New volunteer station adopter for Berney Arms, East Anglia’s most remote station

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Chris Palmer in a field

East Anglia’s most remote station – Berney Arms in the Norfolk marshes – will be receiving a little extra TLC after a local man volunteered to adopt it.

Chris Palmer from Stokesby, has had connections with Berney Arms and the surrounding area his entire life and is also a member of the East Norfolk Transport Users’ Association and Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership.

He joins Greater Anglia’s ‘Adopt A Station’ initiative during Volunteer’s Week 2017 and just a few days from his 65th birthday.

He commented: “You could say I’ve received a rail station for my birthday! I agreed to take on the station as I have always lived in the area and have strong family connections to Berney Arms. Years ago my uncles shared a houseboat at Breydon Water and used to tell me stories of how they would go eel fishing at Berney Arms. They were later featured in a book about the area. I used to walk in the area, and once got lost! And I also used to help take boats up and down the river and remember going through Berney Arms. But I haven’t been out there for about ten years now so I am looking forward to visiting again and seeing what can be done.”

Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, James Reeve, said, “I’d like to welcome Chris to the role of station adopter. I think he can certainly lay claim to adopting the most unusual station on our network! I look forward to working with him and hearing his ideas for the station.”

The ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme started in 2003 and enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its presentation and welfare for the benefit of the local community.

The voluntary scheme was originally created to improve lines of communication between the train operator and station users however, over the years it has grown to become much more, with station adopters now playing an active role in keeping stations looking good through inventive gardening projects, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’ or being the eyes and ears of their station.

Over the years, station adopters have also played a key role in raising money for new initiatives, such as improved waiting facilities or planting beautiful station gardens.

Greater Anglia now has over 183 adopters at over 90 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.