Felixstowe: Wreath-laying marks tenth anniversary of bulldozing of Beach Station
10:01 23 April 2014
Campaigners have laid a wreath at the site of a railway station which was torn down a decade ago – while the land on which it stood still stands empty.
Weeds have forced their way through the tarmacadam of the platform of the old Beach Station at Felixstowe, and the site of the station buildings are overgrown with brambles.
It had been expected that the land alongside the Port of Felixstowe’s southern rail line would be used for housing.
The station was demolished suddenly over Easter in 2004 and former councillors Mike Ninnmey and Harry Dangerfield, who were among those who watched in shock as the bulldozers smashed the mainly wooden building to splinters, placed a wreath to mark the 10th anniversary and hung a noticeboard on the fencing giving details of the sad saga.
Mr Ninnmey said: “The big question remains – what was the hurry?
“Nothing has happened on this site and why would it? It is totally unsuitable for housing because of the noise from the freight railway line.
“It was said that £100,000 was needed to be spent to repair the building, but it had for many years been used for a printing business and no-one was given the chance to see whether those repairs were necessary or whether there was a way of funding them.
“The community was not given the chance to take on this building.”
Mr Dangerfield said: “There was a hope that a railway museum might have taken it on. One that we had spoken to was keen to explore whether it could be taken apart piece by piece and then rebuilt elsewhere to preserve it.”
Beach Station was opened in 1877 as the resort’s first railway station and was well used for many years as it was just yards from the beach and brought thousands of tourists to enjoy a day by the sea.
It was closed in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
Colonel George Tomline had built it as part of his vision for the development of the southern part of the town.