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The Friends was established in the 1980's to promote and support Darlington Railway Centre and Museum through railway related events and practical assistance. Friends can still get involved with such events, although they are now organized directly by the Museum, as well as enjoying the benefits of membership:
Free entry to the Museum. Please note that the Museum has occasional special events to which this does not apply.
The Friends' monthly meetings. Usually the main feature of these meetings is a talk on a railway related subject. The Christmas meeting is more free-wheeling whilst the January talk covers the progress and prospects of the Museum. A little business is usually enacted at meetings and this includes the longer AGM which is “double billed” with a shorter talk. Look on the Events page to find out more about what's going on.
The Friends' Newsletter. Includes announcements, summaries of recent talks and other articles. More below.
The opportunity to get involved. We would hope that the three previous items provide good reason to join the Friends but membership can also bring the chance to help at the Museum. Naturally the Museum is dear to the hearts of many members and the chance to help out, in the various ways listed below, is the icing on the cake.
Until recently membership administration has been shared by the Friends Membership Secretary Mrs. June Palmer and our Chairman. In particular the membership forms distributed with the last Newsletter of 2016 had the Chairman’s address on them. June is now well recovered from her stroke of a couple of years ago and happy to resume all of the membership tasks. All membership correspondence, including forms, should now be sent to her at 9 Millfields, Aycliffe Village, Newton Aycliffe, Durham, DL5 6ND.
Only one write-up this time albeit a long one. Anthony Coulls of the NRM described the railways of Sierra Leone and the country’s developing National Railway Museum which has close ties to York for reasons which will become apparent. Bill Ferguson provides some relief from the Editor’s prose contributing a feature about the Lartigue mono-rail system and the museum to it in Listowal, Ireland. There are the usual news items but, it being the end of the year (renewal time), the diary pages are rather lacking- this issue was distributed with a membership form which has the Friend’s programme for 2017.
Download a PDF version of the current Newsletter here (3.7MB). This link will open a new tab or browser window depending on which browser you use or you can right-click the link and choose to save the file locally. Apologies to Mac' users- obviously you cannot right-click anything using a mouse that only has one button and your Web Master is not sufficiently familiar with the Mac' OS to advise you of the equivalent. Click here for PDF versions of older Newsletters.
Members now have the option to receive their Newsletter in electronic format. It is distinct from the back-numbers you can download from this website which, unless any corrections come to light, are essentially the file which is sent to the printers. The text is the same but, since the printing budget is not a concern, the electronic edition can have colour illustrations throughout and any websites or e-mail addresses mentioned are in the form of links that can be clicked on. Members who wish to receive the electronic edition instead of a printed copy should indicate as such on their enrolment form when joining or renewing or contact the Newsletter Editor. Like the back-numbers it is a PDF file so if you can read the issues here you should have no trouble. It is distributed by e-mail as an attachment.
Having trouble? You will need Adobe Reader or a suitable browser plug-in to view this or any other PDFs for that matter. If you lack either, which is very unlikely, Adobe Reader is free and can be downloaded from here. Versions specific to Windows, Mac' or Linux can be selected here. Readers with dial-up internet access be warned: this will be a large file, a few hours over a decent 'phone line, so you might like to download it at your local Library. As for browsers there are so many on different operating systems I can only refer you to your help menu although installing Reader will probably set your browser up too.
If you have specific skill or specialized knowledge that can be applied at the Museum or just the spare time to lend a hand your efforts will be welcomed. You can:
Show people around. Lead guided tours at Heritage Open Days.
Contribute I.T. skills. Assist with general clerical work or cataloguing.
Contribute design skills. Help to develop new displays.
Interpret. Visitors come to the Museum from all over the world. If you speak a foreign language you can help them enjoy their visit.
Shift stuff. Help prepare for special events.
Make an exhibition of yourself. Some special events will see members of the Friends in costume becoming part of the exhibition and adding to the atmosphere.
The Museum itself organizes volunteer activities. If you would like to help at the Museum you need to contact the Museum's Access Officer who may be reached directly on 01325 734128.
If any of this appeals and you would like to join the Friends of Darlington Railway Centre and Museum we would be delighted to welcome you as a member. Please contact the Friends' Membership Secretary June Palmer or just download the membership application form by clicking here. Please print it out, read and complete it carefully and send it, with payment and a stamped self-addressed envelope, to the Membership Secretary at the address in the form.
Can't download the form? If the link did not work it might be because you do not have Adobe Reader installed or your browser does not include a plug-in that lets it read PDFs. Adobe Reader is free to download as described above. If you know that you do have Adobe Reader installed try right-clicking the form link to save it on your system and load it into Reader from there.