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Heritage News

Save a GWR station canopy at Gloucester!

It is inevitable as time marches on that the number of traditional steam age GWR artefacts on the ‘big’ railway is going to decline.  There will come a time when there is precious little left out there for heritage railways to salvage and building that authentic heritage look will require everything to be built from scratch.

Luckily, preservationists have always been alert to opportunities and one has just come up that has grabbed the attention of volunteers on the Glos Warks Railway.  FGW have just had contractors in to dismantle a beautiful ornamental canopy from Gloucester Central station and they have, thankfully, taken it to pieces rather than just chopped it up with a gas axe.

It is a tantalising prospect that the G-WR could potentially find a future use for as they expand.  The columns are similar to those already at Winchcombe so they could be added to enhance the look of that station.  The canopy could be erected at Cheltenham Racecourse, an often rather inhospitable location – especially during Cheltenham Gold Cup week!   It might even find a home as part of a new station nearer to the centre of Cheltenham or in the other direction towards Honeyborne.

The problem is that the railway does not have the close to £40,000 that the demolitionists are asking for the parts.  While the railway is doing very well this year, all existing money is committed and there is no deep pocket of reserves for something that would, understandably be a ‘nice to have’ rather than an essential item.

So we are asking for help from the wider movement.  Can we raise enough through our community to bring this kit of canopy parts to the Cotswolds so that our grandchildren can shelter from the rain and admire the foresight that we showed in saving another authentic GWR artefact for posterity?

The heritage railway movement has achieved massive miracles in the past. This is actually quite a small one.  Can you help?  


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