Tuesday 26 February 2013

Broadway Station - the Vision

Since joining the Broadway Area Group back in 2009,  I, and the rest of my volunteering colleagues have gone away each work day, tired but happy, sure that we have done a little bit more towards reaching our final goal - steam trains running again to Broadway, supported by a fully working station. Until recently these have been mainly day-dreams running around in our heads, but, with the formal planning application coming up, I thought it was time to put the visions down on paper, and, using the artistic skills of Fred Lea and the  construction drawing skills of John Crawford, we now have a beautiful artists impression of the new Broadway Station Site and its surroundings.

With thanks to Audie Baker and the H & W Gazette
My thought was to try and replicate the fascinating opening day photograph of the old station back in 1904. After all, the intention is to, as best we can, put back what was there before.

In order to do this and get above the trees that masked the site currently we had to prevail on the goodwill of Jenni at the Station Masters House B&B  to use a front bedroom for Fred to take some initial photos. Fred then used his drawing skills to create a rough sketch of the relative position of the planned station building on the landscape as it is today.

 I  quote Fred's accompanying comments to the sketch herewith. "The main difficulty was the amount of boskage[my favourite new word this year] which covered the site of the building from this viewpoint!  I could just about make out the fence line, the rebuilt platforms in the distance, the phone box and lamp posts, but not much else!  In addition, the only vertical measurement I had was the height of Marguerite's shed which you kindly measured for me at 8 feet from ground to apex.  Everything else had to be calculated using 'vanishing points' and a long ruler - after that it was down to guesswork!!"

The next step was to take all of this data back to his studio and come up with a pencil drawing for the team to review. The initial drawing was done in conjuction with John Crawford's construction drawings to make sure the detail and relative proportions were correct.

Having had lots of exchanges the good news eventually (and quickly) came through that Fred had finished the impression painting.

Here it is in all its glory. what a beauty it is! The level of detail is excellent (see below) and uses much of Fred's  knowledge of the Great Western Railway and its structures.

I hope this vision of the future at Broadway will encourage our volunteers to keep pressing on with the task in hand, reassure Broadway residents and traders that we are adding something of great value to the community and finally to those benefactors who may have been sitting on their hands waiting for a sign that we are committed to delivering the very best, now is the time to help us deliver.

Thank you Fred.


Toddington Ted said...

A wonderful picture and a very good advert for the GWSR's future plans! One weakness of the original station design (like the one at Toddington) is that entrance to the station facilities is/was via the platform, resulting in queues of people on the platform waiting to buy tickets. This revised design for the 21st Century shows an entrance through the station building (just like the situation at the (Monmouth) Winchcombe station) thereby avoiding queues on the platform (well at least for tickets - hopefully there will be queues waiting to get on the trains!

Anonymous said...

For those that don't know, to get an enlarged view of the pictures, you can click on them with your mouse and you will then be able to see the pictures in much more detail.


Anonymous said...

Looking good.
Can I ask how much luck you are having getting the rarer pieces of brickwork likke the corners or lintels?

Mel Waldron said...

It looks great!

Anonymous said...

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

I am a GWSR member and check this blog almost daily for updates. I think it is absolutely brilliant how you keep us updated with progress on the station rebuild. It is also a constant source of amazement to me how much has been done for how little outlay thanks to your success in locating materials that can be reused. I'm too far away to get to the railway but I can honestly say if there was one volunteering group I would like to join at the GWSR it would be yours. No need for me to say "keep up the good work" because I'm sure you will anyway!

Best wishes,

John of Nuneaton said...


Excellent drawings for the future station building. How far are you away from submitting the application for planning consent. Are you planning to build the structure using your merry band or will the GWSR be using outside contractors?

Bill said...

The Application will go in as soon as we are confident that all paperwork is complete.
We will use internal resources when we can, but use contract bricklayers when necessary.

John of Nuneaton said...


Thanks for the update and am glad your are planning to use your own resources. Hopefully the company will realise what a valuable contribution you can continue to make towards the rebirth of Broadway Station. I have noted that other preserved railways who have embarked on an expansion programme find that once the project has been completed the willing volunteers start to drift off to other thinks as their project comes to fruition. Hopefully that won't occur at Broadway and you can all continue onto the station rebuild project.
With regard to the planning application do you think that you may get objections to the proposed building or due you feel that you have done a good enough PR job in keeping the residents of Broadway sufficiently informed.

Bill said...

I will be surprised if we do not get some objections, but we work very hard to keep the local community on side.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill and the Broadway Team. Quite probably a longshot here, but how friendly can the BRB (Residuary) Ltd be when it comes to preservation and brickwork? As this week has seen the start of the demolition of the former Manchester Mayfield Station - There may be a few blues and plenty of reds in there, as well as plenty of Platform Edge Slabs?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for tip off. Looking on wwnx.com, it says:

"A PLANNING application has been submitted for permission to pull
down the roof at Manchester's derelict Mayfield railway station.

A planning application states: "The existing structure is in a
dangerous condition and hazardous to both authorised persons who
are on site, and trespassers entering the site illegally."

The work will involve the removal of an asbestos roof covering
and broken wired glazed roof lights, and the supporting
structure, "all of which are in a dangerous condition".

So at the moment, the bits we would be interested in are not affected, but its worth keeping an eye on the project in the future. However, its a long way away, so transport costs would probably make it prohibitive

Bill said...

Would the last anonymous contributor make themselves known to me as I would like to know who is speaking on my behalf!