Five years of hard work have paid off for the dedicated volunteers from Bishopstone with the grand opening of the community hub in the old parcel room at the station.

The Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Andrew Blackman, performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony before guests viewed the restoration work at the revived Grade II listed building.

Members of the fund-raising  group the Friends of Bishopstone Station (FOBS) hosted the event with invited guests from the community and railway organisations.

Mr Blackman, representing His Majesty King Charles III, said: “It is a great moment to celebrate all you have achieved so far. From my point of view, on behalf of the county: thank you very much for all that you have all done.”

Barbara Mine, chair of the Friends of Bishopstone Station, said: “Our main aim has always been to restore this beautiful Art Deco building back to its former glory. There is a future now for this very important building and so much more to achieve. This is just Phase One.”

She thanked all those who had helped to fund the restoration. Money, support and expertise were supplied by Department for Transport, Southern, Network Rail, Railway Heritage Trust, Community Rail Network, Southeast Communities Rail Partnership and many individuals and groups.

Railway historian and TV presenter Tim Dunn praised the efforts of Barbara Mine and FOBS.

He told guests: “This was a station that never realised its full potential because the seaside town it was planned for never appeared and the passengers never came.”

Mr Dunn, who presented an episode of The Architecture The Railways Built about Bishopstone, added: “It takes special kinds of people to not just say ‘something must be done’ but going and doing it and seeing it through so well done.”

Guests included Una Shearing, the last British Railways station manager at Bishopstone station, and Linda Wallraven who ran Linda’s Stores at the station as well as political and civic dignitaries.

:: Update – a video of the Grand Opening is now on the Southeast Communities Rail Partnership YouTube channel.


Man cuts ribbon with scissors at opening of former redundant railway station building