This issue celebrates fifteen years since the formation of the Friends!
Work is progressing on several fronts. Three more G.W.R platform barrows originally restored by Dave Redfern have been spruced up and lettered out and are on display on the concourse for the first time. A water bowser which was partly restored many years ago is now almost complete, freshly painted, and ready for on display on the platform. A second bowser which is in a very poor state has found its way to the storage shed for attention when time allows. This item is probably destined for a place on the Buffet Car platform which will otherwise be bare and uninteresting.
The Buffet Car Platform still needs two gas lamp tops for the lamp standards. We are looking for sponsorship or donations to help pay for these items which cost £500 each. Can you help? We do not have the resources set aside to fund the lamps, along with gas pipe work, fittings and other incidentals such as tool hire for drilling the platform face etc., etc
This will be a really positive addition to the period ambience of the station. The installation of working gas lamps will prevent the installation of some modern electric units which would have a negative effect.
Dave the caretaker has decided to work his way through the standard wood and cast iron benches out on the platforms, painting them Factory Brown and omitting picking out of the monogram in some other colour, which is correct and is how the Great Western used to finish them. For many years the benches have been painted other (incorrect) colours and the monogram has always been picked out in cream or similar. This follows on from the British Railways habit of painting these benches dark brown and picking out the WR only, of the monogram. When done correctly it really looks as if the bench is unfinished, but this is not the case. I wonder how long it will be before some well-meaning individual goes round the lettering with some cream paint!
A Second GWR Wooden Bench Restored
Bob Brown has recently completed his second GWR wooden bench, and it is now in use on the concourse at Kidderminster. We are grateful to Friends member Mrs. Iris Graham who asked if we could restore a bench with a memorial plaque to her late husband, George, who like Iris was a long–time supporter of the Severn Valley Railway and lover of steam. Iris very kindly paid for all the materials needed to restore the bench, and for a tasteful brass plaque now fixed to the back rail.
Just before the bench was completed, Iris was taken seriously ill and admitted to hospital. We reluctantly decided it would be best to unveil the bench in her absence but record the event with a number of photographs so that Iris could see them. She was very pleased with the result. Sadly, Iris passed away a few days later, and so never got to see her bench at the station. It is the wish of Iris's relatives and friends that a second plaque should be fixed to the bench in her memory. The trustees of the Friends group are very pleased to do this, and a second plaque has been ordered to match.
We are always very sorry to lose a member of the Friends. As our group has been in existence for fifteen years and we are about a hundred strong this is becoming inevitable. However, it is solely due to the support of our members that many projects large and small have been completed at Kidderminster to provide a long lasting asset to the railway.
Mick Yarker. October 2008