Golden Sands Halt railway station
|Golden Sands Halt|
|Place||St Mary's Bay|
|1990s ?||Station closed to passengers|
|Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom|
|Closed railway stations in Britain
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|UK Railways portal|
Trains ran past this location for some 21 years before the private Golden Sands Halt opened in the summer of 1948. The post-war boom in south coast holiday camp tourism had brought huge demand to the area, and the Golden Sands holiday camp (located down Dunstall Lane and backing onto the railway line) saw the potential for entertaining its guests by the simple provision of a station on the existing railway line. The camp, originally owned and built by Robert Briggs, was sold to Maddiesons in the late 1950s.
The nature of British holiday making changed greatly over the ensuing decades, but Golden Sands Holiday Camp continued to evolve, and its private railway station remained a feature, as a request stop for service trains on the mainline.
By the early 1980s use of the station had been considerably reduced, and it was largely only special train services (provided for campers) which made use of the station. Golden Sands Halt appeared to have reached the end of its life, and indeed the 'camp' side of the station became (in the late 1980s) a storage area for the private collection of vintage fire engines owned by a director of the holiday camp; however, the 1990s saw the holiday camp enter into new ownership, with a revival of use of the private station. The new owners renamed the camp, and the station followed suit, becoming Reunion Halt.
The somewhat patchy life of this station is not surprising given that: a) it is in private ownership; b) its fortunes are totally bound up with the fortunes of the holiday camp; c) St Mary's Bay Station is located just a quarter of a mile further south, and is a fully open public station for all.
Today the Reunion campsite has been closed and the site is awaiting re-development. This means that the station is effectively closed, although no public notice has been issued to that effect, and none is required either, given the private ownership of the station. All of the buildings at the campsite have been demolished including the original 1948 station. Its single platform (on the 'down' line) is very short; in 1948 it would have accommodated just two of the short-wheelbase coaches then in use; today it is barely long enough to accommodate even a single passenger coach of modern design. The short platform still survives, whose white-painted edge may still just be made out, with a concrete wall all around, and a wooden gate providing access to and from the derelict campsite, as a reminder of a former era of holiday making.
|Dymchurch||RHDR||St Mary's Bay|