Historic Ironbridge railway crossing gates work approved
The final step in the replacement of historic Ironbridge railway level crossing gates has been taken after a planning application was granted.
The Jackfield gates, each measuring 38ft, and pedestrian pass gate are being worked on by Coalbrookdale-based Small Woods Association.
Dating back to 1862, the Ironbridge Railway gates had been used daily until the line closed in the 1970s.
Although the line has been disused for years, the gates remained and had become a much-loved, but sadly neglected local feature.
Early last year, Telford & Wrekin Council announced it would fund their restoration and in April 2018 the gates were taken down and transported to Small Woods to dry out.
It became apparent, however, that the condition of the gates was beyond repair. Also apart from the metalwork, few of the original features remained.
As a result a replacement set of gates was needed.
Plans based on historical photographs taken in circa 1960/1970 were drawn up and submitted to the planning authority.
The local conservation officer and Historic England supported the plans which were given formal approval on Tuesday.
Councillor Rae Evans, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for people services, visitor economy and partnerships, and Neill Mapes, Small Woods heritage craft officer, said they were delighted to hear the news.
Councillor Evans said: “This is the last piece of the jigsaw. I went to see the gates last week and they’re nearly finished. I have to say that they look amazing. The gates are a little part of our history, so a big well done to all those who have worked so hard on preserving them for future generations. I now can’t wait to see them back where they belong.”
Neill Mapes added: “This is great news. The gates have been quite a challenge, but I am so happy with how they’re coming along. We have used traditional skills and techniques throughout the process to recreate the gates to how they once were. I have said it before, but will say it again – they have been a labour of love. Now we just need to make one final push to get them finished.”
Small Woods expects the gates will take around six weeks to finish. They will then go back home to Jackfield.