Tributes paid to Corfe Castle woman who saved the Swanage Railway
Tributes have been paid in Corfe Castle after the woman who saved the Swanage Railway has died at the age of 94.
Monni Moss formed a pressure group which prevented a by-pass being built on a disused railway track through Corfe Castle during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Corfe Castle Eastern Preservation Group was formed thanks to Monni's work - ensuring the Swanage Railway could be steadily rebuilt through the village in the early 1990s.
Swanage Railway Trust chairman Liz Sellen said: "Everyone on the Swanage Railway is very saddened to hear of Monni's death and our condolences go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time.
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"Without Monni's determined campaigning work, there would not be the Swanage Railway that so many people enjoy because the line would only have been relaid the three miles from Swanage to Harman's Cross.
"A by-pass on the railway trackbed through Corfe Castle would have meant that the Norden park and ride scheme - taking thousands of cars off the narrow and winding A351 road to Swanage every year - could not have been built.
"The Swanage Railway would also not have been connected to the national railway system and special excursion trains from various parts of the country would not be bringing some 500 passengers a time to Swanage."
Monni lived for many years at Challow Farm, within sight and sound of Corfe Castle's railway station.
Swanage Railway founding member Peter Frost campaigned alonside Monni for several years.
"Monni's leadership and popular following by local like-minded people in Corfe Castle was to play a major role in influencing her peer group within the parish, district and county councils" said Peter, who still voluteers for Swanage Railway.
"Monni was determined to give the council a clear understanding of the feelings of a significant proportion of local people as well as the implications of a by-pass being built.
"Monni was a very special lady who was prepared to raise her head above the parapet and lead a fight for her community, a fight without which the Swanage Railway as we now know it would not exist.
"She affected the course of history in Corfe Castle."