Is this Norfolk's most unloved train station?

Vauxhall Station Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth's Vauxhall Station is the only one in Norfolk not to have been 'adopted' by volunteers. - Credit: Archant

It's been the end of the line for hordes of smiling holidaymakers arriving at the seaside from across the Acle marshes and via a sweeping curve as the platforms approach.

But the unlovely station among the first to open in Norfolk, is the last to be adopted by a willing band of volunteers who might perhaps brighten its welcoming smile.

Greater Anglia says its station adoption scheme attracted 23 new station adopters in 2020 – 12 of them in December alone - despite the challenges of lockdown and restrictions on travel.

However Great Yarmouth's Vauxhall Station has been overlooked and is now the only one in Norfolk looking for guardians who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and show that they care.

Vauxhall Station

Holiday makers arriving at Vauxhall Station on August 1, 1955. - Credit: Les Gould

Alan Neville, who runs the scheme, said the 1960's built station had always been "a bit of a problem" with staff doing their utmost to keep everything on track.

"It is a little bit away from the town centre and from residents, so unfortunately  no-one has yet come forward," he said.

Vauxhall Station Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth's Vauxhall Station is not the most attractive in the region but could be improved if anyone were willing to adopt it. - Credit: Google Maps

Mr Neville added that it was rewarding work that had lead to some fantastic projects such as opening a small museum in a redundant station building, growing fruits and herbs in tubs for the community to use, and planting wildflowers to help local bee and butterfly populations.

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On the plus side there had been efforts to improve the area at Yarmouth with a mural going up in 2013,  and in  November 2018 a revamp of the forecourt worth £710,000 was unveiled.

The most recent stations to welcome new adopters are Diss, Elsenham, Manningtree, North Fambridge, and Wymondham.

Greater Anglia now has over 250 adopters at over 130 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

There are still 22 stations available for adoption on the Greater Anglia network, including Great Yarmouth.

Vauxhall Station steam train

A steam train arriving in Great Yarmouth in 1953. - Credit: Archant Archive

The borough once had three main-line termini (Yarmouth South Town, Beach and Vauxhall) plus Gorleston Station and some "halts".

Although trains may be few and far between now, at one time there were up to 24 arrivals on a peak summer Saturday.

Historian Colin Tooke said: "There's a bit of history to it but there's not much you can say about the station that is there today, it has not got any architectural features."

To find out more about adopting Vauxhall Station email