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Friday, July 23, 2010

Wed 21 July 2010 - Brading Station & Roman Villa.

An unusual situation for the Green Gym this week - working on two different sites at the same time! Group No 1 was at Brading Roman Villa, removing the dreaded ragwort from the fields surrounding the Villa. Group No 2 was at Brading Station, working in the area at the front of the newly re-opened signal box. The plan is to use the space to build a model railway, so our task was to clear the area of the thick, fairly short vegetation, which included digging out several extremely largely buddleia and bramble roots.

Carrie’s History Lesson

Brading Station was opened to the public in 1864 and put to good use for many years by hundreds of commuters; the signal box opened in 1882 along with the branch to Bembridge, and still contains its original 30 lever Stevens and Sons frame; although several boxes were originally built to this design, it is now the oldest signal box on the Island. In 1953 the Brading-St Helens-Bembridge line was closed, but Brading remained open as part of the Shanklin-Ryde line. Electrification greatly affected Brading, causing a change of rolling stock, the removal of the second track between Brading and Sandown and, importantly, the closure of the signal box. In 1966, former London tube trains replaced the steam trains that worked the line meaning there was little use for Brading Station, and it was threatened with demolition. Much hard work by Brading Town Council and Brading Town Trust eventually saved the building, which was given Grade II listed status. The Town Council initiated a Gateways project, which aimed to completely restore the building to its former Victorian glory, including the eastern platform, its buildings and signal box. The work has now been completed, with a fenced and paved pathway to the signal box now in place; it also received an IW Conservation Design Award in 2009.

Terry's Photo Gallery. many pictures this week...! Many thanks to all who have contributed - Carrie for the text and some pictures of the station work - the others from the station are from Eddie. The photo shoot at the end is from Terry.

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