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”.

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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