Waiting room project on track for accolade

Ladybank - Fife -'Opening of The Laird's Waiting Room - Andy Savage, Chair Railway Heritage Trust & Christine May, Chair Fife Historic Buildings Trust, unveil the plaque -
Ladybank - Fife -'Opening of The Laird's Waiting Room - Andy Savage, Chair Railway Heritage Trust & Christine May, Chair Fife Historic Buildings Trust, unveil the plaque -
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A former station waitng-room that’s been given a new lease of life is in line for a prestigious award.

The Laird’s Waiting Room at Ladybank Station, which was officially opened last month as a community facility, has been shortlisted in the National Railway Heritage Awards, whose winners will be announced on December 2.

The 19th century B-listed building - constructed for the Haig family living at that time in Ramornie House - had fallen into disrepair but was restored as part of a project spearheaded by Ladybank Development Trust, who adopted Ladybank Station in 2011.

Work began in May last year and was carried out in partnership with Fife Historic Buildings Trust at a cost of £246,000 .

Funding was provided by LEADER in Fife ; Fife Environment Trus; Railways Heritage Trust: Stations Community Regeneration Fund and the Local Community Planning Budget.

The station is reckoned to be one of the oldest stations in Scotland standing substantially in its original state and plays a key role in the history of the village.

Ladybank was originally nown as ‘Our Lady’s Bog’ and was so named by the monks of Lindores Abbey, who had the rights to dig peat in the area. The name was shortened to Ladybog but changed to Ladybank with the coming of the railway.

The station was built in the 1840’s by Edinburgh and District Railway Company on the line to Dundee, with a junction running to Perth, and in 1857 the newly formed Fife and Kinross railway used the station as its eastern terminus.

“By adopting the station the Ladybank Development Trust is aiming to ensure that as much of its history is preserved but also becomes an integral part of village life again,” said Trustee Fiona Innes.

“It has taken a long time since we first started this project, but on October 20 Andy Savage from Railway Heritage Trust officially opened the Laird’s Waiting Room.

“Christine May also gave a speech in her capacity as Chairperson of Fife Historic Buildings Trust and also read a message from Fife Historic Building Trust’s Patron, The Right Honourable Gordon Brown, who unfortunately could not attend. 

“It was a day of mixed emotions for all involved, as the founder of the Ladybank Development Trust, the late Jeanette Soffietti, did not see this project come to fruition.”

Now Ladybank Development Trust is hoping the Laird’s Waiting Room will be used as a meeting place for a number of community groups and businesses and plans to forge ahead with other projects at the historic railway station.