Curb Street railway station still stuck behind scaffolding

The renovation of the memorial Curzon Street railway station building is suspended as HS2 seeks additional funding to complete the work – and this is another one for Will Young, general manager of The Woodman pub at the front door. There is a headache.

The 1838 Grade I building collapsed behind the scaffolding for the first time in September last year, when Birmingham City Council leader Keller Ian Ward promised that its restoration, led by HS2, would mark the city’s entry into the “Golden Decade”. And that work will “secure its place. As part of the new Curzon Street station for future generations.”

But in late May, it was announced that work had been “halted” due to “serious unforeseen structural problems”. The video above shows the unusual size of the building in terms of the surrounding area, taken with drone footage before it was wrapped in scaffolding.

Read more: The first HS2 train from Birmingham to Easton may not run until 2036.

The original restoration scheme was due to expire in June this year, meaning it could be seen during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, although its future role as an HS2 visitor center is poised to become the focus of games. Does not happen

Clearing the area would also be good news for Woodman, where general manager Will Young is struggling to maintain the 125-year-old pub, which has only been accessible on foot for the past year.

Renovation of the Curzon Street railway station has been ‘stopped’.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

“I haven’t seen anything happen in weeks and whenever I ask HS2 what happens they don’t tell me,” Will said. “It’s really disappointing – we’ve been told that Eastside City Park will reopen this year.

“Business is strong, but calm, and 95% of the customers are students who will be leaving soon. We have been waiting for our first ‘normal’ summer for years because of epidemics and all that work.” Hasn’t seen any real work on the building or outside the bar for a while. I just want HS2 to hurry up and get it done. “

At the start of Curzon’s restoration work last September, Will told Birmingham Live: “I am all in favor of HS2, but since its station has not been open for years, we must hope that we work on it. Will be able to and users will continue to find us on foot. It seems you can’t get here, but you can still get there (on foot).

“It’s a miracle that we’re still here 125 years later. If we can survive (the HS2 barrier) we would be very happy and it would take us to a whole new level.

“But that’s the challenge we’re facing right now. Being positive, sticking to what we do helps HS2 guys get everything done as quickly as possible because it’s in everyone’s interest.” “

The restoration work was being funded by an unspecified housing and regeneration grant, which HS2 stated that “the government scheme offers funding for activities that rehabilitate or develop an area. I contribute. “

A View From The Millennium Point Of The Curzon Street Railway Station Building Covered With Scaffolding.  Restoration Should Have Been Completed By June, 2022 - Woodman Pub Is On The Right.
A view from the Millennium Point of the Curzon Street railway station building covered with scaffolding. Restoration should have been completed by June, 2022 – Woodman Pub is on the right.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

With work on the Curzon Street railway station “suspended” in search of further funding, Birmingham Live has asked HS2 a number of important questions about the project, none of which have been answered directly. However, it does help those who love the history of the railways to take advantage of the private sector. To come out of the blue.

Our questions include:

  • What was the total cost of actual maintenance work?
  • How much more will it cost now than the actual work?
  • What is the known time scale for eliminating it?

HS2 responded: “We are still working with the council and other partners to identify additional funding to complete the additional work. This includes private sector funding. Includes viewing options.

“(Housing and Regeneration Grant) is one of the options we are looking for more funding. Due to commercial sensitivities, (HS2) is unable to provide cost details.”

The New Canal Street Between Woodman Pub And Curzon Street Railway Station Has Been Closed To Traffic By Hs2 And Local Walls Have Been Covered In Tagging.
The new Canal Street between Woodman Pub and Curzon Street railway station has been closed to traffic by HS2 and local walls have been covered in tagging.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

On 30 May, Birmingham City Council (BCC) stated that this work was not one of its plans, so Birmingham Live would have to ask HS2 for further details.

In light of HS2’s statement that it was “working with the council to identify more funding”, Birmingham Live again asked BCC to comment on its role in the move. It can contribute directly to the cost or if it is actively contributing. Save third party funds and how much may be needed.

But even the BCC – which owns The Woodman – has not answered those questions.

As one of the world’s oldest and most important examples of monumental railway architecture, the restoration of Curzon Street was seen last year by Council leader Keller Ian Ward as “a key part of Birmingham’s railway heritage”. “It will create highly skilled jobs, plus the economic benefits that HS2 is bringing to our city.”

Meanwhile, the region is facing next week’s railway chaos that has not been seen for decades. Passengers south of Birmingham will be affected by the four-day railway engineering work on the Solihole and Stratford lines (June 20-23), as well as the national strike on various days.

Curzon Street Railway Station

Designed by notable architect Philip Hardock, the gigantic stone building has three floors and a basement and is one of the great survivors of Landlock Birmingham’s rise to industrial prominence.

View Of Curzon Street Railway Station From Park Street, Next To The Woodman Pub, Where Reservation Work Has Stopped.
View of Curzon Street railway station from Park Street, next to The Woodman Pub, where reservation work has stopped.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

It was used as a backdrop on March 11, 2010, when then-Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the area to launch a new high-speed rail network, which he proposed to transport. Given by Secretary Lord Edwin in 2009.

According to Historic England, whose building is on its ‘Heritage at Risk Register’, the original Easton to Birmingham line was built by Robert Stephenson in just four years from 1834, before the first train from London arrived on 17 September 1838.

Shortly after Curzon Street’s centenary celebrations in 1938. The building was damaged during the Birmingham Blitz in World War II.

View Of Eastside City Park Featuring The Woodman Pub Near Curzon Street Railway Station And Major Road Works.
View of Eastside City Park featuring The Woodman Pub near Curzon Street railway station and major road works.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

It was then in danger of collapsing twice in the 1970s when a rush to rebuild Birmingham swept away several historic buildings, including the Victorian Library.

When rehabilitation work on Curzon Street began in September 2021, there was a great deal of optimism about plans to add a new steel frame to strengthen the building.

There will also be a new elevator with access to all four levels, a new glass balustrade for the historic staircase, interior fitouts, roof repairs, structural repairs to the exterior facade, and thorough cleaning of the exterior building masonry.

Read more:‘Hart of HS2’ – Birmingham’s massive railway station is on track with thousands of jobs.

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