Two men 'adopt' rail station with plans to make it more attractive
- 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.
They have joined Greater Anglia's Station Adoption scheme so they can work with the firm, which operates the station, to make improvements.
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."
"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."
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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.
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"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."
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."