SEVERN Valley Railway has admitted it was naive in flogging off cobblestones that should have been given away after a station refurbishment.

The century-old cobblestones, which were removed as part of renovation by Worcestershire County Council and Network Rail at Kidderminster Train Station in January, were given to the heritage railway as a gift.

Now, the cobbles have made their way onto eBay after they were sold to Warwick Reclamation by the railway in the previous month.

SVR used some of the cobbles around their stations, and later made approaches to other heritage attractions to see if they had any use for them.

But after they were unsuccessful in finding a new home for them, the railway approached the reclamation yard to purchase their surplus cobbles.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Listing for the reclaimed cobbles on eBay. PIC: eBay.Listing for the reclaimed cobbles on eBay. PIC: eBay.

Railway bosses say the sale was made to help fund four modern lightweight wheelchair access ramps for use at their stations, which will assist passengers with mobility difficulties to access carriages.

A SVR spokesperson said: "All monies generated from our various activities are reinvested in the railway."

"The SVR wishes to apologise if the sale of the cobbles has caused any offence and has offered to transfer the monies made from the sale back to the original owners."

Nick Ralls, general manager of SVR, said: “Naively, we sold some of the cobbles to a reclamation yard. This was not in the spirit in which they were gifted.

“No other cobbles will be making their way their way to the reclamation yard.

“The sale was not made with any malice. We understand the potential embarrassment that this has caused.”

A spokesperson from Worcestershire County Council said: “The Kidderminster Station Project gifted the cobblestones removed from outside of Kidderminster Train Station to the Severn Valley Railway. We did not know that these stones were going to be sold online and we have raised this with Severn Valley Railway.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are aware that some concerns have been raised about cobblestones from the Kidderminster Station redevelopment and we are in discussion with all relevant organisations about this.”

The cobbles were initially removed as part of a £4.3 million redevelopment scheme at the station.

Some nostalgic rail users felt their removal meant losing a part of Kidderminster's heritage.