About us history

About us

Station House Community Connections Ltd is a Charitable Community Benefit Society incorporated in 2013, to bring the Station House back to life as a new community amenity for the local area and beyond. The aim was to combine its historical purpose and heritage with a community function.

station house 2013The idea formed in 2011. Standing in the centre of the village, the building had remained empty and deteriorating since 2006. Too large to be of use to the railway again, or as a public building serving the village of Campsea Ashe, the Station House required an engagement beyond both. The key to sustainability was combining the strengths of its historical purpose, heritage and community function: improving railway user facilities; understanding how the East Suffolk Railway shaped the local area; providing communication resources in a venue accessible for both business and leisure.

In 2011 the train service offered no additional facilities, but attracted a steady flow of railway users from a wide catchment. With its proximity to the B1078 and the railway, it was felt other parishes with a shared demographic and geography could benefit. What better means for disseminating information across hard to reach areas and up and down the line? By improving the architectural landscape and making Campsea Ashe a better and brighter place to live, it seemed possible to enrich the lives of others across a wider area of East Suffolk.

In 1859, the railway line and station at Campsea Ashe were part of the national revolution in transport that brought with it the standardisation of time measurement and the telegram. With our 20th century digital and internet revolution, the challenge would be to ensure the Station House was fit for the future and continuing to meet the needs of our rural communities. Originally designed to house the Station Master on the first floor, it blends the intimacy of a private dwelling with the scale of a public building: an ideal place for new community, social and business networking.

station house collonades
Photo: Mike Cowling

2011 was also the year of the Localism Act, enabling local authorities to support community and social enterprises in taking on buildings and services they could no longer directly fund. The County Council had purchased the Station House in 2005 for access to rebuild the road bridge over the railway, but had no further use for it.

The capital fundraising campaign began in 2012 and by 2013 Station House Community Connections had incorporated as a Charitable Community Benefit Society. It is a member-based Society that allows both fundraising and trading activities, as well as partnership work, to ensure long-term viability. Its charitable objects define its purpose and the scope of its operations. To ensure the Station House activities remain of benefit to all, whether you are living or working locally, or just passing by, a mix of free facilities and paid-for services is offered. Link to our Charitable Objects.

From 2012-2017, the capital required to renovate, refurbish the building in keeping with its heritage and reinstate the platform canopy was raised through 28 grants, some 70+ donations, as well as fundraising events. During this period, moving from drawing board to reality also involved public consultations and talking to skilled professionals, many of whom gave generously of their time.

The Station House re-opened to the public on 21st June 2017.

A huge and sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the Station House regeneration; from individuals, businesses, organisations and funders to all those unrecorded people who have baked cakes, helped at and attended our fundraising events.  It could not have been achieved without you.


Cast iron lions restored to the roofline, as designed in 1859


Trustee-Directors - Peter Marett, Robert Webb (Secretary), Stephen Yelland
Manager & Founder Trustee - Rosamund Webb