Sign of the times at Hand­forth

Wilmslow Express - - NEWS -

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

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