Society's Newsletter October 2011

Proposal for the Rescue of the old Station Master’s Building

Station Arts/Crafts Centre/Museum/Tourist Information Point – “The Station Centre”

1. The Civic Society’s key interest is to stop the decline in the appearance of the Station building* and to bring the building into use ....and to safeguard the future of the whole station for rail users. To do this funding is necessary and the Heritage Lottery Fund will fund usage such as an arts/crafts/museum centre. Preliminary approval for funds has been obtained from HLF but support from users and local residents is necessary to allow the next stage application to be made. An informal meeting held at the Station with about 30 local artists, crafts people, art teachers at local schools and others showed support.
(Note by ADCS Chairman: At that meeting I stated that I had been lead to believe that the Albrighton Red House Trustees did not support these proposals. I have now established that the Trust Committee have not considered this matter and hence my comments are without foundation. Indeed we are hopeful that the Civic Society and the Trustees can work together on this and other projects which will benefit the environment in which we live.)
We also have support from the Principal External Funding Officer of Shropshire Council who will help with other sources of funding.
(*The building is the old Ticket Office/Station Master’s house on the “to Shrewsbury” platform)

2. The task of obtaining funding and getting the Centre up and running is being carried out by the Civic Society in order to bring the listed Station Building* out of dilapidation, to enhance the appearance of this area of the village and to ensure the viability of the Station for rail users. However the Society does not wish to run the Centre and is merely acting as facilitator and will act with others to set up the Centre for others to run the Centre thereafter.

3. It is envisaged that the Centre will be owned by trustees on behalf of the villages in our District. It may be that the Red House trustees may wish to become involved in some way. As an Arts & Craft Centre/Museum it will be appropriate that members of these communities are well represented on the board of trustees and management of the Centre. Administration would be handled by volunteers representing the arts and crafts and other users of the building. Running costs to be kept to a minimum but grant funding would include an endowment fund to cover any excess of expenditure over income for the longer term

4. The building includes a separate flat which could be let to provide a rental income to help maintain the Centre.

5. Parking area has been identified so as to not increase pressure on the current inadequate rail user parking. Cost of its purchase to be included in the grant application

6. It is envisaged that artists and crafts people would display their wares which will be for sale and they would need to arrange for a representative to open up the Centre and to manage the sales on behalf of all the various artist/craft people.

7. Demonstrations of their craft by the Artists and Crafts people will be made from time to time to show visitors the skills used – such as pottery making, painting, drawing, calligraphy, sketching, sewing, knitting, embroidery, tapestry, corn dolly making, crochet, photography, computer graphic design, upholstery etc.

8. Exhibitions may be set up for a set period of time (say a few days or a few weeks as appropriate) for viewing by the public. These exhibitions may occupy a major part of the building. At the end of the exhibition the display would be cleared away to make space for another exhibition or craft demonstration. Thus it is intended that there will be changes of activities/exhibitions etc so that the public will expect to make repeat visits to see something new – the intention is to avoid a static set of exhibits.

9. The Historical Society may wish to have a permanent display in part of the building and may wish to use part of the basement to store its archives.

10. Teachers of local schools in the District, and even beyond, have shown an interest and are expected to bring school children to see the Centre and may even mount their own exhibitions.

11. The University of Wolverhampton has expressed a wish to bring students on visits after the Centre is running. The University has expressed a desire to also provide a student to help work on the design and building of the project, assisting the architect and builder.

12. A representative of the Local Nature Reserve has said that it would like to mount set piece exhibitions for short durations of time showing their work at the Reserve and which may include continuous projector slide displays etc.

13. It will also be possible to mount an information board showing information for tourists and including the provision of leaflets provided by the local visitor attractions such as RAF Cosford Museum, Weston Park, David Austin Roses, Albrighton Garden Centre, Local Nature Reserve, Albrighton Moat Project, Boscobel House, White Ladies Priory, Chillington Hall, Ironbridge, Moseley Old Hall and many more. A location map showing these attractions will be provided.
A map of interesting and historic buildings in the District could be provided – e.g. Tong Church and surrounding buildings, conservation areas in Albrighton, Boningale Church, Donington Church and the military graves, St Mary’s Church, St Cuthbert’s Well ....and locally listed buildings.
Information on walks around the District could be provided.
Information on local shops and services could be shown with their contact phone numbers - in conjunction with the Albrighton Traders Association. Phone numbers of local taxi firms will be available together with the bus timetable (train timetable is already in the Station)

14. The policy on entrance fees or a voluntary donation, if any, by visitors to the Centre or exhibitors would be fixed by the trustees/management but it is envisaged that only modest charges, if any, would be levied and only where appropriate.