THE old London and North Western Railway
company has returned to Nantwich Railway Station - well, their company
colours have, at least.
And it is thanks to the
Nantwich in Bloom Committee who do such good work for the town in the
Britain in Bloom annual competitions.
As I have said before, that is
not to belittle the excellent work done by the hundreds of Nantwich
residents who toil very had to present a colourful picture of the town.
With the finance provided by
Nantwich Now Market Town Project, the committee have
provided the expertise
and time to create
three raised flower beds like the one in the main picture and two smaller ones like
that one above.
If you're worried about the bare
patch in the front centre of the larger beds, don't be. As Alderman Butterill, Chairman of Nantwich
Bloom, told me:
"The area between the shrubs will be planted with perennial herbaceous plants and in
October we will interplant bulbs of white narcissi to represent salt. We
hope the initial work will be completed by the end of May."
That work will include 10 hanging
baskets on the station "front" and each lamppost will have two
baskets. That's 34 in all - as Beverley Cope, Project Manager of
Nantwich Now, confirmed. See below.
The "front" of the station is, in fact, the rear of the
Bengal Station tandoori restaurant (right), which is now situated in the old
station buildings - and is currently
undergoing a refurbishment. (The
restaurant was later named Natraj - see the updated picture in
the Nantwich Now report below).
These buildings used to
house the waiting rooms, the Station Master's office, the ticket
office and goods department and, of course, that necessary requisite
for rail travellers, the public toilets. Unlike its larger
neighbour, Crewe Station, the Nantwich buildings didn't run to
a restaurant. The rather drab face fronting the platforms (pictured
left) will be brightened up by the railway company, Arriva Trains
Wales, who manage the station - again backed financially by Nantwich
Now. (See the panel below).
The idea is to put up large pictures
of the station in its hey day and the town in the now-bricked-up windows and doorways.
These should give the old
station buildings a very welcome bright face. Overall, the station looks
fine - more so now after the planting work.
Cope, Project Manager of Nantwich Now, told me: "The Railway Station project
will see much greater improvements over the next three months."
listed the work to be done as:
"THE old station building will be vastly improved and we will be
painting the station side. The owner of the
Bengal Station tandoori restaurant,
Mr Sharaf Ahmed, is fully refurbishing his restaurant and
tidying up the area generally. He has been a tremendous help on
the project and his co-operation has been exceptionally helpful.
(The restaurant was called Natraj by May 2008 - see picture
new cycle racks will be secured on the platform on the Crewe
line (the one on the left in the picture).
NEW side gate will be built to replace the existing rotten one
next to the restaurant.
walls will be cleaned on the main platform side.
paintwork on the shelters and lampposts will be redone and the
colour scheme modified to reflect Nantwich more effectively.
That is, a black and white theme with elements of the Arriva
branding still retained.
which highlight the station history .
Beverley told me: "Network Rail have confirmed that they have
set aside money for improvements generally to the
site. That is,
to those areas we cannot touch for Health and Safety reasons,
such as the footbridge and railings. We are awaiting a date when
this work will start.
to the ‘car park’ area: It is the intention to pursue major
improvement to the land alongside the station, which is mainly
owned by Network Rail, with the aim of a converting it into a
vastly improved car park area."
Finally, Beverly said: "The station project has been done in
conjunction with Cllr John Lewis (of Nantwich Town Council),
Nantwich in Bloom, Arriva, Cheshire County Council, Nantwich
Town Council, and Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council with the
assistance of the Bengal Station restaurant.
are all very proud of the progress we are making with this
project as it has taken some time to come to fruition and has
involved a lot of negotiation with a large range of people."
WELL DONE, to everyone concerned.
You should be very proud of all that has been achieved. As if
the above list isn't enough, Nantwich Now has been involved in
the new footbridge in the riverside (see here).