A FORMER railway station could soon be revealing hidden stories before they are lost forever, thanks to National Lottery funding.

Tetbury Goods Shed has been awarded a £5,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to enable volunteers to collect memories into an audio history from people who either worked on or used the branch line before it was closed by the Beeching cuts in 1963.

Trustee Julia Hasler, who initiated the project, said that incredible stories were already coming out. “We have heard about the day the Maharaja of Jaipur’s polo ponies arrived by train to Tetbury and were then ridden to Westonbirt,” she said.

"There is a story of a whole farm which was moved from Scotland to Beverston Castle Farm, with all the animals arriving at the station."

She added: “We are very excited to get this funding. There is so much interest in the history of the railway as we need to capture the stories before it is too late.”

Organisers plan to use the money to increase signage outside telling people where the railway buildings once stood. “We will also do a talking heads video inside, and will produce school packs for children,” Julia explained.

It is the 130th anniversary this year of the establishment of the branch line after a major campaign by local people in the 1880s.

As a result of the branch line opening in December 1889, local farmers got together to open a new cattle market next door.

Much of the early rail traffic was animals being taken to and from that market as well as milk being taken out and coal supplies brought in.

The train was a lifeline in those days for people wanting to explore beyond Tetbury and excursions were organised to Cirencester, London and the sea-side.

Today only The Goods Shed survives from those days and that has only been restored and saved as an arts centre by the hard work and dedication of local people over a number of years, who have tirelessly raised money and drawn up plans for the site.

Chair of the trustees Christine Berry said: “We are delighted the National Lottery has given us this chance to expand our knowledge of the place of the line in our history and hope lots of people who remember using or working on the line in the 50s and 60s will come forward with their memories.”

If anyone has memories they would like to share contact the Goods Shed at info@shed-arts.co.uk or call 01666 505496.