Poignant anniversaries from 2020 to be revisited in museum’s events for 2021

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Because of the lockdown and related restrictions on assembly and travel associated with the coronavirus pandemic and consequential major delays to the museum’s work programme which led to the closure of the museum to visitors in 2020 it has been decided to include the postponed events in the revised programme for 2021.

Forty one years ago the excavation of ironstone for the manufacture of iron and steel came to an end in the East Midlands with the closure of Corby ironstone quarries and its giant steelworks bringing nearly 100 years of ironstone mining in the area to a close. An exhibition on Corby’s Ironstone Quarries will open in July and will run until the end of October.

In a quarry scene near Corby in the 1950’s. A steam hauled quarry train is loaded with ironstone by a Ruston Bucyrus 100RB face shovel at Earlstrees Quarry, Corby. Photo courtesy BSC EMRRC . A new exhibition on Corby’s Ironstone quarries will feature in the museum’s 2021 programme.

On Sunday 18th July the museum will recall the closure of the last standard gauge quarry railway in the UK at Barrington Cement Works in Cambridgeshire in 2005 with an exhibition and displays on its Cement Quarry railways open day. This closure effectively brought to an end nearly 200 years of industrial railway history as early railways were originally built for moving minerals. The museum is home to three surviving diesel locos and four open mineral wagons once used at Barrington quarry.



Andrew Barclay saddletank No.1931 shunts iron ore wagons in the mock ironstone quarry at the museum

2020 also saw very restricted commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The ironstone quarries of the East Midlands made a major contribution to the war effort through the sustained increase of production of home ironstone in order to make iron and steel which was vital to the production of armaments and the general war effort and which resulted in the eventual defeat of the Axis powers.

Whilst recognising this essential contribution on the home front the museum will also remember the terrible human cost of war. The museum is home to steam locomotive “SINGAPORE”, which was captured by the Japanese along with 80,000 allied servicemen at the Fall of Singapore in 1942. Allied prisoners of war in the Far East had to endure 3 ½ years of captivity and hard labour under a harsh and uncaring Japanese occupation regime. Of those who were taken to work on the infamous Burma- Siam Death Railway, built through the disease infested jungle, one in four of the prisoners were not destined to survive. To mark the anniversary of the liberation of the allied prisoners of war in late August the museum will include the SINGAPORE locomotive in a memorial display to the courage, comradeship and sacrifice of Far Eastern Prisoners of War 1941-1945.


Sunday  4th July – Museum Open Day – Diesel Driver for a Fiver

Sunday 18th July – Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train and Cement Quarry Railway Day

Sunday  1st August – Museum Open Day – Diesel Driver for a Fiver

Sunday 15th August – Museum Open Day – Take a trip on the Rutlander train. Anniversary of end of WW2 with special feature on Digging for Victory: Rutlands Ironstone Quarries.

August Bank Holiday Sunday August 29th – Museum Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train. Special display marking anniversary of the liberation of Far Eastern Prisoners of War 1945.

August Bank Holiday Monday August 30th – Museum Open Day –Take a trip on the Rutlander train and Ironstone Quarry Railway Day.

Sunday  5th September – Museum Open Day – Diesel Driver for a Fiver

Sunday September 19th – Museum Open Day -Take a trip on The Rutlander train and Oxfordshire Ironstone Quarry Railway Day

Sunday 3rd October – Museum Open Day – Diesel Driver for a Fiver

Sunday October 17th – Museum Gala Open Day – Take a trip on The Rutlander train and last day of exhibition on Corby’s Ironstone quarries. 

Please Note that the museum reserves the right to modify its planned events for 2021 having due regard to any government advice on mitigation measures required to minimise public health risks in the UK

RbR Admission rates 2021

Non – operational Open Days 10 am – 4pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays

Adult                        £ 6

Child                        £4

Family                     £15         (two adults + up to 3 children)

Operational Open Days (inclusive of visitor trips) 10am – 4pm

Adult                        £10

Child                        £6

Family                    £ 25     (two adults + up to 3 children)

“Driver for a Fiver”       £5

Note : This is an additional fee to non-operational open day prices