13th July, 2018 by East Somerset Railway in The Railway
If you have visited the ESR recently you cannot have failed to notice that our Heritage Lottery Funded project is progressing well and the construction of the new platform has advanced rapidly. It is timely therefore to give you an update and explain what the next steps are.
Trotmans our contractors have finished the first part of the job which includes building approximately 40 metres of platform wall and the foundations for the reinstated waiting room which will eventually become a "discovery centre” to explain the heritage of our railway. We have now placed a contract for the timber framed building which is intended to closely match the original building and expect this to be erected in late August. Following that we will create a temporary gravel path from the signal box to the new building and commence fitting out the building with heritage displays. The main platform will not be available for boarding trains, and we do not anticipate public access will be available until later in the year when we will improve the pedestrian crossing at the signal box and fully open the new discovery centre.
The platform is intended to be lengthened and given a tarmac surface, fencing, lights etc in 2019 if we can raise further monies via the Lottery.
We are also starting on the heritage interpretation aspect of the project - with plans to train people in Oral History collation. To this end, Lisa Pool, joined us in May as a volunteer Education Officer and she is leading this aspect of the project. In preparation for phase 2 of the project you will also eventually see some changes to the existing museum which we hope to refurbish and upgrade in 2019. The project team expect to present some ideas to the trustees in the Autumn on how best to upgrade the experience in the museum for our customers.
On Friday 27th July we will be holding a Talking Teashop at the station. A free coffee or tea is offered to anyone who would like to come along and contribute, either by offering to be interviewed or by bringing any photos, documents, timetables, ephemera or personal records they would be happy for us to use in the museum development (all donations to be credited). Come along between 11am-3pm.
There were only 18 years between the end of WW2 & Dr Beeching’s axe falling. It is really important to us to record these railway memories and stories before they too are lost to time. Any contributions you have are extremely valuable and very much appreciated.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Heritage Lottery Funded project are very welcome and please do get in touch!