A new year, and a new roof!
It’s been a while since we updated you on progress at the Goods Shed, but the last few months have seen plenty of activity at Millers Dale. Whilst we’ve been posting regularly on our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter we thought we'd share a few details here too.
The most obvious change has been the arrival of a shiny new set of roof trusses. Taking the Goods Shed well and truly into the 21st century but with a faithful nod to the wooden beams of its heyday, the newly installed trusses are now made from highly-durable ‘glue-lam’. Layers of wood are pressed together under high-pressure to give a structurally strong and long-lasting solution, and as with the original shed, these beautiful pieces of architectural craftsmanship will be available to see clearly in the cathedral-like space of the shed once it is re-opened.
Alongside the new roof works, there’s been work apace to continue re-pointing the thousands of blocks around the shed, and re-building the imposing gable ends to meet the new roof as it rises into the sky.
We’ve also been busy speaking to many incredible local people who have shared their stories of Millers Dale with us, and we aim to share lots of these in the new interpretation zone within the Goods Shed when it is re-opened. We hope these will be just some of the surprises and journeys that come to life as the Goods Shed opens a new chapter from 2020.
Coming up: work will continue on the roof in the weeks and months ahead, and we’ll then be welcoming a shiny set of doors to the Goods Shed too.
Don’t miss: The story of the Midland Railway line through Millers Dale kicked off the latest series of Walking Britain’s Lost Railways with Rob Bell. Catch up for a limited time here: https://www.channel5.com/show/walking-britains-lost-railways (PDNPA is not responsible for third party content).
Steaming ahead in October
It’s been a while since our first update on the renovation of the Millers Dale Good Shed, but those who are regular visitors will know plenty has still been happening, even if behind a mysterious cloak of scaffolding!
Since work began in August, one of the key jobs has been to painstakingly repair, replace and re-point the thousands of bricks within both the exterior and interior walls. As well as eventually presenting the building closer to the original appearance seen in its operational days, more crucially this work has been needed to re-align the walls where years without a roof had caused sagging due to winter frosts and other harsh weather.
Alongside the countless hours of work on the walls, larger blockwork on the roofline has been replaced or re-set, with steel lintels also being hoisted into place above the huge gates and doors that once welcomed road wagons. The doors themselves will be replaced in-keeping with the originals, which had also succumbed to Peak District weather conditions.
Work will now continue on the walls in readiness for the exciting arrival of new roof trusses, which will then allow the Goods Shed to be fully roofed once again, and ready to welcome a new generation of visitors!
The Refreshment Rooms – winter opening
Don’t forget, as the nights draw in the Refreshment Rooms at Millers Dale station will move to winter opening hours of 10am - 4pm from November-March inclusive.
August 2019 - opening the doors to the past
We’re excited to announce that work has now begun on the renovation of the Millers Dale Goods Shed.
Continuing throughout the autumn/winter and due for completion by the New Year (weather permitting!), this first phase of works has seen the removal of the giant wooden cargo doors - which will now be renovated or replaced depending on their condition once assessed off-site.
The floor area of the Goods Shed has also been excavated, and scaffolding has been installed to enable the huge task of re-pointing the brickwork to begin.
We’ll continue to update you on progress at the Goods Shed as it happens!
Your new Millers Dale Station information point and cafe is now open. Come and say 'hello'!
If you need to contact us direct at the station, you can telephone 01298 871869.
You may also like to look at our cafe menu.
- Up to 31st October
9.30am to 4pm (weekdays) / 9.30am to 5pm (weekends)
- From 1st November
10am to 3pm (weekdays) / 10am to 4pm (weekends)
The refurbishment is almost complete and we’re really excited to see the building flooded with sunlight from the new windows on the front. The Station is a hive of activity at the moment with decorators taking advantage of the fine weather to paint the restored exterior timber work, the kitchen fit-out being completed and the authentic furniture being delivered and put in place.
We’ll be announcing the opening date soon so watch this space.
January 2019 - it's all in the detail!
It’s been a while since we updated you on progress at Millers Dale Station but that doesn’t mean we’ve not been moving on apace with the restoration project.
Our Countryside Maintenance Rangers have almost completed the car park extension and our contractors have been repairing the extensive rot to the window frames on the front elevation of the station building.
We’ve also had an exciting delivery of vintage chairs in the style that the Midland Railway Company would have traditionally used to furnish its waiting rooms, one of a number of aspects of the renovation that will hark back to the former days of the station’s original use.
In addition, Peak District National Park building surveyor, Laura Armstrong hosted a visit by National Park Authority chair Andrew McCloy and Tony Favell who were keen to see the work in progress.
We look forward to providing further updates as the work progresses!
November 2018 - seeing the light!
It’s been many years since these window frames last contained glass - and the change to the appearance of the building is stunning.
The interior is once again light and bright, and along with the refurbished wall finishes you can once again really see the beauty of this functional piece of Victorian architecture starting to emerge.
We’ve also started installing the new counter and the staff washroom too.
We can’t wait to share this with visitors in the New Year!
Also, our new café and visitor information point is starting to take shape now.
The floor has been fitted and one of the chimneys has been opened up to receive a multi-fuel stove.
The internal walls are receiving their finishing touches of plaster and timber cladding. Photographs of the station taken in 1976 (see picture below) when it was derelict show the original match boarding still in situ so we’re replicating this with more modern materials to recall the Station’s heritage.
Re-glazing the windows on the rear (car park) elevation is the next job and we’re really excited to see the effect. It is going to make a huge difference to the appearance of this beautiful building, inside and out.
October 2018 – while the wildlife’s away…
Following the appointment of contractors, Space Design, and vacation of the summer house martin nests, work has started on the Millers Dale Station booking office building.
The crucial first stage was to remove the flooring material, which had already been identified as containing asbestos. This work was carried out by specially qualified contractors and has now made the building safe to work within.
Fireplaces have been revealed and a new opening has been knocked through the wall to allow customers to circulate through the building in future. New walls have been constructed to separate off the kitchen area and staff washroom and work has started to create a ramp up to the entrance door to improve accessibility.
Our linemarking contractor has already altered the layout of the car park to accommodate more vehicles and the small car park extension is planned to take place next month. This will comprise an area previously used to store path surfacing and other materials, so will have minimal impact on the trail and surrounding habitats.
Looking to the future – an inspirational restoration project in North Wales
If you’ve ever visited Millers Dale Station you can’t fail to notice the huge goods shed next to the station building.
This important cultural heritage asset has fallen into disrepair since it was last in use decades ago, and is now sadly structurally unsound. The roof was removed some years ago for safety reasons, and this has allowed the effects of water to impact on the traditional stone walls. Compounded by annual freezing and thawing, without action on the structure this may lead to an only option of demolition.
Constructed in the early 1900s, the building originally had tracks running through it allowing goods (including milk, coal and aggregates) to be loaded and unloaded from the wagons and stored under cover. The huge side doors also allowed goods to be loaded from road wagons.
The Peak District National Park is now looking at options to conserve this building and make it accessible to the public. As part of that research Emma Stone (Head of Visitor Experience Development) and Laura Armstrong (Building Surveyor) recently visited an innovative conversion project that is underway in North Wales.
Grŵp Cynefin housing association is converting the derelict Grade II Listed Meliden goods shed into a community hub with café, heritage centre, workshops with space for fledgling businesses and start-ups.
The design incorporates re-purposed freight containers to provide additional floorspace, a mezzanine level and the sensitive addition of glazing to the roof and doorways to create a more usable space.
The Millers Dale goods shed, whilst not Listed, presents similar challenges. The recent visit to Wales has allowed us to understand the planning, design and costings of such a project. Y-Shed, as it’s known https://www.facebook.com/YShedMeliden is under construction now.
The geographical location of Millers Dale means that we are unlikely to consider any similar intensive use of the site, but we are seeking sources of external funding that will prevent the loss of this historically significant building, which helps to tell the story of Millers Dale during the heyday of our railways.
What’s happening at Millers Dale Station?
Over the next few months, we’ll be renovating the ticket office at Millers Dale to create a new café and visitor information point.
The ticket office is an important heritage building - largely unchanged since it was built in the early 1900s - we want to preserve this for visitors and future generations to enjoy.
Over 100,000 people use the Monsal Trail each year, and this station is a popular stop-off for many of those visitors.
The development will restore the building and improve the Monsal Trail experience, whilst retaining the attractive heritage features that you see today. The project will involve both interior and exterior works.
Revenue generated by the new café (operated privately as a concession) will support long-term investment into the station buildings and the Trails to ensure they have a sustainable future.
A small number of additional car parking spaces will also be created.
The works are due for completion in Spring 2019.
What about our wild neighbours?
Development works are taking place during the autumn and winter, when wildlife such as house martins are not resident. We know that brown long-eared bats use the roof space as a roost so a bat survey has been carried out to assess the most suitable plan of works with minimum impact.
When building works are complete, we will be providing additional bird nesting opportunities around the station buildings, alongside any natural nests that birds choose to build on their return next season. Additional bat roosting boxes will also be installed.
What will be new?
- Café and refreshments
- Visitor information point
Spending a penny
While we improve the sewage systems for the station, please bear with us as portable toilets (including an accessible portable toilet) will be provided during this time.
The goods shed
Renovations to the adjacent buildings are not part of this development. We are currently looking at future opportunities and funding to safeguard the goods shed.
Find out more
Follow us on social media:
If you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your understanding, and we hope you’ll love the new Millers Dale Station!