A treasure in our stores

Last week in the Blab exhibition we presented the story of the train crash of 1975.

On 6 June 1975 a sleeper train travelling between London Euston and Glasgow derailed on its journey here in Nuneaton. Six people were killed and 38 people were injured.

The crash took place just before 2am. The train entered a temporary speed restriction too fast. There had also been a faulty light on the railway line as the train travelled towards Nuneaton.

This story was on display in the Blab for a week. During this time we collected feedback from visitors to help us decide if this is a story we should tell in the Local History Gallery. The story of the train crash was really well received so we placed it in the Blab’s story vault for safekeeping.

We were pleased that the story of the train crash resonated with visitors but we also had a problem. We didn’t think we had any objects in our collection that could help us to tell this story in the Local History Gallery.

Then, quite by chance, we discovered a real treasure in our stores. Our volunteer Marion was working on our ongoing collections audit when she came across an old sign from Nuneaton Railway Station. We believe it dates from the mid 20th century but would be interested in receiving more information about it.

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Most museums have a documentation backlog and with the help of volunteers we are working hard to clear ours. The sign is a fantastic object but has probably never been accessioned so we weren’t aware of it. We now have a bit of research to do before we accession and catalogue the sign to make sure visitors can enjoy it in future.

The Nuneaton railway sign has been added to the story vault and will be on display on the Landing Gallery until 11 December 2016.

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