Station Master's Notes
by Keith Redfern
I don't know where the last 16 months have gone since I moved into the "corner office". There seems to be a never ending stream of projects that are in the process of completion. Many of these are of course part of the Kidderminster "missing pieces" i.e. the overall roof and the new wing to include the buffet. These projects undertaken by George Law & Co. are progressing well and are on schedule. The excellent steelwork supplied by Steelway of Wolverhampton and the Patent Glazing from Architectural Products are very nearly complete as is the brickwork by Sam and his merry men from George Law, this again is to a very high standard.
The concourse slabbing (2ft x 3ft) is just over half complete and the co–operation between the builders and ourselves has resulted in replacement of steel manholes and other odd covers with cast iron and where possible G.W.R ones. Equal tidy gaps filled with grano around these items and the platform scales, (ex Oakhampton), complete a very pleasing look. The obvious add–on for us is the refubishment of the V boards. Jane, Steve and Bob have worked hard on these to obtain a really nice finish, the next job with these heavyweight items is to re-hang them above the doors.
Mark, Steve and Bob, with a little input from yours truly, have been busily replacing the quarry tiles on the floor in the ladies room. The complete re–decoration of the entrance lobby and the main area is well in hand. The entrance lobby is to receive three or four framed pictures which are enlarged G.W.R carriage prints mounted into excellent frame mouldings made by Mike Walker (not quite an "arm and a leg" job but almost, however they are specially made of hardwood and really look the part). There are lots of jobs to be done in the summer (I think that's the term for the mid–year rainy season). The Severn Valley Line board on the forecourt is in a poor state of repair. I have started to strip this to give it another year's life as time will not permit its replacement this year; however it must be done soon.
Martin, one of our friends from down the yard, is to build a brick compound which will match the buffet brickwork so the rubbish bins can be hidden from public view and also lessen fire risk as there are several wooden buildings on the site. The new catering kitchen is now built on the site of the old porter's room and there are plans in the very near future to install the foundations and block work for the new platform adjacent to the kitchen.
We appeal for help in re–painting all of the dock platform buildings, the main station doors and windows prior to the Royal visit in October, to celebrate the completion of the main area of our terminus.
The completed Northwood pagoda was recently moved to its new home from Kidderminster by a combination of road and rail transport. There are also a couple of other major items elsewhere on the Kidderminster station site that the S.V.R has recently completed. These are the carriage washing plant, now in full use (electrics courtesy of Mark), and the second stage of the car park which is now complete down to the crossing opposite the signal box. So there you have it, major alterations to the railway's Gateway, which you must come and see. I think Bridgnorth must be next in line for some major work, Highley Engine House excepted.