Bridgnorth development works

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November 30th 2018


I am really pleased to inform staff and shareholders that the SVR is very close to taking possession of the Refreshment Room and Toilet Building at Bridgnorth from the Contractor.
Iris Construction have been working through a small snagging list before they hand the keys to the SVR. Next week will see the removal from site of all contractors’ cabins and remaining materials.
The finished building is a fine recreation of a 1910 station building extension with the highest attention paid to to detail and finish throughout the building and it is a credit to all concerned. In conjunction with the car park improvements, it is expected to transform the visitor experience at Bridgnorth.
Once we are able to freely access the building, the priority will be to open the toilets up to the public as soon as possible to replace the existing facilities. There will then follow a period of setting up the interior with items such as tables, chairs, curtains, fire irons and other essential items in order to make ready for public use. The kitchen staff will also require training on the new equipment and plant.
The intention is to fully open the Refreshment Rooms for the February 2019 half term week but it is anticipated that there will be a “soft” opening before then in order to shakedown the equipment and ensure it smooth operation when launched.
We will be organising a grand opening with invited guests and shareholders as detailed in the 2016 Share Offer document. Further details will be made available in the New Year.
Whilst we prepare to open the building it is our intention to give access to Working members for previews. Further details of access arrangements will be announced in the New Year.

Nick Ralls General Manager

September 25th 2018

Phase I - Refreshment Room and Toilets

The construction of the new Refreshment Room and toilet facility is now coming to a close and will provide a classic example of Great Western style architecture at the turn of the twentieth century.  The design and quality reflect the hundreds of hours that David Postle and Bob Marrows have put in to this phase of the project for which the Board wish to record it’s thanks.  The final project costs for Phase I are subject to negotiations with the main Contractor, Iris.  Jonathan Symonds acting in his capacity as Contract Administrator has the responsibility under the contract for reaching an amicable and fair settlement between the Company and the Contractor and this process is currently underway with the Sub Committee of the Board providing advice and support to Jonathan. There are patently lessons to be learnt from this Phase of the Development Project, with lessons learnt that can be applied to future phases.  To this end Neil Dancer, Civils Advisor to the Board, has kindly agreed to produce a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations. Neil will be looking into the reasons for both the delays to project completion and also the potential increased costs of this current phase and how these circumstances can be mitigated/avoided in future phases.

Phase IIa - Car Park and Access Roads, Phase II b Turntable

Construction of Phase IIa is, as reported, underway, with Chris Bond as Client Project Manager and Alan Davies as the Holdings Board representative. Chris Bond and Alan Davies are also responsible for Phase IIb, the construction of the Turntable pit. The pit location has been revised and is currently subject to a new planning application, costs are also being assessed for remodeling the loco yard at Bridgnorth to accommodate direct access to the turntable and provide space for Platform 2 extension. The renovation of the turntable will be undertaken in conjunction with the owners, the Turntable Fund. A contract for the turntable pit has not been awarded because of the current planning issue and unknown costs.

Phase III - the Conservation and renovation of the Station Building, and extension to Railwayman’s Arms

This phase is being considered by the Board, and a new SVR team is being assembled to undertake this project.  Alan Davies, Holdings Board Director is considering the roles and requirements of a team so please expect a future announcement of who will be on this team and their role.  Whilst the Station conservation project is vitally important the Board has agreed that it will not commence until they have a complete understanding of the plan, specification of the conservation works to the building, confidence in the cost certainty for the project, logistics for the works required to the Railwayman’s Arms and its possible temporary relocation.  The assessment of the currently incomplete plans and specification for Phase III will inevitably take a period of time to reconcile. During this period the Company will be seeking help from the Charitable Trust as there may be opportunities to apply to relevant Charitable bodies for funding towards this phase of the project.  To temper expectations, Phase III will not begin before Winter 2019/20 which will give the Project team the time to develop the plans, the Charitable Trust the opportunity to apply for funding and Bridgnorth Station a period of time during which it can be returned to a tranquil country town station. Working Members, particularly at Bridgnorth have had to endure continual disruption since the beginning of this contract, Directors would like to thank them for their patience and understanding. Please expect more information on Phase III in the coming months.

Nick Ralls General Manager 

August 26th 2018

The site has been very busy in the last few weeks with a big push on towards completion. A large quantity of tiles has been laid to both walls and floors are really transforming the internal appearance of the building but have not been without challenges for the tilers who have worked hard to achieve a the best finish possible. The kitchen has now had the rather large stainless steel extraction canopy fitted with all the plumbing and electrics provided for the yet to be fitted catering equipment. The Bovey Tracey building is substantially complete with just windows and doors to be fitted.

Externally, the GWR speartop railings have been fitted to the terrace area and look superb. Elsewhere the joiners are busy manufacturing the internal joinery for the servery counter, back shelving and bench seating. The servery counter will be topped with Carrara Marble  similar to the King and Castle and this is now on order from the same company.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

July 29th 2018

Current progress continues with both internal and external elements of the building. A great deal of tiling has been applied in both the Gents toilets and the Kitchen areas which has made a great deal of difference to the appearance inside. The installation of the extraction canopy within the kitchen is imminent with a great deal of liaison with the catering supplier taking place to ensure all the new equipment is provided with power, water and drainage. The toilets are coming along nicely with the cubicle door frames being fitted and the Gents urinal trough now fitted. Externally, the majority of the windows have been painted with the external door frames going in nicely. The “Bovey Tracey” building that sits in the rear service yard has received its corrugated cladding and is being fitted out internally now the floor screed is in place. The terrace extension formwork has been completed and the concrete cast and once cured has allowed the start of laying the brick cladding to match in with the rest of the building. Delivery of the speartop fence panels skilfully repaired at Kidderminster by Mick Yarker has taken place so that they are to hand when the contractor moves onto completion of this area.

Elsewhere off site, a quantity of GWR chairs have been restored and reupholstered ready for the refreshment room and with their GWR “shell” moquette look very smart. Arts and Crafts style tables are under construction to go with these chairs to provide an authentic heritage feel. Patterns have been made for the production of cast iron table and bench ends based on a GWR design used at Stafford Road works in Wolverhampton. The project is definitely experiencing a flurry of activity as we head towards completion of what will be a stunning building.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

June 21st 2018

This update brings news of progress during June, as we enjoy a pleasant summer. There is work proceeding on the terrace extension with all the necessary formwork being prepared for the casting of the concrete slab. In order to lighten the load on the embankment, a large volume of the area to be concreted is being filled with very large polystyrene blocks which are much harder to cut to shape than you think. On the building, the cast iron downpipes are being fitted and the door thresholds cast. At the rear of the building, the Bovey Tracey building has had the frame work erected and is now covered in breathable felt ready for the external cladding to be applied. Internally, a good deal of finish plaster has been placed on the walls and work continues on the mechanical & electrical installations. The floor tiles that will grace the toilets have now been delivered to site and will shortly be laid by the tilers.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

May 25th 2018

In late April the scaffolding was largely removed from the exterior of the building that has revealed a foretaste of what the completed building will look like. The contrast with the painted windows and brickwork is very attractive and all look forward to being able to see the final product with all fencing and builders materials cleared.

Since the last update, the new upgraded incoming power supply has been connected and commissioned with the station’s original supply made redundant. There has been a lot of progress internally with the installation of the pipework and manifold for the underfloor heating system. The floor screed has been poured and has made walking through the building much easier. Teme Valley Electrical are now busy installing all the first fix cabling with Iris following up behind with ceiling installation. A lot of the initial plastering has been done that provides a key for the finishing plaster. Outside in the rear service yard area, the outline of what is known as the “Bovey Tracey” building is taking shape. This outbuilding is based on a goods lock up that used to adorn Bovey Tracey station on the Moretonhampstead branch in Devon. At Bridgnorth, our version will serve as a plant room housing the heating boiler and food preparation area for the volunteer SVR Venturer catering staff.

One hidden area of this project is the IT/Telecoms requirements for the new building which has required a large amount planning by our volunteers Steve Bradbury, John Smith and Bob Lawson. The changes taking place on site have precipitated the need to re-site the IT equipment and its associated BT line plant. This process is ongoing and quite complex but is in very capable hands and at a fraction of the cost had the SVR employed an outside contractor.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

April 25th 2018

Since the last update the building has at last got a roof! The Penrhyn slates were duly delivered and work started to give the building its permanent roof and it is amazing to see the transformation to its appearance. All that remains is the application of the ridge tiles and guttering and the scaffolding is ready to come down. All of the team are looking forward to this as the building is “unwrapped” to show its true lines. Elsewhere on site, the piles for the terrace extension have been sunk that will support this useful addition in space to the terrace area. Internally all of the pipework for the floor drains and grease traps has been installed as will be the underfloor heating pipes. The floor screed will then be laid. The mechanical/electrical first fix is also due to start w/c 30th April which will be a major milestone towards eventual completion. Whilst all of the work on site has been going on, items are still being obtained with the latest being a period fireplace fender that will be used in the refreshment room. A fair amount of the lighting and other period fittings have been amassed via the auction site Ebay by the buildings’ designer Bob Marrows who has diligently trawled through the myriad of items on offer to winkle out the best available for our project.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

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March 21st 2018

The work on site has unfortunately been set back by the recent return of very cold weather which has delayed again the installation of the zinc roof. This in turn has further delayed the slate roof as this has to follow the zinc roof due to the overlapping arrangement where the two meet. The good news is that the long awaited Penrhyn slates have arrived at the building merchants and can be delivered very quickly to site when required. All of the sarking felt and battens have been fitted in readiness for the pitch roof which is now expected to commence on the 2nd of April. Facias have also been fitted to both east and west elevations and indeed some of the cast iron guttering is being mounted in place. The bespoke hopper heads for the zinc roof are now installed to allow the formation of the rainwater run offs into these.

Internally, the drainage points required for the kitchen floor have been fitted in preparation for the screeding that will be started shortly. The walkway boards in the loft space have been laid which will allow the ceilings to be started. The extension to the terrace which allows the doubling of the area available to external seating has also commenced. A series of small pile are being driven in the small segment of land that became available when the site was cleared and graded. This area had not previously been identified as being usable but some clever design work has allowed this to be utilised.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

March 2nd 2018

For the latest update, I can report that the chimneys are now completed and really look the part. The installation of the windows and doors has now commenced and it is readily apparent that this will put some soul into the building if you look at the pictures. The large amount of cast iron guttering required for the building was supplied in natural finish but this has been painted up in a specially installed heated container and is ready for fitting. The flat roof is now just waiting for the weather to improve as the zinc covering requires a rising temperature above 7.5 degrees C to shape around the formers without tearing. The subcontractors are forming as much off site as possible in heated workshops to speed up the installation. The roofing slates are due for delivery on 8th March with the main pitch roof work starting on the 12th.  We are now nearing a time where the scaffolding will be dismantled to reveal the true character of the building and early indications are that it will be magnificent.

In the services room located in the adjacent listed building, all the underground ducts are now in along with various cables. The exterior approach has been 75% reinstated and the only remaining task of installing a concrete floor and internal block wall which will be carried out by volunteers on the station.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

February 16th 2018

If you click on the link to the Bridgnorth Station blog you will see the chimneys have their heavy stone caps and pots in position.

February 8th 2018

The current work in progress on site has been concentrating on the rear flat roofs with the completion of the parapet walls that surround the flat roof areas. The brickwork for the buffet chimney is now complete and all chimneys await a visit from Stourport Crane Hire to place the heavy stone caps and pots into position. Inside the building preparation work has been taking place in readiness to the laying of the floor insulation and screeding. Elsewhere, the main power cable has been installed and awaits final connection along with the imminent laying of a new BT cable that will allow the removal of the unsightly overhead arrangements that exist at present.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

January 18th 2018

It has been a while since the last update due to the start of winter projects up and down the line but this is the lastest from Bridgnorth. The severe snowfalls experienced before Christmas as you might expect has caused the best part of a week to be lost on site. The planned temporary covering over the roof was not effected and unfortunately this has lead to the roof trusses being exposed longer than we would have liked to the weather. The temporary roof covering will shortly be installed and allow the drying out to begin. The rear flat roof of the toilets and buffet are now in a position to accept the specialist contractors to apply the zinc covering. The buffet chimney stack is also nearing completion to cap level in readiness for all the stone chimney caps and pots to be lifted into position with a crane. Inside, all of the gaps left in the interior walls for ease of movement within the building have been closed up. The new power cable was due to be installed but has had to be postponed due to the owner of vehicle parked above the connection point disappearing on holiday! In this updates collections of images, take a look at the superb GWR style wall light bracket fabricated from scratch by Mick Yarker at Kidderminster. There are three of these to be mounted on the building with appropriate style lamps and are an example of the sort of detail design being applied to the building and the craftsmanship of one of our longstanding volunteers.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

December 12th and 19th 2017

Snow! Sue Thomas has added images

November 28th 2017

Works continues to progress the roof towards a watertight building which will allow the internal trades to commence. All roof trusses are now in place along with the supporting steel/wood construction for the refreshment room flat roof. The sub-contractors who will be undertaking this have met with our designer Bob Marrows to make sure they have a complete understanding of our requirements as we will be using a material in the roof construction they have not yet encountered. This is a product known as “foamglas” blocks which are literally foamed silica glass and have a high insulation value. Elsewhere the gable ends have been completed and the on site building joiner is constructing all the other timber structures required.

Donations continue to build up in the SVR Charitable Trust's ring-fenced fund in support of the Bridgnorth Development project. More on the link.

Images added from C Bond and S Thomas. 

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

November 13th 2017

Sue Thomas has added a further seven images of works.

 

November 7th 2017

Since the last update we have received the fantastic news that the share offer has reached its target of £2.5m. Clearly the project has caught the imagination of a lot of people who have been willing to support the SVR through the purchase of shares. This is the result of a lot of hard work by the share offers’ marketing team and other SVR staff in the last month or so of the campaign and stands as a major achievement in the heritage movement.

On site we have seen good progress with around 2/3rds of the roof trusses installed. As the pictures show there will be a good sized walkway through the roof void for installation and access of services etc. All but one of the chimney stacks have been built copying closely the GWR pattern of bonding and now await the heavy cap stones to be craned on. The 4th chimney (the only working flue) that will be the focus of the refreshment room has had the final design work completed as some of the original specified components are discontinued. This will be started shortly.

Several steel joists that will support the rear flat roof have been inserted ready for the rest of the roof construction to follow. This roof will be finished off with a zinc roof installed by a specialist company. An unfortunate consequence of unprecedented demand, the delivery of the  Welsh slates will be the delayed until March 2018. A temporary covering to weatherproof the building will be installed until the slates arrive but this won’t stop the building being used once functionally complete.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

November 3rd 2017

The Project Team will be meeting shortly to discuss the way forward once the full financial position is known, but there is no doubt that the £2.5M raised by the Share Offer will enable us to do most if not all of the work which we aimed to do in the first two phases of the Bridgnorth Project. 
As far as the progress on the buildings goes, the new building is now up to eaves/roof height. The roof trusses have been delivered on site and will be erected shortly. There has been a small snag in the roof finishing in that the quarry at Penrhyn is unable to supply the slates we specified until 1st March next year due to an unprecedented local demand. So we shall complete the roof structure ready to take the slates and then cover it with a temporary covering to enable the work inside to be completed. At the moment, completion of the building is scheduled for the middle to end of January. 

At this point it is proposed to move the Railwayman's Arms into the new building temporarily whilst the existing premises are refurbished and expanded but without losing the intrinsic character. There will also be improvements made to the cellar access. Once these works are complete, the pub will move back into its original home, and the finishing touches to the new building will be completed, including equipping the kitchen, so that the long-awaited refreshment room can be opened for business. 
In anticipation of this, we have now turned our attentions to the listed station building and are drawing up specifications for the repair work and new work needed to implement our plans. It is hoped that these will be prepared, costed and approved by the Holdings Board in time for the contractors to continue their work on site by moving from the new build to the listed building without a break in their operations. 
Regular meetings are still being held with the contractors to ensure that the new building is constructed to the highest of standards appropriate to the Bridgnorth site. Although this can occasionally lead to small delays, it is the view of the Project Team that it is better to get it right rather than get it wrong and live with the consequences for years to come, just for the sake of a few weeks at this stage. Off site, the doors and windows are currently being constructed and they will be delivered and installed in the next few weeks. 
The continuing progress of the building works and the success of the share offer will enable us to maintain the momentum in the implementation of the Bridgnorth Project plans. It is important to maintain this momentum so that those people who have kindly bought shares in this Project can see that their money is being put to good use and quickly. 2018 should be an exciting year in the history of Bridgnorth station! 

David Postle Bridgnorth Project Team 

October 27th 2017

Good progress since the last update. All the corbelling has been completed and the timber for the wall plates that the roof trusses will rest on is being installed. One of the trusses has been successfully trial fitted and should allow for a reasonably sized maintenance walkway in the loft space. A dividing block wall in the pitch roof is now built so the roof truss erection is not far away now. The chimneys that will provide ventilation exhaust for the toilets and staff mess room have been started and rising upwards. Fresh in today was a sample window frame for the joinery company for evaluation. It has been manufactured from Idigbo which is a cost effective hardwood that has its qualities but at a lower price and looks stunning. Once passed fit for purpose the full scale manufacture of all the window units will commence.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

October 16th 2017

After some problems with a delivery of aggregate that caused the mortar to be several shades lighter than required, I am glad to say things are now back on course. The errant aggregate has been replaced by the suppliers and is now back to the correct colour. All of the window and door arches have been completed and work is now progressing onto the corbelling. The different steps in the corbelling have to be done very carefully as the “oversail” of the bricks can cause problems with the unsupported portion squeezing the mortar in an irregular way. The early results look good and as the picture shows, Jason the chief bricklayer is taking great pride in his work.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

October 9th 2017

The second scaffold lift has now been installed to two elevations so is now level with the height of the eaves. This will allow the corbelling courses to be laid that will step the walls out as per the sketch shown and provide a “ledge” to mount the rainwater goods on. Our designer, Bob Marrows, has met with the contractors to map out the external details of how the area at the top of the Donkey Gallop will look on completion. Plans are for a number of new lighting columns to be installed along the path to illuminate the steps along with a spear top gate at the top. This will reinstate an original feature that is shown on a GWR plan of the site with gates at the top and bottom. When the originals were removed is unknown but it will be nice to put this feature back.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

Development Archive to September 29th 2017

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