On Track For A Spruce-Up

Volunteers and railway workers have joined forces to clean up stations along the South Fylde line in preparation for a landmark celebrations at St Anne’s

St Anne’s station is planning a series of special events to mark its 150th anniversary this year. With a fresh coat of paint and seasonal display of spring blooms, the station celebrates a century and a half serving the communities of the Fylde.

St Anne’s station was actually opened before the town of St Anne’s was built – one of about six stations in the UK where the stations preceded the building of the town they served.

Tony Ford, Chairman of the Station Friends Group said: “We are very pleased with our newly painted station. All credit to Northern Rail’s Regional Stakeholder Manager Owain Roberts, who managed to arrange for the work despite the pressure on railway budgets.”

Volunteers at the station are now throwing their energies into painting the fencing, refreshing the paintwork on some of the platform furniture and will also be planting summer bedding plants and hanging baskets to ensure the station looks its best for the big day.

Amongst the other events and activities scheduled for what promises to be a spectacular summer of celebrations are the burying of a time capsule of contemporary railway artefacts from the current era, an exhibition of period photographs of the station and the line, an illustrated talk on the station’s history by local archivist David Hoyle and a series of guided walks based on the railway walk which starts at St Anne’s Station.

Community rail volunteers all along the South Fylde Line have been busy cleaning their adopted stations to mark the arrival of summer.

On the footbridge over the railway line at Ansdell Station, Network Rail staff used power-washers to remove dirt and graffiti from the structure.

Friends of Ansdell Station member Karen Cornforth said: “I am really pleased that Network Rail have power-washed the graffiti and painted over the panels of the bridge.

“There is still work to do to make the steps more user-friendly, but this is a start and comes after much lobbying by the Community Rail Partnership and Ansdell in Bloom.”

Meanwhile, volunteers at St Anne’s Station took the opportunity to tackle litter and fly-tipping at Squires Gate Station between Blackpool and St Anne’s. 

The clean-up mission was part of the Great British Spring Clean – Britain’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. 

The volunteers split into two teams – one to tackle the active platform and the other to work on the derelict platform area, which the station group has been turning into a wildlife haven and much more. 

Station volunteer Paul Nettleton said: “You name it, we’ve collected it – plastic bottles, crisp packets, beer cans, pieces of wood, footballs, blocks of polystyrene and a bicycle tyre. Squires Gate station now looks neat and tidy. It’s all in a day’s work!”

For the latest updates on events on the South Fylde Line, visit: communityraillancashire.co.uk



Tedd Walmsley

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