Rolleston on Dove Railway Station Heritage Group
www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk

a part of The Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society (TREATS)

The website was created in 2013 by Clive Baker and gives all the details about the former village railway station. It also features the efforts of TREATS in collaboration with the Parish Council to renovate what is left of the station, enhance the Jinny Nature Trail and create an amenity for the village.



TREATS Railway Station Heritage Group
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Spring 2017 issue)

The group begins 2017 in a positive mood; the re-building of the retaining wall to the rear of the buffer stop, organised by the Parish Council, now complete, means that two horizontal lengths of rail can be attached to the vertical supports of the buffer stop to complete what we think is an unusual installation.

When plans of the track layout of the station were discovered at the Kew based National Archive, what was believed to have been a milk dock, that is the section that protrudes behind the buffer stop, was described as a ‘carriage dock’. Early railway images often indicate a train consisting of carriages and also flat wagons transporting horse-drawn road vehicles; the gentry travelling to another area would take their own road carriage and possibly horses with them, hence the carriage dock would have provided an end-loading facility for the road vehicles. The buffer stop would have been designed to accommodate a ramp passing over it to facilitate the loading of the carriage, and it is unlikely that many such types remain.

The section of dock that ran along side of the siding, some of its rails remain joined to the buffer stop, was certainly used for the transhipment of livestock; the cattle pens are evident in a photograph, circa 1953/9, of the Tutbury Jinny approaching the station. Mr Penlington who spent his early life in one of the three railway houses on South Hill, and joined us at the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the opening of the station in 2014, recalled a herd of Jersey cows arriving in Rolleston by rail in the late 1940’s and being off-loaded at the dock before herding to an adjacent farm.

The footprint to the booking hall is making steady progress; now that the surrounding low-level brickwork is complete, an infill of ballast will be added and the individual rooms identified. New signage is to be installed including a 3-dimensional image of the booking hall; with its outer walls cutaway, the content and purpose of the rooms are evident.

The efforts of our ‘green team’ during the previous two years should bear fruit as spring approaches. Follow the seasons with regular visits and enjoy the snowdrops, daffodils, cowslips and primroses before the wild flower meadow blooms in late May, hopefully yielding a blaze of colour throughout the summer months.
Monthly working parties resume in February, usually on the first Saturday of each month from 10am. Everyone is most welcome to join us, children must be accompanied by an adult; whether your interest is with the railway, the environment or just being part of a community project, a worthwhile task awaits. Look out for posters publicising these sessions on the village notice boards or keep-up with progress and events on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolleston-on-Dove-Railway-Station/393619157480649

Information about the railway that ran through Rolleston is available on our website and is regularly updated as new information is received: www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk

Clive Baker


Another Award For The Station Heritage Project
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Winter 2016 issue)

During July the Rolleston-on-Dove Station Heritage Project was assessed by Royal Horticultural Society judges for the "It's Your Neighbourhood" scheme, part of "Britain in Bloom".

The judges viewed the station site with its wildflower meadow in the area between the platforms where once the railway lines ran, all supported with informative signage, and spent some time with members of the group listening to their account of how the project began, its impact on the village and future plans.
In their report the judge's opening statement read: "When visiting this project we really felt that we had stepped back in time and were given a glimpse into a bygone world. The scheme is now being used to great effect, educating visitors about local history. Great vision has been shown, developing the meadow areas where the railway tracks once ran."

The Rolleston-on-Dove Station Heritage Group, part of the Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society (TREATS) are delighted and encouraged to have been awarded a Level 3 which is comparable with a silver standard.

No doubt those walking beyond the station towards Stretton will have noticed the buffer stop adjacent to the old carriage/cattle dock, complete with length of original “bullhead” rail which dates back to the opening of the station in 1894. Hopefully the wall to its rear will soon be repaired and the group will then be able to complete the restoration of the buffer stop that, together with signage will add another heritage feature to the site.

The footprint to the booking hall is nearing completion, enabling visitors to recognise the different areas that comprised a Victorian country railway station. This was particularly helpful when demonstrating these areas to Rolleston Brownies and their leaders who recently spent some time with group members. News has just been received that a bid for funding, to purchase materials to complete this feature, has been successful.

The project display, which is regularly updated as new reference becomes available, will make its next public appearance at Burton Railex planned for Sunday 6th November, 10am-4pm at the National Brewing Centre. The group’s latest acquisition, a railway style sack-truck kindly donated by a TREATS member will be adding authenticity to the display.

Working parties continue on the first Saturday of each month from 10am when all persons are welcome to give a hand. A Big Thank You is extended to those who have joined the working parties during the past three years and also members of Rolleston Parish Council and Borough Councillor Mrs Beryl Toon, Mayor of ESBC for their unstinted support and encouragement.

For a full history of the railway at Rolleston and the heritage project, please visit the website:
www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk

To keep up with daily progress, see Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolleston-on-Dove-Railway-Station/393619157480649

Clive Baker


TREATS – Rolleston-on-Dove Station Heritage Group
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Autumn 2016 issue)

Having enjoyed the show of spring flowers – snowdrops, bluebells, daffodils and forget-me-nots adorning the wooded area of the station, it is now time to take-in the wildflower meadow. In its second season, following sessions of selective weeding by the “Green Team” who removed some over enthusiastic varieties such as corn camomile, this area of the station is now resplendent with a vast assortment of flora and grasses.

Those interested in railway heritage will note that the footprint of the booking hall has three of its four sides complete. When finished, the different rooms that made up the building will be evident, complete with the booking clerk’s hearth and lady’s and gentlemen’s facilities. Further along the line, a feature will be made of the buffer stop and short length of track, once the adjacent facing wall to the “carriage dock” has been repaired. Almost opposite, a well-hidden gradient sign has been re-painted and the characters indicating a level section towards Stretton and a slight decline towards Station Road have been replicated.

During June, arrangements were made for both Brownies and Guides to spend an evening helping with various gardening tasks. Unfortunately British weather prevailed, preventing the Brownies from joining the team. On a finer evening the Guides were able to plant cosmos which they and the Brownies had nurtured from seed. We are very grateful for the continued interest from the young ladies and their leaders.

To retain interest in the project and to raise cash for on-going maintenance, the team have visited a number of events during the summer with a display of artefacts, archive documents and photographs. This summer a cut-out photo booth “Jinny” (it depicts the front view of a steam locomotive) has accompanied the display, proving popular with the young and not-so-young.

The working model depicting the station in 1948 made an appearance along with display material and 59 other model layouts at the Great Central Railway Model Event held at Quorn station in June. On the following Saturday, the display was staged at the Market Hall as part of the Burton Gardening Festival in the company of the Mayor and Consort of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Borough/Parish Councillor Mrs Beryl Toon and Parish Councillor Mr James Toon. We are very grateful to Beryl and James for their continued interest and support.

In conjunction with Rolleston Open Gardens Sunday, the station team attended at the station throughout that weekend to show visitors around the site explaining the railway and natural features. A steady flow of visitors rewarded the team’s efforts, some of whom had been introduced to the project at the previous events mentioned.

Regular organised working parties continue on the first Saturday of each month between 10am and 12 noon. Please note there will be no working party in August, some working parties are convened at other times to perform specific tasks. All are welcome to join-in, but children must be accompanied by adults.

Many thanks are extended to those who have donated plants, seeds and bulbs and also to passers-by who give words of encouragement to the team on their visits to the Nature Trail.

Clive Baker


Summer 2016 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Summer 2016 issue)

Now that the two passenger platforms are clearly delineated, a real impression of how the railway station was laid-out has become apparent. The footprint of the booking hall with its various rooms is also taking shape; completion of the front wall, occurring early in April, has proved a landmark for this part of the project.

Visitors and Jinny Trail walkers have enjoyed the spring flowers that have become established in the woodland area between the platforms and generally around the site. Their appreciative comments have greatly encouraged the small band of gardeners and ground workers who have been busy removing weeds and planting bulbs and seeds, kindly donated by members of the community; we take this opportunity to thank those persons. One further bird nesting box, locally made in Twentylands, has been added to those installed last year, now occupied.

Our sights are now set towards the livestock, carriage and milk loading dock, also the surviving buffer stop, visitors may have noticed that a short stretch of rail also remains in situ. Once the facing wall of these docks, still active during the post war period, has been renovated, a new feature will have been created.

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been spent on the specific areas detailed in the bid, audited and finalised. To carry out the work described in the previous paragraph, further funding will be necessary. Of the three intermediate stations along the “Burton Branch” of the North Staffordshire Railway, Rolleston was considered the most important because it offered a complete facility – passenger and freight, Stretton & Claymills and Horninglow were limited to passenger traffic only. The gravel exchange at Stretton & Claymills did not become operative until 1920. Only by renovating the said area would we be telling the complete story.

We continue to promote our project, not only at forthcoming village functions – Transport Festival, Scout Jousting Display and the Village Gala, but also at the Festival of Gardening to be held at Burton Market Hall on Saturday 25th June. The working model of the station will be in operation at one of the largest exhibitions in the Midlands; centred at Quorn railway station, 17/18/19th June this venue is part of the Great Central preserved Railway.

Regular working parties are convened every first Saturday morning, of each month commencing at 10am (weather permitting) when all persons wishing to assist us are most welcome. Please follow our progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolleston-on-Dove-Railway-Station/393619157480649

Our website gives a history of the line along with other relevant details: www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk


Winter 2015 News - Progress at Rolleston-on-Dove Railway Station
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Winter 2015 issue)

An unexpected and generous donation

At this time of writing, almost a year has passed since members of the Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society (TREATS) Station Project Group stood alongside their guests including civic and national heads on the restored southbound platform to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the village’s vital link to the rest of the world.

During the summer just passed, many taking a walk along the Jinny Nature Trail, were not only able to view the signage describing both rail and fauna & flora related features, but also the wildflower meadow that bloomed in the area between the two platforms where the rails were once laid. The seeds, sown during the previous autumn by Rolleston Brownie Unit and pupils of John of Rolleston Primary School, gave a splendid show, one which should improve in successive seasons as the meadow matures.

In June the project was judged as “Outstanding” when entered for the “Burton in Bloom” competition.

August saw the contractor laying slabs to align the northbound platform whilst members of the Station Project Group began to create a footprint of the booking hall, utilising bricks that once comprised the abutments of the bridge that carried the railway over Station Road. Together with a copy of the actual plans of the main station building, dated 1894, discovered by Mrs Delia Wyers at the National Archive and a gift of two stone doorsteps from a member of the community who visited our display at one of the many events attended this year, this feature will be both accurate in plan and materials.

The site is constantly maintained and developed by members of the Station Project Group and other village residents, including Rolleston Brownies and Guides with their leaders. We are grateful to other interested persons who have supplied and planted flora from their own gardens. We have been pleased to welcome many visitors from further afield and school groups from William Shrewsbury Primary and Fountains.

Those who have not yet visited Rolleston-on-Dove Station and may wish to view this heritage site and take a short circular walk, We have just published a walk leaflet which is available at Starbucks Newsagents or Burton Public Library.

The leaflet can also be downloaded as a pdf from our website:
www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolleston-on-Dove-Railway-Station/393619157480649

Two of the original eight platform gardens have been restored, each having a plant of Rosemary (for remembrance) as a centrepiece. A plaque is placed by each garden explaining that the gardens are a memorial to those persons who left the village via the station to join their regiments in two World Wars, some never to return.

The unexpected:

Recently, as these plans were being formulated, we received a very generous, anonymous donation towards this project. Clearly the donor wishes to remain unknown, but may we take this opportunity to offer our most grateful thanks and ensure the donor that the gift will be used for the on-going maintenance of what we believe, and many visitors to the site endorse, is a worthwhile project.

Thank you
Clive Baker



120th Anniversary

On Saturday 1st November 2014 at 11am a ceremony took place to mark 120 years since the first train passed through the former Rolleston Railway Station. Supporters gathered around the restored platform of the old station, which now forms part of the Jinny Trail, to honour the anniversary of the opening in 1894. East Staffordshire mayor Councillor Ron Clarke, Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and David Pendlington, who used to live in the station houses, were among the guests. Read more here.

 

This is the link to Burton Tv News video of the event: http://www.burtontvnews.co.uk/rolleston-station-opening/

There is also a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolleston-on-Dove-Railway-Station/393619157480649 detailing the project from it's conception through to date.


Spring 2015 News - A Railway Celebrated

Back in the Victorian “Railway Age” the opening of a station at a town or village called for jubilation. The railway brought prosperity to local businesses and raised the expectations of the community as a whole. 1st November 1894 was Rolleston’s “red letter day”, so it made sense to commemorate the 120th anniversary of this important date in the village’s history.

As many visitors to the Jinny Nature Trail will have noticed, the southbound platform has been delineated and re-surfaced, two platform rockeries have been re-instated, and a replica bench and a name board have been installed. During this coming spring the edging of the northbound platform will be completed. Between the platforms, with wild flower seeds and grasses planted by Rolleston Brownies and pupils of John of Rolleston Primary School, we anticipate some colourful flowers in future summers.

On a warm, sunny Saturday morning with the leaves brushed away, the organisers were delighted to welcome special guest Mr D. Penlington, who spent his childhood living in one of the three railway houses on South Hill. Together with Mrs Penlington he shared with the author his recollections of the station during its final years as the village hub.

A short ceremony addressed by Councilor Mr J. Toon, Chair of Rolleston Parish Council, accompanied by Councilor Mrs B. Toon, East Staffordshire Borough Council, the Mayor of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Councilor R. Clarke, accompanied by the Mayoress, Mrs Clarke and Mr Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton upon Trent and Uttoxeter, accompanied by Mrs Griffiths, was followed by the unveiling of the replica station name board; Mr Penlington waving a green flag, Mr Griffiths blowing a guard’s whistle and the Mayor and Mayoress removing the veil.

To conclude the ceremony, using a locomotive coal shovel borrowed from the Jinny Inn, Councilors Mr and Mrs J. Toon planted a rowan tree; one of three such trees, kindly donated by Mr and Mrs J. Martin.

A reception for guests and those who had contributed to the project followed in Rolleston Cricket Club pavilion, where County Councilor Mr R. Fraser offered a vote of thanks.

This celebration could not have happened without the dedication of the village community, as expressed by Mr Griffiths in his address. Members of the Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society together with other persons who have joined the monthly working parties, often in inclement weather, have made real the author’s “crazy idea”. A grant of £7,600.00 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund with a further £500.00 donated by the Transport Festival Committee meant that materials could be purchased and a contractor with mechanical equipment could be employed.

Rolleston resident Phil Waterfield commissioned Derbyshire-based railway artist, Colin Wright to produce a painting of an excursion train returning through the station, based on a photograph taken by Phil on Easter Monday 1962. Both owner and artist have kindly allowed prints to be made and sold in aid of the project.

Conscious that a natural habitat for fauna and flora must be maintained, signage demonstrating not only railway features, but also showing native birds and butterflies has been installed at strategic positions to enhance the experience of a walk along the old railway line.

Working parties meet each month between 10am and noon. Two exceptions occur in April and May when, to avoid bank holiday weekends, the dates are moved on to the second Saturdays. Volunteers are always welcome to join-in, children must be accompanied by an adult.

The author visits the site to remember his beloved railways, his wife enjoys observing the fauna and flora, both enjoy the birdsong and the peace and tranquility, not to mention a brief chat with the passer-by who may have some railway memories to share.

For information about the project, please visit our web site: www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk

Clive Baker (January 2015)


Winter 2013 News - Rolleston on Dove Railway Station Site

It has been some time since the picture board was erected on Station Road at the entrance to the Jinny Nature Trail.

People have been going along the trail not knowing where the station is. Yes, is, not was. Did you know that the platforms still exist and the buffers for the goods yard and the base for the crane and the outlines of the waiting rooms. Yes, there is a lot still left.

Clive Baker has been instrumental in researching the history of the station and it has been acknowledged as a significant piece of historical research and he has given talks on the subject to many interested parties. It was in 2012 that he designed a ‘picture board’ showing the station and its location and it is necessary to relate the information on this board to actual physical features on the trail.

A group of people have for the past year or so been keen to unearth these features so that they are identifiable. In March this year a small amount of exploratory work was carried out to assess if it was feasible to show and hence relate the picture board to what was on the ground. Under the vegetation the tarmac on the Southbound platform was still in good condition and the position of the waiting room identifiable. This also applied to the other features.

A proposal document was submitted to the Parish Council that laid out the objectives:

To expose and mark the site of the Rolleston on Dove Railway Station, a focal point on the Jinny Nature Trail and an important feature in the history of the development of Rolleston on Dove.

The Parish Council has given its agreement to the phased plan. Volunteers are now required to clear the vegetation in line with the proposals. 'Work days' are the first Saturday in the month from 10.00am. More info from Philip Irwin, 521180 or Clive Baker, 815115.


Last updated: 10 March 2017