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”.

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).

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

BRCC wins national award for Ridgmont Station

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

The recently refurbished Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre and Tea Rooms has won 2nd place in the national Community Rail Awards, in the fiercely competitive ‘Most Enhanced Station Buildings’ category.

BRCC’s Transport Team Leader Stephen Sleight and volunteer Andy Buckley accepted the ACoRP award on behalf of the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership (MVCRP), which works to promote use of the Bedford to Bletchley rail line and is managed by BRCC.

This is the culmination of a long term project by BRCC and MVCRP (with further volunteer support from Bedford and Bletchley Rail Users’ association BBRUA) that has seen a semi derelict station building brought back into community use.

The former station house built in 1846 in a Victorian Gothic Cottage Orné style boasts a Tea Room in the former ladies waiting room, three offices, a Tourist Information Point, a small gift shop and a growing collection of railway heritage items in the restored booking office. Recent additions include a Community Cabinet which currently houses a 1930’s exhibtion.

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    The Old School
    Cardington
    Bedford
    MK44 3SX

    (01234) 838771
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