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Station building faces end of line

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: July 06, 2009

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A historic railway station building at Bourton-on-the-Water is coming to the end of the line.

At a public meeting, Bourton's new county councillor David Thorpe branded it an "eyesore" and said it would be pulled down and sold for salvage.

The original Station Road ticket office along with the highways depot next door, both on county council land, may make way for a new 75-bedroom care home, providing residential, nursing and specialist dementia care services.

Residents had hoped the iconic building would be saved because Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway had wanted to rebuild it at Broadway, when it extends the tourist line from Toddington. But the voluntary group has pulled out and the building isn't listed, so is unprotected.

Coun Thorpe told a parish council meeting: "The railway building is clearly dilapidated, of no value and an eyesore.

"The only solution is that the county council takes it down and sells it to a salvage company.

"It's not a listed building and of no practical use.

"The care home needs to go ahead and the building's a danger and falling into further disrepair."

But parish council vice-chairman Gill Crippen said: "It's part of our history and 100-year heritage.

"It needs to go on the line between Banbury and Cheltenham."

She said the issue would be top of the agenda at a Bourton History Society meeting at 7.30pm in the Baptist Church on July 15.

But fellow councillors said the building, built around 1860, is doomed.

Coun Chris Short said: "It's not been saved by the railway people. It's an eyesore and has to go."

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway secretary Robert Goundry said: "It's a pretty little station, but we have to run an operational railway.

"Reluctantly, we had to face all the costs of moving and rebuilding it, somewhere between £50,000 to £100,000.

"It's also not ideal for our needs as Broadway's original station building was in brick rather than Cotswold stone.

"The county council put us on the spot and said they needed to know whether we were taking it or not by the end of the year. If someone came and said 'here's a substantial donation towards the cost' we would consider it.

"But we're a 100 per cent voluntary organisation and don't, at the moment, have any grant assistance."

The Order of St John is looking at building the care home in the village. The plan is part of the county council's Estates Strategy to improve facilities by building 11 new care homes and housing schemes.

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    Julian Lane, Driffield, East Yorkshire  |  January 11 2010, 9:36PM

    I used to live in the Bourton area and this is the last visible relic of the railway having ever been in Bourton. Just an idea but what about a small railway museum, showing old photos, stories etc. It is hard to believe a councilor can call this an eye sore! Think again councilor, like has already been stated, look around for the obvious eye sores. There are plenty. It seems obvious this building stands in the way of a business venture! Leave it alone.

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    Rory Mahon, Stratford Upon Avon Warwickshire  |  December 31 2009, 4:43PM

    Yes I agree with what BB from Cheltenham said.There are far worse eyesore buildings.Than The Old Cotswold Stone Railway Station Building at Bourton On The Water.

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    chris saunders, CANADA  |  August 29 2009, 12:58PM

    I have never visited Bourton but what a great shame it would be to lose this building. If anyone sets up a moving fund I would contribute Remember that Joni Mitchell song "you don't know what you've got till its gone"

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    Robin, Bourton  |  July 08 2009, 2:27PM

    if there want to remove something that is an eyesore.and was a waste of money why don't they take away that pile of scap metal round the corner what they call art.

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    Zoe, Bourton  |  July 07 2009, 9:21PM

    I can't actually believe that they're thinking of ripping down, the only remaining piece of historic Bourton for the sake of a care home, this actually makes me sick!! Don't take away the last bit of history we have. It's a disgrace an the council should be ashamed of theirselves...

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    BB, Cheltenham  |  July 06 2009, 8:17PM

    I can think of several buildings in Bourton which qualify more for the label of "eyesore" than this one! For councillor Thorpe to dismiss the building out of hand clearly demonstrates that he has no knowledge of its significance or historical value to the town. For it to have been kept in reasonably good repair since last used for passengers in late 1962 it would be even more of a shame for it to end up as salvage. This is perhaps uppermost in the minds of the council considering the value of the stone slates? I take issue with the Glos & Warks Railways view that it is not suitable for use at Broadway. Of course the original building their was brick but so was the one at Winchcombe but you replaced that with one of stone didn't you? (and very nice it looks as well!). Can some compromise not be reached to benefit both concerns in the way of Glos CC assisting with transport. The only other alternative of course being to get it listed.