Mytholmroyd Station Partnership’s Sue Mitchell brings us up to date with all the latest happenings from the West Yorkshire station.
It was a grey, misty start to November, with glorious autumnal hints of colour seen through the gloom. Calder valley is as ever, beautiful whatever the weather, but the rain has caused havoc locally and regionally The torrential rain experienced in Mytholmroyd has disrupted the rail and road system.
Once again, Northern came to the aid of hundreds of local pupils from the Calder Learning Trust (aka Calder High School) when management gave permission for the youngsters to use the train, the last one before the flooding close-down, to get to Hebden Bridge. Thanks are due to the fast reacting Northern management, our volunteer guru, Geoff and the Calder Learning Trust’s staff for good management of the many soaked youngsters boarding the train, with the good-natured assistance from the train crew.
An update on the Station Building
News just confirmed. Mytholmroyd Station Building phase one has been shortlisted at the National Railway Heritage Awards, to be held in London in early December.
Preparation of documentation is progressing well. Third party public liability insurance is being addressed and once that’s in place, it will make a difference to planning. With this in place, we will be able to show interested parties around the building, as it is not feasible for anyone to make a decision regarding the future use of the building simply from looking at blue prints of the floor plans.
The key to any successful business is simple, especially in the case of the Station Building. It is THE KEY to the station building. Just showing visitors round the outside of the restored building, and asking them to press their noses firmly against the window to get a glimpse of the beautifully restored fireplace – not good business practice, sales pitch rubbish doesn’t work!
We are frustrated to say the least – business plan ready for scrutiny, funding sources being researched, and public liability insurance lined up. We really want the key, need the key, will treasure the key, and handle it with great care and reverence. Honestly!
We wish Tony Doherty of Capita, and all his associates, including our local Mytholmroyd craftsmen, all the very best on the fourth. What an achievement!
Seats to Sacks launch
The last days of October were memorable for the station partnership. Karen Bennett, Community Rail Lancashire’s railway education officer, invited us to join her for the celebration of her successful ‘Seats to Sacks’ project working with youngsters and their families whose first language is not English, and who struggle with subsequent isolation and loneliness. Shaheen Khan, project officer, at the National Literacy Trust was also in attendance and she explained reading is not just about books, but being able to understand public messages on posters and signs.
This programme was an introduction to public transport, with many parents never travelling out of their houses, let alone on a train. This also covered some lessons in a simple, non-threatening way through discussion of signage, and public notices. The whole experience for all was friendly, exciting for the youngsters and their families. The Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Doreen Lee gave a supportive speech for the work being carried out in Bradford by Karen and others of the same mind. To see the end of illiteracy and racism was widely applauded.
Thank you Karen for this hard work. And its excellent result.
Farewell to a valued trustee
It is the second AGM of the Charity this month. We are sorry that our founder member Sheena Campbell has had to resign her trusteeship due to pressures of work. Sheena, a knowledgeable and generous conservationist was the main instigator for getting the historic Grade ll listed building restored. She is already missed, but we know she will always help and support the project in any way she can. Thank you, Sheena.
There is a spare piece of land at the top of the approach path that is ideal for development. We have finally been given permission to use it for community purposes. Prior to last week’s arrival of some very fancy planters already planted, gifted by Friends of Brighouse the spare square land had been prepared for cultivation by Mike Holmes and his merry men from Rail North Partnership together with reps from Northern and MSP… what a day!
Last Tuesday, David, Richard and Norman arrived with an open truck with five lovely cotyledons swaying (gently) in the rather stiff breeze. Then, the problem became apparent. How to get the five heavy planters up the very steep, long approach path to the spare square of land! Cup of tea required.
Luckily, we had organised Michael the gardener, and his assistant (both young), to swing by to help out, so a longish conference took place over a cup of tea, not all about gardening I might add, but everyone appeared satisfied with the plan to tackle the problem. Which they did with style, maybe a little unusual sort of style but it did the job.
We thank David, Richard, Norman and all the Friends of Brighouse for their generosity, likewise Michael and his able assistant, George whose idea and hard work inspired the ‘Friends Garden’ and our friends in Northern, Rail North Partnership and everyone involved!