Society's Newsletter March 2011

Village Entrances Scheme.

Many bulbs, shrubs, bushes and trees have been planted at the first batch of Entrance sites including 84 bushes & trees at Kingswood Rd/A41 junction, hundreds of snowdrops in Albrighton village green and daffodils/snowdrops at the Cross Rd/Patshull Rd pond area. The bulbs should show this spring but the full effect of the shrubs and trees will only be seen a couple of years hence, once they have taken hold and grown. We are still keen to have help with further planting sessions – please contact John Bulmer (T: 01902 372291) for further information or to volunteer. The sessions are usually only a couple of hours but you may offer whatever time you can.

Civic Award Scheme for Schools.

All the local schools – Albrighton Primary, Birchfield School, Idsall School & St Mary’s Primary have accepted the challenge. Prizes will be awarded for the best projects on local, historical, environmental or conservation topics relating to our district. A project can be a drawing, a picture or painting, a piece of writing, a story or poem or essay. The project can be produced by an individual, a number of pupils working together or a whole class. It can consist of one item prepared by the whole class jointly or a collection of items prepared individually by all the members of a class. The aim: to encourage civic pride & care for our locality in our young people.


We held meetings with Brian Bennett and Glen McGrandle of Shropshire Council who are charged with the responsibility of repairs to roads/pavements and the “appearance of the street scene” (i.e. weeding, cleaning and maintaining street furniture). They have promised action to deal with the many eyesores we presented to them. We thank Mike Ward, Clerk to Alb PC, who also managed to get SC do what they call a “deep clean” to the key streets in November. This was a good start but more needs to be done. Thanks also to Civic Society Committee Member Mike Pitchford who has cleared the weeds from around the central reservation at the Station Rd/A41 junction which made this entrance to the village look very scruffy. While we can expect SC and the four Parish Councils to look after some areas we feel that we residents should also play our part with this - which could include litter picking and some simple weeding tasks – after all, it is us who live here and just complaining is not enough. We are looking for volunteers to do something similar at any location near where they live – please contact us.

Albrighton Rail Station

Bridges & Platforms.

Cllr Illes is leading the discussions with Network Rail (NR) & London Midland Trains (LMT) for the refurbishment of the road bridge, footbridge and platforms and he expects to set up the next meeting with them soon. The Society is providing full support to Albrighton Parish Council’s initiative here and will join this meeting to help them press for the implementation of NR’s promised refurbishment work – see for details.

The Old Station Building (on the “to Shrewsbury” platform)

This was sold by NR and is now owned by a private individual having been used as different restaurants, all of which failed. The building is now showing signs of neglect with a leaking roof and will deteriorate further if left empty. Such dilapidation will mar the NR refurbishment scheme. The Chairman of the Society has managed to get a dialogue going with the owner (who lives in Birmingham) and who may be willing to sell or lease the building. Various uses have been suggested and the one which seems most likely is a combined Arts & Crafts Exhibition/Craft Studio/Local Museum/Tourist Information Centre. The size of the building will also determine if these can be fitted in. As an initial step, & to test out the system, the Society approached the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and our preliminary application for funds, to buy and repair the building and including a sum to hold in trust to generate moneys to maintain it, has been accepted in principle as a workable scheme. HLF now requires us to submit a full business plan and a formal application which we are now starting to work on and this will be done with help from Albrighton Parish Council and other organisations. NR and Shropshire Council have also indicated that they may be able to provide some funding and the Rail Heritage Trust may also help. We will of course consult the community as soon as, and if, we appear to have a viable scheme which has funding support and which is likely to attract local support.