Difference between revisions of "Bridgnorth"

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File:Weighbridge.jpg | Weighbridge adjacent to Platform 1
 
File:Weighbridge.jpg | Weighbridge adjacent to Platform 1
 
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==Exhibitions==
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*From 16 June 2012 an exhibition was mounted for the Victorian weekend and following station festival in Platform 2 waiting room, with a history of the station.<ref>[https://forum.svr-online.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=1098 SVR Forum]</ref>
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*On 24 June 2018 a [[Catch Me Who Can]] sculpture was unveiled as a part of the Bridgnorth Art Trail. The sculpture was one of twelve positioned around the town. They were aluminium castings that represent the locomotive in a much simplified form and were used as the ground for competition winning individual artists and groups to decorate. Statue 2: 'Just the Ticket' was positioned outside Bridgnorth station booking office and was designed by Tania Holland of [https://www.taniaholland.co.uk/ Tania Holland Gallery] using archive material provided by the SVR. It was also sponsored by the SVR.<ref>[https://bridgnorth-art-trail.org.uk/statue-2-just-the-ticket/ Bridgnorth Arts Trail] (Retrieved 10 July 2019)</ref>
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*From 16 to 30 August 2019 [http://www.kathrynoconnorphotography.co.uk/ Kathryn O’Connor], a black and white photographic documentary artist, ran an exhibition in the then-new Bridgnorth Refreshment Room as part of the Bridgnorth Music & Arts Festival. It comprised a selection of individual people then working in Bridgnorth, in as many diverse workplaces as possible, and short work history questionnaires they had completed.<ref>SVR website</ref>
  
 
==Bridgnorth history before preservation==  
 
==Bridgnorth history before preservation==  

Latest revision as of 16:32, 10 July 2019

Bridgnorth station, viewed from the footbridge
Next stations
UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) (towards Kidderminster) DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) (towards Shrewsbury)
Hampton Loade (4½ miles)
via Eardington
Present day: line terminates.
Pre closure: Linley

The station

Bridgnorth is the current Northern terminus of the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society. It has two platforms connected by a footbridge, a yard, and a signal box. The original Severn Valley Railway continued northwards towards Ironbridge through a 550 yard long tunnel underneath Bridgnorth High Town. From time to time the possibility of re-opening the section of the line north of Bridgnorth is raised on discussion forums and elsewhere. The official stance of the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society varies somewhat confusingly between "maintaining a watching brief" and "the railway land north of Bridgnorth has been long since sold, and there is now no possibility of Severn Valley trains reaching Ironbridge and Shrewsbury ever again".

The main station building is listed Grade II by Historic England for its special architectural or historic interest. [1]

The yard at Bridgnorth is home to the Loco Works. Bridgnorth MPD (Motive Power Department) is the principal base for the Railway's steam locomotives. Bridgnorth is also home to two new build projects, BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 3 locomotive 82045 and a replica of the Trevithick locomotive Catch Me Who Can.

Day to day restoration and maintenance is carried out by a group going by the name of 'The Wailing Wall Construction Company plc (pretty limited craftsmen)'.

Facilities

Bridgnorth has a pay and display car park, with overflow parking available a short walk away. Other facilities for visitors include a buffet, a gift shop and 'The Railwayman’s Arms' pub. High Town, with its Castle Gardens and Cliff Railway, can be accessed from the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society via a footbridge outside the entrance to the Station building.

A lineside public viewing area is situated at the foot of Pan Pudding Hill, on the opposite side of the line from Platform 1. This can normally be accessed by taking the steps down from the car park near the Railwayman's Arms pub (the 'Donkey Gallops') and going through the Engine Shed Underpass. A flight of steps on the right then leads up to the viewing area. When access is allowed to the Bridgnorth Works (normally only during Gala events), access to the viewing area is possible direct from the south end of Platform 2.

Bridgnorth Development Project

The new building in December 2018
Artist's impression of the new station building beyond the footbridge, with the existing building in the foreground.
Artist's impression of the new station building looking north.

Objectives

The Bridgnorth site is the subject of a development project, the first phase of which saw the long-overdue removal of the Portacabin style Refreshment room (installed in 1979 "as a temporary measure"[2]; previous buffet facilities having been in an old BR Mk 1 Tourist Second Open), and its replacement with a circa-1900 Great Western style single-storey building which is located to the south of the existing Jacobean style station building.

The 'Inchcape' site

On 17 June 2014 David Postle attended an SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society(H) Board meeting to propose the acquisition of the adjacent 'Inchcape' site at ‘no cost’ to the railway, leasing the site at a cost of £65,000 per annum for three years with an option to purchase at a price of £1,200,000. Together with colleagues he offered that the first three years' costs would be underwritten so that there would be no financial impact on the railway. The Board considered that the price was over-stated as advisors had indicated a market value of approximately £750,000.[3]

Evolution of plans

Other phases should also see the refurbishment of the existing station building including the booking hall, shop and Railwayman's Arms, and the installation of a turntable. Subject to funding, a further phase will see construction of a new volunteer accommodation building. A summary of the evolution of plans is shown below.

Project 2012 share offer 2016 share offer September 2018[4] SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 204 Winter 2018 Notes
New catering and toilets Included Phase I, reduced height and size Phase I Phase I Opened January 2019. Non-uniformed staff catering now (2018) to be included in the Graham Hill building (next to the Boilershop)
Refurbished station Included Phase I Phase III Phase IV In November 2016 work was continuing on detailed plans for the refurbishment of the existing station, with the contract for the remaining works of the first phase to be signed in January 2017.[5] In September 2018 plans and costs were incomplete and "will inevitably take a period of time to reconcile". Works will not begin before Winter 2019/20 to develop the plans, apply for funding and a period of calm.[6]
New car park in fields Included Phase II Phase II Phase II Opened December 2018
Turntable Included Phase II Phase IIb (TBC) Phase III
Volunteer accommodation Included, in plans for Hollybush Road sidings Phase III* Phase IV Not included *Funds for Phase III were not within the 2016 share offer of £2.5m.
Intended as part of workshop and stores to rear of MPDMotive Power Depot, a storage block is now not urgently required. The SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society will reconsider how best to provide volunteer accommodation, this is unlikely to commence until 2021 because of the current commitments on civils and building projects.[7]
Independent mobility across the site Included, by means of additional lifts at the north end of the station Not included Not included Not included
Public viewing area for MPDMotive Power Depot Included Not included Not included Not included
New visitor centre Included Not included Not included Not included

Milestones

Major milestones in the project have been as follows:

  • October 2009: Plans for a refurbishment of the Bridgnorth station site began with the announcement of the Project Development Teams.[8]
  • October 2012: The SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society launched a share offer to raise funds for various objectives, including developing the Bridgnorth Station site. Plans and illustrations of the proposed development were put on public display at Bridgnorth, attended by the steering group and architectural team to provide answers to questions and receive comments. Written comments submitted were published, over 100 in total, with "Overall, the feedback has been very positive with over 70% of people attending the exhibition being supportive, albeit with comments both practical and aesthetic as to how the proposals could be improved" (SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society General Manager).[9]
  • March 2013: Following criticism of the initial plans, which some considered out of character with the existing station, the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society(H) Board resolved on 19 March to establish a Conservation and Heritage Committee under the Chairmanship of David Postle.[10]
  • September 2015: New plans and illustrations of the proposed development were put on public display in the booking office at Bridgnorth.
  • January 2016: The planning application was submitted to Shropshire Council on 13 January.[11]
  • August 2016: The planning application was approved by the Council.[12]
  • November 2016:
The SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society launched a further share offer seeking to raise £2.5m towards the project. The share offer document confirmed that £1m from the 2012 share offer been spent or committed to the project, and that the additional £2.5m was required to meet the anticipated costs of completing Phase One (station buildings) and Phase Two (car parking and turntable). A third phase (new accommodation building) was not part of the share offer.[13]
Contractors arrived on site to begin work on the first phase, some preliminary work having already been carried out by SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society staff and volunteers. Completion was initially expected to be in mid-2017.
  • December 2016: Installation of all 63 piles completed.
  • April 2017: Construction of the base for the new station building, originally targetted for January, was completed.
  • May 2017: Bricklaying began at a ceremony on 3 May. A revised target date of October 2017 was imtimated for the new building.
  • October 2017: It was announced the new facility would not provide for staff meals "across the whole service" as beforehand, due to the dimensions of the new buffet. A Working Group was set up to utilise instead the Engineering Services mess room for volunteer catering.[14]
  • October 2017: Proceeds from the share offer reached the target of £2.5m on the final day. Work continued on the building structure.
  • March 2018: First phase work, much delayed, continued with the first roof slates being laid by the end of the month. A project team was working on the specification of the West side project, which includes the field car park, access roads and turntable. It was intended to tender for this phase during the summer of 2018.[15]
  • April 2018 roofing took place and the scaffolding was largely removed from the exterior of the building
  • June 2018 In the rear service yard area, the “Bovey Tracey” outbuilding building had the framework erected and covered in breathable felt ready for the external corrugated cladding to be applied. This is based on a goods lock up that used to adorn Bovey Tracey station on the Moretonhampstead branch in Devon. The SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society version serves as a plant room housing the heating boiler and food preparation area for the volunteer Severn Valley Venturer catering staff.
  • July 2018 a completion and hand-over was forecast for the third week in July.[16]. This was followed by a revised plan to open on 3 September. An announcement in September gave a date of end of 2018, with a formal opening in Spring 2019.[17]
  • October 2018 the former ‘overflow’ parking field was closed for contractors to construct a carefully surfaced, illuminated 200-space visitor West car park and access/egress routes. Walsh Construction successfully tendered for this work at a cost of £642,000.[18] It opened in December 2018 with further works in the New Year. Barriers and parking charges came into use on 14 April 2019.
  • December 2018 the contractors' site offices and associated buildings were removed from the station car park following the practical completion of the much delayed, as yet unopened, new station building. The toilets and (unfinished) new car park opened. On 19 December the planning application for the proposed relocation of the turntable was withdrawn.[19]
  • January 2019 the new Bridgnorth Refreshment Room opened daily during closed season.[20] The official opening was 4 April.[21]
  • On 12 March 2019 the planning application for the proposed relocation of the turntable was resubmitted. Approval was granted on 30 April 2019.[22]

    The completed base for the new building, April 2017.

  • View of the roof on 1 April 2018

  • Following a concrete pour to extend the terrace, July 2018

  • Updates on this project including pictures of the work in progress can be found on the SVRLive Bridgnorth Development page.

    Points of interest

    Footbridge outside Bridgnorth Station

    This view from Bridgnorth Station shows the footbridge connecting the station to New Road. It is sometimes referred to as the Hollybush Road footbridge, after the road which passes beneath it. The War Memorial in Bridgnorth High Town’s Castle Gardens can also be seen in this image.

    The original footbridge at this location was built by Rubery Owen & Co. Ltd. in 1895. Its condition was allowed to deteriorate following the closure of the railway at Bridgnorth in 1963, and by 1967 owners Bridgnorth Council had announced plans for its demolition. A Public Enquiry into the future of the footbridge was held on 1 April 1968,[23] and a campaign to save the bridge was launched in 1969. The footbridge was closed and boarded up on 30 September 1970. In April 1974 Bridgnorth was demoted to rural borough status, losing its powers to spend money maintaining the footbridge. Later that year it was sold to the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society for a nominal £1, but was reluctantly deemed beyond repair and demolished in 1976.[24] A short section was cosmetically restored by SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society volunteers and placed as a feature on the roundabout at the junction of the A458 and A442 on the outskirts of Bridgnorth. [25] The 1895 bridge can also be seen in photographs 8 and 9 in the gallery of Sellick photographs below.

    The new footbridge was built under the auspices of the Bridgnorth Footbridge Trust and opened on 22 July 1994. Ownership of the footbridge later transferred to Shropshire County Council.

    In January 2018 the footbridge was closed due to the station end lifting: it appeared the bridge was under tension and the bolts at either end had corroded, and so the bridge had come adrift at each end. Shropshire County Council instigated a temporary repair before the start of the running season with permanent repairs to follow in the Autumn.[26]

    Platform 1

    The south end of platform 1 originally ended by the water tower, as can be seen in the picture by David Cooke below and in photographs 8 and 9 in the gallery of Sellick photographs. A 200 ft extension was added by SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society volunteers in 1981 using 30,000 bricks recovered from the ex-GWRGreat Western Railway goods shed at Cradley, coping stones from the former relief line platform at Acock’s Green, and fencing from Dunstall Park. At the same time contractors re-faced the original platform and raised the level at the south end[27]. There is a noticeable change in the appearance of the platform at the junction of the old and new platforms, which can be seen in this photograph.

    In early 2016 volunteers completed a further extension of the platform at the north end.[28] This enabled 9-coach trains such as those with an additional observation saloon to be fully 'on platform'. The work also included replacing the adjacent 'barrow crossing'.[29]

    The Railwayman's Arms

    Bridgnorth Station building includes a licensed public bar, The Railwayman’s Arms. This remained open when the station was closed by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in September 1963 - the group of potential preservationists who visited Bridgnorth in July 1965 were challenged by George Thorpe who ran it at the time.

    The bar and cellar were extended in 1979, the contract for the work being awarded to the building contractors in February of that year.[30]

    The pub sign on the platform features paintings by John AustinJohn Austin GRA, renowned Bridgnorth-based member of The Guild of Railway Artists of Ivatt ‘Mickey Mouse’ 46443 and GWR 7802 Bradley Manor.

    In February 2017 it won the CAMRA Bridgnorth Pub Of The Year Award 2017.

    Pan Pudding Hill

    Pan Pudding Hill, or sometimes Panpudding Hill or Pampudding Hill[31], is a scheduled ancient monument which overlooks Bridgnorth station.[32] The man-made hill was built in 1102, on the orders of King Henry I, as a siege earthwork to attack and capture Bridgnorth Castle. The distance from the hill to the castle, nearly 300 yards, is a testament to the power of mediaeval siege catapults.

    Pan Pudding Hill was used to attack Bridgnorth Castle on other occasions, and finally in 1646 by Cromwell’s Parliamentarians during the English Civil War. After the last attack Bridgnorth Castle was blown up, leaving only the remains of the keep which can be seen in the castle grounds in High Town.[33]

    In 2000 the TV series 'Time Team' visited Bridgnorth to investigate the area around St Mary’s Church. Part of the dig concentrated on Pan Pudding Hill – then in the ownership of The Apley Estate.[34] The episode is available on YouTube. In October 2015 the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society purchased ten acres of land to the west of Bridgnorth Station from The Apley Estate Trustees, which includes Pan Pudding Hill.[35]

    Locomotive watering facilities

    BRBritish Rail or British Railways had already demolished the water tank on Pan Pudding Hill and the watering columns on platforms 1 and 2 before the fledgling SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Society made contact in July 1965 asking them to stop demolition works while negotiations to buy the line took place. The SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Society acquired replacement ‘rail level’ water columns from nearby Stourbridge MPDMotive Power Depot, and a replacement water tank from Henley in Arden, the latter arriving in August 1970. These were installed during the following year – until they were commissioned locomotives were watered at Eardington where possible, or otherwise from a simple hosepipe connected to a nearby tap at Bridgnorth.

    In October 1972, the platform water columns from Henley were obtained with a view to replace those previously obtained from Stourbridge.

    In 1980 Severn Trent Water re-connected the local water supply to a bore hole which supplied water with a very high level of dissolved salts. The water softening plant was unable to cope with this, resulting in boilers scaling and locomotives 'priming' within 3 days of a washout[36]. The following year, to resolve the issue, the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society laid a water main to Bridgnorth from Knowlesands, the nearest source of softer water[27].

    Weighbridge

    All locomotives must be weighed before first use on the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society to ensure they comply with axle weight limits. Individual wheels are also weighed to check for correct weight distribution after replacement of springs. A locomotive is moved slowly over a section of strain gauged track adjacent to platform 1 at Bridgnorth with the results displayed on a screen in the signal box.

    Exhibitions

    Poster for a goods conveyancing service to the nearest rail connection in 1849
    Bridgnorth Station from Pan Pudding Hill before the footbridge was built in 1887
    Bridgnorth under threat of closure in 1962 (Wikimedia Commons)
    Floor plan of station building in 1929
    At the end of 1963 Bridgnorth and all the other Severn Valley line stations except Bewdley and Stourport are closed completely, and the track is taken up between Bridgnorth and Buildwas.[42]
    GWR Traffic statistics for Bridgnorth, selected years prior to 1939[43]
    Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
    Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
    1903 52,796 40,029 9,318 46,455 15,536 24,854
    1913 69,062 48,730 9,802 50,213 16,470 26,272
    1923 40,127 44,603 10,231 49,210 28,320 38,551
    1933 17,232 38,478 4,755 31,651 15,708 20,463
    1938 13,500 37,800 3,190 29,141 15,367 18,557

    Historic maps of Bridgnorth Station

    Gallery

    See also

    List of stations
    Bridgnorth MPD
    Bridgnorth Loco Works
    Bridgnorth Turntable
    GWR Bus Garage (Ex Bridgnorth)
    List of Rolling stock at Bridgnorth

    References

    1. | Bridgnorth Station on the Historic England list
    2. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 51
    3. [https://forum.svr-online.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=2422 General Manager's Statement 23 June 2014
    4. NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. September 2018
    5. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Live
    6. NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. September 2018
    7. Express Points May 2019
    8. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 167, General Manager's Notes
    9. SVRA forum thread (Retrieved 12 June 2017)
    10. Announcement by Nick Ralls (General Manager), reported on SVR-OnLine forum
    11. SVR Forum
    12. SVR Website news item
    13. 2016 Share Offer Document pp. 16-19.
    14. SVRLive
    15. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. March 2018
    16. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 201, p. 15
    17. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Forum, September 2018
    18. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 205
    19. Shropshire Council 18/05183/FUL | Construction of locomotive turntable reclaimed from Bath Road Bristol and associated enabling works (Retrieved 31 December 2018)
    20. Railwayman's Arms Facebook 26 January 2019
    21. 'SVR Shareholder Event 2019', SVRLive, 22 February 2019 (Retrieved 23 February 2019)
    22. Shropshire Planning Ref:19/01151/FUL
    23. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 19
    24. Marshall (1989) p. 105.
    25. Section of footbridge visible on Google Street View
    26. Shropshire County Council 19 January 2018 (Retrieved 20 January 2018)
    27. 27.027.1 SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 60
    28. Bridgnorth Station 'platform 1 north extension' Retrieved 14 February 2017
    29. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 194
    30. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 51
    31. Pampudding Hill on www.bridgnorthtowncouncil.gov.uk
    32. Pan Pudding Hill on the Historic England Scheduled Monument list
    33. shropshirehistory.org.uk Retrieved 26 May 2015
    34. The Apley Estate Retrieved 5 October 2017
    35. SVRLive 'Purchase of 10 acres of land to the West of Bridgnorth Station' 5 October 2015 (Retrieved 14 February 2017)
    36. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 57
    37. SVR Forum
    38. Bridgnorth Arts Trail (Retrieved 10 July 2019)
    39. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society website
    40. Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway, J. Randall, 1863
    41. "Bridgnorth (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics (Retrieved 23 November 2015)
    42. Information from the Bridgnorth Station website
    43. Nabarro (1971) p. 55.

    Links

    Bridgnorth Station web site


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