DEDICATED volunteers who tend to the gardens at Frodsham and Helsby train stations are celebrating after they scooped awards in the latest Cheshire Best Kept Station competition.
Helsby was named Best Kept Station in Cheshire West and Chester for 2009 and Frodsham picked up the prize plaque for Best Kept Station Gardens.
An awards evening was held at the Northwich Salt Museum last month, when prizes were presented by Helen Carey OBE DL, who is chair of Cheshire Landscape Trust and vice chair of Keep Britain Tidy.
Both stations are tended by volunteers from the North Cheshire Rail Users Group (NCRUG) and they were congratulated by competition organiser John Hulme.
He said: “Frodsham station gardens were impeccable.
“These accolades go to the railway staff who work on our stations and the community groups who give their time freely to make our stations more hospitable, tidy and secure.”
The stations were officially adopted by the NCRUG under the Arriva Trains Wales ‘Adopt A Station’ scheme.
The groups visit the stations once a week to ensure the gardens are looking their best and the station is neat and tidy.
For nine years Frodsham resident Janet Briggs, NCRUG chair, and her husband Philip, have been mainly responsible for nurturing the town station’s gardens, and this is the second time their efforts have been rewarded.
Janet said: “It’s always lovely to win an award, but we are trying very hard to get new people involved.
“We put some time in and enjoy doing it, but we won’t be able to carry on forever.”
The plaques will now take pride of place on platforms fast running out of space in the wake of several recent awards.
Members of NCRUG – who monitor rail services from Chester and Ellesmere Port via Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn to Liverpool and Manchester – are preparing to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary this year with a series of special events, including a sponsored rail trip to Llandudno for members of Frodsham’s Will to Work Workshop.