Dear Friends and Volunteers,
As we look forward to emerging from lockdown, the Trust invites you to participate in more of our fascinating walks and talks. Presenting Oliver Gerrish’s informative talk, ‘The Country House in Derbyshire’, via Zoom enabled a much wider audience to participate; with over 100 people attending. We anticipate a similar response to our next online talk ‘The Iron Giant that Survived’ .
Whilst we plan to conduct the rest of this year’s events on site, in person, we will be exploring ways in which we can also present material on-line to reach a wider audience. Learn of our progress towards achieving this in a future newsletter.
Wingfield Station continues to bring delightful surprises as the clearing operation continues and we progress toward commencement of the urgent works of emergency repair. See the importance of the Station in the context of ‘The Architecture the Railways Built’ which is on television in March.
Our work at Wingfield, however, does not prevent us from responding to other causes, as you will see from our quick response to the potential demolition of the former Stanton and Staveley exhibition and training centres. Watch this space. More Anon!
Derek Latham (DHBT Chair)
wingfield station - Project update
We submitted our Planning and Listed Building Consent applications just before Christmas. Since then, the Wingfield Station Project Architect and wider team have been primarily focusing on detailed plans for the urgent works and discussing them with both Historic England (the key funders for this work) and Network Rail. These plans will form the basis of the tender documentation that will be sent to potential contractors.
We currently expect to issue the tender for the urgent works towards the end of March, with a view to appointing a contractor by the middle of June. Based on this timetable, we anticipate the urgent works (roof repairs and trackside works) to be completed by the end of 2021. We will be applying to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the remainder of the construction costs in August '21. If this application is successful we hope to commence the final capital works in Spring 2022.
During January and February, Network Rail have been undertaking vegetation management work around the station; removing trees that are close to the track. This work has actually helped us in our understanding of the site. When we were doing various surveys and inspections last year, the area north of the parcel shed was overgrown and so it appeared as if the stone edge to the goods platform had been removed when the platforms were taken out. However, now the further vegetation has been cut back, a standalone section of the platform further north has been revealed.
As a result of this, we have commissioned a further topographical study of the area north of the parcel shed.
As you can see from the black and white photo above (credit: Historic England), the stone edge to the goods platform used to come all the way back to the sidings. It is quite likely that a section of this platform was removed to give a ramp down to the track for when the main platforms were removed. It was this missing section that made it look like it had all been removed, when it was in fact obscured by vegetation. The historic photo also shows how the stone edge came all the way to the buffers at the end of the sidings.
Makita Tools have also done a great job continuing to support DHBT with improving the site (thanks to Roy Hobson of Makita Tools). We remain hopeful that the dedicated volunteer team can resume their external clearance tasks when restrictions have eased.
John Lewis from Marpal Ltd (health and safety specialists) has also been involved , discussing with us some of the many risk implications of the project as we head towards starting urgent works. This is important with any capital project, but even more so when work will be taking place so close to a live railway line.
It is also lovely to see the first signs of Spring peeping through amongst the mud!
Date for the diary
Wingfield station to appear on TV, 23rd March, 8pm
Back in October 2020 a TV crew spent a cold and wet Monday filming at Wingfield Station. At the time, we were only allowed to tell a handful of people - many thanks to the volunteers who braved the elements to help us get the site ready for the crew.
Wingfield Station is set to be the main feature of the last show in the Yesterday channel TV series, 'The Architecture the Railways Built', which is due to air at 8pm on the 23rd March. Make sure to put the date in your diary!
A DHBT supporter had recently contacted us in relation to the Stanton and Staveley site and the planning application to demolish the former Exhibition Centre and Training Centre located here.
Whilst the Trust is pleased that the new owners, Verdant Regeneration Ltd, intend to bring development to the site, and applauds the efforts of Erewash Borough Council (EBC) to find a development solution for the whole complex, the potential demolition of these buildings is of great concern.
Stanton and Staveley exported its goods all over the world. Their workforce gave tirelessly; working long and dangerous hours to produce munitions and supplies. It is a site that has been the epicentre of iron and steel production for almost 2000 years.
The key cluster of remaining buildings are of both architectural and historic significance and merit addition to the Borough Council's Local List.
The DHBT lodged an objection to EBC and notified the owners. As a consequence of our intervention, the application to demolish the buildings on the grounds of permitted development has been REFUSED and EBC have confirmed that following the detailed objection lodged by ourselves, the site developers do not have permitted development rights.
It is now hoped that if and when the developers make a formal planning application, a detailed Heritage Impact Assessment will be required to enable the planning authority to best understand the historic significance of the buildings.
B&W photo credit: Robert Lee.
DHBT Events 2021
Back in January, we kicked off our first (ever) online event of 2021 with a fantastically well attended talk by DHBT Trustee, Oliver Gerrish, on the country houses of Derbyshire. If you missed Oliver's talk, which explored some of the architectural treasures of Derbyshire from the Medieval period onwards, you can view the recording:
'The Iron Giant that Survived' - online talk - 21st February 2021, 2pm
Our next free online talk, 'The Iron Giant that Survived' will be on Sunday 21st February at 2pm. Kieren Lee, from the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, will be telling the fascinating story of Bennerley Viaduct; a wrought iron wonder that was entirely fabricated in Derby.
The story includes the reasons for building the viaduct, the ingenuity of its engineering, the working life of the viaduct and the Zepplin bombings. Future plans will also be explained.
This is a free talk that is available to all who an internet connection via Zoom. Please register via Eventbrite to be sent your e-ticket with joining details. For more information and to book please take a look here.
For more information about the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, please visit their website.