Call to save historic station

IT'S one of Felixstowe's most historic buildings – and it must be saved for future generations.That's the cry today from campaigners who are working tirelessly to try to stop the resort's 127-year-old Beach Station from being bulldozed.

IT'S one of Felixstowe's most historic buildings - and it must be saved for future generations.

That's the cry today from campaigners who are working tirelessly to try to stop the resort's 127-year-old Beach Station from being bulldozed.

Today The Evening Star gave its backing to the town and district councillors and railway enthusiasts who would dearly love to see the building - the seaside town's first railway station - kept and preserved.

Residents were dismayed at the attempt to wipe out history to create a site ripe for future development by demolishing the station at 10.30pm on Sunday.

They managed to stop that attempt to get rid of it by excellent work to discover that a government act had not been complied with, and are now working hard to try to get it listed for its architectural importance.

The Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) property-owning arm has agreed not to demolish the station until its agents have met with Felixstowe Town Council.

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Councillor Mike Ninnmey said: "We are not convinced by the SRA's arguments about why this building needs to come down and we believe the options for its future have not been fully explored.

"It's too precious to lose just like that. It is an important part of Felixstowe's history and if some other use cannot be found, then someone might actually want to take the building and rebuild it elsewhere."

He had been in touch with the Railway Heritage Trust, who had expressed a keen interest, and the Victorian Society.

Mayor Doreen Savage said many councillors had been working hard to prevent the demolition and also paid tribute to Bryan Frost, council public transport representative, for his work.

"A lot of people are very concerned about the future of Beach Station and I think a meeting is the best way forward," she said.

Campaigners are hoping to gain a "spot listing" of the building to protect it and are appealing for anyone with useful information to write to Mr Frost, care of Felixstowe Town Hall, Undercliff Road West.

They particularly need details of the architect and any details of other buildings he might have been involved with, the builders, similar properties which have been listed, and unique design features.

A spokesman for the SRA said: "We have decided the best solution for the station is demolition because it is currently in a dilapidated state and without major renovation its structure is likely to become unsafe fairly soon.

"It no longer has any transport value and the cost of possible renovation significantly outweighs the cost of demolition.

"We have agreed not to carry out the work until we have at least met with the town council to hear its views."

The meeting will take place on April 2 and the council will be represented by Mr Frost, town clerk Susan Robinson, and councillors Cyril Webb, David Bentinck and Harry Dangerfield.

n What do you think of the possible demolition of Beach Station? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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