Derek Hayward's photos above illustrate the buildings currently on platform 2, and the area behind the platform, before the start of clearance work. The current Bulleid Society Shop is the building closest to the camera. Beyond that is the ex-Isfield waiting room, which has housed the model railway in recent years. The current museum buildings (the original LBSCR waiting room and its more recent extension) are behind the canopy.
Currently stored in the sidings behind the platform are the Maunsell Locomotive Society's SR Parcels van and Locomotive 80100 (under the tarpaulin), and behind, the boiler for loco 84030, the North London tank loco, a PalVan, and not really visible behind that, the spare C-class tender. Right: The Museum display is now closed until the project is completed.
After what seems an eternity, it's finally beginning to happen so it's only right to tell you what is going on!
Over the last few months, you will have seen activity on the former Woodpax site involving land clearance and demolition.
So far work includes:
- Closure of the old museum in the Up Waiting room
- Closure and demolition of the old Bulleid shop
- Closure (sadly) of the current Model Railway
- Demolition of the large shed and associated buildings
- Clearance of old fences and removal of all services
- New bat roost (Now complete with inhabitants!) at North end
- Tender documents issued
- All necessary agreements and documents are now in place
- Preparatory work on services required
The next stages of work will be:
- Dismantling of former Isfield (old model railway) building and stored pending refurbishment as the new Bulleid shop
- Disconnection of remaining services (i.e. gas lighting)
- Preparation to re-site the ticket printing presses to their new location
- Clearance of remaining rolling stock and track
- Update and engage key stakeholders
The tender documents were due back on Friday the 25th of September. However there follows a period where each of the tender documents is carefully examined in order to ensure that there are a) no hidden "nasties", b) no elements of the project missed out or overlooked and finally that the tender represents good value. Following on from this we will have the "Beauty contest" whereby we will meet and examine each of the contractors before we will be in a position to engage.
Four tenders were received and are now being thoroughly checked. We expect this process to end around the end of October as we want the contractor mobilised and on site by the end of November.
No work will be undertaken on the up platform until after the Santa season has concluded.
Please note that you will see activity on the site, but it is a building site and therefore becomes a "hard hat" area - do not put yourself at risk. One of the first jobs the contractor will be undertaking will be to completely fence / close off the area. However, it will not be difficult to see the work as it progresses.
I will update you with a further bulletin at the end of October.
Andrew Strongitharm's photo, taken on 18th September, shows the start of clearance work, as the small brick-built building on our section of the former Woodpax site is demolished. Removal of the timber-clad building beyond it has also now started, after the bats had been moved into their newly built shelter by a Natural England licensed handler.
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