Joy as Orrell rail station scoops top title at In Bloom awards

Rail passengers have known for some time just how blooming lovely Orrell station is, but now it is official.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 2:50 pm
Ann and Bill receive the award from a representative from the sponsors Jigsaw Homes Group

The Friends of Orrell Station were celebrating after their work was awarded a Level 5 Outstanding grade and overall Best Railway Station for their RHS North West in Bloom entry.

The volunteers were brought together by Orrell resident Bernard Lundy and have been working on the station at Church Street for two years.

Several members of the 18-strong group are retired and each person brings a different strength to the team, from gardening skills, construction, engineering and health and safety.

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Ann Miller, one of the volunteers, said: “This was our first entry into the competition, so we are absolutely delighted with the result.

“To attain an outstanding grade, several criteria had to be fulfilled to a very high standard, covering horticulture, environment and community.”

The group has spent more than 1,600 hours on station business, from working parties on Sundays who clean up and garden, to construction parties who have cleared rubbish and weeds, built fences, steps and soil beds.

Ann said: “We’ve installed planters, benches and hay baskets to brighten the area and are in the process of planting nearly 3,000 bulbs for next spring and future years.

"We’re inspired by this challenge and have found most problems can be solved using recycled materials, even parts of the old shelters when they were replaced last winter.”

The team have been supported by funding from Orrell Cricket Club and Orrell and Billinge Community Network, all of which means they can undertake large projects with good quality equipment and materials.

Ann’s husband Bill added: “Funding is precious because it allows the group to spend money to make the train station a brighter and happier place.”

The group decorate the station for the seasons, Remembrance Day and Christmas.

Future plans include a flagpole and an art installation which Newfold School are actively involved in planning.

Follow Friends of Orrell Station on Facebook for updates on their work and plans.