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Days Gone By: Communities lost a vital lifeline when Beeching wielded his axe

PUBLISHED: 09:32 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 02 November 2017

Felixstowe Station (named Beach Station after Town Station opened 1898) opened in 1877. The line remains open to the Port of Felixstowe. This photograph was taken in 1883 when this was the only station at Felixstowe. Mr Bell, the station master, is on the right. This was a popular stop for generations of families on a day trip to the beach until it closed in 1967. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Felixstowe Station (named Beach Station after Town Station opened 1898) opened in 1877. The line remains open to the Port of Felixstowe. This photograph was taken in 1883 when this was the only station at Felixstowe. Mr Bell, the station master, is on the right. This was a popular stop for generations of families on a day trip to the beach until it closed in 1967. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Trains provided a link to the outside world for towns and villages as the Victorian railway companies expanded with main and branch lines all over Suffolk.

Bramford Station and nearby houses in the early years of the twentieth century in a photograph taken looking towards the junction with Paper Mill Lane. The timber station opened in 1846 and was badly damaged by fire in August 1911. A new station was built on the other side of the bridge. It closed in May 1955. Picture: DAVID KINDREDBramford Station and nearby houses in the early years of the twentieth century in a photograph taken looking towards the junction with Paper Mill Lane. The timber station opened in 1846 and was badly damaged by fire in August 1911. A new station was built on the other side of the bridge. It closed in May 1955. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

In this week’s Days Gone By I feature some of the many stations that have closed. The early 1960s report by Dr Richard Beeching, The Reshaping of British Railways, saw many stations closed nationally and locally.

Small communities that for decades had been able to rely on steam powered trains taking them or their produce to larger towns saw their stations closed.

Some of the branch lines, like the service to Framlingham and Hadleigh, had an old world charm where customers and staff all knew each other. The station at Aldeburgh was known for its spectacular display of flowers, where porter, Billy Botterill, looked after the gardens from 1922 until the line closed in 1966.

Do you have memories of the closed stations in Suffolk? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or send an e-mail.

The station master at Finningham pictured in April 1964. Picture: DAVID KINDREDThe station master at Finningham pictured in April 1964. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Billy Botterill, a porter at Aldeburgh Station, who took great pride in the station gardens for over forty years, winning many awards. Do you remember him? Picture: DAVE KINDREDBilly Botterill, a porter at Aldeburgh Station, who took great pride in the station gardens for over forty years, winning many awards. Do you remember him? Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Bealings Station on the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft. The station closed in September 1956. Picture: DAVID KINDREDBealings Station on the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft. The station closed in September 1956. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

In April 1984 the signal box at Bealings was removed. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPSIn April 1984 the signal box at Bealings was removed. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS

Capel St Mary Station was on the Hadleigh Branch line. The A12 road between Ipswich and Colchester had to close to allow trains to cross. Picture: DAVID KINDREDCapel St Mary Station was on the Hadleigh Branch line. The A12 road between Ipswich and Colchester had to close to allow trains to cross. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The Hadleigh Branch line from Bentley opened in 1847 and closed to passenger traffic in1932, with freight services running until 1965. This photograph at Hadleigh Station was taken in September 1956 when a steam locomotive visited on a tour organised by the Railway Enthusiasts Club. Picture: DAVID KINDREDThe Hadleigh Branch line from Bentley opened in 1847 and closed to passenger traffic in1932, with freight services running until 1965. This photograph at Hadleigh Station was taken in September 1956 when a steam locomotive visited on a tour organised by the Railway Enthusiasts Club. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

This crossing keepers cottage on the Hadleigh branch line was at Bentley. A photograph from around 1930. Picture: DAVID KINDREDThis crossing keepers cottage on the Hadleigh branch line was at Bentley. A photograph from around 1930. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Framlingham Station opened in June 1859 and closed to passengers in 1952, and to freight in 1963. Picture: DAVID KINDREDFramlingham Station opened in June 1859 and closed to passengers in 1952, and to freight in 1963. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Parham Station on the line between Framlingham and Wickham Market. The last passenger service was in November 1952. Picture: DAVID KINDREDParham Station on the line between Framlingham and Wickham Market. The last passenger service was in November 1952. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Haughley Station as it was early in the twentieth century. It closed in 1967. Picture: DAVID KINDREDHaughley Station as it was early in the twentieth century. It closed in 1967. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

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