Society's Newsletter January 2012

(Albrighton, Boningale, Donington-with-Boscobel and Tong)

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

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

The plans for our attempted rescue of the old Station building have now advanced further and we will send our second stage application for funds to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in early March. Should the project succeed and we obtain funds to buy the building from its current owner one key question which had to be resolved was the future ownership of the building. The Station Centre Task Group of the Civic Society is facilitating and taking the lead in the rescue of the building but the Civic Society’s remit is not to own or run the Centre – this will be done by a Management Committee comprising representatives of the local artists, craftsmen, historians, users and those representing appropriate village organisations. We also expect that the local Parish Council(s) and possibly Shropshire Council may be involved. After discussions between the Society and various potential bodies, Albrighton Parish Council has agreed in principle, at their meeting on 5th January, to take on the legal ownership of the building but will not run the Centre which will be done by the Management Committee mentioned above. We are grateful for Albrighton Parish Council’s support in our endeavour. We have also received written pledges of support from our local MP Mark Pritchard and many local organisations.

A meeting of all interested artists, craftsmen, historians and other supporters who have already confirmed their intention to participate, together with the Station Centre Task Group, will have been held in mid January by the time this article is published. It is hoped that the meeting will have elected an Interim Management Committee to draw up more detailed plans for the operation of the Centre and to propose what facilities are needed and to liaise with the Station Centre Task Group which is now drafting a business plan to send with our application to the HLF. Both the Station Centre Task Group and the Interim Management Committee will be chaired by Peter Woodman (Chairman of the Civic Society), to ensure a good working liaison and cooperation between the two groups as we try to reach our goal.

Various specialists in Shropshire Council have offered to provide their expertise, including help with finding other funders – HLF will not provide 100% of the money. Tricia Cooper of Wolverhampton University has experience in such ventures and she has already met with the Station Centre Task Group and provided much good advice and we are lucky to have her continuing help. We are also grateful to John Reeves of ACP Architects, an Albrighton resident and Civic Society member, who has surveyed the building and provided drawings and much help at no cost to the Society. We can see that more and more people are coming forward to help turn this dream into reality and to change a dilapidated station building into something of great use for all residents of our villages and even beyond.

If anyone else is able to provide any help or support on this project please contact us.

Civic Society Membership Secretary

Although we now have more than 200 members we are keen to expand the membership and so the Society is pleased to announce that Mike Pitchford has accepted the newly created role of Membership Secretary and we are confident that he will be able mobilise our efforts to spread our message more widely and encourage more people to participate in our task to improve the appearance of our villages and to make them more pleasant places to live and work. Please contact Mike on Tel: 01902 372016 or for membership information or for a membership form and to pay any subscriptions.

For more information please contact: Peter Woodman – Chairman (T: 01902 372225)
or Rod Smith -Secretary (T: 01902 372765)