About twenty Trust members and supporters gathered at Blythburgh station (now a car park and recycling centre, though still home to the SR station coal shed), and set off at a fast pace along the river bank, through the reedbeds, and into the woods. Here we climbed the gradient which takes the track, in a cutting, up onto the higher land above the river valley.
A short diversion onto the Walberswick Road took us around the inaccessible section of trackbed which runs through the farm, and we then crossed Walberswick Common alongside the railway, rejoining it in another cutting which leads to Walberswick Station – where our Chairman John Bennett joined us (see picture below).
Then it was just a stroll over the river bridge (a Bailey Bridge, built on the still-sturdy SR foundations) to Southwold. A walk along Blyth Road, past the abortive Steam Park site, led to the station itself, where a householder was just grubbing up the last stump from the chestnut tree row along our (long-demolished) platform.
As the Fire Station (built over our goods station) has closed and will be demolished – and we understand that the same fate is in store for the Police Station (built on the passenger station) – perhaps the Council will be far-seeing enough to give us back our station site – or if not, maybe a well-intentioned sponsor would be willing to buy it for us (Southwold’s property prices put the land well out of our league!). With the adjacent car park, and sitting as it does at the entrance to the town, it would seem to be the ideal place for a railway-themed visitor centre for Southwold.
John and Jane Bennett provided, as always, a sumptuous lunch for the large crowd – and a workshop visit was arranged for those who had not been there before. A very nice day indeed.