Summing up volunteers camps


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.


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.


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.


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     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    dl     radio-victoria


agentools Pferd-VSM

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