Saturday, 28 March 2015

Irlam Station Launch

The restored building viewed from the Down platform.

The refurbished station house at Irlam was officially opened on Thursday, 26th March 2015, exactly 122 years after the station first opened to passengers.

The long-term project to bring the derelict building back into use was masterminded by the Hamilton Davies Trust, a registered charity founded in 2004 by Neil McArthur MBE who is the Chairman of the Trustees (see Our Story).

Hamilton Davies Trust brought together a number of partners: Salford City Council, NC Developments, Transport for Greater Manchester, Network Rail, Northern Rail, Irlam and Cadishead History Society and the Friends of Irlam Station in order to bring about the successful completion of this ambitious scheme. The work has been carried out to a high standard, with careful attention to detail, resulting in a facility which is now a major asset to the local community.

Around 200 invited guests attended the event, many making use of the new car park, but some including the writer travelled by train (Northern Rail had kindly provided complimentary tickets from either Manchester or Liverpool).

Special ticket issued by Northern Rail.

There was a very friendly, party spirit as guests arrived. Wine, hot and cold drinks and light refreshments were provided.

The main area viewed from near the refreshment counter. Note the stairs to the upper floor.

At around two thirty, as many people as possible crowded into the main area for a series of introductory speeches, including addresses by Councillor Christine Hudson, Ceremonial Mayor of Salford and Ian Stewart, City Mayor of Salford. After the speeches, the guests were entertained by Cadishead Public Band (who are sponsored by Hamilton Davies Trust).

Cadishead Public Band prepares to entertain the visitors.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony then took place outside on the terrace.

The ribbon-cutting moment arrives.

Irlam Station now has a comfortable waiting room, complete with a cafe/bistro, toilet facilities, free Wi-Fi and facilities for meetings. The new car park accommodates 60 vehicles with motorcycle bays, a 'Cycle Hub', dedicated pedestrian walking routes, better lighting and closed-circuit television for improved security. Future developments include the provision of step-free access to the Liverpool-bound platform and landscaping.

The people I spoke to judged the project a triumph and I endorse that view. Hamilton Davies Trust and all their partners are to be congratulated on their hard work and determination in making this project happen.

On the Hamilton Davies website, there's a report An Historic Day for Irlam Station!. The Salford Online Local Community Website has a report here. Manchester Evening News has an on-line article here.

My pictures

Irlam Station Launch.