Custodians of locomotives No 3 "Bodiam" and No 2678

T150 small

The Terrier Trust Logo


Trust Named as Runners Up in Heritage Railway Association's Team of the Year Award

The Tracks Through Poplar project team, led by The Terrier Trust was amongst the Runners Up in the, ‘Team of the Year’ of the year category at the prestigious 2023 Heritage Railway Association Awards. The accolade was announced at the HRA’s annual awards dinner in Birmingham on 11 March and several members of the project team were able to attend the gala dinner and collect a certificate marking the achievement.

The innovative project was born from an idea that, as part of the events to mark the 150th Birthday of the Trust’s locomotive No. 70 “Poplar”, she should return to the area of East London where she first worked.

The result was a pioneering collaboration between the Trust, the Kent & East Sussex Railway and Global Learning London to create a ground-breaking educational programme to engage primary school children in the Poplar area. The project culminated with No 70 starring at an event involving East London schoolchildren at the Poplar Depot of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

Over 6 days of school opening in the sweltering heat of July 2022, hundreds of school children visited the locomotive, learning about its history and the events it had witnessed in 150 years. It was chance to tell the story of K&ESR 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 has been created with local schools which is now available for K&ESR to use in its own school activities and by other schools nationwide through the Schools Library Services. Alongside the digital resources there is a resource box of artefacts which schools can borrow to enhance the children’s learning.

An independent evaluation of the project 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.’

Although the project completion reports have been submitted to the NLHF and signed off as complete, the success of this project has encouraged TTT and the K&ESR to explore ways to continue our relationship with schools in Tower Hamlets.

70 and children Poplar DLR

Fireman Nathan Tutty and children from Marner Primary School, Bromley by Bow, at the Tracks Through Polar event. PHOTO - Chris Davey



The ‘Tracks Through Poplar’ team with K&ESR GM Robin Coombes at the HRA Award ceremony in Birmingham, 11 March 2023

From L-R

Patrick Favell – Trustee and secretary of TTT -  Partnership team member and project manager for the Poplar Depot event who negotiated the visit details with the DLR and was present at Poplar Depot for setting up and taking down of the loco and track and on all Poplar Depot days. K&ESR guard and signalman

Dr Robin Coombes – General Manager of the Kent & East Sussex Railway

Roger Johnson – Member of TTT and steward on all Poplar Depot days. K&ESR member

Tom White – Chairman and trustee of TTT, Partnership team member, NHLF contact and project treasurer. Steward on one Poplar Depot day. KESR member and fireman

David Nibloe – Trustee of TTT. Programme Manager, chair of the Partnership team and steward on all Poplar Depot days. K&ESR trustee and guard.

Robin Moira White – TTT member, Partnership team member. K&ESR trustee