'All aboard' for the latest HLF awards
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded Glenfinnan Station Museum in Scotland a grant of £195,000 to help restore the main buildings, so that many artefacts and items of station equipment and memorabilia presently in store can be displayed to the public for the first time. The manually operated station signal box will be converted into an education area. The grant will also help upgrade the footpath between the station and Glenfinnan Viaduct, with its 21 arches spanning the valley 100ft above the ground. HLF's investment will give people the chance to step back in time and experience the atmosphere of a late-Victorian station while learning about the history of the ‘iron road to the Isles’ in the Highlands. There is a rail dining car and sleeping carriage at the station site.
Glenfinnan Viaduct. Photograph: John Cooper Smith.
Glenfinnan Station was built in 1900 by Robert McAlpine, frequently referred to as ‘Concrete Bob’, as part of the West Highland Line extension from Fort William to Mallaig and was a busy freight and passenger line. Today, it continues as a working rail station with eight scheduled services a day, plus the regular Jacobite steam train service in the summer. What makes the station and viaduct a special attraction for many visitors is the fact they have featured in two 'Harry Potter' films: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. It is one of the best-preserved working stations on the West Highland Line.
Other recent HLF awards include £4.8m to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery so that the Birmingham History Collections, comprising artefacts and material from 1500 to the present day, can be conserved and displayed to the public. HLF have also given 'first-round passes' to five other projects: Stonehenge; London’s Charles Dickens Museum; Penarth Pavilion in South Glamorgan; Colchester Castle Museum and Torre Abbey in Torbay. These grants will enable detailed plans and costings to be prepared prior to the submitting bids for much larger sums of money to help with restoration work, conservation and new displays.
11 December 2009