The services room, created by combining the former disabled access toilet and the adjacent staff shower, is being fitted out by our skilled volunteers in the IT/Telecoms Dept.
The transfer of power supply on Wednesday went smoothly in a Western Power outage carefully planned and managed by the electrical contractor and our own stationmaster who happens to be a chartered engineer. The loss of power, originally intended to be from 10am to 2pm, in fact was started at 6am and completed within 2.5 hours, thus totally avoiding any disruption to our commercial service on the day. A great job!
Pictures taken carefully show how the electrical and comms supplies are being installed, and hint at plastering being planned.
And there’s a hint of the internal architecture
It’s easier to show than describe, so here are the pictures to speak a thousand words.
Views from the town footbridge.
Views from the car park side of the current bar, showing the toilet areas.
Views towards the service yard.
The passageway between the main building and the new build.
Looking south along the platform.
Looking toward the south aspect, with the door onto the terrace.
In recent days we’ve been getting a better impression of how the south end of our station will look when the new build is complete.
The scaffolding removal from most of the structure has unwrapped the view and better shown the handsome brickwork and design features previously hidden.
The floor has been screeded following the laying of underfloor heating.
First fix of mechanical and electrical works is underway.
The new services room created by combining the former disabled toilet and adjacent volunteers shower, our IT/Telecom volunteer team have commenced the installation of a large amount of impressive hardware.
On Wednesday Western Power Distribution will be transferring us on to the new power supply, through the cables laid by the contractor, and terminating the existing inadequate supply. For a few hours early in the morning we will be without power while this is carried out, but effort is being made to minimise the disruption by close liaison between our stationmaster (handily qualified in HV power) and the contractors.
It has been nice to hear admiring comments from visitors and passengers alike as the oh-so long awaited new facility is getting nearer to handover.
Inevitably our much loved station has been swathed in builders supplies and waste, and we’ve had to coax our existing facilities into keeping going for just a few weeks and months more, patching up and making do as best we can.
How exciting it is, to have a nice Sunday spring evening just after the roof slates are complete, awaiting the last arrival, and so the station is clear for a view from platform 2. Across the tracks it is clear to admire what is becoming a very handsome building which will greet passengers on our incoming trains.
The artist’s impressions are coming to reality. They did of course only show the external appearance, so we have no idea what to expect from the inside other than what we can glean from the floor plan.
Welsh Penrhyn slate is steadily adorning the roof and looking wonderful. It’s described as blue with a purple hint and fine grained riven in texture, with the heather blue being enhanced by subtle variations in colour and natural markings that emphasise its true natural beauty.
Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda has a fascinating history to match that of our own Bridgnorth, being owned from the 1780s by the Pennant family. It possessed its own external and internal tramway system and had its own port and ships. The profits enabled the Pennants to construct Penrhyn Castle with its unique slate four poster bed. From 1878 Port Penrhyn on the Menai Straits was linked to the quarry by a steam operated line which closed in 1962, but two of the locos Blanche and Linda now work on the Ffestiniog Railway. It also had a mainline connection to the Chester and Holyhead Railway from 1852. Now the Port is used by fishing and pleasure boats. Its heritage is clear from the slate slabs used to edge the quays, and there are some original buildings on site including the locomotive shed and a now-listed circular toilet!
The extension to the terrace which allows the doubling of the area available to external seating has commenced.
A series of small piles 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.
The chimneys are completed and really look the part.
The installation of the windows and doors has commenced and it is readily apparent that this will put some soul into the building.
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.
Who normally goes about taking pictures of windows? Beautiful, custom-built, hardwood framed, to authentic Great Western design?
Well everyone can now. Even through the scaffolding poles they look wonderful.
They have been lovingly handmade in the workshops of Kidderminster based joinery experts C R Hobby & Son, established over 45 years. In their own words, as they are each carefully fitted, they are ‘adding spirit and style’ to the appearance of our long-awaited new-build.
Today there was sunshine for much of the day, greatly welcomed after the last few days!
The chimneys are completed and really look the part. The installation of the windows and doors has commenced and it is readily apparent that this will put some soul into the building.
The large amount of cast iron guttering required 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 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 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 in along with various cables. The exterior approach has been 75% reinstated and the only remaining task is installing a concrete floor and internal block wall which will be carried out by station volunteers.