Abbey Foregate Project

 

Visitors on the Sunday to the Centre view the displays.

The Abbey Station Visitor Centre was opened for the Public for the first time on the weekend of  8th and 9th September 2012 and was well supported with a large number of visitors who appeared very interested, asking varied questions  on what we are hoping to achieve with the site in the future.

To coincide with the visit of two steam hauled charter trains to Shrewsbury on the afternoon of Saturday November 24th 2012, behind 70000 “Britannia” and 60163 “Tornado”, the Trust was delighted to open the Abbey Station for inspection on both the Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th between 10.00 and 16.00. Entrance was free and donations were welcome.

There were  displays on the history of the Potts line and items and artifacts on the General Shrewsbury Railway Scene and its history, including two vintage typewriters used in the BR Civil Engineers Office at Shrewsbury.

 

This second Open weekend was very succesful, especially on the Saturday when we had a number of visitors who braved the very heavy rainfall to walk from the main station. They had arrived on the two steam hauled charter trains, with visitors from as far afield as Eastleigh to spread the word that we are nearly fully open for business. Our temporary display received a lot of positive comments.

NEWS UPDATE

We will now be opening every third weekend of the month throughout the summer to coincide with the Open days at the nearby Coleham Pumping Station. Our first open weekend of 2013 will be on the 18th and 19th May open between 10.00am and 4.30pm.

The public view a small display but see how much space there is in the building. Note the original ticket window in the background.

 

Local people work out where their local halt would have been when the Potts was open! The railings on the right, Donated by Network Rail will soon be our entrance gate.

Our Chairman Mansel Williams mans the Sales stand.

Please Visit the Gallery section of the site to see the latest sets of pictures concerning the work being carried out at the Station.

January 2011:

Work has commenced ( At last !!!) ,  on clearing the site and starting the planned restoration work on the Abbey Station building. Below are some photographs taken by Dave Giddins  to confirm that it has actually happened.

Above are the latest elevations upon which the tender was accepted.

Clicking on the drawings will enlarge them for you

 

July 13th; Terence Turpin has reported to the Board of Directors that tender specifications have now been sent out  to interested contractors and these should be returned  by August.

May 18th 2010

Some of the Trust members visited the site after the clean up to inspect the building. It has been agreed that a detailed photographic  record will be kept of  the project’s progress.

Click below to view photographs taken on May 18th  after the council went in to clear and clean up the site, prior to going out to tender.

May 18th Photographs

Compare these pictures with those taken on:1st July 2009.

What are we hoping to Achieve with this project?

Abbey Foregate Station was the terminus for the Shropshire and   Montgomeryshire Railway in Shrewsbury. It had a very eventful history, as did the railway itself, with a number of closures and re-openings.

The very individual building at Abbey Foregate Station. The passenger platform slopes upwards behind the photographer.

In 1960 the station closed for the last time as the War Department ceased operations along the old S&M line. For many years, after this, it was used as premises for local trades people, including some time as a  coal merchants.

Eventually it was closed down completely. the building  boarded up and left to the elements, at the bottom end of what was now a large municipal car park.

Passenger platform showing strange slope and layout in the 1980’s

Platform as it is today, part of Abbey Car Park.

In 2003  the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust ( SRHT ) was formed and part of its brief has been to explore ways in which the Abbey Station could be saved, in some form, as it was considered to be a significant part of Shrewsbury’s railway heritage.

The SRHT   held talks with   Shrewsbury and Atcham Council  and  secured a 25 year lease on the building. This was followed by a successful application to the Council to provide funding for the sites development into  a heritage site.

The work on the site has been delayed for a number of years, for a variety of reasons. The formation of the new Shropshire Council, in 2009, has given the project new impetus. The original funding from the old Shrewsbury and Atcham Council has been protected and the trust is now working with the new Council to move the project forward.

A number of meetings have been held with Council Officers and the Committee and a plan has been agreed to take forward for detailed costing and implementation.

The SRHT has appointed one of its Directors,  Mr. Terence Turpin, to oversee the project on the Trust’s behalf.

Click on link below to view photographs of Building and surrounding area in July 2009:

Old Station Site

Terence has drawn up some provisional sketches which will form the basis for the plans to  develop the station area. The main emphasis of the project will be to maintain as much of the old building as is practical and safe, while providing an area that can be used by the SRHT  for exhibitions and space for interpretation activities on a temporary and permanent basis.

This is seen as the first stage in a longer term project to  develop on site  a secure  Heritage Centre with permanent displays and  rooms for storage of artefacts and a base for meetings and talks etc. This will obviously need a considerable amount of extra funding, but the Trust is anxious that as much work as possible is done now to preserve what is left of the old structure.

The initial sketches are shown below, alongside  photographs of how the building looks at the present time.

Click on images to enlarge.

Front of Station as it is now.

Proposed Front of Abbey Station, retaining mural.

Proposed rear of station.

Present state at the rear of the Station building.

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