Shropshire Star

Railway staff 'heartbroken' following station thefts

The station master on the Severn Valley Railway line has said they are “heartbroken” after they were targeted by thieves last week.

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Eardington, near Bridgnorth – the smallest station on the SVR line, had a number of rare railway lamps and other items of railway heritage stolen last week.

Thieves entered the station on Tuesday evening, but the full extent of the thefts only became apparent after station master Steve Downs raised the alarm the next morning.

He said intruders had forced the door of the tiny station’s lamp room and taken a number of items.

The items stolen from Eardington

“We have informed the police and are circulating photographs and details of the lamps widely,” he said.

“Though these lamps are rare, they are probably not worth a huge amount, but they represent a great deal of emotional value to us at Eardington. We are heartbroken that this has happened.”

Some of the items stolen had belonged to volunteers at the station.

The items stolen from Eardington

Phil Harris, who has been repairing and restoring lamps at Eardington for the past 10 years also found his toolbox pilfered.

He said: “This had something like 20 years’ worth of accumulated spare parts, and special tools that I’ll find very difficult to replace. Whoever took this has no concept of the upset this has caused the team here at Eardington.

“We’ve lavished so much care and attention on this, and to have somebody come and do this, well, it’s shocking.

The items stolen from Eardington

“I wish I could speak to whoever did this, because what is just a lamp to them, is a great deal more to our heritage railway.

"This is history, something we can demonstrate and show to visitors, it adds value to the railway, and at a stroke, you’ve destroyed it. Plus by taking my toolbox, you’ve taken away my ability to carry on my job.”

Last year, Eardington station reopened to passenger trains for the first time in 40 years.

Widely considered as the SVR’s ‘hidden gem’, it has no electricity supply and is the UK’s only exclusively oil-powered railway station.

The items stolen from Eardington

The Eardington break-in follows the theft a few days earlier of cast iron signage from nearby Hampton Loade station.

Anyone with information that could lead to the recovery of any of these items can contact West Mercia police, or get in touch with Steve directly at

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