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Tuesday 25 January 2011

Cheshire East railway stations honoured


It is full steam ahead for six Cheshire East railway stations saluted at an annual awards ceremony.

The sites were among the winners in the Cheshire Best Kept Station competition, in which 13 awards were bestowed throughout the county.

The overall area winner for the Cheshire East-sponsored award was Holmes Chapel, while Crewe was judged ‘best staffed station’ and Nantwich had the ‘best kept gardens.’

Handforth received the ‘tidiest station award’, Knutsford was given the ‘youth challenge award’ and the Cheshire community award went to Chelford at the ceremony, held at the Weaver Hall Museum & Workhouse, in Northwich.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “I am delighted that our railway stations have been recognised once again in this way.

“It is testament to the hard work of those in the community who help to keep our stations attractive and well used and to the staff, who provide a top class customer service to travellers.

“This contributes to our overall aims to enhance the Cheshire East environment and to work with others to improve community life.”

The Cheshire East award was given to Holmes Chapel in recognition of the work carried out by Northern Rail station supervisor Graham Blake. His passengers are on first-name terms with him and enjoy a self-styled waiting room complete with a ‘traveller’s library.’

The accolade for Crewe, which is managed by Virgin Trains, reflects best customer practice and Nantwich’s award was in tribute to the partnership between Nantwich in Bloom and Nantwich Town Council.

There are raised flower beds made from sleepers, planters and hanging baskets, which are regularly weeded, watered and dead-headed.

Handforth won its award through the efforts of station staff and voluntary group Friends of Handforth Station.

Knutsford’s award recognises youth involvement at its station. Through creative partnership working with Knutsford High School, Northern Rail, the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership and Mid Cheshire Rail Users’ Association, the station has its own art gallery, planted gardens and provides a welcome to those visiting the town.

Chelford was awarded for community involvement at the station. A handful of dedicated volunteers, with support from their parish council and local businesses, have transformed it into a first-class railway station.

The awards were presented by Michael Trevor Barnston, chairman of Cheshire Crimebeat. For more information, visit

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