It is a key objective of the RHDRA to help tell the story of the railway and in so doing, enrich the experience for passengers.
To do this we are setting up an Interpretation Centre at New Romney Station where visitors will be able to learn more about the railway. This will make their visit even more enjoyable and hopefully encourage them to return and become more involved with the line.
Located within the former Paint Shop, building contractors Hippersons Ltd have completed bringing the building up to a suitable condition. This has included a complete re-roofing, automatic sliding doors, new internal wall panelling and flooring as well as under-floor heating.
The Heritage Group have designed information panels that will tell the story of the railway and they are currently being manufactured. There will also be two large model layouts of New Romney station at the time of opening in 1927 on which various models will be displayed. In addition, Will O’Shea has designed a computerised “Then & Now” display which will allow visitors to explore the line and compare historic and current photographs.
This is not a complete list of the contents and displays will be added to and updated in the years to come. However, we have had to pull back on ideas for many interactive displays because of the pandemic restrictions – for now at least.
The Interpretation Centre would have been ready for visitors by July 2020. As will be appreciated, this has been delayed by Government measures on the Covid-19 virus. Once we can open the Centre it will be open whenever the railway is operating and will be free to enter. It will feature on the New Romney Town Trail currently being drawn up. The project is costing the Association around £100,000 which we have been able to fund from our own resources.. It would have cost much more were it not for the fact that much of the work creating the displays is being done by RHDRA members without charge.
It is not intended that the Centre will be manned on a routine basis, but we hope that members of the Heritage Group and other members with an interest in the history of the railway will be available at busy times to meet and greet visitors and answer any questions they might have.