Six Stockport stations scoop up gongs at 'Best Kept Station' awards event

Woodsmoor, Reddish South, Stockport, Heaton Chapel, Rose Hill Marple and Romiley all picked up awards

Six Stockport stations scoop up gongs at 'Best Kept Station' awards event

Six stations in Stockport were honoured at the 20th Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards Evening held on Thursday, March 16.

The event was attended by Mayor of Stockport Cllr David Wilson and Mayoress Jeanette Slavinski.

Mayors from the other Boroughs that constitute the former County of Cheshire, and four Town Mayors were also present.

The awards were presented before 100 guests at The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich by Brian Barnsley, Deputy Chief Executive of Community Rail Network, the umbrella organisation for the nationwide Community Rail movement .

A framed print of the former Savoy cinema in Romiley by local artist Eamonn Murphy was presented to Brian in recognition of his forthcoming retirement from the Community Rail Network.

On presenting the awards, Brian said: "I am certain that Community Rails continuing strength lies with local communities getting involved, the Cheshire Best kept Stations Awards remain are a wonderful celebration of all the volunteers efforts, congratulations to all the winners, and as has already been said, everyone is a winner here!"

Mark Barker, Chair of Cheshire Best Kept Stations said: “Tonight's Awards Evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers and community groups who do so much to brighten up our stations in Cheshire. You are all winners! - whether or not you pick up an award tonight, this is a big thank you to you all; a party for volunteers and for those who support & encourage you; rail industry, civic leaders and local authorities.

"You deserve it. We can celebrate something to be truly proud of at so many of our Cheshire stations. We have seen some truly excellent work from volunteers and staff at stations right across Cheshire.”

Heaton Chapel Station won the TfGM Award
This is station that shouts the identity of it’s communities not only to station users but also to passengers on passing trains. Bold, eye catching artwork, traditional station name signs, poetry displays and well stocked planters, one produced by the local Men in Sheds group, make this an attractive station. Meanwhile, station users can take advantage of a library, a slide show and other artefacts in the booking hall. In short, a welcoming and well cared for station that is a credit to all involved.

Reddish South Station won the John Hobbs Award
A group that has campaigned determinedly for many years to improve services at the station. It has thrown itself into engaging with the community, political figures and the rail industry. The station has been improved from a seemingly derelict platform by gardening, large scale commemorative artworks and events. Most recently they unveiled artwork marking 75 years since the end of WW2 based on memories of senior citizens interpreted into artwork by 6 to 9 year old Scouts, helped by local artists. The Restoring Your Railway programme gave the Group the chance to galvanise community interest in a Stockport to Manchester Victoria passenger service. They printed and distributed 5,000 leaflets, canvassed districts and had stalls out in supermarkets and busy streets. The result was 1,287 responses to the Government established survey, which is unprecedented for an urban community.

Stockport Station was Highly Commended in the Avanti Sustainability category for their School Engagement Programme to involve schools in World Bee Day

Rose Hill Station won the Community Rail Network Award for Community Engagement
The Friends Group re-engaged with their community after the pandemic by reinstating their ever popular Santa visit to the station and taking a hundred strong party from the local primary school on a train ride, during which they learned how to use stations and trains safely. This is a Group that has a strong relationship with its community.

Friends of Rose Hill Station Chair Rachel Singer said: “ thank you so much for the award we received for our work with our local community, the school rail trip and, especially, the Santa event. I’m so pleased, on behalf of our group, to have this acknowledged because the event means a lot to so many local families and involves a lot of sheer hard work on the part of our volunteer group.”

Woodsmoor Station won the Art Project Award
This project was devised at a community meeting back in 2019, but put on hold during the pandemic and only completed last summer. It consists of a series of cut-out trees made of recycled packing cases decorated by many artistic discs designed by students from three schools and local artists and photographers. These were printed on dibond aluminium to give a quality and permanent finish.

Romiley Station won the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award
The Friends wanted to create something that would not only mark the Jubilee but would also provide a lasting legacy and improve the station environment. The scheme brought back into use a steep sloping plot of derelict railway which is visible from the village centre, creating a new garden dedicated to Her Majesty. An interpretive board giving a history of the station and village and details of the Friends Group were provided. The wider community was involved in the design, construction and celebrations surrounding it’s opening. Railway contractors donated materials.