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.