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End of the line for historic station

PUBLISHED: 23:05 06 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

ONE of Felixstowe's most historic buildings looks to have reached the end of the line – after campaigners admitted today that they could not save it.

Bulldozers will soon start knocking 127-year-old Beach Station down, with the owners adamant that its condition is becoming dangerous and it would cost £100,000 to repair and restore to its former glory.

ONE of Felixstowe's most historic buildings looks to have reached the end of the line - after campaigners admitted today that they could not save it.

Bulldozers will soon start knocking 127-year-old Beach Station down, with the owners adamant that its condition is becoming dangerous and it would cost £100,000 to repair and restore to its former glory.

Town councillors held talks with officials from the Strategic Rail Authority and its agents but no other solution could be found.

"We were told the canopy was in such a wretched condition that it would cost mega bucks to anything about it - probably around £100,000, which was quite a gulp," said Bryan Frost, town council public transport representative.

"We are still attempting to have it listed but even that would probably not prevent them from knocking it down."

The SRA was concerned at the state of the canopy and the potential risk with freight trains passing through the station every day, but it also has no further use for the property, which has been empty since Christmas and suffered vandalism.

If in the future passenger services could be restored to the area, there would be no need for a station, just a halt for people to board and alight.

"We had a very robust discussion and they have gone away to look at the situation, but they were not prepared to look at alternative options. I think this is very much the end of the line for the station, which is an enormous shame," said Mr Frost."

He paid tribute to the work of town councillors Mike Ninnmey and Harry Dangerfield, who had worked with him to try to save the Victorian property.

As well as attempts to list the building for its architectural importance, various railway societies were contacted to see if they would be interested in helping to restore it or to take it down brick by brick and move it elsewhere.

A spokesman for the SRA said the former station was in a "dilapidated state" and its structure 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," he said.

Wood-clad Beach Station opened on 1 May 1877 as the resort's first railway station. In its heyday the station welcomed thousands of visitors to the seaside every day as they poured off the trains and headed for the beach. It closed in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

n What do you think of the move to demolish 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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