Railway sign returned to Long Melford after almost half a century
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:21 26 April 2016
An important part of Long Melford's history has been returned to the village after almost half a century, following a chance discovery on the internet.
Local man Stuart Poole spotted a sign that once stood on the platform at the former Long Melford railway station on auction website eBay and suggested that the local heritage centre should put in a bid.
The railway station, which is now a private home, originally opened in 1865 as ‘Melford’ and was renamed Long Melford in 1884. Part of the Stour Valley Line between Sudbury and Cambridge and a branch line from Bury St Edmunds to Sudbury, the line and the station closed in March 1967 and the sign had not been seen since.
According to Long Melford Heritage Centre co-founder John Nunn, it had been locked away unnoticed in a shed in Saffron Walden until it was put up for auction. He said: “I had a phone call from Stuart several weeks ago saying you’ll never guess what’s come up on eBay.
“We both had a look and decided to bid for the sign so we could get it back for the village. Bidding went up to just below £500 but it still didn’t make the reserve price.
“So we then contacted the owner, a former engine driver who lives near Saffron Walden, and we managed to negotiate a price on behalf of the heritage centre.”
Mr Nunn and Mr Poole collected the sign, which is 9ft wide, and delivered it to a local carpenter who has spent the past couple of weeks replacing missing parts of the frame.
“It’s something that has been missing from the village for around 50 years so we are delighted to get it back,” Mr Nunn added.
The newly refurbished platform sign is now on show at the heritage centre in Chemist Lane.