Hello! I'm always looking out for more material: if you have anything you would like to share (especially relating to my Request List), please get in touch! Twitter: @malvernrailway.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

More Pictures of Brotheridge Green Shed

For this week's blog post I decided to return to one of my favourite spots near Malvern; Brotheridge Green nature reserve. I snapped my original series of pictures here in March 2016: it was late on an afternoon and the crummy camera phone I had with me at the time decided to turn a lot of the pictures a very evocative but also very distorted sepia red colour. With my photo editing skills today being much better than they were then, I decided to repair these old pictures and to take a few new ones along the way. I think the Brotheridge Green page (and particularly the photographs of the tumbledown permanent way hut there) are now much improved.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Colin Allbright Collection, Part VII: Great Malvern Station

This week's update includes some more pictures of Great Malvern Station. These pictures are from the late 1970s, and show the station before it was gutted by fire in 1986. The shots taken from Platform One are particularly interesting, as they show the long-derelict Midland bay a few years before it was finally filled in and sold for housing. Notice also the old British Rail trappings, also now consigned to history.

The front of the station with the old British Rail awning.
Looking across the station car park.
Looking across Platform One to the derelict Midland bay platform.
The view from Avenue Road bridge, 1/2...
...and 2/2.
'The Worm' and the wooden track crossing below the bridge.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Dymock Daffodil Trail - Vell Mill

Last week I decided to pay a visit to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's beautiful nature reserve at Vell Mill, a small field adjoining the River Leadon east of Dymock. During the heyday of the railways, special excursion trips were aranged from the large cities to see the daffodils in south Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, so I took some pictures of this year's array. Dymock station itself sat on the Ledbury-Gloucester Railway and opened in 1885, closing eventually in 1959.

Today, Dymock has no railway station or indeed any railway line nearby, although a few relics remain. For example, a tell-tale hedge line still bisects the village from north to south, and an old railway bridge continues to carry Kempley Road over a now abandoned cutting.

This post is not strictly railway related, but after my interesting walk along the Ledbury Town Trail over Christmas I thought it would be nice to take another look at sites outside Worcestershire.

The information board at Vell Mill.
Looking west towards Dymock.
Looking east across the field.
Two trumpets.
A cluster of daffodils.
The bend in the River Leadon on the southern flank of the reserve.
Nice weather for it!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Colin Allbright Collection, Part II: Fruitlands Estate

This week's blog update takes us back to Colin Allbright's collection, this time to fill a gap by revisiting the old buffers outside Malvern Wells signal box. These shots were taken in the late 1970s and show the area behind the new Fruitlands housing estate, north of Colwall Tunnel. There will be more from this collection to come in the following weeks but meanwhile, enjoy!

Skid row: the buffers, 1/2...
...and part 2/2.
Down the line, with the Fruitlands estate on the bend.
New houses on the railway line. Shame they got rid of the nearby station!
Malvern Wells box in the distance.
Back down to the lineside.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

More Pictures from Ripple

This week's blog post shows some of the pictures I took at Ripple during a quick visit there last summer. It was a gorgeous day in late May and a pretty busy one for me - after snapping the old M50 bridge and the village bridge in Ripple, I managed to have lunch and a pint by the river in Upton before tackling the embankment by the rugby pitch there. I hope the good weather returns soon but in the meantime please enjoy these pictures!

Not a railway pic, but nevertheless: St Mary's in Ripple.
A clue as to the village's history.
The bridge joining Station Road to Bow Road, the last road crossing before Ripple Station.
The south wall of Station Road bridge.
The view over the north parapet is pretty overgrown!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Northway Lane Bridge

The final structure passed by the Malvern-Ashchurch Midland branch line on its way through Gloucestershire was Northway Lane bridge. Built to an arched design, the bridge sat just before the final southward turn as the branch line reached its junction with the surviving Birmingham-Gloucester railway (now the 'Cross Country' route). Because the Ashchurch-Upton spur had a nine-year stay of execution after the closure of the Malvern-Upton section in 1952, there are comparatively more historical pictures of this end of the line.

The bridge today survives in its original state despite the disappearance of the railway beneath it. Surrounded by an industrial estate, it is now no longer strictly necessary as an overpass but still provides a reminder of a bygone age nonetheless. In fact, Northway Lane bridge can be seen from the 'new' Ashchurch-for-Tewkesbury station (opened 1997) which replaced the original stop (closed in 1971).

The following two pictures are taken from Roger Smith's excellent Flickr Page and show the last train leaving Ashchurch for Upton-on-Severn in 1961. The tight right-left westward curve is clearly visible in the foreground as the train departs the station.

The Northway Lane bridge pulls into view outside Ashchurch.
Letting off some steam under Northway Lane bridge.

Photos of Tewkesbury and Ashchurch from Roger Smith

This week's update takes us away from my familiar stamping ground to the other end of the Malvern-Ashchurch railway. The following pictures come courtesy of Roger Smith's excellent Flickr page and show the Northway Lane bridge over the railway at Ashchurch, as well as the Mythe embankment and tunnel portal outside Tewkesbury. The tunnel picture is particularly interesting: I haven't been able to find many shots of the Mythe tunnel so far and Roger's shot clearly shows the small bridges that were ripped up as part of flood prevention works in 2013. The Northway bridge photos are worth a look too: so much of the site around Ashchurch station was levelled but as far as I know the bridge remains, even if its original purpose has long since disappeared. One to look out for in future.

'Last train to Upton-on-Severn entering Mythe Tunnel', 14th August 1961
The Northway Lane bridge pulls into view outside Ashchurch.
Letting off some steam under Northway Lane bridge.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Worm and the Turntable

In what must probably be the post with the strangest title to date, this week I've gathered together some pictures of the 'Worm' passenger tunnel and the old service door at the Imperial Hotel. 'The Worm' was a corrugated metal tunnel designed to allow first-class passengers arriving in Malvern to access the hotel without having to leave cover (or to mingle with their second-class counterparts!). The tunnel is sadly neglected today, with both ends locked to prevent access to what is now a school. There are plans to see the feature restored, however. The service door, meanwhile, once sat in front of a small turntable which allowed coal trucks at the rear of inbound trains to be decoupled and rotated ninety degrees for delivery straight into the basement of the Imperial Hotel. No trace of this turntable survives today, but the door itself remains, albeit presumably in a defunct state.

The locked door to 'The Worm'.
Here we see the Worm on the right and the hotel's service door behind.
A clear shot of where the turntable once stood, just behind the first lineside cabinet.
Up the line towards Malvern Link - bridge after bridge.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Colin Allbright Collection, Part VI: Great Malvern Station

This week's post takes us back to Great Malvern station, with these excellent shots taken in the late 1970s. Of particular interest are the pictures showing the old Midland bay platform, which by this point had fallen into a state of decay. The bay itself was eventually filled in to make way for the station's lower car park, while some of the land comprising the bay's approach lanes was sold for housing in the 1980s. The signal box was also removed, while Platform Two itself was narrowed by building large planters to provide trees with which to screen the new housing. As for the rest, Great Malvern station was listed in 1969 and so remains a popular historical asset.

This is a really great angle, showing the abandoned bay platform at Great Malvern.
The wall separating the station from what is now the lower car park.
The passenger tunnel down to Platform Two.
A site familiar to many returning Malvernians!
Platform One.
Platform Two from Avenue Road bridge.