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Home   Ashford   News   Article

The Choo Choo! The Who rocker Roger Daltrey supports plans for model railway museum in Ashford on former Klondyke Railway Works

03 March 2014
by Tim Collins
The Who frontman Roger Daltrey is backing plans for an Ashford museum

The Who frontman Roger Daltrey is backing plans for an Ashford museum

And in an interview with Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2, 70-year-old Daltrey confirmed he is backing the idea. 
 
Asked about his interests outside his music, he said: "At the moment, it's model railways.
 
"The railway was the first thing to open up the world in a big way for trade. We invented it, and we should be proud of that..." - Roger Daltrey
"I hate watching the TV because there's nothing on and I like listening to the radio.
 
"The great thing about model railways is you can be doing a bit of woodwork, a bit of painting, a bit of this, a bit of that, and having fun with your mates and you can listen to the radio.
 
"We're trying to start a model railway museum down in Ashford, me and a few pals down in Kent. Britain forgets that we invented the railway and it conquered the world.
 
"The railway was the first thing to open up the world in a big way for trade. We invented it, and we should be proud of that. The model making side of it, it's enormous."
Artist's impression of the railway museum

An artist's impression of the railway museum in Ashford

Ashford has a long history with the railways, with the Railway Works a permanent presence in the town since 1847.

If successful, the Ashford International Model Railway Excellence Centre (AIMREC) aims to preserve a collection of high quality model railways on the site.

Educational facilities outlining the role of the railways in Britain, and more particularly in the borough, would also be provided.

Cliff Parsons of AIMREC

Cliff Parsons of AIMREC with one of his models

Woodchurch businessman Cliff Parsons, 68, is co-ordinating the campaign.

Speaking at the time of the initial announcement last month, he said: "This came to a head 12 months ago when two young boys were looking at a traction engine. One said to the other '‘what is that black stuff?'.

"We all agreed that something must be done to educate these youngsters into what made Britain great, and the answer is coal, providing steam power.

"We need to raise £1million to purchase the land. I'm 99% certain this is going to happen within three months."

Ashford Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson

Ashford Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson

Ashford Borough Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson said he fully supports the plans.

He said: "We welcome the enthusiasm that is behind this exciting project, not least because it highlights Ashford's rich railway history.

"The borough's heritage and regeneration have walked hand in hand, retaining the old while embracing the new, and this is something we are keen to accentuate.

"Obviously plans are at a very early stage and planning processes must be adhered to, however, these are very interesting proposals."

For more information or to pledge your support, visit the Aimrec website.

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