Forlorn tram kiosks await decision on their fate

Former Laxey Station huts abandoned by the trackside and falling into decay

Former Laxey Station huts abandoned by the trackside and falling into decay

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They have stood at Laxey tram station since Victorian times – the last remaining examples of a number that were once positioned at various places along the Manx Electric Railway.

But now these two rustic wooden kiosks are looking rotten and rather forlorn on the side of the track having been moved while a decision is taken on their future.

The Manx Electric Railway Society (MERS) has spoken out at the loss of the island’s transport heritage and has offered to work with the Department of Infrastructure to get the kiosks restored.

Spokesman Richard Dodge said: ‘The kiosks which date from 1899, are seen by the society as part of the charm and ambience of the station, which we wish to see fully restored following work to relay the track last winter.

‘The society is currently looking at options where it can assist the department to restore the historic kiosks to Laxey station.’

A DoI spokesman said: ‘The two kiosks were removed because they were rotten.

‘It remains our intention to restore them to their former glory and return them to the station in due course.’

Mr Dodge described Laxey station as the ‘jewel in the crown of the MER’ – and he said that great strides had been made to invest in the island’s railways in recent years.

However he added: ‘Publication of the controversial Douglas Steam railway station proposals, and developments at Laxey and Ramsey have given rise to some grave heritage concerns, highlighting an important area where the island’s voluntary heritage organisations may be able to assist the department towards our shared aim of preserving and promoting the island’s railways – and unique appeal – to best effect.

‘To this end the MERS has been working with other island railway and heritage organisations with a view to requesting an early joint meeting with the Minister [Phil Gawne] and his department members.

‘We hope that collaboration in this way will produce a better solution, where heritage and economics can be better balanced, to the benefit of everyone.’

Similar rustic kiosks were once located at Garwick, Dhoon Glen and Ramsey.

They originally had heather thatched roofs which were subsequently replaced with timber.

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