Community involvement at stations and line partnerships is now widespread across the UK. It was however, Northern who pioneered this type of work! When we look back to 2006 it was rare for volunteers to have a say in how their station was maintained or contribute to its physical well being. Under Northern all this changed and the development of Friends of Groups and Line Partnerships took off!
And what an exciting period it has been! A kaleidoscope of memories! Station improvement projects, stakeholder meetings across the network, meeting the managers at every level and the annual trip for Friends and Adopters! Bridlington, Keighley, Liverpool..... Special trains. Hospitality in hotels and museums! Fun and shared cameraderie. Paul Salveson's unique brass band event in a rail depot! Live music at stations. Art work. Father Christmas trains, Folk Trains.... And gardening galore!
And we have all benefited from Northern's inspiring Managing Directors - initially Heidi Mottram, then Ian Bevan and now currently Alex Hynes.
FOGS would also like to thank the Glossop Line Managers, over the last 10 years, who have helped the line and its stations to prosper and the trust shown to us in our partnership working. Mark Eastwood - remember the 2009 football train Mark? What a day! Lawrence Taylor photographer extraodinaire. Gina McKenna who, one year, physically carried all the FOGS' Christmas goodie bags from Guide Bride to Glossop by herself! Adrian Berkeley- only Adrian could have persuaded his 19 year old daughter to dress up as a crocodile on our story telling train! And of course Theo McLauchlan, our current Manager. So many fun shared projects Theo! The new waiting rooms/booking office. Meeting Sir Wiliam McAlpine. "Just had an email Theo from the Duke of Norfolk who will be visiting the station in July!" Theo emailing us - " can Bunty do the catering for Baroness Kramer's visit to Guide Bridge"?!! And the heritage lights going up now.....THANK YOU!!
And to the managers at other levels, past and present, who have been such a part of Northern and the work of FOGS - Mark Barker, Pete Myers, Paul Spencer, Natasha Wilding, Don Jary, Paul Salveson, Natalie Loughborough, Matt Worman.......We thank all of you for your commitment, patience and expertise.
And to our local Northern staff - our ongoing thanks for all your help and good humour - Dave, Graham, Keith, Nigel, Steve, Janet, Dave, Alan, Bob.... wishing you all well with Arriva!
We hope the spirit of Northern continues to prosper as the "new" Northern begins its life under franchise owners Arriva Rail North/DB.