An exciting New Rail Heritage Project as Part of the ATEAB 2024 Festival

The festival team is delighted to announce that Southeastern Communities Rail Partnership  CIC will become one of two major project partners in the 2024 festival exploring book choice The Railway Children by E Nesbitt.

Inspired by the book choice are plans for an exciting new outdoor museum at St Leonards Warrior Square, exploring St Leonards-on-Sea’s overlooked rail history and heritage. This initiative is in collaboration with Southeastern Rail, with Chalk Cliff Trust confirming funding support.

St Leonards-on-Sea’s story of how trains came to the town and to neighbouring areas is a fascinating and complex history of ingenious engineering of stations, tunnels, railways and junctions. It includes the story of a transient ‘navvy’ workforce that built the T-Ways, the temporary ways, that became permanent: P-Ways (these terms are still in use today). This community lived in two tented encampments in fields behind residential areas. Their narratives are one of many hidden histories that this project will uncover.