Fitting memorial bench unveiled to much-loved Norfolk man

(L-R): Paul Ryall, President of the Rotary Club of North Walsham, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate

(L-R): Paul Ryall, President of the Rotary Club of North Walsham, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia, Sheila Gadsden, Norman Lamb, Peter Twiss, President of the Bittern Line CRP, Peter Mayne, Chair of the Bittern Line CRP.Picture: Dave Pearce - Credit: Archant

A much-loved North Walsham man's life and work was remembered as the community unveiled a bench in his honour.

The bench. Photo credit: Dave Pearce

The bench. Photo credit: Dave Pearce - Credit: Archant

Friends of the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) gathered at North Walsham station, where a memorial bench and plaque were unveiled to mark the work of Ted Gadsden, who died last year.

Mr Gadsden led the work of the Bittern Line CRP for many years and chairman Peter Mayne said: 'Ted was a well-known and much-loved figure in the town and was an enthusiastic and strong advocate for rail travel and for community rail.'

The bench was unveiled by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who praised the partnership for its 'brilliant work in helping to make this line a big success story'.

It was bought with support from the Rotary Club of North Walsham, the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), and the Bittern Line CRP.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for Greater Anglia, said: 'I'm sure he (Ted) will continue to be with us in spirit as we continue to encourage more people to take the train.

'I know he was excited by the prospect of the brand new trains that will start to be introduced on the Bittern Line from Summer 2019 onwards.'

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Paul Ryall, the president of the Rotary Club of North Walsham, said: 'Ted was not only a great worker for the Bittern Line and North Walsham Town Council, but also a stalwart member of North Walsham Rotary Club from 1999 to 2017, always urging us to travel by train to Rotary district events.

'He served two terms as club president and was a very active rotarian. Ted is sorely missed, and we have embraced this project enthusiastically as a useful and visible marker to remember him.'

Paul Webster, operations manager of ACoRP, said: 'Ted was a true gentleman and ambassador for sustainable travel and the community rail movement not just in Norfolk, but across the whole railway network.

'He not only encouraged and supported local station adoption groups, but also contributed ideas which have enriched the work of other community rail partnerships and grown the reach of ACoRP too.'