Midsomer Norton Railway Museum

Our collections are housed in a building that started life as a stable for horses which were used for shunting and working the carts and dreys that transported goods to and from the station. Following the closure of the Somerset and Dorset Railway in 1966, the stable block fell into disuse and when The Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust took it over, it was derelict and with no roof. Thanks to the perseverance of volunteers and favourable publicity from the local press a grant was received from the Heritage Lottery Fund plus local councils that allowed the building to be refurbished.

The more important Somerset and Dorset Railway items were donated by one man, Roy Brown, who gave us the whole of his collection. His request was that they should remain just as they were when he took them off the demolition train. His wishes have been followed.

Other items have been donated regularly by visitors and local persons over the years. These are often pieces of family memorabilia.

Various storyboards show the evolution of the Railway Heritage Trust and explain the history of the station and its environs such as Norton Hill Colliery which was situated close by.

Midsomer Norton Railway Museum

The Museum is just one part of the Heritage Railway Site at Midsomer Norton South Station. On the same level as the Museum is an Anderson Shelter and a Pill Box..

World War II Pill Box

The Pill Box on our site is a Type 24 and the structure was part of the GHQ Stop Green Line. Pill Boxes were designed by the War Office as shell-proof and were constructed by private contractors with civilian labour supplemented from the Pioneer Corps. Often they were built in remote areas making it impossible to get heavy equipment like cement mixers on-site so building had to be done by hand. Many "fiddles" were perpetrated by workmen who often "found favour" with local farmers by "selling" them bags of precious cement at knock-down prices. The Pill Box was manned by members of the 4th Somerset (Frome) Battalion of the Home  Guard. Formed in 1940. This Battalion contained 2,468 officers and men plus 112 women volunteers.

The GHQ Stop Green Line is often referred to as part of the Bristol Outer Defence Line. It had 107 Pill Boxes, the building of which commenced in 1940. The line was aimed to form a continuous defensive obstacle using natural and artificial waterways, geographical features, railway lines, anti-tank ditches and Pill Boxes. The Green Line ran from Highbridge on the Bristol Channel Coast to Freshford on the Wiltshire Border. At intervals, it was strongly fortified in areas known as "hedgehogs."

Museum at Midsomer Norton Station

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