As part of the national Heritage Open Days initiative, Pulborough Community Partnership arranged for a TV monitor to be installed in the bookings hall, with a 7 minute slideshow running on a loop. The slideshow was a series of photos and facts about the station, since its opening in 1860.
The event was opened with speeches from Dr Tim Fooks, the High Sheriff of West Sussex, and Angie Doll, Managing Director, Southern Railway and Gatwick Express.
Then it was off for group tours of the station, viewing the slideshow on the TV monitor, hearing about aspirations for the Grade II listed signal box, and looking at memorabilia from the station’s past.
The Coffee Cup cafe opened specially for the occasion, and the invited guests tucked into an array of sandwiches, cakes and hot or cold drinks.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 government regulations, the event had to be watered down somewhat, from the original plans drawn up last year. Groups could be no more than 6 in number, and the guest list was reduced to below 30. Everyone maintained social distancing and wore face coverings when required, on the platforms and in the bookings hall.
However, even with these new rules, the invited attendees and customers visiting the station enjoyed the event.
An extract from a ‘thank you’ message, received from Roger Keyworth, Chairman of the West Sussex Rail Users’ Association sums it up:
“I would like to express my thanks for all the work that you put into this Mornings/Afternoon’s function.
I always remain amazed that on the Southern line there were 2 “routes” that were originally the main line but now have given way and been removed (Pulborough to Petersfield was the main line and Fareham to Gosport was also the main line for Queen Victoria and that has now gone).
What woodworking skills they had when constructing the roof over the 2 platforms and the wrought ironwork has class as well. Racing through on the train one does not see this so a time spent to look and admire is to be relished.
Talking about relishing, the sandwiches and lovely Strawberry Gateau were delicious.”
For more information about Heritage Open Days, visit https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/
To find out about Pulborough Community Partnership visit: http://pulborough.org/