Hincaster Trailway Histories

Hincaster Trailway Histories

Trailway Histories is a volunteer led project to collect personal memories of the Hincaster to Arnside Branch railway line both as a working railway and since the line has been closed. 

The railway line from Hincaster to Arnside was originally in use from 1876 and, like many small lines, was rarely economic. The line was eventually closed in 1971, the rails were removed and land sold to the neighbouring land owners. The line had both social and industrial use, with local people travelling to Grange over Sands and Kendal on the steam train “Kendal Tommy”, and trains carrying steel from the North East to Barrow Shipyards. During 1917 it was declared “a lifeline of Britain” by Lloyd George. 

Since 2008 the Hincaster Trailway Group has created a 1km of multi user path along the Northern section with the help of numerous volunteers and organisations. Many volunteer hours have been invested in the Trailway and new memories are being created all the time, whether as a dog walk or building one of the bird boxes or helping lay the multi user path, and we are engaging with a new generation of users too.

It is important that we record the history of the old Hincaster – Arnside Branch Railway Line while people in the local community still remember using and working on it. 

The Trailway Histories project has supported and trained a small group volunteers and local residents to record oral history interviews which will enable a wider public to understand the effect of the Hincaster – Arnside Branch Railway Line on the landscape and local community, while in use and up to the present day, and how things have changed over time.

The full transcripts and recordings are available to the general public at Kendal Archive. Selected recordings and video are available via the intelligent signage in situ on the Trailway, Hincaster Trailway website and exhibitions. The Trailway Histories project will keep these memories alive and will continue to gather more memories to share. With the skills acquired, volunteers can continue collecting stories of the local community and encouraging more people to get involved with and enjoy our heritage.

In creating this archive, the project has: 

Trained and supported 5 volunteers in recording and transcribing the oral history interviews.
Increased knowledge of this aspect of local history and the local landscape.
Engaged with local organisations to share knowledge, information and resources.
Created an ongoing legacy. Trailway Histories will continue to thrive as part of the Hincaster Trailway Group.

Our thanks to all those who have contributed and supported this project
Hincaster Trailway Group
October 2020

With special thanks to

Heritage Lottery
Catherine Davies, Alan Frostick, Dave Richardson, Bridget Pickthall, Jean Turnbull,
Cumbria Film Archive, Cumbria Railway Association, Kendal Oral History Group, Land & Sky Media.