The Nene Valley Railway, in its entirety, is an Accredited Museum and comprises several departments that preserve the Railway’s heritage. They are the Mechanical Engineering, Locomotive, Carriage, Wagon, Operating, Civil Engineering, Commercial and Heritage & Archive Departments.
All of these departments have their own manager and concentrate on their designated work but members will assist in other areas if required to do so.
This group embraces the Old Station Building project, the Education team, the Railway Letter Service, Model Railway department, the Night Mail team, the Railway’s Archives and of course its normal museum business involving the collection and display of photographs, artefacts and etc., and recording everything under its care. The historic Wagons Lits carriages and Travelling Post Office vehicles also fall under the responsibility of the H&AG.
The type of material contained within the Railway’s archive is split into two main elements – those relating to Nene Valley Railway and those relating to Mail-by-Rail, chiefly Travelling Post Offices.
In the section devoted to NVR is a range of plans, track diagrams and maps, some of which NVR has been allowed to copy from original material including other local lines and some are original documents. These are housed in the NVR’s own archive while some very early original plans are kept in the Huntingdonshire Records Office.
The Railway’s history in various forms, has been recorded from the period before the 1843 Act was passed to allow the construction of the Blisworth to Peterborough line (opened in 1845 and the first railway into Peterborough).
Recently more modern archives have been gathered from the early days of the Peterborough Railway Society, which became the Nene Valley Railway.A large photographic collection has also been amassed and is continually being catalogued and digitised.
In the section devoted to Mail-by-Rail an equally large and interesting collection of documents, photographs and printed work has been put together from various sources. The personal collection of one-time TPO worker the late D Moulder, was donated to the NVR on the condition that ‘it received a good home’ where it might be available to other interested people.
A considerable amount of material from local TPOs was also donated when the three respective services terminated in 1990 (East Anglian TPO), 1991 (Peterborough Crewe TPO) and 1996 (Peterborough Carlisle TPO).
On top of this a number of ex-TPO staff have donated personal ephemera and photographs. Principal among these is member and dedicated supporter M. Jones.
This aspect of the NVR’s work has been supported by the British Postal Museum and Archive throughout and whose help is extremely valuable.
NOTE: At the present the Archive does not have a public reader facility but it is hoped that within a two year period this may be improved. In the meantime, if sight of a particular piece of information is requested, every effort will be made to make it available.
While the entire organisation is an Accredited Museum, all ‘museum’ issues are dealt with by a dedicated group who concentrate on the management of the NVR’s collection in its entirety. All of their activities are overseen by a professional Museum Mentor.
The NVR has a collection and disposal policy in accordance with normal museum practice and items loaned or donated are recorded and acknowledged.
The Museum Group has a massive workload and is desperately short of volunteers. Anyone wishing to know anything about the work of the group, the archives, artefacts that are held by the NVR or would like to become involved should contact the Hon. Museum Curator.