Group of friends who volunteer to maintain the gardens and platform at Penmere station Falmouth.

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Friends of Penmere History

THE FRIENDS OF PENMERE STATION-A BRIEF HISTORY

2013 has seen 'The Friends' reach a milestone since they formed and became the custodians of the small station at Penmere, and the immense change now seen at the station has seen a double celebration this year.

The branchline also saw it's 150th Anniversary (it opened on August 24th 1863) celebrated in much style and with enthusiasm during August and September.. More details anon.

Turning again to Penmere the early part of the year saw more planting up and a programme of ongoing care and maintenance taking place.

After years of being a major problem a permanent 'on tap' water supply was installed at the small halt in the form of a 1000 litre water tank, suitably strengthened.  This was very kindly donated by the Falmouth branch of "The Mission to Seafarers" in return  for a donation to their fighting funds. The local Fire Brigade filled the tank for us from a hydrant in return for a gift of two flowerbaskets and holders.

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations as mentioned above, there was a very successful three week exhibition staged by the Local History Group at the Falmouth Poly. The exhibition well illustrated the tremendous changes to Falmouth and surrounding areas and along the lione brought by the railway.  We were well represented with our own corner, showing the incredible changes that had happened at the station over two decades and over 150 years.

The highlight of the anniversary weekend was on the actual date itself, Saturday 24th August, when a coming together of many steam and railway enthusiasts in Falmouth saw an ex GWR Pannier tank, no 6435 courtesy of The Bodmin and Wenford Railway make an appearance on a lowloader for two days on The Moor - the undoubted star of the show! Together with numerous stalls and attractions, of which we were well represented, it made for a thoroughly enjoyable day for all participants and amazed onlookers and holiday visitors.

The weekend was rounded off in style by the running of a special 125 High speed train, organised by First Great Western, traversing the branchline early on the Sunday morning. This conveyed invited guests (ourselves included) and civic dignitaries, with plaques being unveiled at penryn, Falmouth Docks and Truro railway stations by the local mayor of each locality, to mark the historic occassion. It was great fun to try and catch our station -on film whilst travelling at speed through it each way!

'The Friends' were delighted to be recognised in this years 'South West in Bloom' In your neighbourhood' category, being one of  twelve winners.

To top what has been a tremendous year of celebration, Wednesday 18th of September saw a small but quite significant happening at the station.

On that date twenty years earlier in 1993, we first gained access to the station to start to turn around decades of neglect, and try and improve it's environs for passerby and passengers alike.

As a permanent reminder of everything that has been achieved and taken place at Penmere, our friends and apprentices at Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth handed over to us a superb new 'Members Bench' designed, constructed and painted, with a suitable plaque included.  This was a working project. A celebratory cake was cut and a bottle of bubbly opened. They received a framed photograph as a thank you. A suitable way to end what has been a fantastic year!

 All of the above have been pivotal in helping the group totally change the railway landscape at Penmere, and making it possible for "The Friends" to scoop numerous national and local 'Best Kept Station Garden Awards' to date.

In November 2010 we were delighted to have a new garden engine, named "Pendennis", placed in a prominent position for everyone to see. The locomotive was designed, built and painted as a working project by "AJ" and apprentices at Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth. A small ceremony was held to unveil the engine by its builders in the same month.

September 1998 saw the return of steam traction to the branch line for the first time since the 1960's, in the form of ex-GWR King class steam locomotive No. 6024 'King Edward I' at the head of a special train passing through Penmere, in late summer sunshine. Magical!

The station and it's environs are ever-changing, but not so the enthusiasm and hard work of "The Friends of Penmere Station". Pay us a visit some time!!

 

Last updated 644 days ago by janet