The importance of Heritage MetalworkPublished on February 10th, 2021
Conservation and sensitive regeneration are vital in preserving the history of the UK rail industry whilst meeting current day needs
Conservation is the process of maintaining change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and where appropriate enhances its significance. The aim is that the historic environment and its heritage assets should be conserved for the quality of life they bring to this and future generations.
Regeneration is an important aspect of protecting our heritage. It ensures that our architectural gems can be experienced and enjoyed and yet be financially viable in the current age. The built heritage comprises not only great artistic achievements of architects of a bi gone age, but also embodies the everyday extraordinary skills of craftsmen.
With the restoration of heritage metalwork comes a myriad of engineering problems. Successful projects need to bring together the best of modern technology, together with the most diverse of traditional trades. With the rail industry in particular a real understanding of listed and heritage railway structures located across the country is essential to correctly repair, extend or replicate metalwork elements.
The rail division at Steelway have such an understanding and the impressive skills required to create things truly stunning. Processes such as casting and fabrication are carried out to bring together the composite of materials that have on so many projects have resulted in national award winning schemes. Packages can be offered which take on the design element, the necessary castings, glazing and timber elements together with full installation with attention to detail being key on all aspects.
Grade II listed Moor Street Station Birmingham: Complete replication canopy structures to new areas of the station. Replica GWR Edwardian signage throughout the site, copies of the Edwardian lighting together with reproduced speartop fencing.
Severn Valley Railway – Kidderminster Town Station: Total creation of the main concourse roof structure based on the historic structures produced in the 1920s at Wolverhampton Low Level Station and designed from the original GWR construction drawings.
Loughborough Central: Sensitive repairs and replication to historic canopies
Bath Spa Station: Entire re-creation of a long lost canopy attached to a Brunel structure recreated from a historic image.
Minehead Turntable: Another national award winning ground breaking project where the badly corroded 1899 structure was restored to working order. The project included major metal replacement combined with the need to ensure that the original design and detailing was replicated. As part of the scheme, a 10’-00” extension was needed which followed the GWR modification design produced in the 1920s when some other units of the same design were so treated. After nearly 50 years, this iconic structure returned to service.
Taunton Station: Steelway are currently carrying out the first scheme ever scheme to supply and install the heavy duty version of the famous GWR speartop fencing. Although the company has previously produced the standard version for a variety of heritage stations the tall version has never before been replicated. The scheme has included a substantial commitment by the company with the production of patterns and tooling to enable accurate copies of items such as the cast iron gate posts to be accurately produced.