Some members of the Facebook group Northfield Past are continuing their fight to delay the demolition of the old station at Longbridge, in the hope that it can be saved in some form.

Although plans for the demolition were seemingly part of the Longbridge Area Action Plan made public in 2009, some feel that not enough efforts have been made at a public consultation on the future of the building.

Group member Jeff Sidhu from Newcastle spent a lot of time in Longbridge as a child where family members worked at the British Leyland / MG Rover factory. He is passionate about trying to save the building and has managed to obtain some rare old photos from the National Railway Museum, hoping to be able to demonstrate its importance and gain the support of English Heritage.

The photographs show the interior and exterior of the building in 1939 and the National Railway Museum also provided Mr Sidhu with some information on the photos:

National Railway Museum photo posted on Northfield Past – click for large image

Great Western Railway and London, Midland & Scottish Railway joint office at Longbridge, Birmingham, 1939. Although Britain’s four main railway companies were in competition with each other, they sometimes pooled resources to capitalise on economies of scale. This office sold passenger tickets, accepted parcels and undertook orders for the transport of goods for the Great Western Railway and London, Midland & Scottish Railway, which both operated services in Birmingham. The photograph was taken at the beginning of the Second World War, when Britain’s railways came under government control. The kerb of the pavement has been painted in alternative black and white blocks, to make it better visible to drivers during the ‘blackout’ imposed to prevent German bombers identifying targets.

National Railway Museum photo posted on Northfield Past – click for large image

Enquiry counter at the Great Western Railway and London, Midland & Scottish Railway joint office at Longbridge, Birmingham, 1939. Although Britain’s four main railway companies were in competition with each other, they sometimes pooled resources to capitalise on economies of scale. This photograph was taken shortly after the start of the Second World War. A poster behind the counter urges people to send smaller parcels to reduce the pressure on wartime train services. Another warns people against conversations that could be useful to the enemy by announcing “Be like Dad – Keep Mum! Careless talk costs lives”. “Keeping mum” was a slang term for remaining silent and, at a time when fewer women had paid work, some people argued that they were “kept” by their working husbands.

To read more on this issue visit the Northfield Past facebook group

1930hrs 13th June 2012:

As the images below show, demolition work has now started on the building.

Preparing for the demolition 10/6/12 – image by Terry Redmond
Demolition begins 13/6/12 – image by Richard Andrews

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