On track for revamped station

Friends of Orrell Station
Friends of Orrell Station

Community-minded residents are coming together to transform a train station into a blooming brilliant wonderland.

The Friends of Orrell Station has been formed to tidy up the grounds of the Church Street station, install floral displays and planters and get local groups volunteering.

The group has been inspired by the efforts of volunteers at stations in the borough like Hindley and says the place where Orrell joins the rail network could do with a tidy up.

More than a dozen people have already expressed an interest in joining and the Friends are in the process of working with Arriva Rail North to officially adopt the station. Former Orrell rugby union captain Bernard Lundy, one of the residents who got the initial idea off the ground, said: “The station could be considerably better than it is.

“You are looking to go into Manchester for a day out or wherever you’re going and it’s a bleak, forgotten kind of place near Orrell.

“When you travel on the trains you go through stations like Hindley, Westhoughton and Appley Bridge and see what can be done.

“We want to tidy up the station, get schools involved, put planters out and get community groups like adult learners doing jobs to improve it for everyone.

“If you stand at the station and say it’s a pity that certain things haven’t been done everyone will join in those conversations. It just needs someone to move it forward.”

Bernard says he and the other founders want to keep the group’s ideas fairly open so Orrell residents joining the group have the chance to say what they would like to see done at the station.

The project has already been given some tips from the award-winning Hindley station group and hopes to have another meeting with Arriva Rail North to finalise the arrangements.

A meeting is also being planned for the end of January in Orrell to get more residents on board at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Bernard said: “We’ve had a good response so far and had a lot of verbal responses too.

“People talk about it being lost but Orrell is a good community. Sometimes it needs someone to pull it all together to do beneficial things.”

Anyone interested in joining the Friends or finding out more should email bernard.lundy@blueyonder.co.uk or annemarsh24@hotmail.com.