Octogenarian ‘legend’ is the pride of region at award ceremony

Published on: Friday, 18 October 2019
Last updated: Friday, 18 October 2019

A community hero has been recognised with an award for her energy and enthusiasm that has transformed a railway station garden.

Wrabness station adopter, Julia Prigg, received the Personal Contribution Award at Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption Awards on Friday (11 October).

Julia, 82, has been described as a ‘true legend for Wrabness’ for her involvement in and enthusiasm for village life, her community and its residents, and her decade-long commitment to transforming the once neglected station garden, ensuring it remains beautiful and welcoming.

She commented: “I was totally surprised and thrilled to bits to receive the award. It was totally unexpected but I love what I do. I’ve always loved gardening and love the social aspect of being in the station garden as there are always so many visitors – either people getting off the train to go walking in the area, or children coming to play on the pretend railway that runs through the garden, and people who come to just sit in the garden and enjoy the refreshments they’ve bought in the community shop.”

“I also keep an eye on the station and the lovely mural that was created by the Wrabness Art Club and I have two local schoolchildren who are helping me in the garden to work towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award. I should also thank Herman who mows the lawns. I only have a courtyard garden so its wonderful to be in the garden when he’s mowing and enjoy the smell of the cut grass.”

During the awards, Community Rail Partnership Officer Terri Ryland, said of Julia, “She is constantly moving, always enhancing the station garden, ensuring it looks perfect for everyone to enjoy, from local residents to tourists from afar, often working in the station garden from dawn until dusk.

“Julia gets involved in other community rail events, helps on our event trains and leads some of our guided walks, is an excellent advocate for community rail and is keen for everyone to play a part in the station garden. She is a true legend for Wrabness.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said: “Our station adopters are real community heroes who give so much time and 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.”

Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption initiative sees local people across the network get involved with their local stations to come up with ideas and projects that benefit their communities.

Also recognised were Gary Miller, who won the title of ‘Best Medium Station’ for his efforts at Braintree station to create stunning floral shows and the team at Bures who were named the ‘Best Adopter Group’.