Call for rethink on station cobbles
At last the scheme for the new railway station at Kidderminster seems to be moving forward.
I went to the exhibition outside the present station last month and spoke to Mr Ian Baxter, who is project manager for the job,and was appalled to hear that the cobbled station approach is set to be to be torn up and replaced by tarmac.
The station approach is a shared entrance with the Severn Valley Railway, and when the SVR new station was built in mid 1980s the Severn Valley Company went to a great deal of trouble and expense to obtain thousands of cobble stones to match those at the mainline station when alterations to both station entrances were carried out.
Even British Rail, as it then was, went to considerable trouble to retain the heritage of the area by rebuilding a retaining wall in matching period bricks and renovating a long run of wrought iron fencing from Victorian times.
In more recent years a new footbridge was installed with brickwork carefully chosen to match the one remaining original building on the mainline platform.
Much of this is now under threat. I cannot think of any other station anywhere which still retains its original cobbled entrance.
Why is it that at a time when the importance of ‘heritage’ is well recognised, that the planners are choosing to sweep away yet another piece of Kidderminster’s treasured past? Particularly as it is at the entrance to the prize-winning SVR station, probably one of the top heritage attractions of the West Midlands. Surely this deserves a re-think before it is too late.
Mick Yarker, Kidderminster