Perth Theatre is working with Culture Perth and Kinross to collect memories about Perth and Kinross’s old railway lines to form the heart of the exhibition All Aboard – the Railways of Perth and Kinross.

The theatre is looking for 12 special people with stories to tell about former railway lines across the area to take part in the project this spring/summer.

They are calling out for anyone with recollections about the Caledonian Strathearn branch lines including the Crieff and Methven Junctions Railway, Perth Almond Valley and Methven Railway, Crieff Junction Railway, the North British lines to the south of Perth including the Glenfarg, Kinross and Devon Valley lines, the Strathmore route from Stanley junction to Coupar Angus, and the Alyth and Blairgowrie branch lines, or any other local routes.

The memories could be the everyday experiences of regular rail travellers, the lives of people who worked on the railways, interesting facts from train enthusiasts, or accounts from people who witnessed something remarkable, unusual, or exciting happening on one of the routes.

Potential participants are invited to register their interest with Perth Theatre’s Learning and Engagement team by Friday 14 May. The theatre will then choose 12 people to take part in the project and deliver an exciting activity pack to them to help spark their memories and the stories they want to tell. Designed and illustrated by Laura Darling, the packs will include short videos with railways experts, objects that will support reminiscence about the railway lines and creative activities that will stimulate recollections and get people thinking about how they want to share their experiences.

Once the participants have completed the pack, a member of the Perth Theatre team will arrange to meet them outside to audio record their stories and recollections. These recordings will then be used as part of Perth Museum & Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition; All Aboard! Railways of Perth & Kinross (26 June – 19 September 2021) and will ultimately become part of the Perth & Kinross Archives held at the AK Bell Library.

Victoria Beesley, Associate Director - Learning and Engagement for Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:

“We’re really happy to be working with Culture Perth and Kinross to record and preserve these memories, because it’s important that future generations can hear people’s stories and get a feel for the impact the railways had on the lives of those who travelled on them. The activity packs will make it an interesting and enjoyable project for anyone who remembers travelling on these railway lines. The activities contained in the pack will all be simple tasks that should be good fun to have a go at. They are designed to spark memories and get people thinking about places, people and events they may not have thought about for a number of years; or the railways might be linked to important moments in their life that they want to share with us.”

JP Reid, Senior Programming & Interpretation Officer for Culture Perth and Kinross said:

“For railway and train lovers both old and young, the ‘All Aboard!’ Exhibition explores the heyday of rail travel and features original objects together with model railways, photographs and videos. Railway travel across Scotland has changed radically since the mid-20th century and people’s stories and memories of Perth & Kinross’ Railway past provide a powerful insight into that change. Displayed alongside railway artefacts and photographs, the voices of railway workers and passengers are at the heart of this story.”

Anyone who would like to get involved in the project is asked to register their interest by emailing Perth Theatre’s Learning and Engagement Team at engagement@horsecross.co.uk or call 07931 237769 by Friday 14 May. Activity packs will be sent out week commencing 24 May. Audio recordings will take place between 7 and 19 June. 

This project has been created with support from the Communities Recovery Fund. The whole project will be carried out safely in line with Covid-19 guidelines and regulations.

David Ferguson, Train Driver and Chair of Trains Across Strathearn is pictured with Katie Mitchell, Associate Producer, Perth Theatre at Highlandman Station, a former railway station now operating as a B & B just outside Crieff.  

Friday 30 April 2021