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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wolverton and Cosgrove

Entering the former railway town of Wolverton it was nice to see the train mural still graffiti free after it`s refurbishment.
It was created in 1986 by the late Bill Billings a community artist. It covered a wall of what had been some very distasteful graffiti.  Recent years had seen the graffiti return and the refurb` was badly needed
Just a half minute of video showing part of the mural.

Wolverton was the largest carriage works in the UK.  Up until 1863 it produced steam locomotives but this was transferred to Crewe works and Wolverton became the centre of carriage production and maintenance. The site was huge and parts of the town was built by the railway company. In the video the wall enclosed the paint shop.

 Tesco has built over a large part of the site and a lot of the buildings have been converted into commercial use and residential. The Royal Train shed has been preserved and is now residential. Just a small part of the site is still used for railway maintenance.

Try this site for a breakdown of the map including index

On the left the paint, sewing and trimming shops of the old works are now commercial units within the original walls. On the right brand new housing on what was mostly the works recreation ground but there were some workshops as well.

From this siteThousands were employed in these works. Now the contracts go to non UK companies although at least these will be built here.

More views of inside the works HERE.
In time these remaining carriage sheds will also see a new lease of life and the cruise through Wolverton will be easier on the eye.

 Approaching Cosgrove and the end of 12 lock free miles.
Into Cosgrove over the Cast Iron trough built in 1811 to replace eight locks that crossed the valley and the Great Ouse river.

Just the edge of the trough on this side.

and it`s a long drop. The canal crossed the river just to the right before it was diverted. It must have been hairy when the river was in flood.

Just a narrow towpath this side.


Adam said...

You need a new photo of Wolverton Aqueduct. It was beautifully repainted a couple of years ago, and looks much better. Also, the ugly gantry on the far side was taken down, vastly improving the view from that side.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Adam
Yes the aquaduct has changed. Haven't been down below for years so I dug out an old picture.I believe the professional term is using library pictures.

Les Biggs said...

Just checked and it appears I took the pic in 2011.

Adam said...

That sounds about right -- it was done fairly recently. I was actually boating across the aqueduct when they were taking the gantry down. It was down in the river, with lots of workmen scratching their heads as to how to get it out!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs