Actors on track to celebrate railway anniversary

Date: Friday 4th May 2012
Cutting the first sod outside Keswick museum is Bill Bewley, as Thomas Hoskins. Cheering and waving flags (left to right) are John Nicolls as the Rev. Thomas Battersby, Isabel Nicolls as Margaret Hoskins, David Hall as George Bolton, museum curator Charlotte Stead and town crier Bob Bryden with Alexander and Richard Nicolls (kneeling).
Cutting the first sod outside Keswick museum is Bill Bewley, as Thomas Hoskins. Cheering and waving flags (left to right) are John Nicolls as the Rev. Thomas Battersby, Isabel Nicolls as Margaret Hoskins, David Hall as George Bolton, museum curator Charlotte Stead and town crier Bob Bryden with Alexander and Richard Nicolls (kneeling).

MEMBERS of Keswick Street Theatre are to mark the 150th anniversary of the railway coming to the town tomorrow.

Bob Bryden, of the street theatre, has written a play called Cutting the First Sod especially for the occasion and this will be performed in costume at the old Keswick station at 1-30pm and 2-30pm.

Mr. Bryden said: “We are promising 20 minutes of drama and fun for everybody and admission will be free. The play marks an important part of the history of Keswick, when Mr. Thomas Hoskins, of Higham Hall, who was chairman of the Cockermouth-Keswick-Penrith line, cut the first sod on 21st May, 1862, in a field near Crosthwaite church.”

A special wheelbarrow and spade, which were made by a local craftsman for the original sod-cutting (pictured), will be used in the play, and are on display at the museum.

Five adults and four children will take part in the performance and the actors are hoping for a large audience.

Mr. Bryden added: “Even if it is raining people will be able to stay dry and watch the play under the huge, glass canopy of our railway station. Following each performance Keswick Country House Hotel will be providing an afternoon tea.”

Also, as part of the celebrations, a short railway film will be shown in Keswick museum, in nearby Station Road, after each performance.

The museum also has railway and train-themed bookstalls.