There has been plenty of progress since the last magazine went to print. As far as Kidderminster Station itself is concerned the big change is that the construction of the new concourse roof and the restaurant building are now both well under way. This work is not, of course, a Friends project although there has been input particularly in terms of getting the concourse roof right. Keith has done a great deal of lobbying to alter the design to something acceptable and Dave has brought Steelway on board, who produced absolutely superb ironwork which is totally in keeping with the sort of work the Great Western would have done over 100 years ago!
I had seen the original proposals for the roof and it is a great credit to all who did the persuading and the Severn Valley Board members for listening to and acting upon this constructive criticism. The first proposal was a very modern lightweight structure as you would find in a present-day garden centre. To see what might have been and to compare it with what actually is, shows how easy it could have been to go horribly wrong, but with all the best intentions.
If you haven't seen this work yet please come and look. I guarantee you will be very impressed. Kidderminster is destined to be the envy of the heritage railway movement. Most importantly, this work is being paid for by the Severn Valley Railway itself and there is a big push to raise the funds. Please consider making a donation or buying shares. Appeal forms are with the SVR News and on the stations. Needless to say if the money comes in well for this appeal there will be encouragement for attempting other dynamic projects in the future.
Alongside this I have to admit that the current Friends projects have been overshadowed by the enormity of what is going on, nonetheless we have been busy and the Pagoda for Northwood is at last finished and shipped off to its new home. Very nice it looks. The project has been assisted by Bewdley station staff (Northwood is a halt under the jurisdiction of Bewdley staff) to whom many thanks.
Brian Oldford the resident SVR pattern maker has been badgered to produce patterns for some fancy finials for the ridge of the roof – hardly his most important job – but the resulting castings will finish off this pagoda, the one on the parcels platform at Kidderminster, and one on the cattle dock belonging to the Museum.
Jane has finished work on the Brinton's Handcart and very nice it looks. Jack, Jane, Steve. Bob Leonard and others are also working on V boards to go above the doors on the concourse which is an urgent job if our passengers are to find their way around. Bob Brown and I have been re–stacking bricks on heavyweight pallets for the proposed Coal Office at Highley.
Steve, Mark, Keith and Bob Leonard have carried out major renovation to the Ladies Room, including a new quarry tile floor and a high quality repaint.
There has been plenty more happening besides. Read on...
Mick Yarker. May 2006