Sign of the times at Handforth
ASTATION has global appeal with a new Isle of Man railway sign to add to its collection of foreign nameboards.
The volunteers from the Friends of Handforth Station have a new sign displayed by the Wilmslowbound platform with Isle of Man transport colours and the Handforth name in English and Manx - ‘Stashoon Aah Hannah’.
It joins the collection of more than 12 foreign station signs ranging from Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway, France, Germany and Dutch Railways to London Underground and Manchester Metro.
Mike Bishop, chairman of Friends of Handforth Station, said: “The Isle of Man boasts a unique mix of rail modes with a steam railway, a tram-style electric railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway and a horse-drawn tramway on the promenade at Douglas.
“Now we can proudly carry the Manx colours. All signs have been obtained through personal contacts of Friends of Handforth Station and we welcome any contacts with other railways, especially in Scandinavia.”
Ian Longwoth, director of Isle of Man Transport, said: “We were delighted to assist the Friends of Handforth Station to expand their collection of foreign nameboards by supplying an Isle of Man sign.”
The signs are part of the ‘Platform for Art’ created by the friends group which includes flags, carved railway sleepers, sculptures and ceramic animals by artists working with the local schools and community. It’s part of the ongoing work to add interest to the station.
Mike Bishop said: “Our next project is to design and install a plaque giving the history of the station from the opening of the Manchester to Birmingham railway in 1842, the history of the goods traffic from Handforth, and the station’s involvement with the First World War prisoners arriving on their way to Handforth prisoner of war camp.
“It is planned that the plaque will match that at the prisoner camp and be next in a series of such plaques throughout the village giving the history of Handforth.’’
Friends of Handforth Station was formed in 1996 to promote the railway station as a gateway the village. Call 01625 524123 for further details or visit handforthstation.org.uk.
Mike Bishop, chairman of Friends of Handforth Station, with young station user Ceri Sawyer