Heritage Open Days at Lowestoft Station

Diana Moore (vice-chair) and Paul King (chair) of the Lowestoft Heritage Open Days festival at Lowestoft Station
Diana Moore (vice-chair) and Paul King (chair) of the Lowestoft Heritage Open Days festival at Lowestoft Station

An innovative scheme championed by train operator Greater Anglia will see Lowestoft’s Heritage Open Days festival set up their headquarters at Lowestoft rail station.

The festival, taking place between Thursday 6 September and Sunday 16 September, will base their activities and box office at the station as part of Greater Anglia’s Community Space initiative. The scheme offers unused or underutilised rooms and buildings at stations for community use.

At Lowestoft, the town’s rich heritage is inextricably linked with the rail station and Samuel Peto’s plans to build a new harbour linking it to the rail network some 175 years ago.

Paul King from Lowestoft Heritage Open Days said, “In 1843 Samuel Morton Peto addressed a public meeting in Lowestoft and promised the townsfolk that he would build a railway to Lowestoft, so fish could be transported to Manchester whilst still alive. 175 years later we are delighted that, thanks to Greater Anglia and the local Community Rail Partnerships, the Railway Station itself will host our headquarters and box office for this exciting festival.”

As part of the Lowestoft Heritage Open Days festival, one of the country’s largest, several of the town’s historic buildings will be open to the public including the Town Hall, Port House and Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club. The public are invited to explore a host of other attractions including public buildings, private homes, churches, towers, cellars, art galleries, museums, shops and theatres.

Lowestoft’s maritime heritage will also feature in the festival with a chance to see the boat building college, individual boats, the lifeboat station, and an exhibition put on by Associated British Ports.

History talks, re-enactments, a concert by the Blyth Quartet, readings by local authors, and folk and classical music will also feature.

Altogether some seventy free events and activities will take place.

Visitors can call in at Lowestoft rail station any day during the festival 6 September – 16 September between 9am and 5pm to find out more; the Heritage Open Days team will also provide free festival guides, trails and maps; they will also take bookings for any events that require free tickets.

Paul Haynes, Greater Anglia’s Community Partnerships manager said, “We are pleased to be able to support the Lowestoft Heritage Open Days Festival by providing accommodation at the station as part of our Community Space Initiative which has been specifically designed to provide rooms at our network of stations to enable local charities and organisations to showcase their activities.”

Heritage Open Days events within easy reach of the East Suffolk Lines railway are also taking place at Woodbridge and Felixstowe. For the full list of events taking place near you see the Heritage Open Days website.

For more information about Greater Anglia’s Community Space initiative see their website.