Appeal Launched to save Oldham Mumps canopy for the ELR

Appeal Launched to save Oldham Mumps canopy for the ELR

Postby andyc » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:04 pm

PRESS RELEASE – IMMEDIATE

Emergency appeal launched to save Oldham’s historic station canopy from demolition

In October 2009, the Oldham Loop line between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale was closed to allow the route to be converted for use as part of the Manchester Metrolink tram network.

Following behind-the-scenes negotiations the East Lancashire Railway has been offered the opportunity to purchase the large surviving Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway canopy currently standing at Oldham Mumps station and which is due to be demolished in the next few weeks. However, time is against us and we need to raise funds to secure the Oldham Mumps station canopy for the benefit of future generations at stations on the nearby Heywood to Rawtenstall railway line, which is operated by the ELR.

As such, we need to raise £50,000 urgently to fund the purchase and to transport the canopy to Bury. We are also attempting to source some external funding towards this project, but we need as much financial support as possible towards the project. By purchasing the canopy we will be able to safeguard the structure and ensure it is taken down sympathetically by the contractors who are working on the conversion of the Oldham Loop line for Metrolink. We cannot stress enough just how important the acquisition of this structure could be for the ELR and our stations in future years – the component parts along with existing canopy components already on site would allow us to provide canopies at all of our staffed stations – and should we be unsuccessful in our fundraising efforts this historic remnant of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway will be lost forever.

We are urgently seeking donations or firm offers of interest-free loans towards this project, but we are urging supporters to act fast, as time for this appeal to be successful is short and the canopy could be demolished within a few weeks should we not be able to raise the necessary funds to secure its future. Details of how people can help are available on request from the ELR and on our website at www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk.

The ‘Save OIdham’s Station Canopy’ appeal is being managed by the East Lancashire Railway Holdings Company Limited, which is a registered charity working to support the development and heritage of the East Lancashire Railway.

ELR General Manager Andy Coward said: “This is probably our final chance to purchase such a large station canopy which is architecturally similar to structures which were on our line between Heywood and Rawtenstall. We realise that in the current economic climate it is probably the wrong time to launch a major fundraising appeal, but we only have a very short time to raise the funds required to secure the canopy, otherwise is will be demolished and the opportunity to save it will have been lost. Any offers of support are very much welcomed and hopefully we can save this historic piece of Oldham’s railway infrastructure from the wrecking ball.”

ENDS

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Andy Coward
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