Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station, Ridgmont Tea Rooms

Take a step back into Bedfordshire’s past at a special one-day Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre on Saturday 22nd April from 10:00 – 4:00. Free entry!

Andrew Mortlock, London Brick Archivist, will be bringing an extensive collection of archives, photographs and ephemera connected with the brickworks that used to dominate the landscape along the section of the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Ridgmont and other areas of Bedfordshire. Andrew will also be bringing his collection of company magazines, the Phorpres News, containing records and photographs of London Brick Company workers.

Andrew and his family are steeped in London Brick with over 200 years’ service dating back to both his grandfathers.

Visitors to previous events were fascinated by Andrew’s exhibition, and a great deal of new information came to light, including photographs of former brickworks employees.

The Heritage Centre and Tea Room will be open as usual.

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer said, “I am delighted we are able to host a Bedfordshire Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre again. The brickworks are such an important part of the history of Bedfordshire and were the catalyst for the construction of the Marston Vale Line 170 years ago.   Please come along to find our more!” 

Above image: Copyright 2017 | Stephen Coleman

Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre in DfT Community Rail Film

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station, Ridgmont Tea Rooms

Peter Batten, Head of Stations & Community Rail Policy at the Department for Transport, recently paid a special visit to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre to record a film on Community Rail to be shown at the National Community Rail Seminar.

Peter met with members of the Friends of Ridgmont Station, Tea Room staff, Marston Vale CRP Officer Stephen Sleight & Faye Lambert, Community Engagement Lead & Head of Community Rail at London Midland, before being filmed in the 170 year-old Booking Office at the Heritage Centre.

The Heritage Centre with its award winning Tea Room was chosen as the base for the film as it meets all of the objectives in the Department for Transport Community Rail Strategy:

  • Increasing passenger numbers
  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing community involvement
  • Assisting regeneration

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer, said, “I was delighted to welcome a senior official from the Department for Transport to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, and to see the building being selected as the focal point for this prestigious film on Community Rail. We are very proud of the building, and it’s terrific that it’s been recognised at a national level”.

Bargain 50cc scooters for sale – whilst stocks last!

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, Wheels 2 Work

Bedfordshire Wheels to Work Scooters for Sale – November 2016

50cc Yamaha Jog RR scooters:

4 x 64 plate (2014 registration)

Prices from £650

All have a current MOT, low mileage and a full service history.

Full valet included in the price!!!!

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Other 50cc Yamaha Jog RR scooters may be available.

Prices on application.

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Second-hand heavy duty chains can be supplied with the scooter for an additional fee.

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A full range of new and second hand safety equipment is also available.

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Please contact Stephen Sleight, Bedfordshire RCC
Transport Team Leader, to arrange a viewing

Tel. 01234 832645
Email: stephens@bedsrcc.org.uk

Visit the Marston Vale Line 170th Anniversary Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station

Our Marston Vale Line 170th Anniversary Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre is now open.

Entitled ‘Steam & Diesel Through Time’ our fourth Community Cabinet display contains a selection of models of steam & diesel locomotive/multiple units that have worked on the Line from the 20th century to the present.

To whet your appetite, above is a picture of the Flying Scotsman passing through Ridgmont in the 1960s.

The exhibition is open Tuesday – Saturday – 11:00 – 3:00 until 17th December. Free entry!

ACoRP Community Rail Awards 2016

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station

BRCC has learnt that its Contemplation Seats project, with artist Sally Annett, has been shortlisted for the ACoRP Community Rail Awards 2016 (under Category 2B ‘Community Art Schemes: Renewable & Smaller Projects’).

We are also delighted to have been shortlisted for a second award; a photographic competition – ‘The Essence of Community Rail’.  The shortlisted photograph was taken by staff from Elstow School and features a young student proudly displaying a hand crafted railway ticket, which was used during a visit to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre.

Winners will be announced at the gala dinner and presentation evening in Southport on Thursday 29th September, 2016.

Visit the project website here: www.contemplationseats.com
You can learn more about ACoRP here: (www.acorp.uk.com).

Where Will Your Journey of Contemplation Begin?

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, MVCRP, Public Art

An exciting new arts trail was launched on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) on Thursday 24th March 2016 at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, in partnership with BRCC’s arts development initiative, HAPPEN, and the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

Contemplation Seats is a series of new interactive artworks designed by local artist Sally Annett, which have been installed at every platform on the Marston Vale Line as part of the build up to the 170th birthday of the Line in November this year. Inside the train carriage further artworks and weblinks will highlight a selected ‘contemplation seat’ on each train.

Every art panel has a QR code that enables the passenger to access a bespoke website (designed by BRCC) that provides more detailed information about each artwork as well as links to information about each locality, its history and current cultural and community offers.

The images on each panel combine digital photography and etchings, the photographs have been taken by Sally Annett, and are  true depictions of the landscape & natural features, which are also referenced by or inspired by John Bunyan’s work, for example,  ‘House Beautiful (Houghton House), Mount Sinai, The Village of Morality (Ridgmont), the Wicket Gate, House of the Interpreter (St.John’s) and the Hill of Difficulty (Ampthill Hill), all of which can be seen from the train or are within a mile of their named station. These images are paired with etchings of chairs, some of which have a personal meaning to the artist and others including John Bunyan’s own chair.

Passengers are invited to send photographs of their favourite places of contemplation to the artist for posting on the Contemplation Seats website.

You can read what the Friends of Lidlington Station made of the launch event here http://www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk/friends-go-to-the-contemplation-seat-launch/.

The Contemplation Seats have been funded by Arts Council England, the Designated Community Rail Development Fund and the Bedford & Luton Community Foundation with support from London Midland, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

For further information please contact Sally Annett, tel. 07918 030445, e-mail annett897@btinternet.com

Could you be a Door to Door driver?

Written by Neville Jephcote on . Posted in Community Transport, Door to Door, Latest News

Are you interested in working either full or part time as a Door to Door driver?

BRCC can provide either a full 35 hour week, or just a few days (8 hour days), and are also looking for relief staff who may want to work on an ad-hoc basis, to cover leave or sickness, at their convenience.

The rate of pay is £8.25 per hour, a D1 licence is necessary (which you will have if you passed your test before 1997) and the ability to drive safely, interact with often fragile individuals, and secure wheelchairs or otherwise assist as necessary. A reasonable geographical knowledge of the Bedford area would be an advantage but is not essential. Full MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness) and PATS (Passenger Assistant Training) will be given along with a period of familiarisation.

This is a wonderful role for someone who enjoys being out and about with no two days the same, and likes meeting people. Consistently our staff say this is one of, if not the, most enjoyable job they’ve ever had.

For more information, please email: nevillej@bedsrcc.org.uk or call: 01234 834933.

 

Neville Jephcote
Community Transport Manager

Have your say on rail services

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station

Rail services in the next West Midlands franchise are under review (including the Marston Vale Railway Line).  There is an open consultation on proposals that runs until 22 March 2016 and all views are welcomed.  MVCRP will submit a considered response to this once in a decade opportunity, and in doing so hope to shape rail services on the Marston Vale Line into the future.

The full consultation document and online questionnaire are available at: bit.ly/west-midlands-franchise. Details of all public events (where you can come along and ask questions to inform your response) are contained in the following download.  Also, there will be a ‘drop in’ session at Milton Keynes Central Station on Monday 11 January (15.30 – 18.00).

Download: West Midlands Franchise Competition Leaflet – January 2016 (PDF 912KB)

It is also hoped to have a full set of these consultation papers, available for viewing, at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre (open Tue. – Sat. | 10.00-16.00)

For further information please contact:

West Midlands Consultation
Department for Transport
4/15 Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London
SW1P 4DR

Tel: 0300 330 3000 (switchboard)

This once in a decade consultation will run until 23:45 on 22 March 2016. Please ensure your response reaches the West Midlands Consultation before the closing date.

Welcome to new MVCRP volunteers

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in MVCRP, Ridgmont Station, Volunteering

Wishing a very warm welcome to Mandy Field and Teresa Hopkinson who have recently joined the MVCRP team.  Mandy is our new Volunteer Administration Assistant and Teresa is our Data Entry Assistant.

BRCC has a range of other volunteer opportunities at our offices in Cardington, London Road (Bedford) and Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre.  For further information, please contact Stephen Sleight on 01234 832645, or email: stephens@bedsrcc.org.uk

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    The Old School
    Cardington
    Bedford
    MK44 3SX

    (01234) 838771
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