Smethwick Rolfe Street station will be celebrating its history on Sunday 10 September by teaming up with a historic local landmark to host a Heritage Open Day.
During the free event, held as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, Smethwick Rolfe Street and Galton Valley Pumping Station are being showcased as two of the area’s industrial gems. The two sites are a short walk from each other and can be easily accessed by following signage on Smethwick’s towpath.
From 1030 to 1530, visitors are being invited into the railway station’s new exhibition space to learn about the central role it has played in the local community throughout the years. The station building, which still boasts original Victorian design features, offers a fitting environment for event attendees to learn about the changes it has undergone since it was first built in the 1890s.
As well as special activity sheets, offering children the opportunity to colour in the station’s new mural, visitors will be presented with special rail tickets as a souvenir of the day. The event will be hosted by Peter Chapman, customer service assistant at London Midland.
Peter Chapman, customer service assistant at London Midland, commented: “Smethwick has an incredibly rich history here in the heartland of the West Midlands. The railway and pumping station are both icons of Victorian engineering and we’re welcoming everyone to come along on Sunday and learn a bit more about the history of their local area. ”
Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, added: “It has been a fantastic year for Smethwick Rolfe Street station and the local community has been instrumental in its transformation. The new mural stands as an example of cultural unity and the work undertaken by Sandwell College to transform the exhibition space is second to none. What better way to experience first-hand all the effort that’s gone into making the station a community hub, than at Sunday’s Heritage Open Day”.
As no booking is required for the Heritage Open Day, visitors may simply arrive at the station at any time between 1030 and 1530.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work. In 2017 London Midland was named as Britain's most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and the UK's most improved organisation for customer service in the UKCSI survey.
In 2017 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.