Museum of Memory, Kate McStraw


Museum of Memory

Preserving the memories of the Somerset & Dorset Railway 

Join the Curator of Memories (Artist, Kate McStraw) and discover the stories connected with the Somerset & Dorset Railway, which used to run from Bath and Burnham to Bournemouth. Her curious travelling museum houses a collected local histories from the glory days of the S&D Railway, ready for you to explore.

Find out about the Shillingstone Rose, the infamous Barber of Bath and the WWII Cover Girl, as the Curator of Memories takes you on a story telling adventure! 

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Somerset & Dorset (S&D) railway line closure. The Curator of Memories is a project borne out of preserving memories from the S&D; taken from a mixture of archive materials, previously recorded oral histories, and interviews with ex-S&D workers and Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust members, each sharing a passion for keeping the memories and spirit of this beloved line alive.  

Kate said 'During my research period, I was fortunate to meet with an very inspirational woman, Betty Spiller, who worked on the line as a 'Lady Lamp-man' during WWII. Betty and I talked as much about our shared love for travel as we did about the S&D and her role on this line. She reminisced about meeting her husband - an S&D fireman - and the station's delivery cart being their wedding day carriage also about how she became a cover girl for 'Carry On' magazine to promote the women's war effort. Betty sadly passed away in December 2015. Meeting her was a pivotal point in the creation of this project. Her memories were incredibly touching and I hope through my work I am able to share these local oral histories in a way which will capture the imaginations of many more people. This project is dedicated to her memory.'

This project has been made possible through support from Quest South WestActivate Performing Arts, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Funding and the continued support and passion of all those at the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust


An #ActivateSupported project

Written by Irene
Published on 25th May 2016