The Visitor Centre
Our award-winning visitor centre makes a wonderful attraction as you approach the platforms at Shepherdswell. As you will note from the sign this was the original signal box that served Barham Station on the Elham Valley Line and was originally built in 1887. Following the closure of this line in 1947 the signal box was fortunately taken into private ownership and preserved and for some time was to found on Arter Brothers Forecourt.
Upon transfer to the East Kent Railway in 2002 it was transformed into the visitor centre as you see it today and a massive vote of thanks must be given to Tony Larkins who masterminded the dismantling and re-assembly of this piece of history. Inside the centre, as you will see from the photos below are the original ground frame levers, station benches and clock as well as information boards detailing the history of the East Kent Railway from its formation in 1911 to its closure in 1948.
A fantastic painting showing the line as it was detailing all of the 16 halts/stations that were served including the legendary Richborough Port Halt that never actually saw any passengers adorns 2 of the walls. A model of the last station on the ‘mainline’ – Wingham Canterbury Road is also on display and is famed in railway history for having the shortest station platform of just 60ft.
‘Albert’ our porter in period railway costume completes the display and our visitor book dates from the re-opening of the line to passenger services in 1995.