Four years since work began and the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership Project 6 (Railway Heritage) has now come to an end, with all invoices having been paid. This has been supported with two grants from Moorlands Partnership to help cover each of the Water Column erection and the forge/hammer commissioning, plus we received a surprise £500 donation from a visitor to the station.
Three projects were originally listed in the CVLLP application, and whilst three have been completed not all were the original ones listed!
June’s “Anything Goes” Gala saw the public opening of the first of these projects, that being the restored Signal Box at Leek Brook Junction and the renovated tramway platform. CVLLP Leader and NSRC Chairman Pete Green took up Stationmaster duties on the Saturday, whilst fellow NSRC Director Brian Dunn welcomed visitors on Sunday.
Project 2 has been the re-erection of Hanley Water Column, which had lain dormant in Cheddleton Yard for a number of decades. It has been put into place at the end of Cheddleton Platform 2, and now is just waiting to be plugged into the newly erected Water Tower.
Tony Hancock and Mark Greatbach have recently been working on the pipework to the water tank, as the tank was lifted into position in mid-July once its new ladder and lid had been fitted. At the same time the signal gantry was removed before the whole of Platform 2 was resurfaced making this side of Cheddleton look the best it has done for a long time
The third project was meant to have been the replacement of the metal crossing gates at Cheddleton with the wooden ones saved from Leigh near Uttoxeter. However this proved to be far more costly than we first envisaged and as such has now been added to the Cheddleton Re-signalling project.
However as all clouds have silver linings, we soon found other projects we could achieve and so a combination of smaller projects were created to form “Cheddleton Heritage”. First was the replacement of the roadside fence on Station Road, which has been completed as best we can by blocking the end of the cycle route until such time as the County Council and caravan site owner can agree on the point of access to the caravan site. However the fence manufacturer has retained two panels of fence until such time as it can be fitted. The invoice for this latest work has not yet been received but £300.00 was received from Councillor Worthington towards the cost.
As part of the interpretation part of CVLLP, an A-Board showing a site map of Cheddleton has been positioned outside the CVR messroom entrance, on the footpath to/from the Car Park. Four A1 site maps are currently being printed and these will be installed at suitable locations around Cheddleton to assist all visitors in finding each of the completed projects, and learning of the role they now fulfill for CVR.
Project 3 Part B has seen a new building created within Cheddleton Yard to house both a Forge and Massey Hammer that we’ve acquired previously. The forge has been repaired and is just awaiting our volunteers to fit the exhaust flue and blower connections before final commissioning. The massey hammer is waiting for it’s final electrical work before being complete too.
Finally finance has also been provided to help build an Engineered Log Jam as part of the first stage of repairing the landslip South of Cheddleton Platform 2. Once complete this full project will allow Platform 2 to come into regular use once again. Pointon’s had a contractor come in to scrape away the bankside of the River Churnet opposite the railway in order to ease the flow and hopefully reduce the effects of river erosion when in full flood through the floodplain. The logs and willow had already been installed last year and so now it is simply a waiting game in order to give the willow time to bind.
Elsewhere, the station entrance to Froghall has received tarmac courtesy of the CVLLP and as a result the station entrance is a lot less dustier than before!