The Bluebell Railway, which featured in The Larkins on ITV, hits £500,000 target to restore Horsted Keynes station

An appeal to restore a historic heritage station on The Bluebell Railway has hit its initial £500,000 target.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:16 am

The fundraising effort was launched last autumn to help repair leaking roofs and replace rotting beams at Horsted Keynes station, which has been featured in The Larkins on ITV.

The heritage line announced that the appeal has raised £513,000 as of December 31, 2021, and it expects to reclaim more than £30,000 in Gift Aid from HMRC.

“What a wonderful way to start the new year,” said appeal co-ordinator Trevor Swainson, calling the news a late Christmas present for staff, volunteers and visitors.

Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin during filming of The Larkins at Horsted Keynes station. Picture: Mick Blackburn.

“We would like to thank members, shareholders and friends of the railway who have contributed to the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ appeal to put the sparkle back into the Grade II listed, 140-year-old station at Horsted Keynes,” he said.

Many film crews and TV production companies have used Horsted Keynes station as a location for period dramas because of its look and feel.

It appeared in an episode of The Larkins on ITV in October 2021 in which Pop Larkin, played by Bradley Walsh, led a campaign to save the railway station from closure.

The Bluebell Railway said work on the first phase of restoring the station is set to begin in spring.

Sabrina Bartlett as Mariette Larkin during filming of The Larkins at Horsted Keynes station. Picture: Mick Blackburn.

This initial work will cover repairs to the station house and platform 5.

“The appeal is still open for anyone who wishes to contribute,” said Trevor.

“The railway will provide match-funding for all donations until the end of January up to a total of £150,000,” he added.

To make a donation visit www.bluebell-railway.com/donate.