Severn Valley Railway donation wall recognises thousands of donors

A 21 metre long donation wall is in place at the Severn Valley Railway, in recognition of thousands of contributions made to the ‘Helping Hands for Falling Sands’ appeal.

The appeal raised £397,000 towards restoring Falling Sands Viaduct, which was boosted by a further £853,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The aluminium wall, installed at The Engine House, Highley, displays the names of nearly 3,000 individuals, companies, community and grant-making organisations.

The wall has seven arches, just like the viaduct itself, and is visible from passing heritage trains. Adding her daughter’s name to the wall was especially poignant to Sandra Higginson from Kingswinford. She said:

“Last year would have been my daughter Olivia’s 21st birthday, but tragically we lost her to meningitis when she was 12.

“I volunteer at the SVR as a buffet steward, and every time I pass the wall at Highley, it means so much just knowing that her name is up there. It’s a wonderful tribute.”

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust chairman, John Leftwich, paid tribute to everyone who has donated. He said:

“Our donation wall is a fitting testament to all those who are determined to save an essential part of the SVR’s infrastructure.

“Falling Sands Viaduct is a vital link between Kidderminster and the rest of the line, and at 142 years old, it now needs extensive repairs. Without urgent action, we could be forced to reduce the length of trains, or even face temporary or permanent closure of the line.

“In the short time that the wall’s been in place people have flocked to The Engine House to see it, and the feedback has been extremely positive. This is a wonderful way for the SVR to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who got behind our campaign to recognise their contributions.”

Work on the restoration of the viaduct will begin early next year, and an exciting programme of associated activities and educational events is already underway.

Although all the funding for the viaduct’s restoration has been secured, more is urgently needed for other projects.

You can visit to find out more and to donate online.


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