A couple of years ago I posted about Brandon railway station, a pretty and quaint station which is a little similar in style to nearby Thetford railway station. Thetford is partially closed up, but Brandon is entirely closed up and the station buildings are falling down. And now there is a plan to demolish them entirely, which has seemingly been passed by the local council.
Much as Greater Anglia annoy me occasionally, I’ve still been very impressed generally about their responsibility towards their railway infrastructure. But, it looks to me that there’s been a slight failure of communication here from Greater Anglia, who have presented nearly nothing about what they’re doing to mitigate the historic loss if the station buildings are demolished.
I post on this blog quite a lot about the dreadful mistakes made in the past, indeed, just yesterday I whittled on about the demolition of a street in Norwich which was turned into a beautiful car park. And here, in Brandon, that’s what Greater Anglia wants to build. A car park that apparently needs the demolition of the station buildings, even though building a car park wouldn’t require their demolition so that all seems something of a misnomer. Perhaps the building is too far gone, but there’s no talk about saving any interiors, about keeping any part of the structure, about keeping the facade or indeed anything.
There’s a news release from Greater Anglia which really seeks to shift the blame onto the Railway Heritage Trust, which strikes me as clever, but unfortunate. The news release seems clumsy to me as well, I’m really not sure that many people reading it are that engaged about improving drainage on the site that could be achieved by demolishing some buildings of not inconsiderable heritage.
Personally, I think the demolition is something that will be regretted in years, rather than decades, but Greater Anglia does perhaps owe it to the public to actually state what they’re doing to preserve what heritage they can, rather than applaud their exciting new car park. Their logic about how it has been falling down for years with nothing being done also perhaps says more about Greater Anglia’s corporate responsibility rather than anything else. They’re spending a million pounds on this project and I’m struggling to see how they can manage to save absolutely none of the heritage in any shape or form with that level of funding.
To those heritage groups fighting for the railway station, good luck….