Looking Back reader Barry Norris was chuffed to shared his memories of the Portland branch railway with us.

Barry got in touch after reading in the Echo that Heritage Lottery funding has been secured for a project to collate peoples' memories of the railway line from Weymouth to Easton. The group behind the project is Portland Rocks.

An online archive will be created, including photos and transcribed recordings, and it will be placed with the Dorset History Centre and freely available online.

Barry's father Alfred used to be a 'track man' on the railway. The last passengers on the stretch of railway travelled in 1952 and the last goods train on the railway was in 1965.

Barry, of Weymouth, has some very fond memories of

"I was 10 and I was with my dad when the last goods train was running. We walked from the crossing at Abbotsbury Road to the top of Portland Road. All the gear was taken out and laid aside. We walked all the way along the track to Easton Square on Portland where the railway ended.

"I had the opportunity to ride the train up and round to the quarries. We came back in the goods train and went to the Littlefield Crossing at Abbotsbury Road.

"I also remember that it stopped on the way back from Portland to Weymouth for a pick up at Whitehead Torpedo Works."

Barry said his father was in the Navy during the war and when he came out of the Navy continued to work on the railway until he died.

The announcement of the project also generated a few memories on the Dorset Echo website.

'Custos' said: "My father was a driver at Weymouth and as a young schoolboy I often went to work with him, spending time on the footplate when he was shunting or on the bank engine up the through Bincombe tunnel and back - a very dirty ride back tender first! I also went with him on the Tramway and rang the bell. On one occasion I travelled all the way to Easton and back with him and of course breakfast on the shovel in the firebox!"

'RoystonC' said: "I travelled on the train every school day between 1945 and 1950, Easton to Westham and back, to go to school. Grammar School girls in the front carriage, Technical College students in the centre carriage, with Grammar School boys in the third and last carriage.

"When possible we played solo whilst going, did homework coming home. There was very little movement between carriages, which filled up at Portland, Wyke Regis and Sandsfoot, which made the card games impossible. The train sometimes slowed down when passing under East Cliff if there was a danger of rocks falling, although there was a system of wires designed to put the signal on danger if a rock fall occurred.

"We often had the same guard, whom we called Mr Bailey but am unsure what his name really was. Often wished we could jump off as we passed Little Beach in the summer and cursed the lack of effective heating in the winter. I wonder where all my co-passengers are now?"

'Alfa-lady' remembers: "From 1954 until 1969 I lived at 56 Coronation Rd, Portland, with my sisters and parents. We lived next to the incline and could see the trains running across the beach line through Castletown and round as far as HMS Osprey.

"There was a security fence across Verne Common, they would pass over the incline iron bridge and whistle. After Beeching axed the line I used to sneak through the fence round to the firing ranges. I remember there were some red brick houses on the road through to them."

*Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help with the project can fill out a letter of application at the website portlandrocks.co.uk or collect them from Island Community Action office in Easton. The project will run until November and Portland Rocks also hopes to run an arts project linked to the research, involving visual and sound and visual art in September 2018, if they can secure funding.