Plans for Brighton train line celebration

From The Argus:

London Road 1200

London Road Station, Brighton, staff in 1925. Can you help identify these men?

Plans are on track for a street party and exhibition at London Road Station to mark the 150th anniversary of the Brighton to Seaford train line in June.

There will also be a guided walk around the area between the viaduct and North Laine to explore the town’s rapid development after the arrival of the line in 1864.

The London Road Station Partnership, made up of residents and train company Southern Railway, is appealing for people to come forward with memories and photographs of the area.

Organiser Elspeth Broady said: “People think of Brighton as a seaside town, but in the second half of the 19th century it was a railway town and we want to celebrate that.

“The difficulty is that this is a transient community and memories about what happened in the area disappear.”

Community knowledge

The group would like more information about the allotments, station staff and local characters, including the station’s adopted tabby cat, Somersby, who amused commuters in the 1990s.

Organisers are particularly interested in photographs which show the station when it was painted an unpopular pink in the 1980s.

Maire McQueeney, 64, an author, will lead the guided walk.

She said the famous viaduct, damaged by five German bombs in 1943, was once the focal point of urbanisation.

“The viaduct is absolutely still the defining feature of our area,” she said.

Brighton and Hove City Council is considering listing London Road Station, which was built in 1877.

The street party is planned to take place in Shaftesbury Place on June 7 with live music and food.

The London Road Station Partnership can be contacted by email at lrsp@hotmail.co.uk or by telephone on 07709 069486.

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