A small exhibition of train and station memorabilia has been officially launched at Rye station. It was opened on Monday February 20 with a speech from Rye mayor Cllr Jonathan Breeds, supported by the deputy town crier of Rye Paul Goring.
Former railwayman and local resident Stuart Searle owns a large collection of ‘railwayiana’, and has lent old posters, handbills, tickets and other items of local interest. These are now on display in Rye station’s booking hall.
Kevin Barry, the Community Rail Development Officer for the Marshlink line said : “Stuart has been very generous in lending us part of his extensive collection. He used to be work along the Marshlink line and is an expert on its history. The hardest part of organising this was not what to put on display but what to leave out, so we are already planning further exhibitions.”
Kevin Boorman, the chair of the Marshlink community rail partnership, added: “Rye is a lovely, traditional station, and Stuart’s memorabilia is just perfect here. The old posters look great in modern frames, which are still the same, imperial size that they were back in the 1950s and 1960s, which I find very reassuring! A lot of hard work went into organising the exhibition, and we’re really grateful to everybody involved who helped put it on. Great community events like this are what the community rail partnership is all about.”
Southern’s local station manager Simon Greenfield added: “The display looks fantastic. I’d like to add my thanks to Stuart for lending us some of his collection, and to Kevin Barry for the huge amount of work he has put into this superb exhibition.” The display can be seen at Rye station until April 2.
Kenneth Bird comments: Stuart Searle started his collection some 60 years ago, he told me, and the photo published by Rye News in last week’s preview is a of typical Southern Railway station with a difference – he has constructed it himself in his back garden and has also built an Underground station.
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Marketing & Major Projects Manager Hastings Borough Council