Bishop’s Castle, a small market town in Shropshire, was the terminus and head office of The Bishop’s Castle Railway Company. Founded in 1860 to build and operate the line between Craven Arms, Bishop’s Castle and onto Montgomery, the line went no further than Lydham Heath and spent almost all of its opertaing life in receivership until it finally closed in 1935. Bishop’s Castle was an important fright yard, with a cattle market opposite the station and a very busy timber trade.
The one remaining building at Bishop’s Castle station site in Shropshire is the old weighbridge, which, over the past four years, has been carefully restored by a small group of local volunteers. The unusually large weighbridge building – most were a tiny brick hut with enough room for the scales and a desk – is being transformed into a museum and heritage centre for the railway society.
The building was derelict and has undegone a total restoration, with the weighbridge itself being totally rebuilt into full wsorking order, it is now as accurate as the modern scales in the next door timber yard!
As I had to visit Bishop’s Castle for another reason thsi week I took the opportunity to drop in. A couple of volunteers were on site and showed me the progress. They’ve done a remarkable job, with a small group of volunteers and limited funding. The building has been totally refurbished and they have acquired an ex GWR banana van which is sited next to the building and houses the bookshop.
The group are having regular working days and open days. The next large open day will be in September, as part of Heritage Open Days, with other attractions including steam traction engines and classic vehicles. Follow their work on the Bishop’s Castle Railway Society website, which gives a photo history of the restoration of the weighbridge
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