A pair of old railway crossing gates that are part of Ironbridge’s industrial heritage are being taken away for restoration tomorrow.
The Grade II listed gates, located north-west of Calcutts House in Jackfield were installed c1862 as part of the Severn Valley Railway, which was opened on 3 January 1862, from Shrewsbury to Hartlebury. The railway was taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1863, but has been disused for many years. The gates have remained in situ and have become a local feature. Wikipedia describes them as "unusually large level crossing gates, which spanned sidings as well as the main running line, now the largest surviving in the UK.”
The Gorge Parish Council contacted Telford & Wrekin Council about the poor condition of the gates in September 2015 to see if something could be done to restore them. Engineers went out to assess their condition and last year funding was allocated for the restoration work needed.
Small Woods Trust, a local woodlands charity, will be undertaking the restoration of the wooden parts of the gate and local firm J & A Stevenson will be doing the metal work. The gates will be removed on 13 April and taken to Small Woods’ headquarters to dry out before restoration can begin. Once dried, wood workers will carry out a full assessment of the condition of the gates with a view to keeping as much of the original wood as possible.
Councillor Rae Evans, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member responsible for tourism, said: "We have been working closely with the parish council to make this happen and I am very happy to see the restoration of these iconic gates now get underway. They are a piece of Ironbridge’s history and they mean a lot to the residents of Jackfield and the surrounding area. They are also part of what makes this area such a wonderful destination.”
Once all of the restoration work is complete, the gates will be reassembled and painted before going back home to Jackfield. The wooden signal post on site will also be treated and repainted. The entire project is likely to take several months to complete and will depend on how long it takes for the wood to dry out.
Project updates will be posted in the Pride in Our Community Facebook Group; join the group to follow the progress https://www.facebook.com/groups/prideinourcommunity/.
26 May 2018
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