Greater Anglia recognises Essex’s community rail ‘heroes’ with awards

Published on: Saturday, 22 October 2022
Last updated: Saturday, 22 October 2022

Essex community hero awards

Above: Greater Anglia station adopters at the awards event. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has recognised its volunteers in Essex who have been working to bring their local rail stations to the heart of their communities.

At the annual Station Adoption Awards ceremony, Neil Bromiley and Robert Fletcher, volunteers at Ingatestone station, received the ‘Best Personal Contribution’ award for their work to bring the station to the heart of the community.

They won the award for helping with a project to install history boards to inform visitors about the area’s past, extending their gardening activities to the car park borders which has transformed the area, keeping the waiting room stocked with useful information and helping the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership with various projects.

Their efforts also helped Ingatestone station to become a finalist in the Station of the Year at the National Rail Awards this year.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “Neil and Robert are excellent ambassadors for community rail and station adoption and we are so grateful to have them on board.

“They give so much of their time, helping to promote the railway and in keeping Ingatestone station looking fantastic and their efforts are hugely appreciated by us and the local community.

“They are extremely deserving recipients of this award and I would like to thank them for everything they do.”

Bob Barnes, volunteer at South Woodham Ferrers station was Highly Commended in the Judges’ Special Award for his tireless efforts and enthusiasm to drive forward station projects, such as the installation of history boards to inform people about the town’s past, the creation of station murals and working with a local charity, Greater Anglia and the Essex and Suffolk Community Rail Partnership to install a free water dispenser on the platform for passengers to use.

Rita and David Gibson were named ‘Best Newcomers’. They recently adopted Cressing station and won the award for their efforts to brighten the platforms with attractive planters and flower tubs and for creating a history board which is now on display.

Rayleigh and Colchester were jointly named the ‘Best Medium Station’ recognising the efforts of its station adopter groups to transform both stations - at Colchester with the installation of flower tubs, and at Rayleigh, for the project by The Friends of Rayleigh Station, the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, Greater Anglia and the Town Council transform a piece of wasteland adjacent to the station to create an accessible garden space for the whole community to enjoy.

Rochford was named the ‘Most Improved Station’ recognising the efforts of volunteers, Sophie Whiting, Susan Willis Green and Adele Sayer whose energy and enthusiasm has seen the station receive a floral makeover with flower planters installed on the platforms, and a warm welcome created at the station entrance with red, white and blue cascading flowers to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The group also has plans to create a wildlife garden next year.

Hockley was named the best staffed station recognising the work of it dedicated group of adopters who have done a huge amount of work this year to improve and maintain the station garden.

Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption initiative sees people getting involved with their local rail station to help bring about improvements for their communities.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said: “Our station adopters are real heroes who achieve amazing things to benefit their communities and make them better places to live with their enthusiasm to bring rural stations to life and restore their links to the communities they serve.

“The adopters know their stations and the needs of their community well and we are happy to support their aims through small grants and facilitating improvements.

“I am delighted that we can also recognise and thank them through the Adopter Awards - we’ve seen some fantastic and innovative projects this year and I would like to thank them all for their continued hard work.”

Essex rail hero awards

Above: Neil Bromiley and Robert Fletcher, Ingatestone station adopters. Credit: Greater Anglia


Above: Bob Barnes, South Woodham Ferrers adopter (left) with Greater Anglia's Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby. Credit: Greater Anglia.

Essex community hero awards

Above: Murals at South Woodham Ferrers station. Credit: Greater Anglia