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Visitors' thumbs up for rescue of Gobowen railway station buildings

Oswestry | News | Published:

[gallery] Visitors gave the seal of approval to a campaign to save historic buildings at Gobowen railway station.

The station, on the Shrewsbury to Chester line, was opened to give people an insight into the dream of running the platform buildings as a community enterprise.

The Save our Station appeal says the beautiful properties, from traditional Victorian to an ornate, Italian-style building, could be bought for £150,000.

But restoring them will also cost money. And while some of the funds will be available in grants those behind the appeal say some will have to be raised locally.

The open day at the station drew not only rail passengers but also villagers, keen to know more about the appeal.

Visitors filled in questionnaires giving their ideas for the future of the buildings.

Representatives from the groups involved, who were on hand during the day, included Gobowen and Selattyn Parish Council, Three Parishes Big Local group and railway interest organisations including the Chester Shrewsbury Rail Partnership, Gobowen Station Adopter, Shrewsbury Chester Rail User Association and Severn Dee Travel, Oswestry Station Buildings Trust and Cambrian Railways Heritage Trust.

Spokeswoman Sheila Dee said there had been a lot of interest in plans to buy and restore the buildings.

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She said there was already community involvement thanks to the cafe run by Derwen College, which specialises in education for young people with learning disabilities.

Earlier this month the station won two community rail awards.

One was for working with the college, which uses the cafe for valuable work experience for students, the other was for the "loo with a view" award. Students had been involved in painting the public toilets with a mural of the African savannah.

Theresa Edwards, who supervises the cafe students, said the college was keen to work with the station group.

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"The cafe is brilliant. It educates the public, showing that yes students might have learning disability but they can still do the same job as everyone else," she said.

It is an asset to the village and the community as a whole."

Mrs Dee said: "We are aware that this is a big challenge and the group was keen to speak with the local community to find out their thoughts.

"These buildings are part of an important gateway to Gobowen and are possibly the most historic buildings there."

In September 2016 Shropshire Council listed the booking office and waiting room of the station buildings as an asset of community value.

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