2018

Summing up volunteers camps

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Before commencing this year’s series of volunteers camps, we were met by the news of changes in the rules of the financing programme of the National Board of Heritage. We expected a major slip in the schedule, but fortunately, the Board has published the results of applications much earlier than expected. This way, with some effort, we were able to start the first camp in the second half of the summer vacations. The official name of the camps, as seen in the application, is Volunteering for the Engine Shed in Skierniewice – maintenance of the Shed’s sorroundings as patriotic care for the history of Polish railways. Our main aim was to enlarge the base of volunteers helping us in maintaining the Shed and to refresh the acquaintance with those who participated in camps in previous years.

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Based on this year’s guidelines by the Board, we focused on the mundane, but required jobs of clean-up and upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings. Due to this fact, the planned renovation of class Ty51-1 engine was not the focal point of our activities. During the first stage of the work (11th to 15th August) the participants focused on the removal of graffiti and repainting of the gates in the wall facing the station. To keep the aesthetics of the work, we also refurbished another entry gate in this part of the wall and the internal gate on track № 63.

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We also started to get rid of the overgrown self-seeders, first behind the round-house and next in the coal-storage, starting from track № 53. Simultaneously, we cleaned-up the remains after the older roof repairs and plant litter left after previous attempts to clean this area. To avoid leaving the plant waste again, we immediately got the wood chopped and transported away for recycling. During the subsequent camps, we continued the clean-up of the vicinity of tracks № 61 and 63.

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The weekend of 20th and 21st October were the last days of this year’s camps. During the total of 13 days Volunteers cleared a large portion of the coal storage from the weeds and bushes. Among the participants were colleagues from organizations similar to PARE – Żuławy Commuter Railway from Nowy Dwór Gdański and Upper Silesia Narrow-gauge Railways from Bytom.

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The National Board of Heritage was not the only supporter of the camps. We managed to convince other partners to provide us with tools required for our work. Company “Agentools” equpped us with gardening power tools, invaluable in clearing the coal storage. The distributor of abrasives Pferd and VSM provided us with copious amounts of wire brushes required in cleaning the metal parts of the fence and gates.

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The project was concluded in the afternoon of 21st October with a sightseeing trip around historical industrial object in the vicinity of Skierniewice. We visited the first in the world welded bridge in Maurzyce and the heritage park of folk architecture located nearby. Later, we visited the branch of the Station Museum in Sochaczew to see how a professional railway museum functions. In the end we visited what remained from the former linen loom in Żyrardów. It was a rather sad visit which reminded us of the usual fate of industrial heritage in Poland…

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Aside from the main clean-up activities, we continued renovation of some of our exhibits – signalling devices and class Ty51-1 steam engine.

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As a part of the project, we organized two open meetings regarding the history of railway. On Sunday, 12th August a screening of a documentary “17 days that decided of Poland” took place. The film is notable due to the fact that some of the vehicles from our collection took part in the film. After the screening we had a moment for a short meeting and discussion with the director of the film, Leszek Staroń, and his crew.

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On Saturday, 6th October, we invited the participants of the volunteers camps to the presentation by Ariel Ciechański, PhDModernity vs authenticity in railway museums” discussing the various approaches to the conservation of railway heritage across the Europe. We had the opportunity to see examples from Romania (steam engine exhibition in Sybia), Austria (LokPark Ampflwang, Heizhaus Strashoff), Belgium (TrainWorld Brussels) and Czechia (Děčín – stavědlo 15, Železniční muzeum ČD Lužna u Rakovníka, depozitář NTM Chomutov). The presentation was followed by the discussion on this topic.

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Summary of the project:

Position Factor Unit Value
Planned Completed
1 Volunteer camps organized pcs. 5 5
2 Participating volunteers persons 25 38
3 Organizers, coordinators persons 5 5
4 Events organized pcs. 2 2
5 Participants of events persons 25 27
6 Partners, sponsors entities 5 8
7 Listed objects renovated by the volunteers pcs. 1 1
8 Other historical objects renovated by the volunteers pcs. 0 0
Sponsored by the National Heritage Board of Poland, programme Together for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria

Tools SPONSORED BY

agentools Pferd-VSM


The end of the volunteers camp

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20th and 21st October were the last days of this year’s edition of Volunteers Camps. During the soggy Saturday and sunny Sunday morning we finished our little “gardening” in the coal storage. 10 volunteers participated in cutting down the self-seeders and moving the plant waste into storage area where later they will be taken for recycling. In the spring we are going to implement some measures to prevent the regrowth of the weeds in this part of the Shed.

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The project was concluded in the Sunday’s afternoon with a sightseeing trip around historical industrial object in the vicinity of Skierniewice. We visited the first in the world welded bridge in Maurzyce and heritage park of folk architecture located nearby. Later, we visited the branch of Station Museum in Sochaczew to see how a professional railway museum functions. In the end we visited what remained from the former linen loom in Żyrardów. It was a rather sad visit which reminded us of the usual fate of industrial heritage in Poland…

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Volunteers camps were sponsored from the programme of the National Board of Heritage – Together for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

Media Patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria

Tools sponsored by

agentools Pferd-VSM


With saws and shears

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We used the exceptionally warm weekend of 6th and 7th October to continue our fight with self-seeders overwhelming our coal storage. With a significant effort we managed to clear a large patch of storage surrounding the track № 55.
In two weeks (on 20th and 21st October) we intend to conduct the last upkeep works and conclude the series of Volunteers Camps with a didactic excursion for the most active participants. All interested can still subscribe in a special participation form.

Sponsored by the National Heritage Board of Poland, programme Together for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria

Sponsors of tools

agentools Pferd-VSM


After the October Open Day

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The last in this year regular open day in Engine Shed took place on Saturday, 6th October. As usual, visitors could learn more about the history of the facility and the exhibits from our collection. An extraordinary addition to this event was the official hand-over of the class SR71-04 inspection vehicle from PKP Energetyka S.A. to the Shed. Except that, our guests could visit the temporary exhibition of photographs by Mirosław Mizera, our interactive exhibition of railway signals and traffic control and see our collection of rolling stock and steam engines maintenance equipment. To sum up, we were visited by 303 guests.

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Łódź Commuters Railway (ŁKA) prepared the special offer for the visitors, who could return back for free to their departure station after receiving a special stamp on their one-way ticket. Catering was provided thanks to the Atmosfera pizza house.

In the evening one could take part in the presentation by Ariel Ciechański, PhD “Modernity vs authenticity in railway museums” discussing the various approaches to the conservation of railway heritage across the Europe. The presentation was followed by the discussion on this topic. The presentation was a part of the Voluntaries Camp sponsored by

The Programme of National Heritage Board of Poland – Together for heritage.

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

 


Invitation to the 2018 volunteers camp

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Encouraged by the positive response to our previous summer camps for volunteers, we would like to invite all the interested for a yet another edition of this initiative. You can join us and test yourself as a volunteer in the Engine Shed Skierniewice on the following days:

  • 11th – 15th August,
  • 25th – 26th August,
  • 22nd – 23rd September,
  • 6th – 7th October,
  • 20th – 21st October.

All those who are at least 16 years old, are of good health and would like to devote their free time in the rescue of railway heritage are welcome. We encourage the participants to choose from the many of planned activities:

  • renovation of steam engines class Ol49-4, Tkp 6042 “Śląsk” and Ty51-1,
  • expansion of the exhibition of railway signalling and traffic control,
  • track works in front of the roundhouse,
  • upkeep of the surroundings and green areas of the shed,
  • maintenance and repairs outside and inside of the Shed’s buildings,
  • other works depending on the needs and attendance.

To subscribe to the event, please use the special entry form. During the camp, the coordinator of the project will be awaiting the participants on Friday 10th August starting from 7PM. During one of the first days we will organize the Health and Safety training. Each day we will start the work at around 10AM and continue till 7PM. Each day will be concluded with a hot meal.

To the participants, we provide:

  • return of the costs of commuting to/from Skierniewice (only 2nd class train tickets or equivalent public transportation or bus tickets) – based on the original tickets or printouts of the internet tickets;
  • overnight stay in the Shed, in the camping standard (in case of the number of participants exceeding the capacity of our social area, we will look for the possibility of overnight stay outside the Shed);
  • water and hot meals;
  • basic work clothing (gloves);
  • tools;
  • a participation certificate, if requested.

Due to the limited capacity of our social area and the need to plan the activities in advance, we would like you to state in the enrolment form the intended time of stay, accomodation preference and the activities you are interested in.

If you would like to receive more information regarding the volunteers camp, please contact us at wolontariat@psmk.org.pl

The volunteers camp is supported by

Urząd Miasta Skierniewice


Axiliad III or volunteers versus bushes

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The plan for another volunteers camp, which took place on 22nd and 23rd September, was straightforward: to cut down as much as possible of the overgrowth in the old coal storage. We made a good use of all available in the Shed saws, shears and chainsaws. For 2 days 20 volunteers removed most of the unwanted plants. It was also possible thanks to the experience of some of the participants – our colleagues from Żuławska Commuters Railway from Nowy Dwór Gdański and Upper Silesia Narrow-gauge Railway from Bytom.

We intend to continue the work on the next camp, which will take place on 6th and 7th October.

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The volunteers camp is supported by the National Heritage Board – Together for Heritage.

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria


With axe and shears – the second volunteers camp in the Shed

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Another turn of this year’s volunteers camp took place during the weekend of 25th and 26th August. We had quite ambitious plans but the weather stood against us. Still, it did not discouraged from continuing the uneven fight with the overgrowth. This time we had to chop our way through the little jungle that over the years took over the old coal storage. We would like to say a big thank you to all the participants. Those who would like to help us but hadn’t the opportunity so far can join us on 22nd and 23rd September. See you!

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The volunteers camp is supported by the National Heritage Board – Together for Heritage.

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria


Beginning of the Volunteers Camp

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Not without unforeseen difficulties, we managed to commence the series of volunteers camps. According to the requirements of the supporting institutions (the National Board of Heritage), we focused on the upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings. Therefore, there was hardly anyone working by the renovation of class Ty51-1 engine – most of the efforts were directed to fight the overgrowth and remove the traces of vandalism, which involved replacing the broken glass in windows and painting over the graffiti.

During the first stage of the camp (11th-15th August) participants directed their efforts to clean up and repaint the gates on the entry tracks from the side of the station. Due to the remoteness of this part of the shed from other buildings and frequent need to use power tools, we made a good use of the portable electric generator.

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Another group of volunteers cleaned the area behind the roundhouse and then the coal storage, starting from track № 53. they had to simultaneously cut out the overgrowth and remove the remains of previous works in this area. In the past we had some problems with getting rid of the plant waste. This time wood was immediately crumbled into chips and disposed.

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We also organised an open-for-all events. On 12th August a screening of documentary about Józef Piłsudski “17 days that decided of Poland” took place. The film was directed by Leszek Staroń. Some scenes of the documentary were shot in our Shed e.g. the interiors of army staff train was actually the passenger compartment of “Wittfeld” motor unit. After the screening, the participants had the opportunity to discuss the film with the director and his crew.

Except the obligatory work on the upkeep of the Shed, we used some spare moments to tend our exhibits – renovation of the block signal box frame on the signalling exhibition and repainting of the class Ty51-1.

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The volunteers camp is supported by the National Heritage Board – Together for Heritage.

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd

 


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

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Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support

castorama

 


Volunteers helping in track works

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Our project of Volunteers Camps is slowly reaching its end. During the last editions of the weekend camps from 21st to 22nd October and 4th to 5th November the participants helped us in the preparation to the track renovation and maintenance works. They assisted in a labour-intense process of recycling of the old ballast, classification and storing of the track fittings and removal of the damaged track ties. We still plan to complete the track works before the end of November to keep the vital track № 59 passable.

We would like to say a big thanks to more than 30 participants of the camps who often visited us more than once and assisted us in the maintenance of the Shed.

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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

castorama