Hereford to Worcester Railway construction Council meeting at 6pm
Wed 22nd July 2015 at 19.00 - 21.00
Gordon Wood talking on the construction of the Railway between Hereford and Worcester
A fascinating talk about the local railway construction, with evidence to disprove many local stories about Stephen Ballard, Lady Foley and the Viaduct.
Steaming ahead with local railway
Ledbury Rotarians were treated to a fascinating talk by Gordon Wood about our regional railways, concentrating on the construction of the Worcester and Hereford lines. Incorporated in 1853, this railway was opened stages from 1859 to 1861 with the final section Malvern Wells to Shelwick Junction (Hereford) opened on 17 September 1861. A rail link between Worcester and Hereford was first suggested in the early 1850s, when the need arose to link the industries of Birmingham and the Black Country with the coalfields of South Wales and the original plan was to use the straightest route. Gordon told his audience that the citizens of Malvern and Ledbury were unhappy as they wanted the main line to go through their towns and so began a campaign, calling on the merchants and bankers to give their influential and financial support. The lobbying was successful, and work started in 1856 on a line that would link Worcester to Malvern, via a new station, and over a viaduct and bridge, Malvern to Ledbury, through two tunnels, and Ledbury to Hereford, via another viaduct this great feat of engineering. The Worcester and Hereford Railway became part of the West Midland Railway on 1 July 1861 and the GWR on 1 August 1863. Gordon illustrated his presentation with wonderful pictures of the grand old steam engines, the beautiful decorative iron and metal work on bridges and railway stations which still exist. He encouraged people to take a closer look at these wonderful designs when they next use their local railway.