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!