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Saturday 31 December 2016

Mythe Railway Bridge

One of the most impressive pieces of architecture on the Malvern-Ashchurch branch line was the brick arch bridge which crossed the River Avon just north of Tewkesbury. Upon exiting the Mythe Tunnel west of the town, the line rose on a gentle embankment to reach the bridge, which flew over the river via a small spit in the centre of the waterway.

The bridge itself can be seen in the bottom right corner of this picture from 1947, albeit with the western section cut off from the edge of the shot. The railway line can also be seen as it crosses the north of Tewkesbury town to arrive at the second station built in the town in 1864. Further back can be seen the original station on the Quays branch line, built in 1840.

The embankment and several small bridges leading up to the main river crossing were removed in 2013 as part of a package of works designed to reduce the likelihood of flooding in Tewkesbury, but a few important remnants of the original bridge remain today. The western section of the brick bridge still stands, and the buttresses on either end of the 'town' side section also remain intact, albeit now linked only by a metal frame. Meanwhile, the spit itself is now the property of Tewkesbury Marina, placing the bridge on private land.

Approaching Tewkesbury along the A38 Mythe Road, an earthern ramp appears along the northern side of the roadway. This is the remaining section of embankment which was left by the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water after their demolition of the embankment in 2013. Luckily, the chilly Boxing Day weather was enough to keep away the clouds and provide a good light to see across the field!

The remaining section of embankment, north-west of Tewkesbury.
The embankment from further along the Mythe Road.
Looking eastwards across the field towards Tewkesbury, the arches of the original brick bridge become visible in the distance. We continue our walk down Mythe Road, heading on to the road bridge that connects Tewkesbury with Worcestershire.

The bridge arches in the distance.
The bridge closer up.
The western bridge section, 1/2.
The clearest view of the western bridge section, 2/2.
This next picture shows the entire span of the former bridge in context: the western section on the left remains intact, while the 'town' section to the east has been dismembered. Stanchard House, part of Tewkesbury Marina, is clearly visible on the central spit.

A view of the entire river.
Looking closely at the eastern section of the old bridge, we see that all everything but the buttresses on either bank have been dismantled. Nonetheless, even these relics give an idea of what the original bridge must have looked like.

The buttresses supporting what was the eastern section of the bridge.
The buttress on the spit.
The 'town' side buttress on the eastern bank.
The view from King John's Bridge.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

As my usual Saturday update schedule falls on Christmas Eve this year, I'd just like wish all of my visitors a very Merry Christmas! Many thanks to all of you who have supported this site during its first year. In keeping with the season, here's a small gift by way of a recap of one of Richard Moreton's snowy scenes from Malvern Common. All the best for the festive season!

Friday 23 December 2016

Freight in Malvern

Seen on 3rd December 2016, two grubby Freightliners (66523 and 66513, not that you can tell) pulling the 0615 Swindon to Gloucester Horton Road. Nice colours, though!

Saturday 17 December 2016

Malvern-Ashchurch Timetable

A small update this week with a timetable from the old Malvern-Ashchurch railway. This edition actually shows the line during its more active years, with 5 trains a day down from Malvern to Ashchurch and 5 a day coming back up, with an additional 'down' service on Thursdays and Saturdays. The more eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that, at around 35 minutes, the old steam trains on this line were no slower than the current direct diesel service between the modern Malvern and Ashchurch stations.

Saturday 10 December 2016

More Pictures from Ripple and Malvern Hanley Road

I've been clearing up a few old images from my archive this week and found these two pictures to share with you. The first is from Ripple, taken just south of the old station there. The second is a great shot of Malvern Hanley Road seven years after its closure, with a rare view of the roadside entrance to the station.

South of Ripple, late 1950s.
'Road Entrance, Malvern Wells LMS Station', November 1959.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Malvern and Tewkesbury Junction Signal Box

I've been waiting to write this post ever since seeing this old picture in Brian Iles' Around Malvern. The historical shot below shows the old GWR signal box that guarded the junction between the LMS's Malvern-Ashchurch railway and the surviving GWR Worcester-Hereford line until the former's demise in the early 1950s. I've done my best to provide a matching shot, taken by sticking my camera through the steel fence on Network Rail's wasteland site opposite County Builders on St Andrew's Road. The site is closed to the public and I had to be supervised for my visit, so please don't head up there yourself - in truth, there isn't much left to see anyway and what little there is I have snapped exhaustively for the Tewkesbury Junction page. I'm very pleased to have finally got this posted, anyway. Now to find some shots of the Midland signal box further out on the Common...

Malvern and Tewkesbury Junction GWR signal box.
My matching shot from February 2016. Apart from the overgrowth and the colour of the gables on the College houses, not much has changed from this perspective.