Bridging BR's Heritage Gap
Ann Hills on the campaign to save Lambley Railway Viaduct, South Tyne
Lambley Railway Viaduct, which spans the South Tyne river in a scenic valley a few miles south of Hadrian's Wall, is being restored and handed over to the North Pennines Heritage Trust following a vociferous campaign, backed by Tynedale Council, to save the Victorian masterpiece. The total bill for repairs, and for an '£80,000 dowry' with which the British Rail Property Board is 'selling' the massive monumental structure, is about £750,000.
Such a large figure for repairs to a viaduct which is likely to become no more than a footpath, is probably a record for the British Rail Property Board, which has pulled together grants from assorted bodies, including English Heritage, Northumberland Council, the Countryside Commission and the Railway Heritage Trust to spread the financial load. The restoration of Lambley is a significant landmark, and a delight to Stuart Parker, the BR technical services manager who is masterminding the project. 'The viaduct would cost about £10 million to build today', he notes.