Matthew delivering his presentation to the conference audience

Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership’s (TVCRP) Tourism Development Intern has taken the area by storm following a recent presentation in front of over 100 local businesses.

Matthew Barrett, appointed September 2018 from Northumbria University, was introduced to the partnership to strengthen the knowledge of tourism in the area, as well as develop new relationships with visitor attractions.

Since Matthew’s appointment TVCRP now have a collection of detailed reports relating to travel and tourism along the route, he’s updating the TVCRP website and in the process of planning the Partnership’s biggest Community Rail in the City event to date, set to be held in May at Glasgow Central Station.

Today I set off on another tour of the wall with Robert Forsythe except this time it was the west portion of the wall and the Tyne Valley Line. Robert very nicely offered to pick me up at Prudhoe station and from there we made our way up to the wall. I would like to add that I strongly believe that the train is the best way to make your way towards the wall stress free however for the purpose of seeing a lot of attractions quickly, the car was the better option today.

Today I set off on my tour of Hadrian’s Wall with Colin, the finance director of the partnership. We started by heading from Bardon mill up to Gilsland. I was first shown the old train station at Gilsland, the current building could only be described as a very large old house. Hopefully this station is set to be reopened and modernized. It was clear from the location of this station why it would be very beneficial to be reopened. It is positioned in the perfect place for a walker to get straight off the train and begin their day exploring the wall. Gilsland also homes a lovely little town with the Samson Inn just 20 yards from the station which is the perfect lunch stop.

Following on from our trip to Poltross Burn, Colin and I started driving to Walltown quarry. Once we arrived we got out to have a mini walk to see the the quarry and I had the chance to view Hadrian’s Wall from there. The carpark itself was pretty full of cars and large buses. It later came to my attention that there was most likely some form of organsised race or charity run taking place as may people exiting the vehicles seemed to be dressed in running gear.

Today we held our second heritage open day where we welcomed people into the Old Booking Hall at Haltwhistle to take a look at various bits of railway history as well as up and coming projects. My job for the day was to try and encourage people to sign our visitor’s book. This turned out not to be as hectic as it sounds as I found myself encountering many train enthusiasts and engaging in riveting conservations that involved exchanging train knowledge. The day included various activities that everyone there could take part in. The first of these that I experienced was getting to see the inside of a signal box. I particularly enjoyed this as signal boxes are something my Dad has always spoken to me fondly about over the years. Therefore I took great pleasure in making him jealous by sending him pictures of the inside of the signal box.