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20-year anniversary celebrations for Kent CRP

Kent Community Rail Partnership officers, members, volunteers, and friends both past and present have celebrated the CRP’s 20th year.

The celebration event started on Thursday 14 September with a trip along the Swale Rail Line. Along the way, Jonathan Fryer shared details of projects carried out by the CRP at each of the stations, as well as snippets of local history.    

After disembarking the train, the Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sarah Stephen, welcomed the group and highlighted many of the projects the CRP has been involved with across the Borough, including the Faversham Festival of Transport, murals at stations, ‘try the train’ trips with schools, and a host of other projects providing learning and engagement opportunities to students from Sheppey College.

During the afternoon, the group visited the newly refurbished Masters House in Sheerness for presentations and conversations. Current Chair Chris Fribbins, past Chairs Mike Fitzgerald and John Wright, and Southeastern Community Relations Manager Matt Fraser each explained how they had seen the Partnership grow over the years, delivering improvements to station environments and opportunities for communities through collaborative working.

Gary Outram, Projects Officer at Kent CRP, said: “The dedication of our volunteers was at the heart of all the speeches and the day was a fabulous opportunity to celebrate two decades of their efforts. Thanks to them, we have delivered a flourishing partnership that delivers for its communities, and it was great to take the positive energy in the room and used it to begin making plans for the future.”

Therese Hammond, Project Officer at Kent CRP, said: “It was great to see previous and current Partnership members discussing actioned projects, activities, and events, and formulating ideas for new ones. The positive energy in the room was really impressive.

“The Partnership has grown from its initial five stations to a remarkable 31, benefiting more and more railway communities in the area. I wonder where the Partnership will be in another 20 years!”

Mike Fitzgerald, former Chair of Kent CRP, said: “I would like to say a big thank you for being allowed to be part of your successful 20th anniversary event. It was good to meet up with old friends and be reminded of how successful and valued the Partnership has been, and how it is still thriving, meeting the needs of our wider communities, and delivering for the community rail movement.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from Kent CRP via their website.