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Killamarsh Heritage Centre

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Ianb47306, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    For those that aren't already aware I thought I would draw your attention to the proposed opening of a heritage centre on the site of Killamarsh Central station, Derbyshire (formerly on the GC mainline)...

    The site of the former station has lain derelict since 2007 when the previous owner died and property developers Ackroyd and Abbot purchased the land. The station building (a listed structure, and now the last remaining example of it's kind) was sold to a local farmer who hoped to re-erect it on his own land in the village and re-open the building as a cafe. Following the sale, parts of the building were slowly dismantled and nowadays only the bare bones of the structure remain on site. Unfortunately, the rebuilding work did not taken place for whatever reason and due to the economic climate the property developers have decided not to proceed with building on the station site for now.

    I understand that a lot of work has gone on in the background and the situation has now been reached where the developers would be happy to sell the land (or at least some of it) so that the building could be left on site and after extensive restoration works it could be reopened as a heritage centre - helping to educate people on the history of the local railways, mining and other such things. Hopefully the centre could have a good future (providing they can raise the relevant funds) and whilst I would love to see it turn into a Shillingstone-esque development I don't think we can hope for any more than a few vehicles stabled besides the up platform, if that. I don't think opening a railway is what they have in mind (and rightfully so really).

    Some further details are available on their Facebook page: Save Killamarsh Station | Facebook and I believe a website should be going live in the near future. There is also a meeting tomorrow night in Killamarsh Leisure centre (start 19:30) where I believe the scheme will be officially launched and there should be a slideshow by local historian Howard Turner.

    If anybody wants to ask any questions I will try my best to answer but I am not actually involved with the scheme (as yet) - I just live nearby, hence a bit of local knowledge.
     
  2. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    I was shocked to see the state of this once fine station. I visited about three years ago when the building looked intact. Sadly I did not have my camera with me. I do wonder how this could have happened when the structure was listed.

    The trackbed through the station site is now part of the Pennine Way, and surely there is scope for a cafe and toilets as well as a Heritage centre. I just hope the wooden panels removed are safe.

    Ianb: Please keep us updated if you possibly can. Thanks!

    (Ken Grainger's book "Sheffield Victoria to Chesterfield Central" by Foxline books is the place to go to see images of just what an imposing station this was, and hopefully can be again in the future.)
     
  3. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    Hi 46118...

    I'd be more than happy to keep people up to date with the project as and when I have the time. A brief update for now...

    Last week the society held their first public meeting which featured a talk from the Chesterfield Canal Trust, a presentation by Howard Turner on the local railways and a few poems from Killamarsh resident David Froggatt. I must say I was very impressed with the support from the local community; I'd estimate the attendance was in easily in excess of 100 people and it even attracted visitors from as far afield as Leeds so that's promising. I think the next meeting is planned to take place in March and the society are currently collecting books, dvds and so on so that they can begin to raise funds.

    It appears that the society's website went live today Killamarsh Heritage Society | Killamarsh Heritage Society so you can also receive updates, and send donations via PayPal, there. I expect the Facebook page will be kept up to date too.

    In response to your other comments...

    Thankfully I have got quite a few photos of the station over the last 8 years or so; I can upload them at some stage if people are interested in seeing them. There's quite a collection of photos on the society's website too.

    I can't remember the exact dates but, as I said earlier, after the sale of the land to the property developers the building was slowly dismantled (with the intention of rebuilding it) to leave just the chimney stacks, the columns for the canopies and some other framework. I suppose once the property developers decided that there was no rush to build on the site, there was no longer any urgency to dismantle the remains. I appreciate that at the minute what is left may look a bit of a mess, but as I understand it the rest of the woodwork (including fittings such as the ticket office window) was removed for safe storage - in my opinion that was probably for the best really - at that time the station was going to be moved elsewhere anyway and I think many people were concerned that it would become the target of vandals. Hopefully all that can be reversed in time and it might become a rather popular attraction.
     
  4. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Thanks for the update. Sounds promising. I see you have mentioned the Chesterfield Canal, and I was about to add to my post by saying that once restored, the Chesterfield Canal is but a short walk away up the hill.

    What surprised me about this station building (apart from its vulnerability to vandals, being mainly of timber construction) was its sheer size. From memory, probably over 100 ft long, so there would be ample scope for a variety of community uses.
     
  5. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    I'm sure between the neighbouring Trans-Pennine Trail and the Chesterfield Canal that there ought to be plenty of visitors to the future centre's facilities. Hopefully the canal should reach Killamarsh in the not-too-distant future and that ought to bring many more visitors to the village, but at least for now we have the Cuckoo Way running along the towpath and, if the station is re-built before the canal, that ought to provide a steady stream of visitors.

    I heard rumours that Brimington station building (a similar timber structure) was lost to a fire a few years ago - can anyone confirm this? Obviously, if Killamarsh station is rebuilt the society would have to think about some kind of fire protection - providing that could be sorted then they would have a fairly large building on their hands as you say. I'll try and work out roughly how long when I'm next down there but I won't argue with an estimate of around 100ft - room for a model railway me thinks :smile:
     
  6. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Any building can get torched, wooden or not. I can only assume that Killamarsh lasted as well as it did because the local yoof aren't quite as destructive as the doom-mongers would have you believe. Obviously to rebuild and reopen it for public use it will need to comply with all sorts of legislation although various exemptions should be possible if this compromises the building's listed status. I suggest that the group should liaise with the local fire brigade to see what they recommend.

    I also had a look at the place shortly before the dismantling started, although I couldn't get too close as the builders had fenced off the site. It looked like a wonderful building and I hope that one day it will do so again. Pleased to see it has local support - that counts for a lot. Good luck!
     

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  7. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with the project. I took the liberty of stitching your photo's together ...

    Kmarsh Stn.jpg
     
  8. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies gents. I'll pass your comments on to the society.

    Pmh_74, It's very true what you say about any type of building getting torched. I can assure you though that the youth of Killamarsh are destructive - they removed a chunk of the former LD & EC embankment to build a den! Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky to have a decent leisure centre and Rother Valley country park on the doorstep to distract them a bit.
     
  9. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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