28 January 2006

Saltash Station

Welcome to Cornwall is the proud sign that greets visitors to Saltash Station. Well thats the pride bit out of the way, as there is very little for the good people of Saltash to be proud of here. The main station building in the middle is run down and derelict and apparently up for sale by the local council and will probably end up as a block of flats. wooppee. There is a website (if you can call it that) for Save Saltash Station which although a good idea could do with a better website. It may be worth filling in the on-line form but then nothing has been updated since July 2005 so maybe its all over?
However, all may not be lost as according to the Town Councils own web site
"Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge is one of Britain's finest engineering achievements. The bridge, completed in 1859, brought the Great Western Railway in to Cornwall. When the Town Council became aware that Railtrack was to dispose of the Saltash Station building, they entered in to negotiation with Railtrack and acquired the building to provide a Brunel Heritage Centre. The Town Council has obtained planning permission to convert the building to a Brunel Heritage Centre, which includes re-instating the canopy over the platform. In addition, a gallery/exhibition space will provide an opportunity for a variety of events including interactive structural workshops for children, and exhibitions. A café and shop form an integral part of the scheme, which overall will form an important component in the Town's Heritage Trail. "
This page was updated in September 2005 so maybe the building was saved after all. You just wouldn't know by looking at it though. There are more photos taken around the station area here. Google have a html version of a report into celebrating 200 Years of Brunel and if you scroll down far enough you get to Saltash Station.
2006 could be the target date for the opening of the Brunel Heritage Centre in the restored Saltash Station (a two phase project restoring the station to a usable shell and then developing this into a dedicated museum). If sponsors could be found, Saltash Town Council would also like to floodlight the Royal Albert Bridge – perhaps in conjunction with Plymouth City Council. A Brunel toddlers’ play train is to be installed at the foot of the Royal Albert bridge by the end of May 2004, and a Living Spaces bid will be made for Saltash Waterside comprising an adventure kit for young people (a scaled down bridge concept) made to Saltash Town Council’s specifications

The Illustrated London News has a small section on the opening of the Bridge with a nice little drawing.

There is a hint at civic pride:

You can see just how close the station is to the bridge in the photo below taken at the end of the platform.

There is also a rare plant found growing around the station:
Rough grass bank. Dymond Court / Saltash Station Yard, Saltash, Cornwall. 09.07.05 The Deptford Pink, a nationally rare plant, is certainly under threat at this site. The pink does occur in gardens around the station yard and because a bomb blast spread seeds and plants during the Second World War. It is very important that these garden plants are recorded, and primarily because there may be more Deptford Pink growing in gardens in the area than in the wild.


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