On Thursday, 12th March 2020, at the Methodist Hall, Stuart Searle presented a very interesting talk on Appledore Station. Stuart supported his talk with a slideshow of photographs from his personal collection and others he has gathered over the years. The talk was delivered in an enthusiastic and informal style, engaging both those with no prior knowledge of the history of Appledore Station and those who are railway enthusiasts, with a particular interest in the Marshlink Line.
The talk covered the establishment of the railway line and route connections, the design and construction of the station buildings, platforms, signal boxes, manually operated crossing gates and staff residences, through the changes, developments and transformation to where we are today.
The Station Hotel reportedly played an important part in the lives of those who worked at Appledore Station, as well as those who worked at Dungeness Power Station and the many commuters who used the Marshlink Line.
Reference was made to the skeleton discovered at the time building works were taking place at the station. Following a Police investigation, it was found to be non-human, but a model used for medical student tutorials.
A Hippie protester (in the 1970s), who objected to the nuclear waste being transported from Dungeness, was described as having sat on the tracks, facing an oncoming train, until it was evident that the train was not slowing down, whereupon he quickly got out of the way, thereby avoiding his own demise.
The derailment that occurred on 14th March 1980 was described in some detail. Sadly, the driver died as a consequence of the incident, but fortunately the Guard survived. Stuart took over as Relief Signalman that evening, so witnessed the after-event activities in person.
The talk was organised by Appledore Local History Society and Friends of Appledore Station who wish to express their sincere thanks to Stuart who gave freely of his time and presented an informative and highly entertaining talk. Gratitude is also expressed to the Village Hall Management Team for allowing additional seating to be borrowed to accommodate the 38 attendees. The generous donations made by those who attended the talk are also much appreciated. As always monies will be spent on village specific projects.