Alsager Station is named Cheshire’s Best Kept Station 2018
Alsager railway station has been named Cheshire’s Best Kept Station 2018 at the 16th Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards Evening held on Tuesday 5th February 2019.
The Evening was attended by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and twelve mayors from boroughs, town and parishes across Cheshire
15 stations won awards and 6 stations were highly commended at this prestigious community event.
Northwich station was named the best station in Cheshire West and Handforth in Cheshire East with the special World War 1 Centenary Award going to Romiley station in Stockport.
Awards and commendations also went to Chelford, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Goostrey, Greenbank, Hattersley, Heaton Chapel, Hoylake, Knutsford, Marple, Padgate, Reddish South, Rose Hill, Sandbach, Stockport and Warrington Bank Quay railway stations.
The awards cover pre-1974 Cheshire boundaries which includes Stockport and the Wirral.
In his closing remarks to the Awards, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, gave special thanks to those stations that had commemorated the First World War as many of our soldiers left for the war from their local railway station and never returned.
The Awards were presented before 160 guests at The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich by Professor Garfield Southall, Dean of Science and Engineering at the University of Chester and Chair of North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.
Merseyrail were the 2018 lead sponsors of the Evening.
On presenting the awards, Professor Southall said:
“It has been a great pleasure for me to present these awards this evening and it has been an eye-opener to see how much volunteering there is on our railway stations in Cheshire.
“My thanks go to all those Friends Groups and rail staff that make our stations lovely gateways to our cities, towns and villages across the county."
On announcing the Awards, Mark Barker, chair of Cheshire Best Kept Stations said:
“Tonight's Awards Evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers, community groups and rail staff who do so much to brighten up our stations in Cheshire.
“Alsager Station won the top 'Cheshire Best Kept Station Award 2018'.
“The judges loved the fabulous flower displays on both platforms, which are quite long. As good as any that would be seen at Tatton Park and other “professional” flower shows.
“Photos of regular community involvement over the years, including celebrating 170 years since the station opened clinched the coveted top award.”
Alsager Station is managed by East Midland Trains.
Andy Heath, managing director of Merseyrail, which is the lead sponsor of the awards, said:
"This is a wonderful event which says thank you to all those people who work tirelessly to ensure their local, train stations remain at the heart of their communities.
“Whether that is through creating beautiful gardens, painting stunning murals, opening a book exchange or many, many more creative ideas.
“We are always amazed and humbled by the myriad of ways that people find to transform their stations.”
Honorary Freeman Cllr Shirley Jones, Chairman of Alsager Town Council, said
“I am delighted that Alsager has once again be named Cheshire’s Best Kept Station.
“My thanks go to all the volunteers, participants from local schools, railway staff and other organisations in the town for making this happen.
“Alsager is very proud of its station.”
Claire Sandys, Community Rail Partnership Officer for the North Staffs Community Rail Partnership, said:
“I am so proud of the Alsager volunteers’ achievement in winning Cheshire Best Kept Station Award again.
“They work very hard to keep the station looking beautiful and put a lot of effort into extra activities with the community to celebrate the station’s 170th anniversary.
“They have created a very attractive and welcoming gateway to the town.”
The Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Lesley Smetham, said:
“I want to congratulate the Alsager team on their success this year and congratulate all the other award winners in what is a unique competition.
“I understand that Cheshire is the only county where these awards are made, and it is so important that we have volunteers who are prepared to make a special effort so that rail travellers can get some enjoyment and pleasure from their rail journey and local station.
“Keeping our environment clean is good for our well-being and I want to thank all those volunteers who have brightened up our local railway stations with plants, flowers and other eye-catching displays.
“Our railways and railway stations play an important role in our local communities and, as we know, they played an extremely important role 100 years ago when families stood on platforms to wave farewell to their loved ones heading off to the Great War.
“For that reason alone it is vital we take pride in their appearance and I hope that other towns and villages elsewhere will follow Cheshire’s example.
“It is so pleasing to see that we are continuing the tradition of Best Kept Cheshire Stations Awards. Recognition of our volunteer effort is so important in order to encourage such initiatives to continue.”
Donna Adams, Community Rail and Stakeholder Manager for East Midlands Trains, said:
“We are delighted that Alsager has won Cheshire’s Best Kept Station 2018, the station always looks immaculate and it is all down to the hard work of Alsager’s volunteers.
“A huge achievement for everyone involved, well done!"
“We are proud to be part of Cheshire’s Best Kept Stations and to have the chance to recognise the amazing dedication and hard work of volunteers across the county.”
Further details can be found at bestkeptstations.org.uk