Volunteers working at Wensleydale Railway have taken delivery of an early Christmas present.
Wood being stripped out of the former science laboratories in Richmond’s Lower School has been donated to the railway for restoration work on old carriages and buildings.
Contractors are clearing the old school buildings to create new state-of-the-art office accommodation for Richmondshire District Council.
But the teak used on the work benches and cupboards has not found its way into the skip.
Paul Warren, Wensleydale Railway volunteer, said: “Teak is invaluable for restoration purposes – and in a distressed state like that at the school is very hard to get hold of.
“We are very grateful to the district council for donating this to us.
“We have six solid wood table tops and counters to add to our stores – some of which is likely to get used in the restoration of Scruton station.
“Receiving donations of this kind make our job of authentically restoring carriages and buildings so much easier – and means our valuable resources can be diverted where they are most needed.”
Work recently begun on a landmark £2m scheme for the district council when contractors moved on to the former Richmond Lower School site as part of a project which will bring the council’s services under one roof for the first time in its 38-year history.
The possibility of centralising the operations was first mooted in the 1980s and the move to the former school site was approved in July.
The scheme also protects one of Richmond’s landmark buildings, creating a base for the voluntary sector and a venue for public meetings, banquets, and weddings in the mid-19th century school hall, which will be renovated next year.
Coun John Blackie, council leader, said: “This takes re-cycling at Richmondshire District Council to new heights.
“We are glad that the teak can have a fresh use, and delighted it will help an important heritage railway attraction that allows tourists to travel through wonderful scenery whilst delivering them right into the heart of the district.”