Sta­tion rolls in for part­ner­ship prize

Wilmslow Express - - FRONT PAGE - KATE PUTTICK wilm­slow­ex­press@men­ @wilm­slow­ex­press

ARAIL­WAY sta­tion has scooped an award af­ter vol­un­teers helped im­ple­ment a num­ber of cre­ative projects in its grounds.

Hand­forth Sta­tion has been handed the ‘The Cre­ative Part­ner­ship’ award at the an­nual awards evening for Cheshire’s Best Kept Sta­tions.

The sta­tion was recog­nised for its imag­i­na­tive touch when it comes to up­keep – and in par­tic­u­lar a ‘cel­e­brated’ project to build a sculp­ture gar­den fea­tur­ing rail­way sign de­signs from around the globe. The award also cel­e­brated the sta­tion’s part­ner­ship with the ‘Theatre in the Quar­ter’ group, which saw the site play host to a First World War cen­te­nary event. The event was at­tended by more than 400 spec­ta­tors, in­clud­ing descen­dants of Ger­man pris­on­ers held in Hand­forth’s POW camp.

Pupils from St Bene­dict’s, The Grange and Dean Oaks pri­mary schools par­tic­i­pated in the per­for­mances, pro­duc­ing art­work, cre­ative writ­ings and po­ems about the First World War.

As part of the awards night, the sta­tion also un­veiled its col­lec­tion’s lat­est for­eign rail­way sign, pre­sented to Hand­forth by Ger­man Rail com­pany Deutsche Bahn.

John Hulme, or­gan­iser of Cheshire Best Kept Sta­tions, said: “Hand­forth Sta­tion won the Cre­ative Part­ner­ship Award for bring­ing to­gether so many par­ties for their World War One com­mem­o­ra­tions and for fly­ing the flag for Cheshire with their new en­signs.”

One of the vol­un­teers who helped im­ple­ment the projects said the group couldn’t be hap­pier with the award.

Mike Bishop, chair of Friends of Hand­forth Sta­tion said: “We were de­lighted to re­ceive the award, which recog­nises the mag­nif­i­cent sup­port we have re­ceived from many part­ners and es­pe­cially the cre­ative ways our lo­cal schools have worked with us this year.

“We were par­tic­u­larly pleased that Ro­tary, who cre­ated the sculp­ture gar­den with us and have con­tin­ued to main­tain it sum­mer and win­ter for 15 years – an achieve­ment in it­self – could join us to re­ceive the award.”

Alex Hynes, man­ag­ing direc­tor for North­ern Rail, said: “Cheshire’s sta­tions are a great ex­am­ple of what can be achieved by a strong work­ing part­ner­ship be­tween rail op­er­a­tors and the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

“Th­ese vol­un­teers recog- nise the im­por­tance of cre­at­ing warm and wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ments for our cus­tomers at their lo­cal sta­tion.

“We are all thrilled to see their ded­i­cated hard work and pas­sion for their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties hon­oured by th­ese awards.”

Coun Barry Birkhill, Julie Corke (North­ern Rail), Mike Bishop, Ed­die Pick­er­ing, Peter May­all and Mike Rams­den

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