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Last-ditch bid to halt demolition at Aigburth Station

Passengers up in arms as Victorian ironwork is scrapped

Written by . Published on March 18th 2013.


Last-ditch bid to halt demolition at Aigburth Station
 

A LAST minute plea was made today to preserve one of Merseyside’s oldest railway stations - after dismantling work started on an original cast iron canopy dating back to the 1860s.

The ironwork at Aigburth Railway Station, in Mersey Road, is being removed to make way for a "bus shelter’"-style waiting room.

More than 100 local residents and station users have already signed a petition to get the work halted.

Today Mossley Hill councillor Tina Gould contacted English Heritage in a bid to get “spot listing” for the station to force contractors to down tools.

She has also written to Cllr Liam Robinson, chairman of Merseytravel, and Cllr Wendy Simon, the city council’s executive member for culture, as well as to Network Rail.

Aigburth Station 2Aigburth Station's original canopy to go

Cllr Gould told them: “We need very urgent action to save this important part of Aigburth heritage and an important part of national rail history. The original cast iron canopy at Aigburth Station, built in 1864, is currently being removed. Next year the station will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

“Local users of the station have told me they were under the impression improvement works were being made at the station to re-open the original waiting room there (closed off for many years), and they have been shocked by the extent of the work.”

Although the station is managed by Network Rail, Cllr Gould is hoping Merseytravel and the city council’s heritage team can use their influence as a matter of urgency,  to preserve the station’s historic features.

Aigburth residents say the proposed modern “bus-stop” type of shelter on the station platform will look completely out of place in the original Victorian setting.

Cllr Gould added: “I am amazed there has been no consultation with local people or local councillors prior to this work.” 

Network Rail has informed local people who complained about the scheme that it plans to retain the removed cast iron columns and details to be re-used on “other heritage projects”.

'Shocked'

“People feel proud of their heritage in this city and it is a crying shame such a beautiful old station is being spoiled and defaced in this way.  With urgent intervention it is still possible to save the original features,” said Cllr Gould.

One regular station user said: “Everybody was delighted when it appeared they were going to re-open the original brick waiting room, but when they started to dismantle the canopy we were shocked. This is a beautiful station and should be preserved.

“Who in their right mind could even think a flimsy bus stop shelter will enhance this historic station? Obviously the decision has been made by people at Network Rail who have no regard,  and perhaps no interest, in rail history.”

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27 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Angry of AigburthMarch 18th 2013.

Hear hear! Too many stations have been vandalised in this way!

We expect that with progress one thing is destroyed in order to replace it with something better.

In practice it is usually replaced with something far inferior, particularly in railway stations.

Truculent of ToxtethMarch 18th 2013.

Same as the bus shelters!
Over the years they've managed to get bigger and obstruct more pavement yet offer less and less protection for the passengers from the elements and spray from the road.

AnonymousMarch 18th 2013.

Excuse me, have you all forgotten, this is Liverpool where the powers that be don't give a flying scotsman about looking after our heritage. They must all have shares in the plastics industry.

Casey JonesMarch 18th 2013.

They only work in underground stations.

There's nothing wrong with the generous. full-width awnings fitted over the platforms of traditional Victorian-built stations - except of course that managerial knobheads want to destroy them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 18th 2013.

What only works in underground? Just need to enclose in the platform.

Owen ReeceMarch 19th 2013.

This is a disgrace, Cressington is my nearest station and it's fantastic because of the original features

AnonymousMarch 19th 2013.

I think we should wait until Merseytravel and Network Rail have explained why they need to remove the canopy. For all we know, there might be a safety factor involved whereby part of the structure has deteriorated beyond repair.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mike Hammer (Developer)March 19th 2013.

Shhhh...or they'll get the developers in to smash holes in it..like Sir Thomas Street or Joshephine Butler House.

Scouse NouseMarch 19th 2013.

Mike Hammer - what happened in Sir Thomas Street?

DigMarch 20th 2013.

Has it worked?

scouse690March 20th 2013.

JB, you're talking rubbish again! Have you ever been to Aigburth Station? This is a Victorian Station, with a wonderful cast iron canopy and columns.... This is part of our history and heritage and the old brick waiting room, with a lick of paint...would be fine! Leave our buildings alone!!!

AnonymousMarch 20th 2013.

Anyone remember how Central Station looked in the 60's? Black, dirty, glum and unwelcoming. Look at it now
Is all progress so unwelcome? Why this tendency to cling to the past?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Mickeydrippin'March 20th 2013.

I suppose you are referring to the original Central Low Level, where the Wirral trains used to terminate. That was indeed a gloomy place, which was refurbished when the Merseyrail Loop Line was built and of course it has been vastly improved recently. The main line station was a rather nondescript place, which was demolished

TrainspotterMarch 21st 2013.

The old stone-built Central Station was lovely, it just needed a clean. It was smashed flat by the same ignorant megalomania as that which destroyed the Euston Arch

scouse690March 21st 2013.

Anon, most underground stations, in the 60's must've looked "black, dirty, glum and unwelcoming". That's because they WERE underground, and soot accumulated hour by hour, and day by day.....

What we are talking about is Aigburth Station, down Mersey Road.

This is an OUTDOOR, Victorian train station, (please visit), on the Northern Line and very well used. It is not glum,dirty or unwelcoming....it is, potentially, our local History being torn apart, yet again!!!

Hands of our Heritage!!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 22nd 2013.

What sort of house do you live in Jules?

AnonymousMarch 21st 2013.

Who watched the docu about architecture and heritage on BBC4 this evening (iPlayer it)? In the 1960s, the UK school of non-thought tried and largely succeeded in demolishing and destroying some of our best buildings. Here in the show the awful tale of the Euston arch, demolished after a fierce protest in 1961 and, almost in its entirety, found at the bottom of a river recently, where it was plugging a hole! This was also the period when the idiocy of Dr Beeching turned a fantastic railway infastructure into wasteland, to be resurrected here as a loop line for mattresses and smackheads while we spent and lost millions on tram consultancies years later when this city perhaps realised what it had lost. Keep the station like it is. This is Liverpool's week of vandalism. None of these people have the authority that they think

Ric PouMarch 24th 2013.

As a visitor to Liverpool, and having used Merseyrail Electrics as an operating model, in London we finally got upgrades to our OVERGROUND, rail lines put up for closure by the incompetent Beeching. Many of these stations have these glorified bus shelters on the platforms and get hhopelessly overcrowded on a wet or cold day!
And Aigburth did close for a while. But the plan for the local Liverpool network went back to the 60s. Anyway the Loop and Link projects were done in the late 70s and bought trains to lines with either no trains or a minimum service.
Trains every 15 minutes are used in preference to Buses, and do get some people out of cars.
These bright yellow or stainless steel 'super bus shelter' are used at lots of stations, but demolishing a traditional brick and cast iron shelter is not on. Network Rail demolished a Victorian Canopy at Acton Central station, and the Local Authority Ealing said 'No you can't do that, put it back up.' And they did.
So put the pressure on, and get funding to restore and overhaul the station structure to re-open the old waiting room with a CCTV link to the staff.
While on this link I was pleased to see a proposal to restore St James station which is partly under Parliment Street and vey close to Cains brewery and the Anglican cathederal.
There is NO EXCUSE for demolishing Aigburth station.
Fight It!

1 Response: Reply To This...
TrainspotterMarch 25th 2013.

Hear hear sir!

AnonymousMarch 24th 2013.

Network Rail are dismantling the wrought iron canopy to use it at another heritage site! So if it is safe enough to use it somewhere else why move it? There is now a website where you can sign the epetition against this destruction.

TrainspotterMarch 25th 2013.

It's the same as the demolition of whole streets of Victorian terraced houses when we have a housing shortage.
The York stone pavements, chimneys and the cut stone mullions, sills and lintels are taken to sell on to developers building pseudo 'period' housing estates in the South East!

DigMarch 25th 2013.

I'm checking to see if I comment. Ignore me

DigMarch 25th 2013.

It worked it worked!!

AnonymousMarch 25th 2013.

Ignore him he's over wraught after somebody dropped a can a pee on him

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