Six years after Padstow station – the westernmost point on the Southern Railway – was faced with the threat of demolition, it has been reborn as a showpiece museum for the town.
Fears were sounded in 2012 when radon gas, four times higher than the recommended levels, was detected in the station house, along with a broken sewer and unsafe electrical wiring. Padstow Town Council, which used the building as its offices, had to move out.
However, local people did not want to lose the historic building and the radon problem was solved. The gas, which is created when natural radioactive uranium slowly decays in the ground, gets indoors through floors, with higher levels in parts of the country rich in granite, such as Cornwall.
The town council has moved back in and the local museum, which was located in Padstow Institute in the Market Place, has been relocated to the station.
It contains many artefacts and photographs relating to the town’s railway past, including a nameplate from Bulleid West Country light Pacific No. 34008 Padstow, which was constructed at Brighton Works in 1945, rebuilt in 1960 and withdrawn in June 1967.
The new museum opened to the public on October 8 and the official opening ceremony took place on November 29, performed by Jill Crowley, cousin of the late Rev Barry Kinsmen, whose bequest made the museum’s move possible.
The minister had been involved with the museum since the 1970s.
Read more and view more images in Issue 250 of HR – on sale now!