It has been very good to see the SVR busy again. The gala at the start of the season was a success, with the newly extended car park at Kidderminster full, and every space filled bringing in more money in the pay-and-display machines. It was difficult for visitors to organise themselves parking in the rough unmarked area, many began forming rows that shut off some areas, wasting valuable space, and illustrating the merit of opening out the area properly and putting down a decent surface.
In order to extend the car park, a big clear-up had been organised for the start of April, creating more space behind our security fence and moving some of the 'junk' from the car park. Once the reorganisation is finally complete we should have a tidy secure area enclosing our storage shed, a similar shed alongside for diesel stores, and a series of road containers with materials for special events such as the 1940's weekend.
We have spent a certain amount of time thinking about future projects on the station. The new restaurant car platform had been an obvious choice for further attention as it is the first view of the station for passengers entering from the car park.
The platform front wall has been in position for a long time but backfilling it has been slow in completion, apart from the miniature railway lads bringing up hundreds of tiny wagon-loads of smashed paving slab fragments and tipping them over the retaining wall to raise the platform ground level. They must have a rock breaking chain gang in action. The delay was caused by the much greater priority of rebuilding the line washed away by floods; all the S.V.R's resources had to go into reopening the railway.
Our little gang has planted the lamp posts, as mentioned in the last newsletter, and we have since turned our attention to piping them up, and then installing our two nice speartop gates and a post to close off the platform from public access in true G.W.R style. The real last big job was the platform surface and the need to adjust ground levels leading onto the platform without interfering with passengers using the car park path. We no longer live in an age where people can be expected to pick their way through 'hazardous' work in progress, so the job was done in double-quick time by the S.V.R's contractors
Prior to this work, we had a meeting with Nick Ralls the General Manager and Dave Postle from the museum. We discussed how best to arrange the two gates onto the platform so that the slope up to the museum was not too steep. In the end we managed to get everything to fit and stay legal.
We also discussed the low retaining wall at the back of the platform. This had to be modified to turn a corner to match up with our gates. The end result looks just right. Unfortunately the access path from the car park runs along the top of the retained ground, causing the retaining wall capping stones to be a trip hazard. We discussed some kind of fence but didn't volunteer to build one at this stage as we needed to think seriously before embarking on such a time-consuming project.
However, the platform now looks first class, and fits in well with the high standard achieved throughout our station.
Mick Yarker. June 2009