. Mangapps Railway Museum Southminster Road Burnham-on-Crouch Essex CM0 8QG . 01621 784898 .
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The Museum

Inside the Museum

The Museum has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of railway items in Britain.  Where possible items from the collection are displayed in the appropriate setting, for example in the restored station masters office at Mangapps station and the Lamp Hut.  However, the vast majority of the collection may be seen in the Museum building. 

Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum

The collection is comprehensive including items of all kinds having a connection with the railways of the past, but is particularly strong in certain areas - the railway signalling collection is the largest of its kind on public display in Britain and includes a working lever frame connected to a number of preserved historic signals (which visitors can try themselves!)  Adjacent to this is a carriage housing a wide variety of block telegraph, single line and associated equipment, much of which dates from the 19th century.


The museum has a wide variety of items from East Anglia and particularly from the Great Eastern Railway, its predecessors and successors, and interesting displays on rail freight and railway publicity material such as a display of posters from the 1920s to the 1950s advertising the delights of Southend on Sea!

The range of the museum can be judged from the earliest items, a section of plate rail of 1798 and a boundary post of the Stockton and Darlington Railway of 1825, to the latest (so far1) the plastic ‘Network South-East’ name board from Wickford signal box. A recent addition is the collection of railway memorabilia from France and Canada.


Mangapps Station
rampton,_(ex Gt_Ormesby,_M&GNR)_waiting_room
Brampton,_(ex Gt_Ormesby,_M&GNR)_waiting_room
Berney Arms & Hadiscoe Junction signal Box
Berney Arms & Hadiscoe Junction signal Box

The Mangapps collection includes a number of original railway buildings.
Starting at Mangapps Station, the main building is from HORHAM, on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway.  It was built in about 1904 and served until the MSLR was closed by BR in 1952.  It then stood derelict on it's platform in the fields until acquired by Mangapps in 1987.  It was moved here complete and is original, only the roof tin, part of the front and the office door being replacements (the door was recovered from Trowse Swing Bridge Signal Box, Norwich).

Next is the first class waiting room, formerly the ground frame SIGNAL BOX from BILLERICAY.  This little building was built by the LNER in 1937 and replaced the former GER signal box at the London end of the 'up' platform.  It became redundant in 1994 and, being sectional, was dismantled and rebuilt here.

Moving towards the museum building we come to 'BRAMPTON' waiting room.  This was the first 'large' item obtained for the Mangapps collection in 1985.  It was transported, complete, from Brampton station on the East Suffolk Line, where it had served as a waiting room since 1960.  Prior to that it had been located at Great Ormesby, Norfolk where it had been built by the Midlands, Great Northern Joint Railway in 1894. 

The old carriage body is a Great Eastern Railway 2nd class 4 wheeler of 1863 to an Eastern Counties Railway design of 1857.  It was withdrawn from service in about 1890 and taken to Westleton, Suffolk where it was used as a farm store, a shop and finally a bedroom!.

In front of the museum building is the LAMP HUT.  This hut is one of hundreds of similar buildings constructed by the Midland Railway.  This example is from Westcliff on Sea Station, which was part of the Midland system after the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway was taken over in 1912.

At the other end of the platform, past 'Horham' is a small LNER CROSSING KEEPERS HUT from near Saxmundham, Suffolk and next the small signal box from Berney Arms, Norfolk.  This was built for the GER by McKenzie & Holland, signal contractors and became redundant about 1960.  It was then removed to the garden of the adjacent Berney Arms pub, from which it was recovered as a kit of parts in 1987.  It is now an operational signal box again!

Beyond this box is the small hut next to the ground frame.  This is a typical GER hut, which formerly served as the signalman's toilet at Edmondton Junction signal box.

On the opposite side of the line is MANGAPPS JUNCTION SIGNAL BOX, again a GER box built by McKenzie and Holland.  This was originally sited at Haddiscoe Junction, the junction of the lines from Norwich to Lowestoft and Beccles to Yarmouth South Town.  It became redundant when the latter line was closed in 1959 and was then acquired by the Science Museum at South Kensington.  It was dismantled and rebuilt about 70 metres inside the Science Museum's Transport Gallery in 1995, Haddiscoe Junction Box was given to the Mangapps Museum, who then organised its removal from South Kensington which was accomplished on the night of November 5/6 in 1996.  The Box has now been permanently installed and is used to display equipment typical of a mechanical 'box of the period'..

Two other fixtures which can be classed as buildings are the GOODS YARD CRANE, east of Haddiscoe Box, which was originally at Ruskington Station on the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Line in Lincolnshire, and the LOADING GAUGE, west of Haddiscoe Box, which was originally at Tilbury Riverside station.

Old Heath Station


The main building here was originally from Laxfield, the northern terminus of the mid-Suffolk Light Railway.  It is virtually identical in design and history to the 'Horham' building.  After closure in 1952 it was removed to the village playing field at Bedfield near Framlingham where it was used as a football pavilion until purchased by Mangapps in 1991.  The other building on the platform is a former GER Passenger Train Cattle Box body built in 1891 and used from 1925 until about 1990 as a messroom and store at Melton Station, Suffolk.

The train ride is ¾ mile long through the pleasant farmland setting of Mangapps.  Passengers can alight at Old Heath Station and take a leisurely stroll along the lineside to the far end of the line.  Passengers can also access the public footpaths to Creeksea and Southminster from Old Heath Station.

Passengers can travel in a variety of interesting vintage carriages or vans depending on weather and availability.  Mangapps has a luxurious 1st Class Corridor Coach, a Compartment Carriage, Diesel Rail Car and numerous Brake Vans.  The Brake Vans are very popular during the summer months when open air travel is much preferred.  Train rides are always available when the Museum is open.
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