Townspeople weigh in to save Bishop's Castle railway building
Railway enthusiasts are appealing for help to enable a restoration project to get on track in a bid to save a historic building in south Shropshire.
The Bishop's Castle Railway Society has so far managed to raise £17,000 towards the restoration of the nearby weighbridge and its associated building which has lain dormant for more than 50 years.
Built around 1865, the weighbridge is thought have been used after the main railway line closed in 1935. Many people remember it being used by a coal merchant as recently as the 1960s.
But it has now fallen in to disrepair and the society is keen that it will once again be allowed to have a public use.
Renovations to the building, which sits in a far corner in the Ransford's Timber Yard, in Bishop's Castle will cost in the region of £25,000 and the society is keen that they are carried out this year as they believe the building will not survive another winter.
Lin Dalton, committee member and deputy project manager of The Weighbridge Project said: "We have got quotes from builders and have broken it down to come to the figure of £25,000. We need to repair the walls, put on a new roof and also install new windows and doors.
"We did go for Heritage Lottery Funding but unfortunately we didn't get it, so we are having to do it ourselves. We have been very lucky that we have had so many generous donations and some fundraising and now this is the final push.Once we have raised the final £8,000 we can give the builders the go-ahead.
"Volunteers have already done an awful lot of work at the site, clearing undergrowth, stripping ivy from the building and tidying up.
"They have also been working on the weighbridge mechanism to help get it in to better condition. We plan to be able to show people how it worked when it was operational."
Once work to the building is complete the society plans to use it as a visitor's centre where they will be able to tell the story of the site. They have also been offered an old railway carriage which they plan to restore and also use on site.
To raise the remaining money needed for the restoration work, the society is organising a series of events over the coming months and is keen to hear from anyone wishing to sponsor them.
Lin said: "We have arranged for Ludlow Male Voice Choir to come along and put on a concert for us. But we need someone to sponsor it for us so that we can put it on, otherwise, after we have paid for the venue and the choir we will have made very little money."
Anyone wishing to sponsor the events, or to give a donation can contact Lin on 07553 010196.