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Network rail are refusing to renew the lease on the Depot at didcot. this would be a massive loss for preservation in the UK.

there is a number 10 petition online at
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Save-the-GWS/

i am not much of a GWR fan but its so much more than railways. its about social history through the ages. there is everything there from early broad gauge to some of the last loco's built by the GWR. from grotty suburban's to the top link super saloons. it really is a wonderful site. if its lost the collection could be spread across the country and many features such as the famous broad gauge test track and the traverser would be lost.

its also one of the only urban preservation sites. (the only one?) and just about the only one that's really easy to get to from London in a day trip.

Peter
 

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Happy to sign.
PS if you want preserved railways within day trip from London, look no furthur than Kent. We have
KESR
Bluebell
EKLR
Plus RHDR (not preserverd as sush, 1/3 scale live steam)
Plus lots I cant for the life of me remember right now, mind has gone blank!!!
Steve
 

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I am not advising against signing the petition but having seen the original posts I alerted some friends in Didcot - I used to be a director of a thing called Didcot First a non-aligned group aimed at improving life in Didcot - as I now live rather North of Didcot - (Ross-shire) I am not anymore. Anyway I asked Didcot First to lobhy the local MP whom they have good contacts with but I got a similar response to that posted on MREMAG this morning, which is that there isn't an imminent threat of closure and that the situation is rather more complex than first described.

I won't repeat the full response to me as it was in a private email but and it does appear that there is no imminent threat despite some significant difficulties caused by changes in NR negotiating position/personnel.

I suspect that signing the petition would probably help focus NR minds in future negotiations and make clear to them the level of lobbying they would have to deal with if they don't play ball so don't let me stop you

TimP
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 10 Feb 2009, 07:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i am not much of a GWR fan but its so much more than railways. its about social history through the ages.
To be honest neither am I, much prefering large black locomotives with red wheels & chassis, not forgetting huge smoke deflectors (sorry Steve), but I agree that it is about heritage/social history, call it what you like.

So, duly signed.
 

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Hi Everybody.
While on a Railway related visit to the UK last year my partner & I paid a visit to Didcot & had a very nice afternoon.
I tried to sign the petition but not being from the UK or any country connected to the UK I was prevented from signing because where I come from we don't have post codes.But at least I tried.
 

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It may have been my e-mail to Pat Hammond which was seen by TimP on MREMag yesterday.

The GWR Society who run Didcot have issued a number of press statements. The last I saw appeared in 'The Railway Magazine' for March, which was published last week.

In summary:
The Society were trying to buy the land from Network Rail (NR), and had been negotiating since 2002. But in 2007 NR said they had changed their policy and were not prepared to sell after all. The Society has a lease with NR that runs until 2019, but it has a 6-month break clause. The GWR Soc is not in immediate danger of being evicted but does not have long-term security past 2019. And without a long-term arrangement they cannot apply for grants to develop the site.

Speaking from my involvement with the restoration of St Albans South signal box, I can confirm that various funding bodies are very unwilling to grant awards where such a 'break clause' exists, and it was negotiations with NR which took over 3 years to eliminate a similar clause from our lease with them before we could sign the lease and start work on the box. So at least our modest work compared to the GWR Soc's efforts has hopefully set a precedent they can call on to sort out this problem. My best wishes to them.

Regards,
John Webb
(Member, St Albans Signal Box Trust)
 

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QUOTE But in 2007 NR said they had changed their policy and were not prepared to sell after all.
They were happy enough to sell the Weymouth harbour branch last month. Seems a bit inconsistent to me.....


David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 10 Feb 2009, 18:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>They were happy enough to sell the Weymouth harbour branch last month. Seems a bit inconsistent to me.....

Quite! NR need to maximise their property sales income - the Weymouth Quay branch is more of a millstone round their necks and could be disposed of - Didcot could be useful in the future for NR use... I personally doubt they could sell it off for development, surrounded as it is by railway lines. Why they refused to sell it to the GWR Society (thus maximising their property sales!) I have no idea whatsoever and it appears inconsistant to me as well!

I forgot to mention in my post above that the GWR Soc are approaching MPs, Cabinet Ministers and senior rail industry figures, and warns that if those moves prove unsuccessful, "a more public campaign is likely to be mounted.".

Regards,
John
 
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