2857 climbing Eardington Bank on the 2nd June 2016 with a demonstration freight , by Ian Murray
Welcome to your latest edition of
As we go to press the Railway is in the middle of its annual 1940s events, and everyone’s jitterbugging, digging for victory and soaking up the atmosphere.
The heat really should slow us down a bit, but there’s no danger of that as we report on two rather different racing events that had the SVR at their heart in June. ‘Steaming down the Valley’ pitted steam against muscle on Thursday evening, and Worcestershire’s finest had a flutter on the horses at Worcester earlier in the month, whilst raising funds for apprentice training at the SVR. Plus we have the usual round-up of news and happenings across the Railway, including the latest from the Bridgnorth development site, a profile-raising paint job at Eardington Halt, and an update on ‘helping hands for Falling Sands’.
Why not get in touch and tell us what’s happening in your part of the Railway – there are people out there who want to hear about it! Remember to send a photograph or two as well, and we’ll include your news in next month’s edition. We want Express Points to reflect the widest possible variety of news from around the SVR, and we need your help to do that. Please send your contribution for the August edition to email@example.com by Thursday 2nd August at the very latest.
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Simon Turner & Lesley Carr, Co-Editors
Picture by Ian Murray
SVR firemen race the train to save the locos
A new SVR event provided the ideal opportunity for a spot of SVR fundraising, as two of our firemen, in full ‘bib and brace’, took part in a run along the Severn Valley last Thursday evening, 28th June.
Andy Poole and Andy Stringer joined around 400 runners to race the train along a scenic but challenging 3.5 mile route. Andy Poole was raising funds towards the restoration of 4930 Hagley Hall, whilst Andy Stringer was doing the same for 82045. Wonder how they managed to secure those rather appropriate race numbers?
Bradley Manor provided the steam-driven competition for the runners, and was beaten by just 20 seconds by a single runner during the first race. However, in the second race, 7802 fought back and managed to snatch the first place honours, although only by 15 seconds.
Andy Stringer said this was his ideal event:
“It combined my two passions of running and firing steam locomotives - followed soon after by my third passion, for real ale! An excellent event, really well organised and great to bring so many new faces to our railway. The run itself was a challenge - and much harder in footplate overalls than I'd imagined. There's no doubt that Andy Poole and I will be back again next year!”
Events Coordinator Lewis Maddox added:
"Things were equally testing for Bradley Manor’s footplate crew. Without a speedometer on the engine, they found it challenging to maintain a more sedate speed than usual!
“Our first 'Steaming Down the Valley' event was organised in partnership with the Severn Valley Country Park and race timing specialists StuWeb, and was a fantastic team effort. The atmosphere was vibrant, albeit slightly sweaty!”
Photo credit: Bob Sweet
Profile boost for turntable
The dismantled turntable that will one day be installed at Bridgnorth has been stored at Eardington Halt for many years, but who knew? Over many years it had become almost invisible, covered in brambles. But it had not been forgotten.
Determined to raise the profile of the turntable, a group of volunteers recently put in some hard graft, clearing vegetation and applying a smart coat of paint to the turntable’s main deck. Paul Fathers, a trustee of the Turntable Fund, explains:
“The turntable, which originally came from Bristol, was purchased by the Turntable Fund in 1998, following an appeal and raffle. Like the project to install the Kidderminster Turntable, this scheme was also led by John Giles who thought it sensible that we should be able to turn locomotives at each end of the line.
“We moved it to Eardington Halt, which was at the time the only suitable storage space with road access, in the hope that installation would follow soon after. Some 20 years have passed and some smaller components have disappeared, but we are now in sight of realising our aim. Test bores have been carried out to assess the suitability of a site adjacent to the loco shed at Bridgnorth and if all goes to plan, groundworks may soon commence.
“Malcolm Broadhurst, Leonard Warrington and I, with the assistance of the Friends of Eardington Halt, cleared away the undergrowth and painted the main deck of the turntable. It can now be seen clearly from passing trains, which will hopefully encourage interest in the project which is financially supported by the Share Offer and the Charitable Trust.”
Fundraising for Falling Sands gathers pace
As we go to press, the SVR’s ‘helping hands for Falling Sands’ appeal has secured more than £161,000 of its £275,000 target. More than 1,500 supporters have already donated to add their name or a friend’s to the Railway’s first ever donation wall. Many people have chosen to add multiple names of family members, and a number of SVR-based preservation groups are signing up too.
Shelagh Paterson of the SVR Charitable Trust said:
“The roll call of supporting names gets higher and higher every day, and shows that there is widespread support for this appeal. We’ve been contacted by supporters from all over the world. The other day, a gentleman in Australia asked to add the names of each of his six grandchildren!
“If we can secure the target of £275,000 that was set for us by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we will strengthen our bid to them for a further £1million, to carry out the urgently needed repairs to Falling Sands Viaduct. We submit our final bid to HLF in October, and we hope to have the majority of the funding in place by then.”
To add a name to the Falling Sands donation wall, please visit www.svrtrust.org.uk
Photo credit: Matthew Wilson
The DMU is back!
The DMU will be making a return to service later this month following four months of maintenance. It takes its place at the head of the Evening Scenic Special service on Saturday 14th July, continuing through until September.
The DMU Group (West Midlands) would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers who have allowed the Scenic Specials to continue since April whilst the unit has been receiving some TLC.
Optional Fish & Chip suppers are available!
Reciprocal Travel update
Use of Long Service Passes at other railways
A recent misunderstanding occurred when an SVR long service pass holder and his wife attended a railway which is a member of our reciprocal travel scheme.
There was some confusion as to the situation with such passes, and reciprocal travel officer Phil Ralls would like to clarify the situation:
“When visiting other railways in the scheme, a SVR Long Service Pass entitles the pass holder only to free 3rd class travel. It does not cover the person accompanying them. I hope this will save any embarrassment in the future.”
Volk’s Electric Railway joins Reciprocal Travel Scheme
The SVR’s reciprocal travel officer Phil Ralls has announced that the Volk’s Electric Railway has joined the Reciprocal Travel Scheme. This is world’s oldest electric railway in operation, and runs along the seafront at Brighton.
When you visit, you’ll need to show your working member’s pass at the booking office, where staff will issue you with a ticket to travel.
There’s more information at http://volkselectricrailway.co.uk/
An SVR winner at the races
On a baking hot Monday the 11th June, Worcestershire’s finest gathered at Worcester Racecourse for the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust’s annual fundraising Race Day.
Many of the Trust’s corporate partners were represented, including Thursfields Solicitors, who were the main sponsors of the event. An auction and raffle helped boost the funds raised to an impressive total of £13,000. This money will help fund apprentice training in the SVR’s Heritage Skills Training Academy.
Photo credit: nigelkirbyphotography.com , and there are further photos at https://www.svrtrust.org.uk/index.php?page=Worcester%20Race%20Day%202018
Bewdley Buffet demolition
Bewdley’s assistant station master Dai Phillips has asked us to remind you that the buffet building will be demolished during 16th - 20th July. The rest of the station will be fully open, but for obvious reasons, the buffet will be closed.
Loco crews can place food orders with Kidderminster buffet (internal extension 535 or 01562 757525 ) during this period.
Terrace extension takes shape at Bridgnorth
Infrastructure manager Chris Bond has news of recent progress in the building works at Bridgnorth:
“The terrace extension work is proceeding, 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 might think!
“On the building itself, 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 and electrical installations. The floor tiles that will grace the toilets have now been delivered to site and will shortly be laid by the tilers.”
Class 66 visits SVR!
66763 with its short freight train waits at Highley for its path back to Kidderminster on the 2nd June 2018.
Reciprocal travel for our Working Members
Have you checked out the list of heritage railways that offer free or discounted travel to SVR working members?
Please visit http://www.svrlive.com/reciprocal-travel for full details.
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of John Hodson, who many will recall was a member of full time staff at Bridgnorth MPD. John started his working life as an apprentice at the Stafford Road Works of the Great Western Railway where he gained invaluable engineering skills and expertise, which accompanied him throughout his working life. This was not confined to railways but involved many facets of engineering, all of which he brought to the SVR, and which proved invaluable during his time with us from 1999 until 2011, when ill health forced retirement upon him. John's funeral took place at Bushbury Crematorium, West Chapel 27th June, and was followed by a celebration of his life at The Masonic Hall, Tettenhall Road. Our condolences go to John’s wife Judith and the family at this sad time. Thanks to John Robinson for his assistance in preparing the above. Barry Moreton, VLO
It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Bewdley Station volunteer Chris Roberts who passed away on Thursday 14th June following a long battle with cancer. Chris, was one of our regular Sunday volunteers who joined Bewdley in 2007 following his retirement from National Express West Midlands; he had worked for the organisation and its predecessors in various capacities over many years, from the shop floor to the board room. The funeral takes place on Tuesday 3rd July at 1pm at Worcester Crematorium, Tintern Avenue, Worcester, WR3 8HA. Chris’s family have asked for no flowers, but donations to St Richard’s Hospice who cared for Chris. Our thoughts are with Chris’s family at this very sad time. James Pearson, Bewdley station master
Working Member Benefits
We have some great offers available to Working Members, including Travel, Gym Membership, Specsavers Eye Tests, Pomodoro Restaurant, Style Hair Salon and Doddingtree Estate Agency.
Full details can be found on our Express Points Benefits Page.
Wood working machinery available
Hugh McQuade contacted Express Points from Kidderminster Carriage Works where they would like to find new homes for various items of wood work machinery that they no longer require. Hugh says:
“The items in question will be ‘free to a good home’ in any other SVR department or group on the Railway. If you’re interested in one or more items, please contact me or James Broughton on extension 527, Monday to Friday, and we can make arrangements to view.”
“Ferm” table saw, metal top and legs, 2’x3’ size table
“Performance” 10” table saw, plastic top 18”x24”. On wooden trolley with wheels
Planer thicknesser, “Kity” metal framed, bed width about 10”
Spindle moulder, “Kity 627” On metal table with wheels
Combined thicknesser and table saw, “Dodd” Heavy cast iron planer bed 6” wide. Saw table 12”x18”.
Router table, ”Pro” 18”x24” with attachments.
Vacancies at the Railway
There are usually a number of vacancies for paid staff at the SVR and you can find full details at http://www.svr.co.uk/Employment.aspx Please let friends and family know about these opportunities.
Dedicated Newsletter for SVR Supporters - Branch Lines
A monthly newsletter dedicated to SVR Supporters has been created, this will allow Express Points to be directed solely to our Working Members, content will be appropriate and different to that of Branch Lines.
CLICK HERE for the latest edition of Branch Lines.
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Any opinions or views expressed in this newsletter are entirely the opinions of the contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Directors of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC. which owns the Severn Valley Railway, Severn Valley Railway Company Limited, the members of which are responsible for its operation, or the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.