Stockport stations heralded at Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards bash

Friends groups at Romiley, Heaton Chapel, Brinnington, Rose Hill and Marple stations all praised for their work

Stockport stations heralded at Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards bash

Five stations in Stockport were heralded for their work at the 2023 Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards this week.

The event, held on March 12, was attended by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, Lady Alexis Redmond MBE, Mayors from all eight boroughs that constitute the former County of Cheshire, and several Town Mayors.

The awards were presented before 170 guests at The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich by Professor Paul Salveson MBE, a leading figure in the community rail movement.

A commemorative booklet was published to celebrate 21 years of achievements of Station Friends Groups, with Romiley Station picking up the King’s Coronation Award.

Heaton Chapel picked up the TfGM Award, while Brinnington won the ‘Best Staffed Station’ and Rose Hill the ‘In Bloom’ award.

Marple Station was Highly Commended in the Community Rail Network Award for Community Engagement.

On presenting the awards, Prof Salveson said: “Cheshire Best Kept Stations is something very special – I am amazed it has been going for so long, a wonderful achievement. Very often station awards just focus on the gardens – and Cheshire has some superb examples. But it’s great to see support for both station staff and volunteers at stations big and small. Covid could so easily have killed off so many community projects, but Cheshire Best Kept Stations has emerged with renewed vigour and in so doing helped to strengthen station friends’ groups.”

Heaton Chapel Station won the TfGM Award

This is a station that shouts the identity of its communities not only to station users but also to passengers on passing trains. Traditional station name signs, poetry displays and well stocked planters, one produced by the local Men in Sheds group, make this an attractive station. Their signature is bold, eyecatching artwork. The latest artwork is a dramatic image of the iconic local viaduct. In short, a welcoming and well cared for station that is a credit to the Friends Group .

Ross Evans, Chair of Friends of Heaton Chapel Station said: “It was a pleasure to receive the TfGM Award on behalf of the supporters and the band of workers who have achieved a lot, since the group began.”

Brinnington Station won the Northern Best Staffed Station Award

A station that was once plagued by anti-social behaviour has been transformed by a community art project that gives identity to the area. What has really put the station at the heart of the community is a Community Swap Shop set up by the station staff which enables locals to obtain and donate homewares, books, clothing, DVDs etc as a response to the cost of living crisis. A fine example of staff going above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations!

Stewart Hall Northern station staff member at Brinnington said: “It’s great to be recognised for all the hard work we and the local community do to make the swap shop so successful. We are all so proud to be awarded best staffed station at the 21st Cheshire best kept station awards. This is a real credit to all our volunteers.”

Rose Hill Station won the In Bloom Award

Gardening is one of the key activities at this station and the effort that has been put in clearly shows in the hanging baskets, beds and landscaped areas around the station.

Rachel Singer, Chair of Friends of Rose Hill Station said: "The Friends of Rose Hill Station greatly value the support and acknowledgement we have received from the CBKS committee over past years and we are especially delighted to have achieved an award in this, the group's 21st anniversary year. The In Bloom award is an inspiration to the continuing efforts of our volunteers."

Romiley Station won the King’s Coronation Award

The community were asked to produce scarecrows made from recycled materials, in keeping with the King’s support for sustainability. The first scarecrow, of King Charles himself, arrived at the station on a scheduled bus service with students from a special needs school that had made it. It was soon followed by Queen Camilla. The group joined forces with the community for a huge street party on the main road near to the station. The party appropriately took the theme ‘ Coronation Street’.

Cllr Angie Clark, from Friends of Romiley Station, said: “The Friends of Romiley Station are delighted to have been awarded the King's Coronation award by Cheshire Best Kept Stations, we look forward to erecting the handsome totem at the station.

“We very much appreciate the hard work carried out by CBKS to celebrate the efforts of volunteers at Cheshire stations. We congratulate all those who took part and especially CBKS on reaching your 21st year. Here's to the next 21 years of proudly volunteering.”