New adopters join the team at Reedham rail station

Reedham rail station will receive extra care and attention from community volunteers, as two new station adopters join the existing team.

Local residents, Catherine Ford and Colin Brown, are joining Mike Stoker, Mike Warner and Ann Thompson to help out at Reedham, and, as well as tending the station garden and seeking sponsorship from local business, they have big plans to bring one of the disused station waiting rooms back into use to tell the story of the Norwich – Great Yarmouth line, the first railway in Norfolk.

The team plans to start restoring the old waiting room on the Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft bound platform, which was built in the late Victorian era, later this summer. The room will be painted in LNER heritage colours and will be used to display old photographs, information and memorabilia about the railway line.

In the meantime the newly expanded team will concentrate on keeping the station gardens and car park in pristine condition.

Adopter, Mike Warner, has landscaped the gardens, stocked the leaflet racks with information, kept the station clean and tidy and tended the flowers for the past eight years. He has been assisted by Mike Stoker, who has connections with the station since childhood, for the past four years.

Last year, the adopters installed three bright murals on the disused station buildings depicting scenes of coast and countryside, reflecting the diverse landscape that the line runs through.

The murals, along with flower tubs, landscaping of the station garden areas and the decorating of boarding to look like station windows, create the feeling of a thriving and well-kept station and a pleasant atmosphere for passengers as they wait for trains.

Mike Warner commented, “We are really grateful to everyone who has donated plants which has helped us to create our extensive station gardens. We have a lot of plans for the station and will continue to work with Abellio Greater Anglia to bring about further improvements in the future.”

Plants and hedging have been donated by Broadland District Council, the Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Pettits Animal Adventure Park and NENTA Train Tours.

Abellio Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, James Reeve, said, “I’d like to welcome the new team members at Reedham. The station continues to go from strength to strength thanks to this huge community effort and we are very grateful for all their hard work and creative ideas that have transformed the station.”

The ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme started in 2003 and enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its presentation and welfare for the benefit of the local community.

The voluntary scheme was originally created to improve lines of communication between the train operator and station users however, over the years it has grown to become much more, with station adopters now playing an active role in keeping stations looking good through inventive gardening projects, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’ or being the eyes and ears of their station.

Over the years, station adopters have also played a key role in raising money for new initiatives, such as improved waiting facilities or planting beautiful station gardens.

Abellio Greater Anglia now has over 183 adopters at over 90 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

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