Skip to content

Letter: Should historic engine 1531 be donated to Simcoe County Museum

Cathy Colebatch of Allandale, Barrie, says our city council is exploring the idea of donating of engine 1531 to the Simcoe County Museum. 'Is this what we, the residents of Barrie, want?' she asks
160314Allandale StationRM
File photo shows historic Allandale Station. Robin MacLennan/BarrieToday

BarrieToday has received the following letter to the editor about  Allandale Historic Train – Engine 1531 from Cathy Colebatch of Allandale, Barrie.
Are you aware that our city council directed our creative economy and legal services department to enter into “exploratory negotiations” with Simcoe County Museum regarding a “potential donation of engine 1531 to the museum”? 

Staff Report CE010-17 dated Nov. 27 and adopted Dec. 4, 2017, outlines in detail the background, history, costs and recommendations. 

Staff is to report back to general committee updating the status of negotiations and financial implications.

Is this what we, the residents of Barrie, want?

This whole issue seemed to slip by without anyone noticing. Probably because we no longer have a daily newspaper!

We still have time to let our council know what direction we would like to see them take.

No doubt there is serious work, time and money to be spent on restoring this historic engine. 

Many years ago (2008-2009) timeframe, residents and visitors alike believed that this Engine would be returned to a place of prominence. The historic Allandale Train Station lands as part of our community. 

This is our heritage; the historic train station is where this belongs. Now if only we could get things moving and tenants moved in.

The city, over the years has provided funding to the Simcoe County Museum; perhaps instead they could take that funding and put it towards the engine at Allandale. They could also apply for the various grants through Federal, Provincial funding avenues as they do with so many other projects. 

Simcoe County Museum could help restore the Engine, while we are waiting for the Allandale Land to be released once the archeological report has been completed, hopefully in 2018.  

This would be an educational display, draw tourists and locals and reinforce our history.

We have many families in Barrie that have materials they would like to donate to a small museum with-in the historic train station when the time is right.

We need our city to retain ownership, work with the museum, restore and when the time is right, relocate the engine back to Allandale. 

We should at the very least have public input as to what happens with this engine.

Cathy Colebatch – Allandale, Barrie