Shropshire Star

Talking Telford: Celebrating a Victorian gem in the heart of Wellington, and a spirit of adventure

Of all Wellington’s charms, of which there are too many to count, there’s one crowning glory I’ve been particularly infatuated with lately: its railway station.

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Wellington station has been part of the furniture for a long time

Where to start? It’s a beautiful building in a town full of beautiful buildings. It was built in a strategic location close to the centre of Wellington when Queen Victoria was still a young woman and it still stands there today, tucked away at the bottom of a gentle slope between a pub and a park. It’s had its share of revamps and renovations, in the names of both taste and progress, and it’s got quieter with each passing decade as more and more services are withdrawn. And yet, thousands of people still pass through every week for business and pleasure alike.

Another thing I love about the station in the heart of Wellington is what it represents to those among us with an inclination towards adventure: potential.

Potential to travel in any direction you choose (er, as long as it’s via Shrewsbury or Birmingham) to the ends of this island on a train, and then a little further beyond if you like, on a plane, a ferry - or even another train, if you fancy Calais. Most trips from Wellington are a little more mundane than that, but no less magical to me. Picture beginning your day with a walk in the awe-inspiring wilds of west Telford, enjoying a hard-earned delicious lunch in one of Wellington’s fine eateries, then being able to simply hop on a train to the bright lights of Telford Central for your evening entertainment. Such sophistication, and so achievable!

As someone who grew up in the middle of nowhere, with the closest railway station several miles away, the idea of living in a town like Wellington or Oakengates or Shifnal where you can stroll out of your front door and onto a train with near-limitless possibilities will never lose its novelty. A very fanciful part of me hopes that, with the encouraging redevelopment of Oswestry’s old station and the ongoing process to bring new stations to towns in the Black Country, we could be about to enter a new mini-golden age of rail - maybe places like Lawley and Muxton will be connected to the network and we could all live the railway dream of Wellington and Oakengates?

That is, until Storm Kalliope or Storm Lilibet or Storm Milo comes along, the trains are all cancelled and we grumble our way back to the settee for another day indoors…