A whistle-stop tour of Workington's industrial heritage has been installed at the town's railway station.

A new exhibition celebrating the history of the town and in particular its train links was opened at the station yesterday by Arnold Proctor, 84, who started working at the station in 1952 and stayed all his working life in various different roles.

Arnold was the last person at the station to be qualified to drive steam engines.

He said: “It’s letting people know what the place was like years ago; the young people don’t realise that there were all these industries.

"I feel honoured, and I am pleased to be a part of it.”

HISTORY: People admiring the display at the station

HISTORY: People admiring the display at the station

The exhibition highlights the hard shifts in the local mines where both children and adults worked together in extremely challenging conditions; the locations where ships docked to be loaded for transporting Cumbrian steel rails all over the world; how local women stepped in at the steelworks during the war; and how the innovative Bessemer Converter helped to light up the night sky for all to see and to enable production to continue 24 hours a day.

There is also a short video for people to enjoy while in the waiting room, which includes west Cumbrian characters.

 ABOARD: One of the images

ABOARD: One of the images

The project was set up by a focus group created by Cumbria County Council’s Community Rail team. The group was formed of people from representatives from organisations including Northern Rail, Cumbrian Railways Association, Workington Transport Heritage Trust and the Helena Thompson Museum.

Councillor Keith Little, the county council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I am delighted to see this fantastic exhibition opening at Workington railway station – it provides a fascinating insight in to our local history and industrial heritage, and serves as a reminder of the world-leading skills and dedication of the thousands of local people who worked in the steel, coal, iron, shipping and rail industries.

"I was pleased to recognise some of the people I knew when I was younger in the exhibition – it brought back some lovely memories from growing up in Siddick."

Community Rail were keen to thank the many organisations which had worked hard on the exhibition.

Community Rail partnership officer Warren Birch said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with so many people on this project, capturing their wealth of knowledge and memories of this area.

“Workington now has a powerful reminder of these industries and the impact they had on the world, but more importantly the communities of west Cumbria."