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Poppleton Community Railway Nursery becomes a registered charity
IT’S a paradise for any green-fingered train buff – with both plants galore and a narrow-gauge railway to transport produce around the site.
Now the Poppleton Community Railway Nursery has become a registered charity and members of the public now have a chance to see it for themselves tomorrow.
Its heritage open day runs from 10am until 4pm, with the opportunity for people to buy plants and refreshments.
The nursery, near the railway station in Upper Poppleton, was set up in 1941 in the station goods yard to produce food for railway workers’ canteens and railway-owned hotels.
Wooden greenhouses, office and even a Yorkshire pit house – a half-submerged greenhouse – were built.
After the war, production switched to shrubs and trees required to stabilise bomb-damaged railway embankments, and then changed again to produce bedding plants and hanging baskets to beautify stations along the East Coast Main Line.
Flowers and plants were also produced for ceremonial occasions, and the nursery was also used for storage of ceremonial red carpet and associated fencing.
In the 1980s, a two-foot gauge railway was built on the site. As late as the 1990s, British Rail invested heavily in the nursery, replacing generators with mains electricity and installing bottled gas heaters in the greenhouses.
After privatisation of the railways, the nursery became an office base for Jarvis and the greenhouses and sheds fell into disrepair, but in 2006, Jarvis left the site and it was abandoned.
But a group of railwayman, led by Paul Salveson, felt strongly that, as the last railway nursery in the country, it should remain active.
A group of individuals persisted and after the formation of a board of directors, in 2009 Poppleton Community Railway Nursery was granted a tenancy of the site from Network Rail.
The nursery is run by a volunteer group, and it is always looking to recruit new members.