We’re celebrating after winning a £853,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. We will use the grant, along with other funds raised, to restore Falling Sands Viaduct in Kidderminster, and to launch an exciting programme of community engagement and exhibitions that will explore the Railway’s early history.
News of The
National Lottery Heritage Fund grant comes very soon after we announced we’d
raised £397,000 in donations from thousands of individuals, community
organisations, charitable trusts and foundations, and businesses. It means the
Railway can now go ahead with essential repairs to the 142-year-old viaduct, as
our director Shelagh Paterson explains:
structure has suffered badly over the years, with water seeping deep inside,
causing cracks and erosion to the brickwork. Now, thanks to the support of
National Lottery players, and our many generous donors, we can get it back into
shape. When the work is completed, we’ll be able to lift the current speed
restriction on our heritage trains, and look forward to at least another
century of service from the viaduct. Restoring Falling Sands Viaduct will help
safeguard the SVR’s future.”
As well as
ensuring the long-term viability of the viaduct itself, the project will engage
a wider audience for the Railway, encouraging an appreciation and understanding
of local heritage and the fascinating world of structural engineering, as
volunteer Chris Haynes explains:
involved in a small team researching the history of the line for the Falling
Sands project, and we’ve uncovered all sorts of interesting information. We
discovered that some of the foremost railway engineers of the day were involved
in the design of the loop line from Bewdley to Kidderminster, including Falling
line’s construction took so long to complete that many of the key people had
died before it opened. We’ll be bringing all these stories to life so that our
visitors get a real sense of what life was like for the Victorians who built
the line, and for those who used it in the following decades.”
head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund West Midlands said:
delighted to support Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust to preserve Falling
Sands Viaduct and to celebrate its heritage. Thanks to National Lottery
players, people in the West Midlands will explore an important part of their
Viaduct stands half a mile from Kidderminster station, and is located close to
the recently built Hoobrook Link Road and the Silverwoods residential and
business development. Its impressive seven arches allow heritage trains to
cross 64 feet above the river Stour and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire
canal conservation area. More than two thirds of our annual 250,000 annual
visitors begin their journey in Kidderminster, and the viaduct is an essential
link between the town and the rest of the 16-mile line. Repair work will
commence early next January, and will be fully completed by the autumn.
Lottery Heritage Fund awarded us a development grant of £71,800 in 2017 for the
Falling Sands project. The latest award takes the total amount of its funding
Here’s 9581 being turned round
before being sent back to Bewdley to continue its restoration. The
turnaround took place so that the LNER Coach Group can get access to the
‘other’ side to fit new body framework on the second side, having already
completed the first. It was simpler to turn the coach rather than
dismantle their working platform for repositioning. Much more fun too!
This project to create a wheelchair-accessible buffet car for the GW2 set is
being funded by the SVR Charitable Trust, and needs your help. Please
donate at http://www.lnersvrcoachfund.org.uk/gwr9581-5043.html
Thanks to Peter
Broxholme for sending us this video.
Magazine is running a series of features about the SVR’s apprentices and its
February edition features George Brogan. George is in the final year of his
apprenticeship and is based at Kidderminster carriage & wagon. In the
article, he describes his involvement with the ambitious project to restore and
convert the Charitable Trust-owned British Railways Mark 1 carriage 80776 into
the Railway’s first ever dining car, able to accommodate wheelchair users.
The response to our ‘helping hands for #FallingSands’ donation wall has been phenomenal! The demand was so strong that we extended the sign up opportunity until 14th February. We don’t want to rush the next important stage of checking the thousands and thousands of names, and working with designers to create the wall, so please bear with us. Watch this space for more news about an opening date later this year.
Ryan Parsons of
the boiler shop at Bridgnorth becomes the latest SVR ambassador to feature in
January’s edition of The Railway Magazine. He talks about his work on BR
Riddles 4MT 75069, and explains why the loco holds a special place in his
heart. As a recent graduate of our pioneering Heritage Skills Training Academy,
and appointed to the role of improver boiler smith, Ryan is another strong
example of the SVR’s determination to bring new blood into heritage
receives the majority of its funding from the SVR Charitable Trust, including
sponsorship from Mortons, the publishers of The Railway Magazine. Would you
consider making a regular donation to fund our future heritage engineers?
The Railway Magazine is available at all good newsagents, or subscribe at The Railway Magazine
One of the
important jobs we undertake at the Charitable Trust is putting in applications
on behalf of the Railway to various grant-making bodies. And we’re delighted to
announce a further successful bid. The Ernest Cook Trust have awarded us a
substantial contribution towards the Heritage Skills Training Academy, the
SVR’s pioneering scheme to train apprentice heritage engineers. In this way,
we’re future-proofing the skills we need to restore and maintain our rolling
stock. Will you donate to apprentice training at the SVR?
to report good progress on the restoration of the SVR’s flagship locomotive
both in-house at Bridgnorth, and at Northern Steam Engineering in Stockton.
paid staff at Bridgnorth have been busy cleaning, examining, painting and
refitting various parts. On the loco’s mainframe, they’ve refitted the spring
hangers with new pins, and replaced and repainted numerous rivets. After
cleaning and examination, the bogie frame is now freshly repainted, and looking
very shiny! Meanwhile on the tender frame, they’ve refitted all the hornblocks,
replaced time-expired rivets, and refitted the trailing spring hangers.
Northern Steam, work has started on reassembling the boiler, and new plate work
is being prepared for welding. Some cracking has been identified in some of the
remaining original plate work, and this is being investigated to determine the
The SVR Charitable Trust was awarded £95,000 from the @heritagelotteryfund towards the restoration of Hagley Hall. We still need to raise more funds to get this important engine back into steam and you can donate now to add your support.
Photos by Martin White and Bob Sweet