Farewell to station king

Chris Hanson, who was 69, has died
Chris Hanson, who was 69, has died

Tributes have been paid to the man who made Bridlington’s railway station one of the best, and most beautiful, in the country.

Chris Hanson, who was 69, passed away peacefully at his home on Cliff Lane, Bempton, surrounded by his family on 14 September, following a short period of illness.

John Sadler and Chris Hanson

John Sadler and Chris Hanson

Mr Hanson, a former salesman, was best known for masterminding the superb floral arrangements at Bridlington Railway Station, which caught the attention of national newspapers, television programmes and celebrities.

His friend of 49 years, and owner of the Station Buffet Bar, John Sadler, described him as a “true gentleman”.

“The first thing people would see when they were coming into Bridlington were Chris’ flowers, and the last thing they saw when leaving were his flowers”, said John.

“He was a true gentleman and would do anything for anybody. We were very good friends - he was a true friend to me and he brought life to the station.”

Chris Hanson's flowers attracted attention from national media

Chris Hanson's flowers attracted attention from national media

John and Chris first met in the early 70s, when Chris worked as a salesman specialising in workman’s tools and parts.

Soon after taking over Station Buffet from its previous owner, Madeline Crook, John called on his friend Chris to “bring life to the station”.

“Madeline started the flowers again in 1985 with a couple of tubs and expanded from there. When I took over, I took over the plants, but I knew nothing about flowers whatsoever.

“Chris looked the flowers over and took me under his wing and ended up doing all the plant arranging.”

John said the station’s flowers had attracted tourists from all over the country, just to look at the Chris’ beautiful arrangements.

“When Michael Portillo visited Bridlington Station for Great British Railway Journeys, he said it was the best in the country.

“And when Charlie Dimmock came for the pantomime in 2012, she actually waited an hour longer at the station and missed her train, just to stay among the flowers.”

Chris’ flower arrangements also soared to national attention, when Station Buffet received an award in the Daily Mirror for Best Pub Garden.

His passing comes just over two weeks after Station Buffet was awarded top place for the Bridlington in Bloom Competition.

He leaves behind his wife Doreen, daughter Mandy, stepchildren Pat, Robert, Denise, Glynis and Lynne, as well as nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Chris’ funeral will be held at East Riding Crematorium, Octon, on September 22, at 2pm.

All are welcome to attend however the family have requested that black is not worn.