Clarence House has yet to officially confirm a visit by Prince Charles to the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre in Leicestershire on 25 January, but a message on the centre’s Facebook page says: “It is with the greatest pleasure that I can now tell you that the Prince of Wales will be visiting the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre on January 25.”
A member of the community close to the ten-year Mountsorrel Railway restoration project told the Leicester Mercury about the royal’s visit: “Our community volunteers have worked so hard over the past nine years to restore the railway and build the heritage centre.
“We are hugely honoured that Prince Charles would want to come and see the project and our volunteers very much look forward to showing him around.
“The centre will be closed to the public on the day, but children from local primary schools will be with us to welcome the prince.”
In 2007, over 100 volunteers raised £100,000 from the community to restore one-and-a-quarter miles of the railway. They put in over 100,000 hours of work and time clearing and restoring the rail line, ‘build Mountsorrel Station with a car park and access, repair two stone bridges, create the Nunckley Trail and relay and replant countless metres of hedgerow.’
The official opening of the refurbished railway was in October of 2015. The Heritage Trail and Nature centre opened in April of last year. The volunteers aren’t finished. They are now working to build a quarry demonstration area that will feature stonemasons’ huts, a narrow gauge railway and a small railway museum with rolling stock that once worked the track.
The aim is to have this portion of the property ready for viewing in April and a second nature trail and building area by Easter. By summer of 2017, they hope to have a garden railway open to the public.