Station Name: SIDLEY

[Source: Nick Catford & Peter Harding (History)

In the late 1950s -early 60s, after a weekend visit to my parents in Bexhill, I would catch the two-carriage push-and-pull unit from Sidley to Crowhurst on a Monday morning. This connected with the mainline train to Victoria and it was just a few minutes walk down Victoria St to the office where I worked – a two-hour journey door to door.

If I was lucky, one of the carriages at Sidley would be what surely was among British Rail’s oldest rolling stock still in service. Entering it was like stepping back into Edwardian times. There were armchair-style seats ranged along all four sides, facing inwards, giving the effect of being in an actual room. The upholstery was red plush, very worn and faded, with frayed gold trim, and there were matching lampshades on wall brackets. I seem to remember tassels and polished wood as well. The floor covering was a proper full-sized carpet, very shabby but still just about serviceable. The overall effect was of impoverished gentility striving to keep up appearances, and the passengers climbed aboard with big grins and humorous comments.

Anne Calcott

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