Wolverton Works online

Recording the history of the World's longest continually operating railway Works

Now on twitter @marshrail

IMPORTANT NEWS ON GALLERY PAGE POSTED 12 SEPTEMBER 2017. Wolverton Works will probably be demolished over the next three years or so unless the China Railway Rolling Stock Company becomes the Works' operator  benefitting from a lease negotiated to last up to 25 years if the rumours are true! A brilliant film of the Works is on utube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq1UxLVq-sI.

 

 

Welcome to Wolverton Works online. Site last updated 12 October 2017 . PHOTOGRAPHERS PLEASE NOTE: Knorr-Bremse has tried to stop two local photographers from taking pictures from the Stratford Road and the Community Centre Car park. These are PUBLIC places and therefore Knorr-Bremse has NO legal powers to stop you taking images from these places.  

Many thanks to http://aerialpanos.blogspot.co.uk/ for sending in this image of the Wolverton Conservation Area. It shows just how integral the Works is to the Conservation Area.

The Full Works is the official book published to commemorate the Works' 175th anniversary in September 2013. It is still available from the author priced £6.50 including P&P from: Mr P Marsh, 14 Milton Road, Willen Village, MK15 9AD.

Or on-line by clicking here

 

War Memorial fund

Working with Dave Hilliard from Wolverton Works, Phil Marsh has donated £1000 from the anniversary book to the World War One War Memorial fund. Dave has raised several thousands of pounds working tirelessly towards the project completion.

 

This will commemorate each of the 213 Wolverton Works men who gave their lives in this conflict. For some reason, the LNWR did not erect a War memorial to them. and we resolved to rectify this omission.

 

Dave Hilliard, supported by Knorr-Bremse, has raised the required amount and the memorial stone will be unveiled once Planning Consent has been obtained. But St Modwen will not apply for planning consent for several years.

 

 

 

Demolition is now likely after the MK Development Control Committee narrowly voted by 6 to 4 in favour of St Modwen's application to 'regenerate' the site at the 25 September meeting. Or is it? Historic England gave a powerful three minute presentation fighting against the application and said they may well request a Public Inquiry to seek a legal conclusion to the decsion. Wolverton & Greenelys Council agreed on Sept 28th to support Historic England's request for an Inquiry.

 

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This is the text of the three minute objection presented by Phil Marsh at the 25 Sept Planning Meeting

 

I am Phil Marsh, with 44 years professional railway experience, 26 of those associated with Wolverton Works and 14 as a railway trade journalist. Here is a  statement from Andrew McLean, Head Curator of the National Railway Museum

Wolverton Works was established in 1838 and by 1907 was the largest railway building and repair works in Britain. Wolverton was one of the first Railway towns and connected to some of Britain’s most significant figures in the 19th century, including Robert Stephenson.

 

It is the UK’s most closely connected town to the Royal Train. Some of the Wolverton carriages, amongst the World’s most significant and influential rail vehicles, are in the National Collection at the National Railway Museum.

 

Wolverton played a significant role in building, maintaining and repairing military vehicles and Ambulance Trains in both World Wars.

The site presents significant evidential, historical and communal value, all recognised core conservation principles and collectively, the remaining Wolverton Works buildings are an incredibly important survival. Many of the most significant losses to Britain’s Built-heritage were railway sites - now much lamented. Recent developments at St Pancras, King’s Cross, Stirling and Hexham have changed that position.

 

There is clear evidence that a sensitively handled re-development of former railway buildings can become an important and attractive asset, acting as a catalyst of significant social and economic regeneration.

 

Wolverton has already lost some buildings, and those now at risk should be looked at again in the context of a changing and deeper understanding of Britain’s railway and royal heritage.

 

Last November, my [Phil Marsh] objection was struck from the record on the instruction of Mr Sacbuker. It took Freedom of Information and Subject Access requests to reveal he was acting under instruction from Knorr-Bremse.

Why?

The details are in my objection but in summary the failed planning processes, procedures and negligence by the planning team demonstrate absolutely why this application should be rejected.

 

Wolverton Works is the world’s oldest longest continuously open railway works. St Modwen’s contention that it is no longer fit for purpose is disingenuous and unproven.  

 

At the risk of further antagonising the DCC, I believe my railway experience and local Wolverton Works knowledge, qualifies me to speak with authority against the very basis of this application.

 

The G L Hearn Wolverton Works Employment Assumption document is factually incorrect as detailed in my objection.

 

Last year Knorr-Bremse Communications Manager Nick Brailey told me “We will not relocate if we have to keep using the existing buildings”.

 

The Barrow Hill roundhouse has just reopened after a £1.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund award, crucially also supported by the local council. This project turned derelict railway sheds into a huge tourist attraction, employment, educational and community hub.

The application ignores planning policy W3 and affordable housing levels.

 

Do DCC members wish to be remembered for destroying the major local Conservation Area in the MK50 year?

 

What a legacy!

 

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