News



BRITAIN’S 100 BEST RAILWAY STATIONS

We are pleased and proud to be featured on the front cover of a new book by Sir Simon Jenkins ‘Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations’.

This beautiful book is for sale in the Bookshop, at a discounted price


ACoRP Awards 2017 – Derby

The ACoRP awards, held in Derby last week were, as expected, a lavish and dazzling showcase of the organisation’s many facets, attended by hundreds of delegates, nearly all from English stations.

The FOWBS representatives this year were Sheena and Brenda, hoping to receive an award in the Community Art sector, after our wee statue “Bobby” was short-listed.

Although our nomination did not result in a prize, three other Scottish stations were selected and we were happy to support them and to share in the reflected glory!

Glittering Gala Dinner

ACORP Awards 2017 – Derby

Click this LINK to see a selection of photos taken on the evening

 


Sir Peter Hendy – Chairman of Network Rail, visits our station

Chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy Visits

Sir Peter Hendy, the Chairman of Network Rail, visited the station on August 8th, together with Andy Savage from the Railway Heritage Trust and representatives of Network Rail, ScotRail and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd.

Friends of Wemyss Bay Station welcomed Sir Peter and gave him a guided tour. Pictured above along with the visitors are (L to R) Sheena Inglis, Bookshop Manager, Brenda Campbell, Secretary, Simon Dell, Membership and Media, Nancy Cameron, Hon President and Gregory Beecroft who organised the visit and liaised with all to ensure that it ran smoothly.

Sir Peter was very impressed by the refurbishment of the station and the work of the Friends. There was a good discussion about potential further improvements and we remain in hope that the glass in the roof will receive attention


“All The Stations” team visits Wemyss Bay

We were excited to welcome Geoff and Vicki, a couple whose project “All the Stations” has made national headlines!

All The Stations is a project to travel to ALL  2,563 of the national railway stations in Britain over the spring and summer of 2017, and to create an online documentary film about the journey. On August 8th 2017 they visited our beautiful station and pronounced it “spectacular”!

 

Geoff and Vicki All the Stations

Geoff and Vicki meet some Friends in the Station Cafe – where else?! (Photo Bren Campbell)

This stunning aerial image was captured using Geoff and Vicki's "Drone Camera"

This stunning aerial image was captured using Geoff and Vicki’s “Drone Camera”

Visit their website by clicking HERE 


A Warm Welcome to “BOBBY”!

Friends of Wemyss Bay Station are grateful to all those who suggested names for the boy whose statue is on the station concourse. There were over 200 responses.
There were many good ideas, but we have decided to adopt one particularly popular name, because it is especially appropriate to Wemyss Bay.
There are several claims as to how Wemyss Bay got its name, but the one we like is that it is named after an eighteenth century fisherman who lived locally – Robert, or Bobby, Wemyss. The statue is, therefore, named after him.
It is unlikely that a small Scottish boy from the 1950s would have been known as Robert (unless, perhaps, he came from Kelvinside) so our statue is Bobby.

Bobby

Wemyss Bay “Bobby” – Photo Gregory Beecroft

For more photos by Gregory Beecroft of Bobby please click HERE !


Read our Summer Newsletter

FoWBS_Newsletter_May_2017

Our Summer newsletter is ready for distribution. You can read it by clicking the above link


Boy sets off on holiday – now he needs a name!

photo Gregory Beecroft

Sculpture by Angela Hunter Photo Gregory Beecroft

Photo Credit Erika Chalier

The statue unveiled 13 May 2017 Photo by Erika Charlier

The statue was unveiled on Saturday 13 May by John Yellowlees, who was in charge of station adoption at ScotRail until his recent retirement. Over fifty local people turned up for the event, despite the wet weather.

We are looking for a name for the statue that was unveiled on Saturday and are inviting suggestions from users of the station and pier. A reason should be given as to why a proposed name is appropriate.

The suggestions will be shortlisted at the end of June. There will then be a public vote to decide which name is chosen.

Suggestions can be made on our FaceBook page, or by dropping in a note at the station bookshop or by email.

Some photos showing the arrival and installation of the sculpture may be viewed by clicking this link

Statue Unveiling


A statue commissioned by Friends of Wemyss Bay Station is to be unveiled on the station concourse at Wemyss Bay at 12:00 noon on Saturday 13th May.

The statue is of a small boy going on holiday, striding towards the pier with his model yacht and fishing line, looking forward to time by the sea.  It recalls the days when thousands of people made their way to the Clyde coast for summer holidays.

The sculptor is Angela Hunter, who was responsible for the statue of a girl, Annie, at Gourock.  The boy at Wemyss Bay is seen as Annie’s brother.  The statue has been cast by Powderhall Bronze Limited.  Angela Hunter will be present at the unveiling and will be talking about her work at the Friends’ annual general meeting in the afternoon.

Members of the public are welcome at the unveiling and at the AGM, which is at Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay Parish Church Hall, starting at 14:00.

The statue is to be unveiled by John Yellowlees, who was responsible for station adoption and community rail in Scotland until he recently retired from ScotRail.  John provided the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station with considerable support and help over the years.

A Peek round the Back of the Newly Renovated Station

Lots of work went on around the back of the station, where the effects of wind and weather over the years were very evident.

Now this usually unseen part of the station has been beautifully restored with repointed brickwork and paint in the official station colour scheme. Photographed by Bren Campbell, before the gates from the main road were locked again.

For more of Bren’s pictures of the sea wall side please click here

New Postcards  in the Shop

6 new images of the refurbished station are now available as postcards in the bookshop. Our thanks to Blue Kiwi Photography Club for their help with the images.

Wemyss Bay sees new train first!

 

new electric train

One of ScotRail’s new Hitachi electric trains, the first to be delivered, arrived at Wemyss Bay in the small hours on Sunday 5 February. It is here for testing on the branch at night, when the regular trains are not running, and will probably be here for at least a week. The Wemyss Bay line is favoured for trials, because of its steep gradients. The train is carrying quite a lot of test equipment, but has not yet been fitted by seats. The carriages contain bags of cement to simulate the weight of passengers and seats. (Photograph and news item thanks to Gregory Beecroft)

Murals showing the history and features of the town were unveiled at Port Glasgow station yesterday

These have been created by RIG Arts http://www.rigarts.org/ working with local schoolchildren.

Funding came from the ScotRail Cultural and Arts Fund and from Riverside Inverclyde http://www.riversideinverclyde.com/.

The  photographs below are courtesy of John Yellowlees

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New Promotional Video from Caledonian MacBrayne

calmacromopic

https://www.calmac.co.uk/your-west-coast

There is an interesting CalMac press release about the video here: https://www.calmac.co.uk/press/your-west-coast


“The train now standing at Platform One… “

Here is a picture of the 14:57 to Glasgow Central in platform 1 on October 5th. This is the first use we have seen of the platform for about two years. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Beecroft)

Here is a picture of the 14:57 to Glasgow Central in platform 1 on October 5th. This is the first use we have seen of the platform for about two years.
(Photo courtesy of Gregory Beecroft)

Look at these photos from July 2016 of the Station, beautifully restored in all its glory


CLICK HERE for Summer 2016 Newsletter (PDF will open)
FoWBS newsletter July 2016


CALEDONIAN RAILWAY SEAT

Bench restored

We are now the proud owners of an original bench from the early days of the Caledonian Railway. This vintage treasure was presented to the Friends by the National Railway Museum in York. It has now been restored to its original glory, with the CRCo monogram decorating its cast iron ends now clear for all to see.

Railway Heritage Trust visit to Wemyss Bay

RHT visit 0516

Andy Savage, the Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, visited Wemyss Bay on Tuesday 17 May to inspect the renovation work. He was very pleased to see the station and pier in the same colour scheme, after many years when they did not match. Network Rail and Caledonian Maritime Assets have repainted both in their original Caledonian Railway colours. Our photograph shows (L to R) John Yellowlees and Jacqueline Rae (ScotRail), Simon Dell and Nancy Cameron (Friends of Wemyss Bay Station), Andy Savage (Railway Heritage Trust) and John Urbanik (Network Rail) on the freshly-painted concourse.

To read our latest Newsletter – click below

FoWBS newsletter May 2016

Return of TS Queen Mary

160515 12 QUEEN MARY off Wemyss Bay (1280x853)

An excellent shot taken on the 15th May, of the TS Queen Mary passing Wemyss Bay Pier, which can be seen in the background. Photo by Gregory Beecroft aboard the Clyde Clipper, which was chartered to escort QM on the final part of her journey home


A very special ship travelled up the Clyde on Sunday 15th May on her way to Greenock

Turbo Steamer The Queen Mary was being towed to Greenock from Tilbury Docks in London where she had been languishing after falling into disrepair after years of being a restaurant ship on the Thames.

Friends of TS Queen Mary was formed in 2012 to safeguard the future of TS Queen Mary, the Clyde’s last and Britain’s finest turbine excursion steamer. We aim to renew TS Queen Mary and return her to a new permanent berth on the River Clyde. The Clyde will give new life to TS Queen Mary and she – in return – can help give new life to the Clyde.

Help to Save the Queen Mary

AGM

This year’s AGM was held as usual in the Church Hall on Shore Road on Saturday 14th May 2016.
The Guest Speaker was from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, who gave a talk about the recent pier renovations.
FOWBS AGM 2016 Summary

WEMYSS BAY PIER REOPENS

The work on the pier is now virtually complete, although there still remains a fair bit of work to do within the station itself. Ferries started off-loading and loading on Good Friday and have only missed a few sailings since then due to bad weather.

Earlier this year the bookshop and gallery were so quiet that it was decided to close, but they are now open at the usual times: Monday – Saturday from 9.30 until 4.30. As always we are closed on Sundays.

 

newwalkway

The newly refurbished walkway to the ferries, complete with stylish “Edwardian period” lighting

 

 

 

FACT-FINDING VISIT TO KILMARNOCK

151124 Kilmarnock 007 (427x640)

A group of bookshop volunteers enjoyed a most interesting fact finding visit to newly renovated Kilmarnock Railway Station today.
We were given an interesting insight into the station’s history and a guided tour of the completed rooms, which include an excellent coffee shop and a gift shop filled with high quality local arts and crafts as well as a well-stocked 2nd hand bookshop.

Photos: Gregory Beecroft

151124 Kilmarnock 006(640x427)
151124 Kilmarnock 003 (640x440)

 

Celebrating 150 Years of Train Travel to Wemyss Bay

MV Bute got dressed specially for our anniversary, with flags flying.

MV Bute got dressed specially for our anniversary, with flags flying above her decks

On Saturday, 16th May the Friends marked a special day in the history of Wemyss Bay Station – 150 years since the opening of the railway line from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay, as a branch from Port Glasgow, on 15th May, 1865. We were restricted in our activities because the station and the pier are in the process of major repair and renovation, but we didn’t let that stop us having a celebration.

M.V.Bute got dressed overall for the occasion, with flags flying above her decks. On board were displays of models of ferries old and new, paddle steamers to car ferries. In the station gallery Dugald Cameron had produced paintings of the 1865 station and pier in action. Souvenir cards showing these images were on sale in the bookshop, and some of Dugald’s models of early Caledonian Railway locomotives were on display for that morning.

New! Special commemorative cards available online, for details please visit these pages:

Commemorative cards

Commemorative Postcards

Some of the ship models displayed on M.V. Bute on 16th May 2015

Some of the ship models displayed on M.V. Bute on 16th May 2015

MV Bute dressed overall for our 150th anniversary

MV Bute dressed overall for our 150th anniversary

To mark this special occasion Duglad Cameron produced new paintings of the 1865 station and pier in action - seen above, on the right of the fireplace. On the left are paintings of Caledonian Railway locomotives. Above the mantelpiece is a painting of Central Station, Glasgow in January, 1964, entitled "A Time of Transition".

To mark this special occasion Dugald Cameron produced new paintings of the 1865 station and pier in action – seen above, on the right of the fireplace. On the left are paintings of Caledonian Railway locomotives. Above the mantelpiece is a painting of Central Station, Glasgow in January, 1964, entitled “A Time of Transition”.

On 16th May, Dugald Cameron displayed some of his collection of model trains, which attracted some admirers, young and not so young.

On 16th May, Dugald Cameron displayed some of his collection of model trains, which attracted some admirers, young and not so young.

Our special anniversary souvenir cards, of Dugald Cameron's paintings, proved very popular.

Our special anniversary souvenir cards, of Dugald Cameron’s paintings, proved very popular.

The bookshop did a roaring trade on 16th May as many people visited us in support of the anniversary.

The bookshop did a roaring trade on 16th May as many people visited us in support of the anniversary.