English Railways (Railroads) in WW2
Firstly I need to introduce myself and the group that I represent.
The Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society is was formed to preserve a section of the Colne Valley Railway, which ran between Chappel and Wakes Colne in Essex, and Haverhill in Suffolk. To that end we have now created a working steam railway. Details of which can be seen on our web site at http://www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk
After many years of development we are now in a position to establish a permanent museum devoted to the history of the railway and to commemorate and remember people and events associated with the railway over the years. To that end we are currently seeking to collect photographs, artefacts and recollections of years gone past.
One time period we are keen to represent is that of the Second World War. We are very keen to remember the lives and sacrifices of the airmen who served at the three airfields in the Colne Valley. Ridgewell (Great Yeldham station), Gosfield (Halstead station), and Earl’s Colne (Earls Colne Station). Although general information about life in the area is well recorded, helped in part by web sites such as your’s, specific information, whether that is pictorial or just reminiscences, about the railways is poor. What was it like to travel on the railway? How did the railways contribute to the war effort? Which stations did munitions and fuel arrive at and how were they transported to the airfields? These are all questions which are unanswered.
Later this year we are intending to include in our exhibition three displays relating to the USAAF activity based at local airfields. These will be based around models with text and pictures obtained from various sources. However it would be good to be able to expand these displays with more specific references to the railway.
We would be very grateful if you could assist us in any way with our research through this forum. Or a PM.
Please note that this request has been posted to other relevant group forums.