2017

“Volunteering in Engine Shed Skierniewice as a creation of patriotic care for heritage of the first Polish Railway” – summing up the project.

Remembering the positive experience of the last year’s volunteers camp, we did not hesitate to apply, when the National Heritage Board announced another subsidy contest for volunteers projects. The procedures took time till April 2017. After signing the agreement we could proceed to the most important step, namely the organization of the Camp. Due to the lack of a full-time employees, we had to divide the Camp into shorter parts. We began the recruiting process and impatiently waited for the first applications. Among the participants there were a couple of familiar faces as well as plenty of newcomers.

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Similarly to the last year we decided to split one long volunteers camp into 8 parts occurring from June till November. Each part lasted from two to four days mainly over weekends. The accommodation was provided in the social part of the Shed which was an unquestionable attraction to the young participants.

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Before the first camp, we had to supplement the stock of work clothing and personal protection as well as paints, brushes, tolls and other equipment required for the planned works. The camp was preceded with a Health and Safety training which took place on the first day of the event. Each participant was provided with work clothing, personal protection, hot meals and insurance.

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Undoubtedly, the most popular activity was the help in renovation of steam engines class Ol49-5 and Ty51-1. In case of a bad weather we organized a second work area indoors by the tank engine “Śląsk” class Tkp 6042. Volunteers focused on cleaning the surface of the engines from rust and old paint. They also took part in preparation and painting of small parts before installing them on engines.

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Another major area of works was the clean-up of the surroundings of the Shed and removal of signs of devastation. Those works had a priority this year. We continued tidying up the backyard behind the roundhouse. We also mown the lawn across the whole area of the shed and continued the removal of self-sown trees in the old coal storage.

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A challenging task for the volunteers was the repair of windows broken by vandals at the back of the roundhouse. Due to the height, it was possible to carry out the works only by the use of AWP vehicle.

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We engaged the volunteers in the renovation of the most prominent objects of the Shed. The major workforce was directed to the turntable, which regained the proper look and functionality. Volunteers helped us by the painting and repairing the windows in operator’s cab and fixing the electric lights. Thanks to the material support of the “Castorama” building market from Skierniewice, it was possible to finish the renovation of the fence along the Łowicka and Bielańska streets.

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We took care to engage the volunteers in educational part of our activity. Participants of each part of the Camp had at least one opportunity to help us as guide aids. In case of volunteers who had the experience from the past year and a proper theoretical knowledge, they were responsible for guiding the tours at the exhibition of railway signalling.

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A group of volunteers took part in the renovation of the devices from above mentioned exhibition. Under the supervision of PARE members with knowledge in this area, they have learned about the proper conservation of those devices and were made aware of the significance of keeping those artefacts in working order, not only as museum exhibits but also a valuable learning help.

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In Autumn, as the weather become milder, participants of the Camp helped in replacing the ties in the tracks of the Shed. They provided an invaluable help in the recycling of the track ballast and removal of old wooden ties. They also assisted us in reclaiming of the track fittings.

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The last part was the design of new promotional materials for the Shed, directed especially to the visitors from abroad. We decided to try out something new in a form of so-called e-volunteering. One volunteer prepared new designs of the leaflets for the shed. Next, we searched over the Internet for the people eager to help in translation to English, German, French, Russian and Czech. Additionally, due to the growing community of Ukrainians in the vicinity of Skierniewice, we decided to prepare a separate translation of some of the leaflets also in this language.

Summary of activities and tasks completed in the project

Factor Planned Fulfilled
Number of organized camps  1  1
Number of camps participants  45  120
Number of supervisors (organizers)  5 5
Number of events supported by volunteers  5 6
Number of visitors during the events  3000  3500
Number of listed historical objects worked on  3  3
Financed by the National Heritage Board, programme Volunteering for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support

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Another part of the Shed’s roof renovated

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The unexpected renovation of the part of the roof above stands 12 and 13 is completed. On Monday, 27th November, the works were acknowledged with the participation of the representatives of Łódź Voivodeship Conservationist Office, which provided the extra budget for the renovation. The building company “Marbudex” again reached our expectations and completed the extra works according to the plan. The subsidy for repairs was worth 22 000 PLN and required own capital of 11 000 PLN. As we the association’s cash box is now empty we are still collecting the remaining amount also via crowdfunding:

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Visit us in 2018

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Traditionally, we would like to announce in advance a new event calendar for oncoming season 2018. We would like to highlight the following:

  • We keep the longer hours of Open Daysstarting from 5th May 2018 the Shed is open to the public from 11 AM to 3 PM and the last guided tour starts at 2 PM.
  • We introduce two different lengths of guided tours. At 11 AM, 12 AM and 1 PM the tour will follow the shorter sightseeing route, addressed especially to the families with young children. The last group at 2 PM will have the possibility to visit the full length of the sightseeing route – the option recommended to visitors above the 12 years of age.
  • The exact date of the Railway Night of Museums will be announced at the later term as we need to adhere to the arrangements of other institutions open to the public during this event. At the moment we can ensure you, that the opening hours will be from 8 PM till midnight.
  • There will be no longer a special open day for schools. At the moment visits by the school groups can be arranged at any suitable term after earlier phone contact (+48 730 181 323).
  • Open days for photography enthusiasts keep their formula and will take place on selected third Saturday of the month. On 16th June and 21st October the event will last from 12 AM to 3 PM and on 18th August from 6 PM to 9 PM. Participants registration and admission will be possible only for 30 minutes before the starting hour.
  • During the Railwaymen Day there will be only one guided tour at 11 AM.

We reserve the right to change the published schedule at the later term.


Another exhibit renovated

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Another exhibit has regained its old glory. This time, however, it is not a railway car or steam engine, but a piece of signalling equipment.

A new future was awaiting the old block instrument compound with key interlocking (built in 1950 by Państwowa Wytwórnia Sygnałów i Urządzeń Kolejowych, Kraków), in the past part of the equipment in signal box at the station Gawrony. The years of use and later storage, probably outdoors, left its mark on the device, before it found the shelter under the Shed’s roof. It was the obvious first choice when deciding which exhibit from the signalling display we should renovate this year. Thankfully, the years of neglect left the interior of the instrument intact – with a little effort and thorough clean-up the device appeared to be still in a working order. The renovation of the external paint job and wooden parts was a totally different story which required the assistance of the Volunteers Camp’s participants. After several weekends of fight with rust and flaking old paint, the device was again pleasant to look at. The work was crowned the last Saturday with placing the refurbished block marking plates back on their place.


Whip-round for the roof

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Not so long ago we were surprised with an additional funding received from the Łódź Voivodeship Conservationist Office. The amount of 22 thousand PLN can be received only under condition of having the own capital equal the half of this amount i.e. 11.000 PLN. In the perspective of empty cash box, couple of our members and supporters managed to collect the missing amount. However, we wouldn’t like to leave them with empty pockets and treat this as a loan which should be soon returned. Therefore, we would like to cover at least the part of this expense by resorting to crowdfunding via zrzutka.pl portal.

We would like to encourage you to help us on https://zrzutka.pl/2jc7m5#. We will be grateful even for the smallest donations.


Railwaymen Day 2017

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We would like to invite all our fans to visit us on the last in this year special Open Day on 25th November, on the occasion of Railwaymen Day. The visit may be a prefect opportunity to learn about the history of the Shed. Attractions awaiting the guests:

  • exhibition of the rolling stock,
  • collection of stem engines maintenance equipment,
  • old railway workshop with original equipment,
  • interactive exhibition of railway signalling and traffic safety devices.

We are awaiting our guests starting from 11:00 AM. Free admission.

On 26th November at 12:30AM we will be participating in the mass for railwaymen in the St. Jacob Church in Skierniewice.


During the November holidays

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For the last 8 years our members are participating in the All Saints Day collection organized by the Committee of Old Powązki Cemetary Restoration. As each year you could have meet us dressed in historical railway uniforms in the vicinity of the grave of Stanisław Wysocki (1805-1868), the builder of the Warsaw-Vienna Railroad. On 29th October and 1st November our colleagues Paweł Mierosławski, Marek Moczulski and Andrzej Paszke were joined by Maria Balicka, Kamil Migdał and Paweł Rybak from Warsaw’s Commuter Railway.

Traditionally, we organized on 2nd November the 10th walk on the All Saints Day. Due to the 30th anniversary of PARE we wlaked along the route of the graves of famous people related to the Warsaw-Vienna Railroad but also other railwaymen related to Skierniewice and our Shed.

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PARE awarded by the Łódź Voivodeship’s Assembly

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On Thursday, 26th October, we were invited to the Łódź Culture Centre, to take part in a special event. For our efforts to safe and renovate the Skierniewice Shed we were awarded the Culture Award of the Łódź Voivodeship’s Assembly. We are happy that our efforts from the last 25 years are appreciated.

We would like to express our gratitude to the assembly and all its councillors.

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Results of the art competition for children

The commission led by Sławomir Sidor, the vice-president of PARE and consitsting of Józef Kaźmierczak (PARE honorary member), Alicja Przybyszewska (art teacher) and Beata Więckowska (entry level teacher) have chosen the winning works out of the 85 entries in the following age categories:

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Group I – Kindergarten

1st place – Hania Grochowska (3,5), Podbiel, Celestynów commune,
2nd place – Dominik Sydz (4), Kindergarten № 87 in Białystok,
3rd place – Ewelina Hasińska (5), Culture Centre in Radzyń.

Honourable mention:
Wojtek Grochowski (5, Podbiel, Celestynów commune) and Wiktor Hetmańczyk (6, Primary School № 4 in Wieliczka).

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Group II – primary school, classes 1-3
1st place – Zofia Zacharska (8), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
2nd place – Julia Serwicka (8), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
3rd place – Martyna Pietrzykowska (8), Culture Centre in Radzyń.

Honourable mention:
Julia Kuśmierczyk (8, Primary School № 4 in Skierniewice), Iwona Mroczka (7, Special Educational Centre in Przemyśl) and Kamil Sprutta (9, Culture Centre in Radzyń).

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Group II – primary school, classes 4-7

1st place – Marianna Łata (13), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
2nd place – Karolina Kumołka (10), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
3rd place – Katarzyna Włodarczyk (11), Primary School in Niedamirów, Lubawka commune.

Honourable mention:
Olaf Królikowski (10, Primary School № 10 in Siedlce), Jędzrej Maćkowiak (11, Culture Centre in Radzyń), Dawid Skiba (10, Culture Centre in Radzyń), Amelia Starzec (12, Primary School № 4 in Skierniewice) and Olga Szwarczyńska (12, Culture Centre in Radzyń).

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Group III – middle schools, gymnasium
1st place – Kinga Dudko (14), Zagruszany, Zabłudów commune,
2nd place – Wiktoria Gorwa (14), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
3rd place – Sara Jamrożek (14), Culture Centre in Radzyń.

Honourable mention:
Zuzanna Fajfer (14, Culture Centre in Radzyń) and Maksymilian Paszek (15, Culture Centre in Radzyń).

Group III – middle schools, secondary schools
1st place – Aleksandra Łoś (17), Culture Centre in Radzyń,
2nd place (not awarded),
3rd place – Aleksandra Serwicka (16), Culture Centre in Radzyń.

Honourable mention (not awarded).


PARE at the 6th Conference on Railway History in Rybnik

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The activity of our association is not limited only to the Engine Shed. On 23rd October three of our members took part in the 6th Conference on Railway History in Rybnik “Coal, politics, steel, people. Railway in the life of Silesia”. It was organized by the Museum in Rybnik in cooperation with the faculty of Business, Finance and Administration of the Economic University in Katowice.

During the conference, Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska presented the co-authored by dr Ariel Ciechański paper “Selected aspects of beer transportation by rail in Silesia”. Paweł Mierosławski presented the paper “Aspects of preservation of historical railway telecommunication objects”. The last paper, “Development and decline of industrial railways in Silesia” was presented by dr Ariel Ciechański, our colleague and a representative of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of Polish Academy of Science.

Photo by D. Keller