Whats On & Events

2019: “Sundew” Walking Dragline Anniversary Takes Centre Stage

The programme of Museum Open days for this year is dominated by events to mark the 45th anniversary of the transfer of the giant excavator named Sundew from Rutland to an ironstone quarry near Corby. This remarkable engineering achievement, undertaken in 1974,involved walking the 1675 ton electrically powered quarry dragline some 13 miles to Harringworth so that it could continue removing overburden from the iron ore deposits which supplied Corby Steelworks. Unused since the closure of Exton Park ironstone quarry in Rutland, the machine took a cross-country route involving surmounting numerous obstacles including, roads, rivers, high pressure gas mains and the Oakham to Stamford railway. A new museum exhibition will tell the story of the machine’s Great Walk, which took nearly 3 months, and museum visitors will be able to inspect the surviving drivers cab which was rescued when the machine was scrapped in the mid 1980’s.

Other events during the year will also see themed displays recounting the anniversary of ironstone quarry closures at Harlaxton, Woolsthorpe by Belvoir, Pilton (Rutland) and Cranford in Northamptonshire.

Open Days run from 10am to 4pm and the list of events where trains are operated are set out below :


Museum Open Day, Easter Bunny Hunt & Take a trip on The Rutlander train
Easter Sunday 21st April


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on the Rutlander train and Ironstone Quarry Railway Day recounting the 45th Anniversary of the closure of Harlaxton and Woolsthorpe Ironstone Quarries near Grantham
Easter Monday 22nd April


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train
May Bank Holiday Sunday 5th May


Museum Open Day – Cement Quarry Railway Day and take a trip on the Rutlander train
May Bank Holiday Monday 6th May


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on the Rutlander train
Sunday 19th May


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train
Whitsun Bank Holiday Sunday 26th May


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on the Rutlander train and Ironstone Quarry Railway Day marking the 45th anniversary of the closure of Pilton Ironstone Quarry, Rutland
Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday 27th May


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train
Sunday June 16th marking the 45th anniversary of the start of the giant dragline Sundew’s Great Walk from Rutland to Corby


Museum Open Day – Quarry diesel day Sunday 30th June


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train and marking the 50th anniversary of the Closure of Cranford Ironstone Quarry, Northamptonshire and continuing Sundew’s Great Walk
Sunday 21th July


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train and continuing Sundew’s Great Walk
Sunday August 11th


Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train
August Bank Holiday Sunday August 25th


Museum Open Day –Take a trip on the Rutlander train and Ironstone Quarry Railway Day and marking the 45th anniversary of the end of Sundew’s Great Walk from Exton to Harringworth
August Bank Holiday Monday August 26th


Museum Open Day -Take a trip on The Rutlander train and Oxfordshire Ironstone Quarry Railway Day
Sunday September 15th


Museum Open Day – Quarry diesel day Sunday 29th September


Museum Gala Open Day – Sunday October 20th


Museum Admission on the above operating days are:
Adult £10, Senior Citizen £8, Child £6, Family (2 adult + up to 3 children) £30


In addition to the above events the museum is to continue with its popular Sundays “Driver for a Fiver” days where, in addition to the museum being open for casual viewing, the payment of an additional £5 fee per person provides an unusual opportunity for visitors to take the drivers controls, under supervision, of a standard gauge diesel locomotive for one trip along the demonstration line. The dates on which this will be available are :

Sunday 7th April,
Sunday 2nd June
Sunday 7th July
Sunday 4th August
Sunday 1st September
Sunday 6th October


The museum is also open for casual visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays (April 9th – October 29th between the hours of 10am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Admission prices for casual museum visitors are :
Adult £6, Senior Citizen £5, Child £4, Family (2 adult + up to 3 children) £15


Group visits are welcome by prior arrangement. Dogs welcome if responsibly managed on a lead. Light refreshments available on operating days and Thursdays.

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