As always work continues on a number of different projects at Kidderminster Town Station. We are particularly pleased that the Pump Trolley (which had been standing out in the rain uncared for, for several years) is now fully restored and in place in the new museum at Highley. The trolley had been restored many years ago, and as such provided a basis for a comparatively easy 'make-over' to bring it to display standard.
The museum at Highley is well worth a visit, there are other quite interesting exhibits too, locomotives and suchlike! Please make sure you visit if you can and try out the newly reinstated railway between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth too.
A second job brought to completion is the G.W.R drum clock which hangs from the roof in the concourse. The clock was restored and installed some while ago and mentioned in Newsletter before, but now we have power to it and the hands go round and the lights inside come on at night too. Thanks to Bob Leonard and Keith who wrestled with wiring and spring clips to enable power to be brought to the clock, all in accordance with electrical regs. and so on.
Now that the pump trolley has gone we have been able to reorganise the storage shed a little better. The Lister Auto–Truck now has the famous G.W.R roundel sign on its sides and is now nominally 'finished' although Bob spotted that the oil pump in not working correctly and will need sorting. The truck has now been moved to the side of the storage shed out of harms way and allows improved access to the Scammell which is the focus of some attention at the moment.
Steve pointed out that I had asked for a budget of £200 to restore the Scammell. Whoops! The cab is being extensively rebuilt because it was far worse than I had supposed, hence the slight over–run on budget. I am convinced it will be money well spent, though, and as it begins to take shape I find it hard to contain my excitement. Nearly all Mechanical Horses in preservation are the sloping windscreen variant, but this will now have an authentic vertical screen cab as favoured by the G.W.R. As such the vehicle looks positively archaic by modern standards. Great stuff. It is hard to imagine having to work all day in such a basic vehicle, no modern comforts at all; not even the luxury of full height doors to keep out the driving rain!
It has been encouraging to see the S.V.R receive plenty of press coverage as a result of the reopening. There was a nice article in the March 2008 'Worcestershire Living' for example, which contained a couple of shots of Kidderminster. One was a detail of 'our' restored fire buckets, the other a view of the station from the platform.
At the AGM we discussed future projects. We have decided to repair and paint the end screen next to the Gents and fit access gates to the end screen post and an additional cast iron post to give lockable access to the Buffet Car platform currently under construction. We are to install three G.W.R No.2 gas lamp posts with proper working gas lamp tops, of course, on the new platform. We already have two posts and wish to put on record our grateful thanks to the committee of the Coalyard Miniature Railway, who have donated the cost of the third cast iron post which will be an exact replica.
Mick Yarker. June 2008