Where is best place for Invicta engine?
I would like to support Ms Pahl’s suggestion that the Invicta engine should be sited at Canterbury West station [Let’s not lose our locomotive’, Gazette, Jan 18].
There is a large block of concrete situated between The Goods Shed and the main line which is something of an eyesore.
The rail company will not remove it because it is needed, as a safety stop, to prevent trains using the Goods Shed siding from leaving the track.
It would be very cheap to clad it in brick or stone to provide a plinth for the Invicta engine, which could be enclosed in glass to prevent deterioration.
I am sorry to disagree with that doughty champion of Canterbury’s interests Jan Pahl, but I cannot support her view that moving the Invicta to Whitstable means losing our city’s historic locomotive.
Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay and the Bridge-blean villages were united into a single district in 1974. It makes no better sense to treat Canterbury and Whitstable as poles apart than it does for Britain to lose the place in the European Union it has enjoyed since 1973. Sadly, though, some grumpies do support such nonsenses.
The Invicta in retirement should unite Canterbury and Whitstable, just as it was once the engine of the much-loved Crab & Winkle line which linked them historically. Both have an interest in promoting public awareness of that pioneering route, and especially of the development of Whitstable Harbour in order to serve Canterbury.
I recall vividly how, when my father drove me to Canterbury as a boy, the sight of the Invicta standing by the Riding Gate inspired my interest in local history; although it has been better protected from the elements in the Stour Street Museum, it is a pity that it has made it effectively invisible to people coming to Canterbury for everyday purposes.
The Invicta has to be kept under cover; but please can it be visible (through glass, lit up in the evening) all the time? It should be alongside the Crab & Winkle line, but whether that is Canterbury West Station or Whitstable Harbour is secondary. It could go to whichever of their owners can offer the best, see-into building to house it.
Better, if both can offer a suitable home, then it should be moved between them every 10 years, starting in 2030, the 200th anniversary of the opening of the line. The ceremony of moving the historic engine by road could pull in railway-loving tourists from around the world. And as Canterbury has it now, Whitstable Harbour should have it for the first 10-year period Michael Steed, Fordwich Road, Sturry