On Friday 23 rd September Bunty and Neil attended the ACoRP Awards' Evening at Sheffield's City Hall. As always Dawn, Hazel and team had worked extremely hard to make the setting look stunning and around 300 guests from all over the UK were treated to an excellent dinner followed by the awards themselves. All guests were given a complimentary genuine railway whistle but were soon warned from the stage to stop blowing them! Neil Buxton, ACoRP MD, made a speech recognising the huge progress being made in community rail travel - recent huge increaes in ridership figures reflecting this - and then the hosts Tim Shoveller MD East Midlands Trains and Steve Butcher CEO from Northern hosted the award presentations. As always lots of imaginative ideas were recognised; one that appealed to Bunty and Neil was the Munchtime Express on Cornwall's Liskeard to Looe branch line! Bunty and Neil sat next to two American guests who had flown in specially that day for the awards. Richard Rudolph from AMTRAK was subequently given a special International award for his work in promoting rail travel in America. Welsh pronunciations caused some problems and mirth especially when the delightful station of Dolwyddelan on the Conwy Valley Line won 1st prize for its stunning gardens. First Great Western, at the end of the evening, won the coveted prize of the company doing most to promote the Community Rail Strategy. Before leaving Neil managed to have a few words with Ian Bevan Northern Rail's MD who added his praise to the work done at Glossop and his desire to make a visit. Overall a very enjoyable evening! Next year's event will be in Swindon.
On Saturday 17th September Neil, John LeGrove and Matthew went to the Northern Rail Thank You event at Bury Transport museum. Travel was by Metrolink from Manchester to Bury. Heavy rain punctuated the outing but good spirits prevailed throughout. Inside the attractive Transprt museum about 150 guests were treated to a generous buffet. Lee Wasnidge, Northern's Area Director, made a speech thanking volunteers for their hard work and how much their efforts were appreciated by Northern. Glossop had a special mention as Lee commented that on his recent visit to the opening event that it represented all that was best about teamwork delivering results and high standards. He also announced that it was Northern's intention to enter Glossop station into the 2012 Rail Awards. This was an unexpected fillip! Neil, John and Matthew, along with other guests, then joined the steam train service at Bury Bolton Street station for a ride to Rawtenstall and back. It was a chance to catch up with old friends including Mike Bishop from Handforth who was instrumental in the early days of FOGS as a guiding light! On the way back via Manchester John gave Matthew and Neil a guided tour of Cheethams Music School a delightful oasis in the heart of Manchester!
On Wednesday 21st September Neil and Theo met Karen Davidson from Network Rail at the station to discuss Network Rail's plans for refurbishing the Canopy and platform. Karen was very helpful in explaining the scale of the work which includes major repairs to the canopy and resurfacing the whole platform. Karen also looked at the 2 windows scheduled to be returned to their original sash design following a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust. Neil pointed out that there 2 further windows needing this attention - one currently boarded up- and this was noted. The work is scheduled to begin in October and will last for at least 3 months.
Friday 2nd September was a big day for FOGS and Northern Rail. At 9am, Bunty Gibson was preparing the cream cakes for the afternoon tea, assisted by Jacqueline Horne. Neil Williams was sweeping and cleaning, and Theo McLauchlan (station manager) had rolled up his shirt sleeves to put the finishing touches to the new waiting rooms.
The displays created by Simon Denvers looked splendid. The artwork by Tracy Cupitt transformed the second waiting room from bare walls into what is now the Station Gallery ("too posh for Glossop!" was one comment). The mirror provided by FOGS and installed by John Kimpton reflected the bustle of the preparations. A final flourish was dished up by Bunty, in the form of flowers in an LMS tender.
A sudden realisation that Eric Pass had secreted the urn for safe keeping resulted in a mad dash to find some kettles.
Lesley Nixon had hand made a blue curtain to unveil the marvellous plaque created by Simon Denvers. "Locally designed and produced in Glossop" said Theo proudly.
Matthew Cox was honorary Victorian Station Master for the day, greeting the guests.
Tracy Cupitt was on hand to welcome visitors to the new gallery, showcasing her work.
As the opening hour approached, the VIPs trickled in. The first of these was Councillor George Wharmby, Chairman of Derbyshire County Council, with his wife Jean. Northern guests including Mark Barker, Paul Spencer, Pete Gerring and Dwayne Wells, now joined the party. Steve Magner from TfGM, Dawn Wolrich and Paul Bigland from ACoRP, Mike Rose and Martin Smith from HPHVCRP were also in attendance. Mingling was on the menu, with good humour aplenty.
Pete Gaskell found time to speak to Mike Franklin of Network Rail about the significant improvements to the embankment and how FOGS could secure longer term access to it.
Just after 2pm, Lee Wasnidge, Northern Rail Area Director arrived and the opening ceremony began with a welcome speech to everyone. Especially welcome was Jimmy Melia, 89, a former signalman at Glossop. This was followed by George Wharmby's speech and the official unveiling of the plaque to mark the opening of the new waiting rooms and ticket office.
Framed copies of the opening poster, designed by Paul Marsh, were given to Lee, George and Jimmy as mementoes. To Neil's surprise, Jean gave him one too.
The invited guests then retired to the Station Gallery to enjoy the feast of cream and strawberries. In all, 60 people enjoyed the food.
Mrs Gladys Baxter, 91, and her sister Lily, 99, sat transfixed by the historical display created by Simon, and answered many questions by interested guests.
After a couple of hours of happy banter, guests gradually dispersed. FOGS received some very favourable comments about the displays and ceremony. All in all, an historic day for Glossop.
A great deal of effort has gone into the refurbishment and decoration of the waiting rooms. A big thank you to Derbyshire County Council and Northern Rail for providing the funding to make it all possible. As a voluntary group, FOGS hope the public also appreciate the work we do to make the station a more pleasant environment.
At 2pm today the waiting rooms will officially reopen, with the unveiling of the plaque by Derbyshire County Council Chairman, George Wharmby.
The first waiting room has been decorated by FOGS members, displaying the history of the station. There is also a wall showcasing the work of FOGS member Chris Strogen, who has been photographing our activities for the last few years.
The second waiting room is our local artists' gallery. This will be a showcase for the various local artists in and around Glossop. Hopefully Tracy Cupitt will make it if she can get time off work, as she is our first local artist to be featured! Still under development is the online shop where you will be able to purchase prints, helping fund our local talent and FOGS.
Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!
|Friends Of Glossop Station||