Jo Walters firstname.lastname@example.org
It is easiest to get to the railway by car where parking is available. Some buses stop near the railway entrance but all require a walk of about 20 minutes. Should you decide to join the group we will explain more about accessing the site through the security gates.
Location for meetings
Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway,
Kempton Park Waterworks, Snakey Lane, Feltham, TW13 6XH
Shared Learning Projects – Explanation !
If you are interested in research and want to work with other people on topics that interest you, then a Shared Learning Project could be the thing for you.
These Projects are agreed with an organization or institute (such as a museum, art gallery, library, stately home or charity) and focus on activity that will be stimulating to the participants and of benefit to the institution involved. Projects may also be set up by U3As together to explore a local theme or topic.
Since they started 12 years ago, London Region members have participated in over 50 projects in partnership with a variety of organizations from the British Film Institute to the Foundling Museum. Subjects have included nursing, family and social history, education, archeology, natural history and historic buildings. A list indicating range of projects undertaken can be found on the U3A national website. Research subjects have included social and local history, archaeology, natural history, music and literature. There have also been some evaluation projects. A list indicating the range of projects undertaken can be found on the U3A national website
The projects last for twelve weeks and a group of twelve or so people are recruited from U3As across London to work together. Members of the team carry out agreed research individually or in pairs and meet fortnightly to share their work. There is usually a presentation at the end and the outcome of the work is written up as a report or leaflet or sometimes the material is placed on a website.
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