Cheshire honours its Best Kept Stations

18 railway stations in the former county of Cheshire have scooped awards at the 20th Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards Evening.

Held on Thursday 16 March, the Awards were presented before 100 guests at The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich by Brian Barnsley, Deputy Chief Executive of Community Rail Network, the umbrella organisation for the nationwide community rail movement.

A framed print of the former Savoy cinema in Romiley by local artist Eamonn Murphy was presented to Mr Barnsley in recognition of his forthcoming retirement from Community Rail Network.

Altrincham Interchange was the overall winner, taking the ‘Cheshire Best Kept Station Award’. Judges commented that the winning station blends Victorian and modern architecture in a busy multi-modal transport interchange that is clean and well maintained, with friendly and welcoming staff and good information provision. The host of attractive artwork, planters, poetry, Jubilee displays and CRP-produced information and publicity shows how well the station is connected with town and community.

Rose Hill Station won the Community Rail Network Award for Community Engagement. The Friends group re-engaged with their community after the pandemic by reinstating their ever-popular Santa visit to the station, and taking a 100-strong party from the local primary school on a train ride, during which they learned how to use stations and trains safely.

Rachel Singer, member of the Friends of Rose Hill Station, said: “Thank you so much for the award we received for our work with the local community. I’m so pleased, on behalf of our group, to have this acknowledged – our events mean a lot to so many local families and involve a lot of sheer hard work on the part of our volunteer group.”

On announcing the Awards, Mark Barker, Chair of Cheshire Best Kept Stations, said: “We have seen some truly excellent work from volunteers and staff at stations right across Cheshire. Tonight’s Awards Evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers and community groups who do so much to brighten up our stations. You are all winners, whether or not you pick up an award tonight.”

On presenting the awards, Brian Barnsley said: “I am certain that community rail’s continuing strength lies with local communities getting involved. The Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards are a wonderful celebration of all the volunteers’ efforts, and huge congratulations go to all the winners.

“As has already been said, everyone is a winner here!”

Click here to view the full list of Winners of the 2022 Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards.