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Men's Shed steam ahead with work on Nairn Railway Station historic building

By Donald Wilson

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The station crew: John Rushforth, Paul Bassett, Joe Fattes, Rosemary Samuel, Alan Ross, Gordon Veitch and Ian Marshall.
The station crew: John Rushforth, Paul Bassett, Joe Fattes, Rosemary Samuel, Alan Ross, Gordon Veitch and Ian Marshall.

ANOTHER historic building at Nairn Railway Station is in the process of being brought back into service by the Nairn Men’s Shed.

The organisation which provides social activities for both men and women as they reach retirement has already redeveloped several disused properties at the station which opened as part of the Highland Railway in the 1850s.

Chairman John Rushforth said: “Just before lockdown, the Men’s Shed obtained an extended lease on the buildings they use at Nairn station.

“As lockdown eased, they were able to complete the hobbies/social area in the old waiting rooms on the north platform.

“The Men’s Shed workshop and hobbies/social areas are now used on an almost daily basis for various activities.

“The work on the old toilet block and luggage store on the south platform has recently started.

“This building will become a store for the Men’s Shed mainly for wood for the workshop. The structural timber repairs and new guttering were completed expertly by Highland Joinery and Glazing.

“They then had the problem of removing in a safe and environmentally friendly manner the multiple layers of lead-based paint on the building.

“After considering a few options they were advised to speak to an Inverness-based specialist contractor called Eco Ice Industrial Services. They took into account the fact that we are a charity that relies solely on donations and grants and kindly gave us a discounted quotation to remove the paint.”

John added: “They used a high-pressure shot blasting method using crushed recycled glass mixed with crushed ice leaving the building ready for preparation before repainting.

Historic station building. Pictures: Callum Mackay.
Historic station building. Pictures: Callum Mackay.

"The Men’s Shed would like to thank Eco Ice for the brilliant job they did. The work was extremely noisy and they did their very best to minimise disruption to life at the station.”

The Men’s Shed is now looking forward to the final paintwork and completion of this part of the project which has taken two years longer than planned due to the pandemic.

“We’ve entered this year’s Railway Heritage Trust national award scheme and have our collective fingers crossed for a good result,” John said.

As well as arts and crafts and woodwork projects for themselves and the local community, shed members regularly go on walks and meet simply for a chat and coffee at the station.

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