Cupar railway station scoops top award

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CUPAR’S railway station has earned a prestigious award thanks to the creation of a heritage centre in the former stationmaster’s house.

It has been named as ‘Best Adopted Station 2011’ by Passenger Focus, the independent passenger watchdog, whose Scottish link manager Robert Samson praised it as ‘exemplifying the spirit of a station that is at the heart of its community.’

ScotRail officials visited Cupar to present the certificate to Councillor Margaret Kennedy, who has recently established a new station users’ group.

The presentation was watched by station staff and representatives from the Friends of Cupar Station as well as Cupar Heritage, who converted the stationmaster’s house under Scotrail’s Adopt a Station scheme with financial support from the Railway Heritage Trust and the Stations Community Regeneration Fund.

Guthrie Hutton and Ian Copland, chairman and treasurer respectively of Cupar Heritage, were last week named joint Citizens of the Year for their efforts in spearheading the conversion.

Councillor Kennedy commented: “I am absolutely delighted for all involved.

“Cupar station has developed over the years into a very community-focused asset.

“This award is testimony to all the hard work put in by many individuals and I look forward to it being displayed in a prominent position for all to see when using Cupar station.”

Meanwhile, a ceremony was held last week to re-dedicate the statue of David Maitland Makgill Crichton that overlooks the station.

One of Cupar’s most iconic landmarks, the C-listed statue had been refurbished by a funding coalition led by the Cupar and North Fife Preservation Society

Born in 1801, Crichton was a free Kirk man and politician whose memorial was erected in recognition of the efforts he made on behalf of Cuparians during the construction of the railway.

The Edinburgh and Northern Railway Company had planned a level crossing over the line, but he fought for a bridge, later known as South Bridge.

Designed in 1847 by David Bell, Cupar station was built in the Italianate architectural style popular in the mid 19th century.

The B-listed station was once described ‘perhaps the most important surviving early railway station in Scotland in terms of architectural distinction and completeness.’