Context 151 - September 2017

24 C O N T E X T 1 5 1 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 environment. Risks could arise from structural damage, both criminal and accidental, and examples of graffiti damage and vehicle/bridge collisions were shown. The trust spends over £1 million annually on repairs to bridges caused by vehicle impact alone. In many aspects of repair and routine maintenance, the trust’s heritage team sees the same problems over and over again. Many repair works are cyclical, such as replacing lock gates every 25 years, and with 835 listed bridges and 660 listed locks the requirement for consents is great, making the task of managing such a widely spread number of designated structures a huge task. Crowe’s key point centred on the future manage- ment of the trust’s resource through controls intro- duced by Section 60 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.This established a range of statutory instruments to assist with the management of groups of designated structures, including heritage partner- ship agreements, administered through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Heritage Partnership Agreements) Regulations 2014, and local listed building consent orders. However, the big thing for the Canal & River Trust is the national listed building consent order (NLBCO). The trust is working in partnership with Historic England and government departments to pilot a NLBCO for certain cyclical maintenance work to structures such as lock gates and hump-back bridges in their care. If consent is granted by the secretary of state, it would avoid the need for repetitive listed build- ing consent applications for works approved under the NLBCO. For the order to proceed, it would have to gain the approval of both Houses of Parliament. While this may seem like a mountain to climb, Crowe was cautiously optimistic about it and the value that this would have in the efficient future mainte- nance of the network. Laurence Hayes and Julie Shaduwa Historic railway structures Speaker: Simon Bradley A smoggy photograph of St Pancras sidings in the age of steam showed all the associated paraphernalia of signal boxes, reinforced bridges and adjacent gasometers. The Channel Tunnel terminal changed it all. But to preserve some of the significance of the scene, a large water tower with arcaded decoration was repositioned in a massive cradle 300 yards up line to provide space for expanded platforms. Although the context had changed, an important structure had been retained. Often structures are moved to completely new loca- tions on abandoned track. In an attempt to recreate a typical station, parts are carefully chosen to match standard layouts. For instance, at Beamish, Rowley Station has been reassembled and details kept, such as the decorated guichet (ticket-office window) with the original built-in furniture behind. At Didcot an 1863 structure of wood boarding and trusses has been reassembled in a new location, and as part of its history of the Great Western Line a mixed-gauge line and transfer platform has been incorporated. The Oxford Station with its Crystal Palace modular system has been moved to Quinton Road to be used as a tyre-service depot, allowing the development of the Said Business School nearby. Railway remnants are often located on underused but valuable brownfield land, and are susceptible to pressure for removal and re-erection by enthusiasts elsewhere. Parts of buildings, such as WH Smith kiosks, can be quarried for re-use on private lines by railway trusts. There can be situations where the demands of the visitor experience outweigh the value of original features, such as the proposed modern cafe extension to Oxenhope station at the expense of losing the gentlemen’s toilets.