A NEW floral shelter has been put in place at an East Staffordshire town's railway station. A lack of shelter for passengers waiting for taxis and buses has inspired a passionate group of volunteers to build an environmentally friendly pergola with seating at Uttoxeter Railway Station. The wooden structure has been planted with climbing plants to create cover and fragrance and to provide habitats for insects and birds. The project was led by volunteer Mick Eyre, Environment Maintenance Manager for Stoke-on-Trent City Council for 31 years until 2007 when he won a Gold Medal and Best in Show for his Clarice Cliff floral bedding scheme at the RHS show at Tatton Park.
The pergola is decorated with imaginative paintings of mini-beasts created by pupils from St Mary’s First School in Uttoxeter.
The youngsters, from the Heath Road school, worked with artist, Tracy McGuiness-Kelly, on the project which was funded by the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership.
The pergola is set to be officially opened by Uttoxeter Town Mayor councillor Sue McGarry, and Mick Eyre, on Thursday, September 19 at 11.15am.
There will then be an opportunity for visitors to tour the station to view the artwork and gardens at the site.
Attendees of the official opening are set to include representatives from funding partners, East Midlands Railway (EMR) and Cross Country Trains. The pergola materials were purchased using a grant from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.
Councillor McGarry said: “The station is a very important gateway to the town and we are grateful to the Uttoxeter Station Adopters for their hard work in keeping it colourful, clean and welcoming.”
Before joining Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Mick Eyre was a civil engineer who learnt many of his skills from his master builder grandfather, enabling him later to build his own extension and summer house. He is a passionate gardener, inspired by his father who tended over 100 varieties of roses in the family garden. Mick opened his own Uttoxeter garden this summer and raised £405 for St Lawrence’s Church in Bramshall.
Mick said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with the other volunteers and with EMR staff on this project.
“The pergola will look lovely when the plants have grown up and covered it, providing cover for passengers when they are waiting for taxis and buses.
“I have enjoyed using my skills to complete this much needed shelter for the station.”
Mick joined the Uttoxeter Station Adopters in 2008. This is a dedicated and hard working group of station adopters who meet regularly to plant, weed and water the station flower baskets and beds and pick up litter.
To find out more about the station adoption programme and to get involved with adopting a station along the North Staffordshire route (Derby to Crewe) visit: www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/stationadoption.
North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP) was formed in 2005 and works to promote and develop the North Staffordshire Line (Crewe-Stoke-Derby) and to extend community rail principles across the wider area of Staffordshire.
NSCRP funding partners are Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Cheshire East, Derbyshire and Staffordshire County Councils and train operators East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains and Cross Country Trains.
For more information about the Partnership visit www.northstaffsrail.org.uk.
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We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
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