Sponsored walk marks 50 years since Adur Valley line closed

Phillip Gardner launching his book, Life on the Line, in October 2010
Phillip Gardner launching his book, Life on the Line, in October 2010

The 50th anniversary of the closure of the Adur Valley Line will be marked with a sponsored walk in aid of Parkinson’s UK.

The Worthing and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK, which covers the area from Shoreham to Littlehampton, is organising the walk in conjunction with Phillip Gardner, author of the book Life on the Line.

They are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, Southern Transit and Off The Rails to raise awareness of the charity and mark the anniversary of the closure of the railway line from Shoreham to Horsham, also called the Steyning Line and now the Downs Link footpath.

There will be a ten-mile sponsored walk on Saturday, from Shoreham to West Grinstead Railway Carriage, starting at Shoreham Old Toll Bridge at 11am.

Rod Herod, branch committee member, said: “Some people will of course not be able to walk the whole ten miles and a limited vintage bus service has been arranged by Southern Transit.

“Anyone not taking part in the walk is invited to stay on bus for the duration.”

People are invited to join the People Train on foot or bicycle and follow all or part of the route.

Visit www.justgiving.com/Phillip-Gardner to make a donation.

Phillip will be leading the walk and complimentary copies of his book, telling the story of the lost railway in words and pictures, including personal accounts life and work on the line, will be available.

In the foreword, Phillip writes: “Life on the Line grew out of the Steyning railway evenings, held usually in Steyning Grammar School on the second Fridays of November.

“Over many years, this was a meeting place for stationmasters, drivers, porters and passengers who had used the line in years gone by.

“Recognitions and reunions often took place, artefacts appeared and valuable archive material that might never have surfaced – and some of the stories which have found their way into these pages which often had large audiences rocking with laughter and applause.

“Local people who had moved into the area since the line had been closed were enthralled by the evenings, and the spirit of the line was thus inherited by new generations.

“While compiling this small collection it became apparent how the railway affected lives and communities, and was for many part of our everyday life.

“Its closure in 1966 saw the passing of an institution and the world is now a much colder place.”

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