UK’s Young Landscape Photographer of the Year’s work on display at Burgess Hill station

The work of Josh Elphick, the UK’s Young Landscape Photographer of the Year, is on show in Burgess Hill station’s new waiting room.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:42 pm

It is part of the ‘Art On The Line’ series by students at East Sussex College.

Southern Railway has converted the early-Victorian storage hut on platform 1.

The heated interior now has seats for 15 to 20 people once social distancing restrictions end.

Josh Elphick, Young Landscape Photographer of The Year, at his exhibition in Burgess Hill station's new waiting room. Picture: Govia Thameslink Railway
Josh Elphick, Young Landscape Photographer of The Year, at his exhibition in Burgess Hill station's new waiting room. Picture: Govia Thameslink Railway

The décor features tongue-and-groove panelling in Southern Railway’s 1920s-style heritage green.

The 180-year-old brick hut, built in 1841, is known by rail staff as The Old Salt Barn and was the station’s original main building until 1877.

It was also used to store sacks of salt to de-ice the platforms.

‘Art On The Line’ is a partnership between East Sussex College and Southern, which provides a programme of student art displays at railway stations.

Nigel Ryan, the college’s head of creative partnerships, said: “We are thrilled that Burgess Hill has joined Lewes, Eastbourne and Haywards Heath as part of the ‘Art on the Line’ programme.

“This is a much-needed opportunity for our talented, award-winning artists and photographers from the college to display their work while bringing pleasure to the community.

“With galleries closed, we need to make the most of every opportunity to showcase and use creativity to bring joy and a very welcome distraction.

“We also hope this will encourage more young people to consider creative courses, so many of which can lead to fulfilling careers.”

Chris Fowler, Southern’s customer services director, said: “We’re making our stations more attractive, comfortable and efficient places to pass through, and more valuable assets for their local communities.

“Burgess Hill’s population is set to grow substantially in the coming years so we’re working with the local community and Network Rail to make sure the station offers current and future customers the pleasant travel experience they expect.”

He added: “The station is an important and popular part of the town’s fabric, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to protect its historical appeal while adding facilities for customers.”

The transformation is part of a network-wide station improvement programme by Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway.

In 2019, GTR asked passengers and communities what improvements they wanted. In Burgess Hill, the most popular requests were for more shelter and seats.

The Burgess Hill platform is narrow but station manager Paddy Hawksworth and project manager Max Kenna decided to convert the barn into a waiting room.

The conversion includes new windows and glazed doors but GTR have kept the original wooden barn doors as a display feature inside.