Two men 'adopt' rail station with plans to make it more attractive

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the st

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the station. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Two men have made it their personal missions to breathe new life into a railway station and turn it into "somewhere that everyone in the town is proud of".

Brendan Gray and John Harwood have 'adopted' Wymondham Station and plan to spruce it up to make it more attractive and welcoming for visitors arriving by train.

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the st

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the station. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

They have joined Greater Anglia's Station Adoption scheme so they can work with the firm, which operates the station, to make improvements.

The view travellers see from the trains on their way to Norwich of Wymondham Station.<copy - Mar

Wymondham Station used to be a much more colourful place thanks to floral arrangements, and new adopters Brendan Gray and John Harwood are planning to bring back the look. - Credit: Denise Bradley

It comes after it was revealed last month that work could begin on accessibility improvements at Wymondham some time this year.

Mr Gray, 29, who lives in Wymondham and runs the Station Bistro on the same site, said making it more attractive on the eye could be key to attracting more people to visit, boosting the market town's economy.

He said: "I took over the Station Bistro in March last year and decided to adopt Wymondham station because I would like to see it restored to its former glory when David Turner used to look after the station."

Picture of David Turner at Wymondham station which has been nominated for Best Overall Station in t

David Turner at Wymondham Station which was nominated for Best Overall Station in the Anglia in Bloom competition in 2008. - Credit: Angela Sharpe

"I feel this is an important role as the station is the first thing many visitors to Wymondham see, so it is important to make a good first impression."


You may also want to watch:


Mr Harwood, 63, is an active member of the Mid Norfolk Railway and lives in nearby Morley St Peter. He is now retired and aims to put his gardening skills to good use at the station.

He said: ""My interest in railways goes back to 1968 when school holidays were spent at Wymondham Station, observing the variety of trains which existed then and catching the train to Norwich to watch the football at Carrow Road.

Brendan Gray, owner of the Station Bistro at Wymondham Rail Station. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Brendan Gray, owner of the Station Bistro and new adopter of Wymondham Rail Station. - Credit: Daniel Moxon

Most Read

"It is this historical interest plus remembering how the station looked under a previous tenure that has made me decide to be part of the Station Adoption initiative.

"I’m an enthusiastic gardener so I am looking forward to creating some flower displays in tubs and window boxes and supporting local wildlife with some nest boxes, insect hotels and wildflowers too."

Norfolk Magazine Cafe Society Brief Encounter at Wymondham Station.Photo: Nick ButcherCopy: Caro

Wymondham Rail Station in 2004. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Brendan Gray has adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the station.

Brendan Gray has adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the station. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the st

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the station. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Greater Anglia's customer and community engagement manager Alan Neville said: "I’m delighted to welcome Brendan and John to the Station Adoption initiative and look forward to hearing their ideas for brightening up the station and making it a welcoming environment ready for when the current pandemic restrictions can be lifted."

Wymondham Rail Station in 1989.

Wymondham Rail Station in 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

TV personality Bill Pertwee at Wymondham Rail Station

Dad's Army star Bill Pertwee relaxes during the filming of his 'Stopping at All Stations' pilot programme, in July 1993 - Credit: Simon Finlay


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus