Bridgnorth Bus Garage
In the newsletter we often look at the diverse activities of the G.W.R. One aspect that hasn't had much of a mention is the bus service that the company ran. Early in the twentieth century the Great Western introduced a number of bus routes to make up for gaps in the rail network and to compliment the existing service - preferably before other operators stepped in to do so. One such service was between Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton and a couple of photos of rather antiquated-looking buses parked outside Bridgnorth Station occasionally appear in print. A bus was stabled at Bridgnorth for the service in a steel and wooden framed building clad in the ubiquitous corrugated iron sheeting. It measured 30ft long by 10ft wide and was tall enough for a double-decker bus to enter, indeed long-time S.V.R members will remember the preserved Weardale bus that lived there in the 1970's.
Sadly, by those days the building had deteriorated and when the bus left it was soon dismantled to make way for Ray Tranter's caravan. Looking back it is shocking how a preserved railway treated its heritage! But now we intend to make amends, to a degree at least. The building still survives and is at Kidderminster. It was kept in the hope of erecting it again one day and we intend to do just that. The structure would be fully repaired and clad with brand new heavy gauge corrugated iron sheeting and erected alongside our storage shed. It will no longer be used for bus storage, though. For the first time the Mechanical Horse trailer will have a home and will be kept inside coupled to its tractor unit. This will allow us to properly restore the trailer knowing that the weather will not destroy all our hard work in a matter of months. The restored trailer will also give the tractor unit some purpose too - it makes an incomplete display standing alone - Laurel without Hardy, so to speak.
This, hopefully, will be our next big project and has had approval from 'the top', but we await clarification of planning issues and the removal of a container before we can seriously begin.
The structure commanded little interest in the 1970's so very few photos were taken of it in position at Bridgnorth. If you have one or know someone who has please let us know. We would love to have a copy for our records.
The newsletters reproduced in the web site are somewhat abridged. Usually we do not include photographs or items such as the minutes of our AGM. The full newsletter is sent out to paying members of the Friends three times a year and is generally in full colour (archive pictures are invariably black and white). It is produced free of charge for the Friends thanks to sponsorship from Chiltern Railways.
If you wish to support our activities you can join the Friends by paying a monthly subscription of £2 or more. At first this may seem a high membership fee, but all the funds go to pay for our various projects at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway, and we tackle heritage projects that would not normally be regarded as essential from a purely business perspective, and which otherwise wouldn't get done. Our present project is a case in point. The 200ft run of speartop fencing and gates need not have been installed. The modern temporary builder's fence did the job - but looked awful. The extensively repaired G.W.R fencing that we have installed also does the job, but it looks many times better and adds to the heritage atmosphere of our wonderful station rather than subtracting from it.
You can use the 'How can I help' link on the website or contact our Treasurer Bob Brown at: 39 Drew Crescent, Pedmore, Stourbridge, DY6 0UX and he will send you a membership form to fill in. Your support and subscription would be very welcome, and your money would be spent on materials. We give the labour for free so the money goes a long, long way.
If you wish you can also be a Friends volunteer. We can be found at Kidderminster Town Station almost every Saturday. Just come along and introduce yourself. Your help would be much appreciated. No experience necessary, but you will need to be a member of the Severn Valley Railway for insurance purposes.