Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tilbury tomorrow

Some interesting plans to turn the disused Tilbury Riverside station into a museum, cafe and river viewing area as part of the Big Ocean Project. It's a place full of history. The Windrush arrived there in 1948 with the first immigrants from Jamaica. It was a holding station for the Dunkirk rescue fleet. The ten-pound Poms left for Australia from Tilbury. George Orwell writes about leaving from Tilbury in Down and Out In Paris and London. Gandhi arrived there and Cliff Richard too, when he was plain Harry Webb. KDC London opened up the station for a stakeholders meeting and there was a lot of enthusiasm from councillors, English Heritage and local people.  
It’s an impressive but sad place, as ghost stations often are. The station closed in 1990. The central clock is rusting away, the ticket office is full of debris and water, yellow paint is peeling from the walls and “buffet” signs are fading away. Yet it’s a large airy space and with a customer-base of cruise passengers and locals wanting to see the Thames, plus walks to Tilbury and Coalhouse forts it could surely be viable as a riverside museum and cafe. For details of the scheme click on the link above.

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