Network Rail has recently completed two projects at Stalybridge railway station which together represent an investment of nearly £500,000.
The back room of the station buffet bar has been fully refurbished and now has numerous posters, prints, mirrors and pieces of railway memorabilia, including ladies room and waiting room signs.
Lord Pendry of Stalybridge, who often uses the buffet bar and contributed over half of the £6,000 costs, unveiled a plaque to mark the refurbishment. Speaking at the unveiling, he said that contrary to popular belief, he hadn’t been using the buffet since the station opened in 1845.
He also said that Network Rail had shown a commitment to the station that its predecessors hadn’t.
Patrick Cawley, Network Rail’s route building engineer, said: “We have committed a considerable amount of money to Stalybridge station in recent years and there is yet more to come.
“Yet our funds are limited so we are grateful for Lord Pendry’s contributions to the current and previous work in the buffet bar.
“Working on a scheme like this is always a pleasure because the end results show what can be achieved with a little imagination, and you know that your efforts will be appreciated by everyone who uses the station.”
The original plaster ceiling rose and cornices have been retained, and moulds of the existing architrave were taken so that damaged sections could be replicated.
The walls had their plaster removed completely and a new skim applied using heritage materials. They were then decorated in a blush pink colour as chosen by the landlady.
Finally, the wooden floor was sanded, coated and glossed.
On the platform outside, Network Rail has also recently finished a complete refurbishment of the station canopy.
Gone are the old, cracked and missing glazing panels and the leaking guttering, which is what led to the buffet bar work.
A new apex canopy was designed so that the rear section would be strong enough to be walked on for cleaning and keeping the gutters clear and the front section glazed to allow natural light to flood the platform.
The capacity of the guttering between the canopy and station building has been increased as have the water down pipes which will guard against the drainage system overflowing and affecting the building.
A new lighting system has been installed underneath the canopy.
Steelwork has been stripped back to bare metal, repaired where necessary, treated and repainted as have the supporting columns with their intricate ironwork.
Now the station has a stunning canopy, in blue and white that compliments earlier work carried out on the subway linking the platforms, and the station entrance and ticket hall.