Northwood Halt Building
You may well wonder what a GWR Pagoda Shelter has to do with Kidderminster - the answer is that we have the technology to build one. Back in 2002 I was a member of the Severn Valley Heritage Building Committee - a group of people on a committee set up by the SVR and answerable to it. The intention was to safeguard the existing historic structures and to ensure that any additions or alterations would go through an approval / amendment sequence in order to retain an authentic ambience throughout the railway.
A suggestion from Ian Baxter, the Assistant Station Master at Bewdley was to look at acquiring a GWR Pagoda for Northwood Halt in order to replace the life expired and inappropriate wooden shed in use at the time. This met with broad approval and it was decided to proceed with the idea.
It proved difficult to track down and acquire an original, so we decided that we should get a replica built. We didn't have a company budget so if we wanted it to happen we needed to generate our own finance.
After being asked to progress it, I came up with the idea of getting it sponsored and so the question was how and from where?
When walking down the Dock Platform at Kidderminster I remembered an enamel plate on our lamp hut from Henley Built by Joseph Ash Ltd". Having previously contacted them to help with sponsorship on its restoration from the Friends, I thought why not try on something larger.
During the panic that forms my working day I found time to call them and ask for their Sales Director. When I explained their company history and that they provided corrugated iron buildings a hundred years ago for the GWR, they were very surprised. At hearing that we intended to build a replica, and for our request for help they immediately set up a meeting with me to discuss the project.
After a visit to Kidderminster by their representative they duly called me back and confirmed their desire to help. The original idea was that we would build the whole thing and they would pay the bill. Time lapsed, largely as a result of Kidderminster station admin. problems which caused a lack of enthusiasm on my part.
During the intervening 12 months various members of staff had moved on from Joseph Ash and so the trail had gone cold. Eventually I managed to resurrect the scheme but with reduced funding and work began at Kidderminster to produce the building from Mick Yarker's specially drawn details. With assistance from the Bewdley Station staff who were set the task of painting the components the building began to take shape. The Friends working party comprising most of the regular team soon set about cutting, drilling and assembling the skeleton framework and before long the cladding on the outside. In view of the number of buildings which we have either replicated or refurbished we found it all straightforward with the exception of getting our minds around the geometry of the roof. We are now almost finished and wait for the delivery of the roof sheets and finishing details. Hopefully by the time you read this the building will be ready for despatch to Northwood for final assembly.
Dave Redfern. October 2005