POSTPONED: LUCAS & ITS Seminar: Helen Ashby OBE & Tim Procter (Friends of the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum) – The Sierra Leone National Railway Museum: national heritage, national pride

  • Date:
  • Time: 4pm
  • Location: Baines Wing SR (2.13)

Please note that this seminar has been postponed until further notice – Updates will be added to the website, and will be shared via our newsletter. If you wish to join the newsletter please email african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

2020 sees the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum, one of only two national railway museums in the world to receive direct state funding. A national heritage asset, its collection includes unique locomotives and rolling stock, its building is part of the former railway works, and its survival is a surprising story running from the colonial past through independence, economic collapse, civil war and the Ebola crisis to the current government’s attempts to reinvigorate civic life.

The workshop will be led by members of the Friends of the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum (FoSLNRM), a UK-based group of heritage professionals and railway enthusiasts who support and fundraise on behalf of the museum. We will present the story of the museum and put it in the context of Sierra Leone’s heritage and tourist potential, and there will be open discussion around key issues such as engaging with the government and increasing their support, community engagement, the sustainability of the museum, and support based on shared heritage values and not charitable hand-outs. While operating on a micro level, the railway museum has had a genuine macro level influence, and serves as a potentially valuable case study for other heritage institutions, as well as being a voice in the growing national debate about reviving rail travel in Sierra Leone.