Gilsland is a small village, population 400, which lies on the Tyne Valley Line and straddles the Northumberland/Cumbria border. Like so many small villages public transport is poor. In Edwardian times Gilsland was a busy station with hundreds of visitors going the the Gilsland Spa and all fast trains called here. However passenger numbers declined and the railway station in the centre of the village closed in 1967. The bus service that replaced it now stays on the main road and bypasses Gilsland (and neighbouring Low Row & Greenhead).
Seven members from Hexham Art Club enjoyed an afternoon sketching at Hexham railway station recently. The visit was arranged through Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership with support from Northern staff. Hexham station was opened 1835 and last year won Best Medium Station of the Year at the National Rail Awards. Members of the Art Group enjoyed the beautiful September weather and sketched the canopy and other features of this impressive station.
The station is adopted by Journey, a local charity which runs the station kiosk, and Transition Tynedale. These organisations are responsible for planters of flowers and herbs, which are really coming into their own.
Stella Douglas, Chair of the Art Club said “It is always good to get out and about, and we found lots of new challenges at the station”.
The group’s work from the afternoon may be viewed in the Old Booking Hall, Haltwhistle station on 20th and 21st September.
For enquiries about the Club, please contact https://hexhamartclub.weebly.com/
On 7 August 2019, we received notification that the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership has been shortlisted in four categories in the annual Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) Awards.The Community Rail Awards recognises the important and often unsung work carried out by community rail partnerships, station adopters and community groups, in areas such as station enhancement, community engagement and diversity. The overall winners will be announced at a gala presentation evening on Thursday 3 October at The International Centre, Telford.
Malcolm Chainey, Chair of the CRP said "Four shortlisted awards is a great achievement for the Partnership, highlightlighting the innovative work undertaken and the wide range of support given by the team of volunteers and other community groups".
More details of the Awards and other shortlisted entries are available on the ACoRP website.
The Tyne Valley CRP shortlisted entries are:
Tourism and Heritage Award:
Matthew Barrett – Tourism Development Intern, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership
Small Projects Award (£500 or less):
Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership – Platform Painters paint Hadrian’s Wall
Best Community Engagement Project:
Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership – Wylam Winter Tales
Outstanding Volunteer Contribution:
Julie Gibbon – Tyne Valley CRP volunteer
Thanks to funding from ACoRP, the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) has commissioned Shane O'Leary MSc., BSc. of IMP Well Being to undertake training for our wonderful volunteers situated at the 14 stations of the Tyne Valley line which runs from Newcastle – Carlisle.
In September Shane will run a training workshop for Station Ambassadors which assists the volunteers to undertake walking and cycling audits to and from all the stations. The Station Ambassadors will be looking at ways in which rail travel can prompt messages of being active. Each station will be examined to look at the environments which surround the station to see if it supports or inhibits active and sustainable travel. This will allow the Ambassadors to assess the opportunities to improve the provision at stations and also allow the Ambassadors to meet and exchange ideas to make recommendations and improvements.
The findings from the audit will be used to create maps, to display at the stations and online, to inform prospective passengers of what is available to support active eco-friendly travel to and from the stations. This will also compliment the station survey update which is planned.
Hopefully this is the first stage of the ongoing practice to improve access to our stations and to present evidence of support to those who control the purse strings to make our stations accessible to all.
Notes to Editors.
Always keen to ensure the love of railways is passed on to a new generation, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership was delighted to be approached by a local school asking for a Work Experience Placement for one of its pupils. Matthew Parker, a pupil in year 12 at Prudhoe Community High School has joined the TVCRP for a week of work experience. Fiona Forsythe, the TVCRP Officer drew up an interesting week of work for Matthew. “There is a lot to find out and it's not just like being on a railway”, said Matthew.
On Monday morning Matthew caught the train from Prudhoe to Newcastle to meet with other TVCRP members to visit the Open Lab at Newcastle University to have a demonstration of “Our Place”. This is a new app which TVCRP hope to incorporate in various aspects of their work, both with class visits, learning about rail safety, but also for tourists and travellers who could be able to view their station and learn about the various attractions in the vicinity of the station. Matthew was able to contribute to the discussions and even designed a site for the Stocksfield Burn, one of his favourite walks.
The following day he was off to Haltwhistle to attend the Tourism Steering Group. In the afternoon Matthew began research into defibrillators. The next day Matthew visited Prudhoe Signal Box to find out about the work of the signalmen. These visits are always very interesting.
Back at Haltwhistle on Thursday to look at the 1838 sleeper block. This was one of the original sleeper blocks used in the building of the line, which has somehow survived and can be seen near the former goods yard. This was followed up by a visit to the Old Booking Office with its Edmondson ticket racks. These tickets are now sold as souvenirs. Edmondson was a station master at nearby Brampton Station and he invented the card ticket used by many railways throughout the world before computerised ticketing came along.
The final day was a time for catching up with paperwork. Matthew was asked to compile a blog of his week with TVCRP, along with photographs, a paper on defibrillators and text for the Stone Block Sleeper and the Edmundson tickets.
“We are very pleased to welcome Matthew to the TVCRP”. Said Fiona Forsythe, “And hope he gains a lot from his work experience”.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership is a not for profit limited company.