Emotional reunion for former residents of Audley End station house

Published on: Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Last updated: Tuesday, 16 April 2019

There were happy memories and a few tears at Audley End station house when the former residents revisited for a peep inside what was once their home.

The station house now stands empty but has most recently operated as a takeaway. However, it was once the much-loved home of British Rail worker, David Ogborn and his wife Ivy who lived there for 27 years from 1966 to 1993.

Greater Anglia facilitated a visit for Ivy and her grandson Craig Ruggles on 7 April, after he wrote to the train operator to tell them of his happy childhood memories of growing up in the station house during the 1980s.

David and Ivy left the station house upon David’s retirement in 1993, when Craig was 7 years old.

Craig has very fond memories of spending almost all his birthdays, Christmases and nearly every weekend at the station house up to that point, and has yearned to go back ever since.

He even met the Queen on the platform there when the Royal train pulled up on 30th July 1988 during Her Majesty’s visit to Saffron Walden.

Craig meets the queen on a visit to the station in 1988

He said in his letter to Greater Anglia, “My nan used to run a little shop from the external serving hatch and my grandad had a whole room upstairs completely dedicated to a huge model railway set. The place is one huge memory box and I'd love to get back in there if possible for that very reason.

“It would be like a reunion with an old friend.”

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager said, “I was moved by Craig’s letter and was delighted to be able to facilitate their visit. We are hoping a new tenant can be found to give the station house a new lease of life.”

Craig said, “It was wonderful to come back with my nan and my 9 year old son, who was quite taken with the idea of living in a train station!

“It was very emotional coming back to a place that was so special to us and gave us so many wonderful memories.

Craig Ruggles and Ivy Ogborn revisit Audley End station house

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but wasn’t sure if it would even be possible so we are very grateful to Greater Anglia for making it happen.

“A few tears were shed, but they were definitely happy ones!”