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Celebrating Community Rail

The Grange Theatre in Northwich recently hosted the Cheshire Best Kept Station awards evening which saw two Wirral stations announced as winners.

West Kirby and Hoylake were amongst the stations in attendance on 28 January and received an award and recognition of the work put in by volunteers to improve these local train stations into better places for their communities.

The awards serve as a special thank you and aim to promote, publicise and encourage community involvement in railway stations.

The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith, was in attendance at these awards along with the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, M.B.E., K.St.J, and spoke of the valuable contribution made by volunteers.

Church members from West Kirby United Reformed Church (URC) have maintained planters on West Kirby platform for over 10 years, purchasing flowers each season and planting, tending and watering them. The judges also recognised the Tree of Hope at the station that is maintained by West Kirby URC’s friends, Transition Town West Kirby and Incredible Edibles.

Kath Hilborne, West Kirby URC’s Communication Manager, attended the awards evening alongside church elders Gordon & Linda Wilson.

Kath Hilborne, Communications Manager at West Kirby United Reformed Church (URC), said “We are delighted to maintain the platform planters with seasonal flowers all year round, for the enjoyment of the community.

“If seeing a flower opening in spring gives someone hope, or chatting with our volunteers reminds a traveller they are loved, then we're on the way to fulfilling our vision of ‘Connecting your Community to Christ’.”

The awards, presented by Kulvinder Bassi, Head of Community Rail at the Department for Transport, will be permanently displayed at both West Kirby Railway Station and Hoylake Railway Station accordingly.

Cheshire is the only county in England that has a best kept station competition and sees stations awarded from the Wirral to the Pennines.

West Kirby Railway Station and Hoylake Railway Station are on the Wirral Line and managed by Merseyrail.

For more details and information on the winners, please visit the Cheshire Best Kept Stations website.