Some good news and some disappointment for the Friends of Goostrey Station ….
Christina Burgess from the Friends of Goostrey Station reports ….
Let’s start with the good news ….
Friends of Goostrey Station recently heard that our group of volunteers has been shortlisted for two Community Rail Awards – Most enhanced buildings & surroundings and It’s your station. While we wait for the winners to be announced at the award ceremony in December, we are delighted that our working parties have resumed.
We meet between 10am and 1pm on the second Sunday of each month. The enforced break during lockdown has shown what a difference our regular work has made to improve the environment of Goostrey Station. When we’re sweeping or gardening, we observe social distancing, wear orange safety jackets and use our own tools.
Have you thought about becoming a Friend of Goostrey Station? New members are always welcome to join us. For more information, please look at our website friendsofgoostreystation.org. You can contact Dave Roberts (chair) on firstname.lastname@example.org or 544779; or Craig Sidebotham (vice chair) on email@example.com or 07526 704218.
Plans to install a cycle rack on the car park are progressing. An award from the Eco Fund of the delivery company DPD will pay for a covered shelter to hold up to 10 cycles. Northern are keen to promote sustainable travel and FOGS hope that they will organise the installation in the near future.
As pupils returned to Goostrey Community Primary School, deputy headteacher Becky Cowell mounted a new display in the shelter on the Crewe platform. It includes artwork about Peaceful Places and Learning and Achieving Together. One passenger commented ‘Really enjoyed the positive messages and the beautiful pictures! Well done students and staff.’ On reading phrases such as ‘You are stronger than you think’ and Believe in yourself’ another traveller wrote ‘How lovely and creative. Just what the community needs during such trying times. This cheered me up – well done to all.’ FOGS members hope that rail authorities will soon respond positively to their request to repair the shelter.
And now for the disappointing news ….
This relates to how to ensure that the recently restored Victorian wooden station building is put to good use in our community. A local resident who works at Tate Liverpool envisages running an arts education facility there, but at present there are no toilets or kitchen facilities. Our small group of volunteers is reluctant to take on the legal and financial responsibilities of a lease. However the Rail Heritage Trust have stated that they cannot see any reason for rail authorities to put management time into the building as the structure is neither listed nor in a conservation area. Their executive director has identified successful community run station buildings in other places, stating that this shows what a determined community group can achieve.
He continues ‘You have been successful in persuading the industry to go far beyond where it normally would in restoring this building externally, but if you don’t take the lead in internally restoring it, I can’t see anyone doing it. Basically I see two options – a community group, yours or some other, leases the building and leads a restoration of its interior and its onwards use or the building will reopen as it is at present, as externally restored shell.’
So now FOGS has created an action list with clear priorities in order to make progress towards their vision. Help from other members of our community would be very welcome.