Friends of Buxton Station celebrate a decade of volunteering

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This month marks the tenth anniversary for the Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS).

The award-winning community organisation originally campaigned for better rail services, before turning its attentions to reviving the station environment.

Chairman Dave Carlisle said: “We were very lucky to be able to build upon the good work done by the previous members of the group.

“However, we have a very different focus and enjoy working away from the station because we are part of the Buxton community.

“We are very proud of our gateway to the town and want to make it welcoming to visitors: we all love Buxton and want to share it with enthusiasm as the town celebrates spa resort status once again.”

Initially run by Rose and Richard Neville, the group formed in the summer of 2009, holding its first meeting in the Old Hall Hotel that November.

Their initial pleas to introduce a half-hourly train service to Manchester, to clear away lots of self-setting trees blocking the view of the wonderful fanlight from the platforms and to improve parking at the station sadly were never met. By the summer of 2013, the volunteers lost their enthusiasm and the group gradually fell silent.

But in 2015 the group reformed and soon started to get noticed for its innovative and cost-effective projects, while increasing pressure for a half-hourly service to Manchester.

Dave said: “Interspersed with practical jobs like litter picking and repainting, we soon spruced up the station platforms.”

In 2016 the group won first place at the National Community Rail Awards for best low cost project, after illuminating the fanlight window with multi-coloured LED projector lights.

They repeated the award-winning achievement last year when their project to save a red telephone box from the scrapyard and relocating it to the station to house a defibrillator, was voted the best station enhancement in the whole country.

FoBS also won one of only four platinum awards given out nationally, for their gardening work with the stunning Japanese garden.

Dave said: “We are not content to rest on our laurels, there is more to come.

“Our station adoption plan for 2020 suggests over 25 local projects we could get involved with, but in reality we will focus on six or so achievable and worthwhile ideas.”
Over this last year, FoBS have concentrated on community-based work, involving local organisations not often associated with rail travel.

Always willing to work away from the station boundaries, the group has just completed a collaborative project with Buxton Lions to restore a dozen vandalised memorial bench seats.

Turner’s Memorial also features in their next project, a seasonal sing-along with Burbage Band.

Dave said: “There will be lots of good old favourite yuletide songs, and Christmas carols will be played by the band to kick-start festive celebrations from 6pm to 7.30pm on Friday, December 13. A poor weather back-up venue will be available.”