|Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on March 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM|
Welcome to the first edition of 2016 of ATDRPG Matters.
Our next Open Meeting will be held on Friday 4th March 7.30pm at Tewkesbury Library GL20 5NX.
We look forward to introducing Sergeant Andy Boston of British Transport Police as the invited guest speaker.
All welcome, complimentary refreshments to be served beforehand.
UPDATE SINCES LAST MEETING
Again, there is little in the way of major developments since the last meeting, but your committee has been busy behind the scenes, largely through continuing contacts with individuals within the railway industry, and Ken’s continuing occasional travels throughout other areas of the UK, obtaining useful information and comparisons. Here are some of the more important events:
2 December 2015 - John represented ATDRPG at a meeting at Ashchurch Village Hall hosted by Harris Ethical Ltd., who had been commissioned to undertake studies to find practical and financial ways forward for the development of the station. Other representatives present included Great Western Railway, Gloucester County Council and Railfuture. This was a fact finding mission and no results have yet been published.
30 December 2015 – construction of the final four raised beds on the station garden was completed (see photo above).
6 January 2016 – Letter received from GWR, advising that we have been successful in our bid to their Communities Improvement Fund and that we have been awarded £5000! It is planned to have a meeting with GWR to discuss the practicalities of how and on what we could spend this money.
9 January 2016 – The day was unusual in having both the latest footfall count at the station, plus a working party at the garden. The latter concentrated on filling the beds with soil and compost ready for the new occupants, together with laying the final bark pathway. Concrete posts have been installed ready for when the mock level crossing gates are built.
3 February 2016 - Ken and John attended the latest meeting of Worcestershire Rail User Groups Alliance (WRUGA). This alliance incorporates areas from Hereford to Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Stratford-on-Avon and ourselves. Another very positive meeting, with all members of the Alliance keen to see improvements in the Worcester-Bristol corridor and at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury especially. The situation re Worcestershire Parkway was concerning to all.
11 February 2016 - John had a meeting with Vikki, the manager of Mary P’s Nursery, regarding our proposal to join forces for the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration over the weekend of June 11/12. We are hoping to have a model railway in the car park to give rides during the Sunday afternoon, plus a bouncy castle and refreshments. There is also planned to be displays relevant to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury station’s past. We have begun discussions with GCC, etc. for permission.
22 February – Ken and John had a meeting with GWR re the £5k grant. Various questions were answered and areas of doubt clarified. Basically, we can spend the money of whatever we want, but we will have to submit costings, budgets, etc. and all to be completed by 31 March 2017. We have ideas already, but if any member has any bright ideas (preferably sensible!), we would be delighted to hear them.
Other matters – the footfall counts are constantly showing levels of around 110/120,000 p.a., against the official figure of 87k+. We are looking to finish the station garden by the end of May at the latest, so we can enter ACoRP’s competition. The rest of the invited Speakers for this year are: AGM June 3rd (subs due) – Nigel Harris (Editor of Rail magazine and Christian Wolmar! September 2 – Matt Barnes of GWR; and December 2 – Richard, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, to talk about his latest book.
JOHN STRETTON FEBRUARY 2016
*********** Stop Press**********
There Will Be No Additional Train Service For Cheltenham Races This Year – Please Use Either Service 9.24 Or 11.24
A day, or longer, at the seaside (by train from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury of course!)
How many of us recall the days of a much awaited trip to the seaside, often by excursion train or by scheduled train using special offer tickets. The days of excursion trains to the seaside are long gone, and special seaside day trip tickets are not part of the modern ticketing structure used by the current train companies.
Unusually we are very lucky with our train service at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury, as not only are many seaside resorts easily accessible with just one change of train, but we are directly connected by through trains to some of the more popular South Coast resorts. Not only that, but by careful pre-planning, using Advance Purchase Tickets, railcard discounts, and other offers, trips to these resorts can be remarkably good value. (eg. Advance Purchase Single to Brighton can be as low as £17)
Brighton and the Sussex Coast
Our best service is the popular 11.24 departure, which although calling at many local stations on the way, runs directly right through to Brighton. Not only does this service also stop at Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea, but with one simple change many other popular seaside destinations can be reached, Change at Southampton for the Red Funnel ferry service to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, at Fareham for Portsmouth and Southsea station (for Southsea), or for Portsmouth Harbour station to get the Wightlink ferry to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The train also calls at Havant from where there is a frequent bus service to Hayling Island, and at Barnham, where you change for a few minutes short hop train run to Bognor Regis or Littlehampton. If you travel all the way to Brighton you can, should you wish, continue to Bexhill-on-Sea or Hastings, or to one of my favourites, the lesser known resort of Seaford, near Newhaven. With a direct through train back from Brighton as well, these places are well worth a short break, especially out of the main holiday season.
Remarkably there are 3 direct services daily from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury to Weymouth, at 07.05, 13.24 & 15.24! Sadly there are no direct services returning, but there are many connections available by changing at Westbury, Bristol Temple Meads or Gloucester.
We have 1 direct train a week scheduled to run from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury to Weston-Super-Mare, leaving at 14.51 on Sundays. However, our most popular seaside “day trip” resort is very easily reached with one change of train. Although Bristol Temple Meads has a slightly wider choice of connections and full station facilities, in most cases a “same platform” change at Filton Abbey Wood station gives good connections. For example, leaving at 09.24 changing at Filton Abbey Wood (with a 17 minute wait) gets you to Weston-Super-Mare at 11.21.
Other options to consider: Barry Island or Penarth (change at Cardiff Central), Rhyl, Colwyn Bay or Llandudno (change at Birmingham New Street), Dawlish, Teignmouth, Torquay or Paignton (change at Cheltenham Spa), or for a real adventure, change at Cheltenham Spa for that great Scottish city which has a magnificent beach which most English people do not realise even exists, Aberdeen !
Ken Radbourne February 2016
“IF ONLY IF IT HAD BEEN ME”
Just for a moment – a split second – I thought “it could be me”. I’ve been to Worcester, I might have bought a ticket and forgotten all about it, I could be the secret £33 million jackpot winner, but then I remembered Camelot wouldn’t have had to wait for me to come forward because I always write my bank sort code, account number and password on my ticket so that they can pay it straight into my account. Come to think of it, perhaps that’s why however much I pay into that account it’s always in the red. Ah well, there’s the Euro lottery rollover or the Irish and Nigerian lotteries which you are guaranteed to win.
But if I had won £33,015,496.72, what could I have done with it? With train carriages costing £1.5 million each (281 new diesel and electric carriages for the next Northern franchise are valued at £490 million), I could have bought and presented to GWR 2 x 3 car Turbo/Class 172s (say £10 million), 4 additional drivers and conductors (£1/2 million), a couple of oil wells worth of diesel (£1 million at today’s give away prices), a bit of a backhander to Network Rail for additional wear and tear on their tracks and station platforms, and I could have delivered an hourly service along the Cotswold Line and between Worcester and Cheltenham/Gloucester/Bristol and still have had £20 million to waste on riotous living or doubling the track between Pershore and Worcester Parkway. “It should have been me!”
Derek Potter February 2016
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