We visited the exhibition today at Acocks Green Railway Station. Quite a few people came. To be honest, the crew behind the table seemed a tad defensive and not very used to dealing with community activists. The idea that we might be less than ecstatic about what was on offer seemed to surprise them. ‘But most people like grey – all the London Tube Stations have been painted grey now.’ (Perhaps it had been a busy day: maybe someone needed at the point to pop out and check the building they were in? It’s Tuesday … an Edwardian suburban railway station in Brum, not a London Tube Station, duuhh) and ‘They will just disappear, when you look at then, honestly they will.’ (Someone been watching too much Dr Who?)
Unfortunately for them, they also had brought with them the design which had originally been produced and rejected on grounds of cost: Let’s have a look:
This, note involves red brick which roughly matches the station and hipped roofs. This came in at 50K over budget, apparently. (Or 50K over what someone was planning to keep in profit??) How do you keep ’em down on the farm … They tried the level bestest to persuade us that grey was nicer. So widely approved across the country – oh and if we were asked to pick another colour we wouldn’t agree and we would argue among ourselves, so it is best if we let the grown-ups (er, lift engineers and Centro folk) do it for us. They really were starting to look as though they would like to send these ungrateful people who had opinions about what was right and wrong in their own suburb to bed without any supper.
Finally, however, we have agreement. We will be sent a range of lift colours to look at. Remember how we chose the green and gold for the centre of Acocks Green all by ourselves and without anyone having to sit on the naughty step for not agreeing and getting cross? Looks like we will be doing it again – choosing the colours, not sitting on the naughty step (Not even on the station steps – we will be getting lifts remember) Watch this space.
Also, possibly we could have some ornamentation on the sides: not utterly blank? Maybe – watch this space.
They also finally conceded that the roof top design is not final. This was another design they were also working on.
So if they are also looking at that one – with a slightly sloped, rather than curved, roof then maybe they could do a hipped roof whilst they were at it. They sounded slightly surprised, but agreed they could. Again, watch this space.
They should be sending us some more piccies – soon.
Acocks Green Railway Station has long been awaiting a pair of lifts so that less physically able people can use the station. It is is clearly important that these facilities are provided and it is very good to know that we will have this facility soon. Centro has a arranged a viewings of the design at Acocks Green Railway Station booking office from 3.30-6.00 pm on Tuesday 26 November. There will also be opportunity to comment. Work is due to start in December. For more info you can download A leaflet about Acocks Green Railway Station lifts Scheme here
However, howdo you feel looking at these particular lift shafts? Comments we have received so far include ‘Do they have to be so grey?’ and ‘Why not use more brick facing?’
These lifts will be in a proposed Conservation Area (completion expected about next April). Is it a pity that they do not more closely reflect the station building behind? What about matching brick colour, or hipped roofs?
Here are a few other lift shafts towers in a few other stations. Some of these are in posher areas than Acocks Green … areas which already have Conservation Status (Ahem.) But do keep going for our favourite: the Smethwick (Galton Bridge) one … we had to double check to make sure this really was lift towers. It is.
This is a brick clad pair – fairly plain but the roof part has a little more depth than the Acocks Green models.
These are again brick clad – broken up by a set of contrast strips.
Brick clad in a warmer coloured brick – you can just see station buildings in the background which match in colour. Again the roof is slightly more substantial, making the columns feel a little less tall, and visual balancing is also added by a small window in the top of each. The deep cabins at the base help to break up the height.
The tower in the foreground here obviously needed to blend with the church as well as the station, so brick colour is important, but the hipped roof matches that of the station as well. There are finishing corner stones, too.
Another approach – open sides with glass may feel less overpowering.
What a diference hipped roofs can make!
Brand new this year – note smart green edging relieves the plain brickwork – nice see-thru bridge, as well.
Or maybe our lift towers are a stunning example of a modern design deliberately planned to make a striking contrast to our particular traditional railway station … yes, well maybe … have you checked out the equally stunning design, no doubt also carefully planned to make a contrast etc etc exclusively for Selly Oak …
Why not go to the Tuesday viewings and let Centro know what you think … or, if you can’t make the viewings, or are reading this too late, drop them a line: StevenFisher@centro.org.uk or AlisonPeckmore@centro.org.uk