Liverpool World Centre worked as an evaluation partner on Tracks Through Poplar for its funders, the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Project was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Heritage Railway Association Awards in the category of ‘Team of the Year’. Read on for more details on the award and the project.
Last year The Terrier Trust established a partnership with The Kent & East Sussex Railway and Global Learning London to create an immersive educational programme for primary school children in the Poplar area of East London. The team who delivered the Project were recently named on the shortlist for the prestigious Heritage Railway Association Awards in the category of ‘Team of the Year’. Whilst pipped for the top prize, being recognised as one of the top 5 teams in the Heritage Railway world was a great feat.
A highlight of the project was the visit of the 150-year-old Terrier steam locomotive ‘Poplar’ to the Poplar depot of the Docklands Light Railway. Over 6 days of school opening hundreds of school children visited the engine, learning about its history and the events it had witnessed over 150 years. It was a chance to tell the story of the Kent & East Sussex Railway as the country’s first light railway and to bring that up to date with information about London’s modern light railway, the DLR.
In addition to the locomotive visit, an educational resource aligned to the school curriculum has been created with the help of local teachers and this is now available through Schools Library Services nationwide. Alongside these digital resources there is a resource box of artefacts which schools can borrow to enhance children’s learning.
An independent evaluation of the project by Liverpool World Centre for its funders, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘The project met key objectives and reached at least 2,234 local children and families through programme activities and engagement of schools. Moreover, analysis of children’s responses to programme activities, interviews with teachers and partners and observations of the process, showed evidence of positive impact on teachers’ abilities to include heritage in teaching and learning, and children’s awareness and understanding of heritage and opportunities to participate.’
Ways are now being explored to continue the relationship between The Terrier Trust and The Kent East Sussex Railway with the participating schools in Tower Hamlets.