I’m not usually enthusiastic about having injections until a recent appointment changed everything.

When I booked to have my fourth Covid booster, I was delighted to find out it would be administered at Isambard House – not its original name, but I knew all about it and was curious to go inside.

Saltash railway station is handy; I used it regularly when working in the town years ago. While waiting on the opposite platform to go home, the boarded-up station building with crumbling plaster and surrounded by metal fencing was a horrible sight. Not a good example, especially for passengers crossing the River Tamar via the Royal Albert Bridge for the first time.

I often wondered how the property had looked when new in 1859, and subsequent years when owned by GWR.

Thankfully, Saltash council purchased it for the community, and I keenly followed the renovation project’s progress via social media. After lots of planning and hard work, its refurbishment was complete, and at the end of 2021, it reopened as Isambard House. It’s used for all sorts of events, including art exhibitions, workshops and social meetings, but I’ve never managed to be there during opening hours before.

So the date arrived. Not many people enjoy queuing, but I was looking forward to waiting so I could take in the interior.

I couldn’t believe how efficient and quick the booster programme was, so not much hanging around, but still long enough to admire the light decor under a wooden ceiling supported by A-frames and beams. Each of the arched windows seems to frame a part of the outdoor scenery creating railway-life pictures.

Saltash’s two bridges never cease to be a source of wonder, so jabbed and ready to go on my way, I sauntered towards the landmarks at the track’s end. A rail worker chatted and thumbed over to Brunel’s engineering triumph.

“There’s a train on the way over the bridge,” he told me full of gusto.

The GWR engine and carriages coasted by and halted in Saltash’s pristine inspiring station. Perfect!

Until next time,
Sue. X