Gate from Chasewater
The Friends would like to thank Barry Ball from the Chasewater Railway who very kindly provided a standard GWR speartop gate and four gate posts which were surplus to their requirements.
We already have one gate of this type so now have a pair which will in due course be erected at the entrance to the new restaurant-car platform, and will complement the pair of replica gates (made by the Friends) which are at the entrance to the bay platform at the other side of the concourse. This will balance up the station very nicely. Both gates need some repairs and a coat of black paint before further use.
Refreshment Room Improvements
The new refreshment room has already received some attention from the Friends. As left by the builders it had a pale brown tiled floor. Although this was economical and easy to clean it did not have a warm or friendly look. The Company has replaced this with a deep blue carpet to match the upholstery on the seats. The result is very pleasing to the eye and has raised the standard of the room considerably (especially when in use as a function room).
In addition the Friends have installed a replica GWR clock (a 12 inch fusee dial clock mentioned in the last newsletter) which fits in well with the mahogany woodwork of the counter.
Keith, Mark and Bob Leonard have been busy painting. The finish had been a rather sickly pink which did not match the new carpet, so a darker shade has been chosen, as applied to the walls of the 'King and Castle' adjoining, and the whole of the refreshment room has been carefully repainted in this shade. The end result is a far more tasteful look to the room. It must be remembered that this facility has the potential to earn the railway a great deal of money if properly managed and presented. The railway has put in a massive investment which needs to pay for itself, and the payback time needs to be as short as possible.
In the corridor leading to the 'King and Castle' some original GWR prints have been installed, and a neatly framed sign in the entrance from the pub shows the way through to the refreshment room. Furthermore a total of nine framed pictures of scenes on and around the 'old' Severn Valley Railway (in GWR days) are being prepared in the same style of mahogany frame as was manufactured by the Friends for the 'King and Castle'. These pictures will shortly be erected on the walls of the refreshment room to further enhance the room.
Finally, it is noticeable that the chair backs are marking the walls. To reduce this and also further add to the period feel it is intended to fit dado rail around the whole of the room. It is not intended to fit matchboard wainscotting as this would require removal and refitting of all the skirting board and altering the carpet edges. One suggestion has been to paper the lower section of the wall with Lyncrusta (a product similar to Anaglypta) and paint the area in dark brown the same as the skirting and dado rail. This has not been decided as yet, much depends on how the paintwork below the dado rail stands up to wear and tear. Other improvements will follow.
Mick Yarker. June 2007