Some like it hot – Curry Night and the restoration of Trimley Station

IMG_0022 Postcard view from either the bridge or one of the gatehouses at Trimley Station Postmark 1909.

(N.B. the lamppost is still in situ.)

Please note, this event has now been cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid 19

When  and where can you experience  one or more of the following; Curry; Railways; Good Times rolling.   The answer is Monday 23rd March 2020 (6.30p.m. for 7.00 p.m) at Bombay Nites in Walton, for this is when everything comes together. Adrian Reynolds of the Trimley Station Trust contacted me this week and explained how these three consumables converge.

It was almost exactly a year ago when I was given the opportunity to visit Trimley Station and view its ghostly interior. It was a hauntingly memorable experience, recalling journeys of fifty or more years ago. Adrian was my guide and I was happy to hear from him again earlier this week. His first topic of conversation was a fund raising Curry Night to be held on Monday 23rd March at the Bombay Nite Indian restaurant in Walton. The first aim of Curry Night is to swell the coffers of the ‘Save Trimley Station’ account and on this account you might be forgiven for thinking it is all about the food and nothing but the food. Yes, Curry is the main focus but there is more to the evening than just a scoff, although the food is of banquet like proportions.

‘The food is unbelievable,’ Adrian said, ‘it just keeps coming until the table overflows. It will be a marathon spread of four courses.’

Entertainment is the other key ingredient and the organisers will provide various quizzes and raffles as well as Horse Racing. Adrian was a little reticent when asked what ‘Horse Racing’ entails, mainly because he wanted to retain the element of surprise until the night. Without saying exactly what is involved he was anxious to inform me all participants could be assured of a crackingly good time. As they exited the restaurant last year the  attendees declared themselves well pleased with the entire evening and all left the restaurant in high spirits. (Not alcohol induced.)

Curry Night has space for seventy participants and the dress is casual and relaxed. The Bar will be open.  Some tickets are still available and you can contact Adrian to save a place. Each ticket costs £20. The money raised will go towards the Trimley Station Trust.

Telephone Adrian: 07399 271929

The second part of Adrian’s conversation focused on what is happening with the Station’s restoration and the excellent news is that everything is  moving on. Things are definitely hotting up. The time has come to submit a Lottery Grant application and this is a major feature in the story of the station’s restoration. This is what is happening:

After submitting a one page action plan to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the second process is to apply for funding for the development stage to engage the people to start the restoration project: the architect; structural engineer; quantity surveyors. The application must explain how all the works fits in with conserving this unique Victorian building.

Stage two will happen by 2021 and is the work itself. It is the true commencement of the project. At this point people will be employed to carry out the project.  The bid has put together in such a way, it has calculated inflation.

The third stage is the final delivery and completion of restoration work between 2022 and 2025.

Adrian expanded on future aspirations of the Trust, which includes:

  • The repair and restoration of the Station buildings
  • A permanent museum exhibition about the history of the station and the influence of Colonel Tomline.
  • Establishing links with other heritage groups or individuals in the area
  • Installing a café and rooms available for hire by local groups

Trimley station is the gateway to all the rail work we in Trimley have witnessed in the last two or three years and even further back in time to the origins of the Ipswich to Felixstowe line for nearly a hundred and twenty years. It is a living part of our local heritage and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

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