David and Anne Taylor have spent a decade keeping Bures railway station in tip-top condition, and now they have won acclaim for their selfless work.
But the couple almost did not get to their awards ceremony at all. The train taking them to the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel station near Wakes Colne – where station adopters from all over the region were collecting their best station prizes – had problems with its doors. Operator Greater Anglia had to send a replacement bus service to Bures pick them up.
David, a retired London-based BT worker, said the humour of the situation was not lost on the couple who have looked after Bures station for around 10 years on what is known as The Gainsborough Line.
David and his wife, who live on Station Hill, came runners-up in the best small station category in the 2012 Greater Anglia Station Adopter Awards.
He said: “We were on the train at Bures to go to Chappel via Marks Tey. Eventually, we got on a bus after a couple of hours. It was quite a funny situation considering where we were going.”
The delay also affected Neil Buxton, general manager of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, a special guest at the ceremony.
The couple were delighted to receive the best small station runners-up certificate having previously been commended for their efforts in the annual competition a few years ago.
“We enjoy getting involved, keeping the station tidy and planting out flowers,” said David. “We also take passenger counts and did one recently aiming to help the rail partnership and local authorities gauge how well the line is being used.”
It showed 580 passengers used the railway line from Sudbury in one day.