MP unveils plaque marking the arrival of the railway in Rayleigh
MP for Wickford and Rayleigh, Mark Francois, officially unveiled a plaque at Rayleigh train station on Friday 3 October to mark 125 years of passenger rail services on the Shenfield to Southend route.
Mark Francois MP, met representatives from Abellio Greater Anglia, the District Council, Town Council, County Council, the local history group; Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass and members of the local community to commemorate the occasion with the unveiling of a plaque which will be permanently sited at the front of the station building.
Mike Davies, Chairman of Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass, decorated the station for the anniversary and invited people to view a collection of photographs which show the railway at Rayleigh over the last 125 years. He also launched a collaborative artwork competition, with the town’s local primary schools, which will be displayed in both the town library and at the station upon completion.
MP Mark Francois, said, “I am very pleased to unveil this plaque today. The railway is every bit as important for the people of Rayleigh today as it was in 1889, indeed arguably more so. It is wonderful to recognise the past, and also look forward to the future, and I hope that those who use Rayleigh station may glance at this plaque from time to time as a reminder of how the railway came to our town over a century ago.”
Talking about the project Mike said, “I’m currently working with Abellio Greater Anglia and hoping to work with Rayleigh Town Council to create a permanent archive exhibition at the station for everyone to enjoy and am working with a number of schools to create some locally produced artwork to brighten up the station and give it a local, personal touch.”
Dave Cameron, Abellio Greater Anglia Customer Service Manager said,
“We’ve enjoyed working with Mike, who has boundless enthusiasm, to mark this important historic day and launch the art competition which we hope will get people thinking about the railway past and present”.