Friends of Buxton Station challenge youngsters to write ‘positive and happy’ short story in prize giveaway

A Buxton community rail group put out of action by social distancing are challenging youngsters to write a cheerful short story about the town’s station.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 6:00 am

Dave Carlisle, a volunteer for Friends of Buxton Station, is asking young people to write a ‘positive and happy 50-word mini-saga’ to ‘make someone smile or laugh out loud’.

The community group have teamed up with rail operator Northern to provide free family rail tickets for winners - meaning a day out seeing attractions in Chester or Manchester once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

However Dave has warned ‘negative or nasty stories will not be chosen’.

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Dave Carlisle and Will Blake from the Friends of Buxton Station

He told how the idea came to him when it became clear all the groups’ planned projects would be postponed until late in the summer ‘at best’.

He said: “Listening to the Government's Covid-19 briefings I thought it would be great if I'd misread the signals and we could meet up with and work with folk but then I had another idea if not.”

Dave, who has worked with other volunteers for years to make Buxton Station more vibrant with artwork and other projects, wants teenagers and younger children to write a ‘completely happy story’ with a beginning, middle and end called ‘It Happened At Buxton Station’.

He said: “We want entrants to free their minds, beat the lockdown blues and simply be creative.

Joe The Guard - a statue made from scrap metal at Buxton Station

“It could be a story about someone leaving or arriving at Buxton Station, something seen or heard on the platform or something fantastic happening on the train - we want people to let their imaginations run free.”

Dave is asking young scribes to find inspiration for their tales by viewing photos taken at the station - such as Joe The Guard made of scrap metal, the Japanese Garden, the now-demolished maintenance depot or Northern trains on the tracks.

However Dave added: “The story could include anything writers want - dragons, unicorns, footballers, YouTubers, wine gums. Anything.

“They could write parts in the story for friends - especially those they’re missing.”

Buxton Station's now-demolished maintenance depot

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Dave is asking entrants to write the story as a Word document in Arial font, size 12.

They should include their age underneath to qualify for the three age groups - 11 and under, 12 to 14 or over-15.

However the community volunteer is asking young writers not to include their names or any other information when they email the story to [email protected]

The Japanese Garden at Buxton Station

All entries must be received by 9am on May 10 and winners will be notified by 5pm on May 15.

However winning rail tickets will not be sent out until Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

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Northern Trains at Buxton Station

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