From royal visit to commercial manager

A Kent & East Sussex Railway volunteer whose early role was to prepare the line for a royal visit 34 years ago has been appointed commercial manager.

Catering for the future: André Freeman, who has been appointed commercial manager at the Kent & Sussex Railway after 14 years as catering manager, in the company of 2-6-0 No. 376 Norwegian at Tenterden station. ALAN CROTTY
Catering for the future: André Freeman, who has been appointed commercial manager at the Kent & Sussex Railway after 14 years as catering manager, in the company of 2-6-0 No. 376 Norwegian at Tenterden station. ALAN CROTTY

André Freeman’s interest in railways started at an early age while living opposite Whitstable & Tankerton station on the Faversham-Margate route.

Canterbury-born André became a KESR volunteer in early 1982, and one of his first tasks was station maintenance in preparation for the inauguration at Tenterden of the railway’s pioneering disabled access carriage Petros by the Queen Mother on June 9 that year.

“After becoming a volunteer I soon found there was plenty of opportunities to occupy myself, including the gift shop, travelling ticket inspector and training as a guard,” he said.

With an interest in electrical and electronic engineering he also joined the team overhauling Pullman car Barbara, the pride of the railway’s carriage fleet that was built by Metropolitan Cammell in 1926 and worked the London-Hastings and London-Southampton routes until withdrawal in 1963, arriving on the KESR a year later.

Read more in the latest issue of HR

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