Historic steamie set to be restored

The old wash house at Ladybank Station (Photo courtesy of Ladybank Development Trust)
The old wash house at Ladybank Station (Photo courtesy of Ladybank Development Trust)

A call has gone out to local folk who would like to become involved in restoring a historic “steamie” wash house at Ladybank station.

The station is recognised as the only one in Scotland in its original condition since being built in 1847 for the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.

Ladybank Development Trust has secured funding from a local community planning budget to cover the costs of materials for restoring the wash house building, situated in the community garden.

Originally used by the Victorian tenants of the station for washing their clothes, the building has fallen into disrepair. Once restored, it will be used by a gardening group for storage.

The trust says the project will provide a “wonderful” team building opportunity, as well as rejuvenating one of the oldest examples of village heritage.

Volunteers - from experienced crafts people to those willing to learn - are required to assist with bricklaying, carpentry and general building.

Tim Masters, who is leading the volunteer work, this week explained why he got involved: “Railways have always fascinated me and the chance to help preserve a small part of the station around which the village of Ladybank became established is exciting.

“The wash house is unremarkable in its own right but forms an integral part of the original station and to see it disappear would be a sad loss.”

Work will start in the next few weeks once a core of willing volunteers is established. To find out more, contact Tim on 07985 736745 or email timmasters@hotmail.com.

The Ladybank trust adopted the station in 2011 and has been responsible for several improvements in the village, including the redevelopment of the Haig Memorial Garden and work at the Victoria Park.

In addition, work started in May on the restoration of the grade two listed Laird’s waiting room at the station. Land within the station grounds, formerly used as the stationmaster’s garden, is being developed as a community garden.