Glasses raised for David Turner at Wymondham train station

Glasses were raised in honour of David Turner yesterday as the man responsible for turning around the fortunes of the formerly derelict Wymondham train station bid farewell to friends and colleagues.

During a leaving party at the station he was praised by Jeremy Savage, chairman of South Norfolk Council, who presented him with a certificate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the area.

Mr Turner announced last month that he was handing over the lease of the historic building after 23 years in which he saved the ageing unoccupied station from the bulldozers and transformed it into an national award-winning attraction - best known for its popular Brief Encounter tea room.

He plans to continue his piano tuning business from his home in Ashwellthorpe and dedicate his time to voluntary and fundraising projects in his home village and at Wymondham Abbey.

New owners Simon, Kate and Jenny Pilgrim are due to take over on February 14 and will re-open the restaurant as Station Bistro on March 1 following a two-week closure.

'David is a Norfolk icon. He is one of the most recognisable names in Norfolk,' said Mr Savage. 'We know that Wymondham station has been very well cared for because you just have to look at the awards the station has got.'

Mr Turner said he had 'immensely enjoyed' his 23 years. 'I will miss the smell of the trains, seeing them out of the window and the tears and smiles that go on here.

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'I thank the staff for helping make this a worldwide known situation. I wish the very best to the people taking over.'

Station Taxis and Nailway beauty salon, as well as the Les King signal, will remain.