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Help stop the decay of
Anglia's railway heritage

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Many station buildings

 catagorized by Greater Anglia as  "Redundant"

Ten station buildings need  immediate restoration before they're safe to be used for anything

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Greater Anglia investment in what is   described as  "upgrades"


Trimley, East Suffolk

Trimley Station is a charming disused stop on the Ipswich-Felixstowe branch line. Built as part of the Great Eastern Railway in 1891 by WN Ashbee, it is the last surviving country station in the New Essex style, characterised by vertical tiling and decorative exposed timber detailing and gabled porch. It has sadly been closed since 1967 and has been unoccupied and unused since then.

    The station building once housed a ticket office, post rooms and separate waiting rooms and lavatories for ladies and gentlemen. The building is part of a larger collection of late Victorian railway buildings which all survive intact, including the Station Master's House, break goods shed, lattice passenger footbridge and platforms. 

    Trimley is unlisted but, when demolition was proposed in 2009, Suffolk Coastal District Council issued a Building Preservation Notice which halted the bulldozers. Following strong public outcry, a Friends group was formed out of which volunteers came forward to set up a community charity, Trimley Station Community Trust, and to persuade the then owner - Network Rail - to defer demolition while new uses and funding were sought.

    The admirable and energetic Trimley Station Community Trust secured a two-year lease on the building and received grant aid for urgent works which were carried out at the end of 2014 at no expense to the owner. However, plans to restore this highly cherished local building to serve the community as a café, meeting rooms, bicycle hire, heritage centre and parish council office faltered following an unsuccessful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

    In 2012 the station was assumed under the control of new train operator Greater Anglia and has since been left to rot, with photographs showing clear and heartbreaking neglect to all elements of the building. With no maintenance carried out by Greater Anglia (other than placing hoarding around the building in early 2023), extensive holes in the roof have appeared, with rain water goods and other flashing missing in many places and pigeons roosting in the building. 

    Despite this lamentable condition Greater Anglia – which is legally responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building - have recently advertised the building for commercial lease, with any prospective tenant expected to carry the cost of repairing the Victorian structure.

    With the Community Trust still extant and pledges for grant funding made several times by the Railway Heritage Trust in recent months, urgent and transparent action is now required by Greater Anglia to facilitate efforts to save this local landmark. The first step will be to secure the building to prevent further deterioration, which will in turn allow for new uses and prospective users to come forward.  

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Salhouse, Norfolk

In June 2021 Greater Anglia announced plans to demolish Salhouse Station and replace it with a bus shelter style waiting area, claiming “The building at Salhouse has not been used for several decades and does not hold any historic importance”.

     Being unlisted, the little building was vulnerable. Despite intense local objections and a growing campaign to save the nineteenth century building, planning permission was granted in October 2021 for demolition.

     But legal action by SAVE Britain’s Heritage has secured a reprieve for one of the smallest stations on the railway network., and the plans for demolition have been quashed. Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage said: “This programme of bulldozing our rural Victorian railway heritage must stop. Replacing these historic buildings with bland bus shelter canopies is a loss for everyone."

4000 homes are due to be built within walking distance of the station and it is clear the use of it will increase dramatically.

     The Salhouse Station Group has been formed to raise funds for repairs to stabilise the building. However, so far Greater Anglia have been uncooperative with the local community in agreeing a renovation and reuse plan and the building remains boarded up.

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Brandon, Suffolk

Brandon Station lies on the Norwich to Cambridge line and is of significant importance historically, as recognized by its listing Grade II by Historic England. Built in 1845 as part of the Norwich to Brandon line by the early railway pioneers Robert Stephenson and Sir Samuel Peto, its design is attributed to the renowned architect and sculptor, John Thomas. Each of the stations (including Thetford, Attleborough, Wymondham and Trowse) on this very early line was individually designed and were faced with knapped flint to reflect the vernacular architecture. Brandon is the largest remaining knapped flint building in the area, constructed of what is considered to be the finest flint in the world. From an architectural and railway history point of view the station is very important indeed.

     During World War II the station and its marshalling yard were extensively used the British, American and Polish forces for transporting soldiers to and from the training areas. On 12th September 1941 the King and Queen alighted at the Station as part of their visit to inspect the area’s military installations.

     Though many of the railway buildings at Brandon have gone, the main station building, with the station master’s house at the end, remains largely intact and unaltered, in spite a years of neglect, and more recently, attempts to demolish it.

     The Station is owned by Network Rail and leased to the train operator, Greater Anglia. In spite of many public assurances to the contrary, these two organisations have shown little regard for the building, with the result that its condition is deteriorating rapidly. Indeed, had it not been listed September 2020, the Station would no longer be with us today, replaced instead by a tarmacked car park and a couple of bus shelters.

     Pressure from SAVE, the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust and Breckland District Council, has forced Greater Anglia to take action to halt the ingress of water and slow the rot of the roofing timbers, by the erection of a scaffolding cocoon. However the future of the building still hangs in the balance. The considerable expenditure on erecting and maintaining the scaffolding could have been spent more wisely on actual repairs to the roof, which would have taken the station one step nearer its total restoration and re-use by the local community.


Thurston, Suffolk

Grade II lsted Thurston Station has been unoccupied for many years with Greater Anglia maintaining it to a basic standard. The roof is in good condition and the external paintwork was refreshed in early 2023 after two years of lobbying by Community Action for Thurston Station (CATS). It has been released for rent on a Full Repair Lease arrangement. The internal fabric of the building is unsafe and unusable at present and is being left for the incoming tenant to restore. This would be prohibitively expensive.

     Disposing by Selling it is being looked into by Network Rail, but releasing the freehold is seriously complicated by the fact that the building supports the railway embankment.

     The potential future for Thurston Station is enormous but it requires imagination, resolve, energy and funding by Greater Anglia for this to be realised. 


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