Community-spirited volunteers from the Friends of Buxton Station and the Friends of Glossop Station proudly represented Derbyshire and achieved astounding success on the national stage at the 2018 Community Rail Awards held recently in Glasgow.
At this wonderful event which celebrated the achievements of station adoption volunteers from all across England, Scotland and Wales the delighted members of the Buxton and Glossop station groups were awarded five top prizes by a distinguished panel of judges drawn from the railway industry.
Not only were both station groups awarded a Gold Certificate in recognition of the very high standard of community events, tourist information, art projects, gardening and general care for their stations but to their great surprise the Friends of Glossop Station were judged ‘Best of the Best’. This is an outstanding national accolade for this small group of hard-working local people who willingly give up their own free time to make things better for passengers, staff and visitors to the station.
Neil Williams, the Chairman of the Glossop group, was understandably extremely happy with this achievement but there was a wonderful personal moment for him later in the awards ceremony when he was stunned to hear his name read out by the judges as the Outstanding Community Rail Volunteer of the Year.
County Councillor George Wharmby from Glossop, who coincidentally is the Chairman of the High Peak & Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership which the Glossop group are members of, paid this tribute to him:
“Neil is a hard-working, thoughtful and caring man who brings great credit to the railway station and the town of Glossop through his dedicated leadership of the station volunteers group. I warmly congratulate him on receiving this award for the Outstanding Volunteer of 2018 which is thoroughly deserved recognition of his energy and enthusiasm for inspiring and helping everyone he meets in the community rail movement.”County Councillor George Wharmby
And to round off a great evening for Derbyshire station volunteers, the Friends of Buxton Station took an impressive First Place in the highly competitive category for ‘Most Enhanced Station Buildings and Surroundings’.
Most notable amongst a wide range of excellent nature, art, gardening and history projects which the group have delivered at the station has been the rescuing and restoration of a traditional red telephone box which the volunteers have installed on the main platform, complete with an emergency defibrillator unit inside. Councillor Simon Spencer, Deputy Leader of Derbyshire County Council, was pleased to be invited by the Friends of Buxton Station to unveil the defibrillator as he owes his own survival from a recent heart attack to just such a piece of equipment.
Derbyshire County Council is the host body for the High Peak & Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership which works with the rail industry to improve and promote train services and stations on the Buxton, Glossop and Hope Valley railway lines. More information can be obtained from Andrew Walker, the Rail Partnership Officer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01629 538093.