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At Ore station: from left, John Spencer, Carly Welch, Anna Beck, Amber Rudd, Kevin Boorman and Trevor Davies, together with pupils from Baird Academy in front of their artwork (photo: Harri Boorman).

MP impressed with community support for Marshlink stations

Hastings & Rye MP Amber Rudd, who has lobbied the government for improved rail links to London, has been given a whistle-stop tour to view community work, including artwork by schoolchildren, being undertaken at some of the Marshlink stations between Hastings and Ashford.

The MP’s tour was organised by John Spencer of Winchelsea, one of the volunteers working for the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, the community interest company which encourages community use of the local railway network. She visited Ore, Three Oaks and Winchelsea stations, at each of which she was met by community representatives, reports Kevin Boorman, chair of the Marshlink Community Rail Partnership.

Commenting on her visit to Ore Station, Ms Rudd said: “It was a pleasure to attend Ore station and to have the opportunity to see for myself the excellent creative work that has gone into improving both the appearance and atmosphere of the station.

“I would like to thank all the parties involved for their efforts and in particular, the local school pupils whose hard work has succeeded in brightening up the day of every day rail commuters”.

John Spencer, who is also a member of THWART (Three Oaks and Winchelsea Action for Rail Transport) was pleased with how the visit went. “Winchelsea and Three Oaks are vital lifelines for our communities, and we were formed some years ago when the train service was reduced significantly,” he said.

Cuts reversed

“We fought hard to reverse those cuts, which we successfully did, and both stations now enjoy a regular service seven days a week. And with community support we have really improved these stations.

“It was great to be able to show these successes off to our MP – Amber had her eyes opened by the beautiful mural at Three Oaks with artwork from Guestling Bradshaw school, and the new planters, car park and St Thomas’ school artwork at Winchelsea.

“And she was able to enjoy a brief coffee break in Winchelsea church on the way to Three Oaks. She had never been in the church before and was blown away by the building and stained glass.”

Trevor Davies, of the Ore Transport group, added: “Pupils of the nearby Baird Academy have done some great artwork to brighten up Ore Station, and the local station manager, Kate Richards, kindly arranged for us to be given some poster frames at the station to house them. It was really nice to see Baird’s principal, Carly Welch, and Anna Beck, the school’s art lead, and some students showing off their work to Amber Rudd.”

“Our students love seeing their artwork on the station,” said Ms Welch. “It’s very near to the school, and we were pleased to get involved and help our local community.”

“It was great to see such support for our smaller stations,” said Mr Boorman. “I am very grateful indeed for the work of the volunteers who organised this visit, and who do so much for their local train service. This is exactly what the community rail partnership is about.”

John Spencer concluded: “The morning’s visit was organised to showcase to our MP the role volunteers play to help make stations more welcoming and hopefully better used. None of this work could happen without time spent at our stations by volunteers from our respective communities supported by Sussex Community Rail Partnership, Southern and Network Rail.”

Posted 11:22 Saturday, Jun 22, 2019 In: Grassroots

1 Comment

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Ian Summerfield

    So in the morning I can walk to Ore station and get on a train to Charing Cross. In the evening, coming home, the 17:59 out of Charing Cross once terminated at Ore to bring you home, these days it doesn’t, it terminates at Hastings. The train service from Hastings to London has got slower and slower and slower since 2000, at one time a train went from Battle to Tunbridge Wells non-stop, and then called at High Brooms, Waterloo East, and London Charing Cross. Now, there’s no fast train in commuter hours, and London Bridge (which was a temporary arrangement while refurbishing) became a permanent stop for all trains. It all adds more and more time. HS1 is over priced and not a feasible route, who can afford 8K+ for a season ticket for that when the Charing Cross train is 5K.

    Comment by Ian Summerfield — Friday, Jun 28, 2019 @ 10:39

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