Station adopters transform a disused boat at Cantley station

Thursday, 8 November 2012

An ex-Broads Day Boat, decked with winter pansies, was launched onto Cantley rail station yesterday thanks to a project by the local community, local businesses and train operator Greater Anglia who have worked together to create a unique feature on the station platform.

The station, on the Norwich – Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft Wherry Lines, has received a makeover thanks to the Friends of Cantley Station (known as FOCUS), lead by Robert Beadle, who have been working with train operator Greater Anglia to brighten up the station with flowers.

The platform now boasts a restored ex Broads Day Boat which was donated by the nearby Reedcutter Pub and has been transformed into a garden with help from British Sugar who helped to pull the disused boat out of the reeds and into the station car park and donated the topsoil for planting.

The team from FOCUS then had to cut the boat into three pieces to get it onto the platform before reassembling it and planting it to make an attractive feature.

The new station garden was officially opened on Wednesday 7th November at 11am when members of FOCUS, parish councillors and representatives from Greater Anglia cut a cake on the station platform and viewed the new garden.

Greater Anglia’s Partnerships Manager, Geraint Hughes, said, “Well done to everyone involved in launching this boat today. This has been a real community effort and the platform now boasts an interesting feature as a result of the adopters’ hard work. Usually when a boat is launched people say ‘Bless this boat and all who sail in her’, in this case we have to say ‘Bless this boat and everything that grows in her’!”

The adopters at Cantley have transformed the platforms at the station, cutting back trees, creating borders, rockeries and lawns and planting a huge area the length of the platform with flowers. Their efforts recently saw them come third for the Best Station Garden at the National ACoRP Community Rail Awards 2012 and achieve Highly Commended in the ‘Best Adopter Group’ category at Greater Anglia’s own Adopters Awards which were held in October.

Greater Anglia’s Adopt-A-Station initiative is now in its ninth year. The initiative has resulted in over 100 volunteers around the network adopting their local stations and reporting to the train operator about the standard of facilities at the station.

The Adopt-A-Station initiative is aimed at improving lines of communication between the train operator and railway station users, promoting and encouraging feedback about the station buildings and facilities to help ensure that they meet the high standards expected by those who use them.