Greater Anglia restores Attleborough and Thetford stations

Friday, 26 April 2019

The former station house at Attleborough rail station has a brighter future following restoration by Greater Anglia.

Thanks to grant funding from the Railway Heritage Trust, the train operator has restored the listed building to its former glory and hopes that it will be brought back into use for the local community.

The station house was previously used as a vets practice but fell into disrepair and was eventually deemed unsafe because of roof leaks that threatened to bring down the ceilings and, in 2013, had to be closed down.

Since 2018, Greater Anglia began renovating the building, with the help of a £110K grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.

Greater Anglia also spent £177K on the scheme.

The work has seen the interior of the building stripped back, UPVC windows replaced with timber sash windows, new doors fitted, redecoration in the building’s original heritage colours and extensive repairs to the roofs to restore the building to its former glory.

Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said: “The Railway Heritage Trust is delighted to have been able to invest £110,000 into greater Anglia’s work to bring this historic building back to its original appearance, and to a fully weather-tight state.

“We look forward to a tenant, or tenants, with sustainable uses for the space created, moving in, and we hope to be able to help them by further grants towards the restoration of the interior spaces.”

Unique heritage features of Thetford rail station are also due to be restored, thanks to a further £19.2K grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.

The money will be used to restore the four rare 130 year old terracotta decorative brick panels and detailing on the front of the grade II listed former ticket office building.

In addition, the Victorian flint building, which is also listed, is due to be repaired.

The now vacant flint building suffered from a serious fire in around 1990 and, as a result, a new roof was put on with the very unusual addition of timber shingles (tiles), making the station unique on the Greater Anglia network.

The roof’s gable end copings and parapet walls have weathered badly over the years and now require repair to remove the risk of them falling into the public car park below.

The work is programmed for this summer, as the very unusual bricks all need to be custom made from scratch.

Greater Anglia is also funding the scheme by almost £57K.

Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust said, “We have been aware of the deteriorating state of the exterior of Thetford station for some time and are delighted to be able to give a grant towards reversing this.

“We congratulate Greater Anglia on their input to this, and we hope that a suitably sustainable operation can be found that will enable the interior of the flint building to be restored and brought back into use.”

Greater Anglia’s Asset Management Director, Simone Bailey, said, “We are very grateful to the Railway Heritage Trust for their help and support in restoring these beautiful old stations to conserve their unique features for future generations to enjoy and to protect them, making them fit for use in the 21st Century.”