Volunteers transform Westhoughton railway station into one of most attractive in Bolton

Volunteers transform Westhoughton railway station into one of most attractive in Bolton

From left, station volunteers Stephen Freeborn, Cllr David Chadwick, Tom Briggs, Val Chadwick, Ted Wisedale, and Yvonne Woolley

Volunteers transform Westhoughton railway station into one of most attractive in Bolton

Westhoughton train station has been given a new look

Cllr David Chadwick helps with the clean-up at Westhoughton railway station

Volunteer Jim Orrell

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A DERELICT railway station has been transformed into one of the most attractive in Bolton in just 18 months by a band of loyal volunteers.

Friends of Westhoughton Station was set up at the end of 2012 by a group of residents who had grown tired of its wild, overgrown appearance.

With the support of neighbours, businesses and schools, the group of about 20 members has spent hours every Wednesday and on two Sundays a month working on the busy commuter station.

By planting trees and flowerbeds, carrying out litter picks, weeding and placing wooden animals on the steep station banks, a place once dismissed as “a dive” is now a source of pride for the town’s people.

The group’s chairman Stephen Freeborn said: “I don’t know what to say.

“I get a bit choked sometimes when people say aren’t you doing well. Well not really, it’s all these people that help us.

“Somebody has said to me that this is the nicest station and they have been all over Cheshire.”

The idea was put forward by treasurer Joanna Parncutt after she saw the success of volunteers at Hindley station The group handed out leaflets around Westhoughton in December, 2012, inviting people to a public meeting at the community centre.

The group, supported by vice- chairman Yvonne Woolley and secretary Val Chadwick, relies on donations, which include the hours of its volunteers, materials from businesses and gifts such as wooden figures, including animals and a large station master.

Karen Lawson, who lives in Westhoughton, said: “It’s a pleasure to get off here when you get back from a busy day in Manchester. It was derelict and scruffy-looking and vandalism round here used to be rife.

“When I bring the children they love it because something different has changed every time.”

The station has been unmanned since 1974, yet about 215,000 passengers use it every year.

And the group says its work is far from over.

Mr Freeborn added: “We’re at a stage where we’re planting and keeping it neat.

“It is almost like a social event for us as we have a good time and a bit of banter.

“I think I just looked at stations such as Hindley, which is lovely, and thought ‘why is ours so bad, I’m sure we can something about it’.”

Comments (14)

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12:10pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Howfen Ste says...

A big thank you to all involved. You've done a great job!!
A big thank you to all involved. You've done a great job!! Howfen Ste
  • Score: 16

12:33pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Ernagy2 says...

They've done a great job. Perhaps they could have done something about that wall.
They've done a great job. Perhaps they could have done something about that wall. Ernagy2
  • Score: 2

3:36pm Sat 26 Jul 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

My Nan and Granddad are volunteers here. Well done all!
My Nan and Granddad are volunteers here. Well done all! FreedomOfSpeech1945
  • Score: 6

4:07pm Sat 26 Jul 14

artistpaint says...

Well done great idea.its amazing what a little creative thought can do to cheer people up in these miserable times.
Well done great idea.its amazing what a little creative thought can do to cheer people up in these miserable times. artistpaint
  • Score: 7

4:08pm Sat 26 Jul 14

boltonnut says...

Wonderful job.
Wonderful job. boltonnut
  • Score: 7

6:08pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Lesmathes17 says...

I worked in Wigan between September and January. I got the train each day and can honestly say it was a pleasure to see the effort these people put in to keep Westhoughton and Hindley stations bright and cheerful. Well done to you all.
I worked in Wigan between September and January. I got the train each day and can honestly say it was a pleasure to see the effort these people put in to keep Westhoughton and Hindley stations bright and cheerful. Well done to you all. Lesmathes17
  • Score: 7

7:13pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Keaw Yed says...

Well done all. It is a pleasure now to use Westhoughton station.
Well done all. It is a pleasure now to use Westhoughton station. Keaw Yed
  • Score: 7

10:17pm Sat 26 Jul 14

jeffthomas81 says...

Great job. Very well done.
Great job. Very well done. jeffthomas81
  • Score: 5

11:39pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Bolton23 says...

Nice work! Used to look pretty mediocre
Nice work! Used to look pretty mediocre Bolton23
  • Score: 5

11:59pm Sat 26 Jul 14

nigella farrage says...

Fantastic work - both Hindley and Westhoughton are very pleasurable to pass.

I hope this motivates other groups to do Farnworth, Moses Gate, Kearsley and Clifton station as they look so very desolate and definitely un-cared for. Lets hope that within 18 months the Bolton lines will be all pleasurable to travel through and prove that it is not a stereo-typical "grim up north" town, which it has become in the last 15 years.
Fantastic work - both Hindley and Westhoughton are very pleasurable to pass. I hope this motivates other groups to do Farnworth, Moses Gate, Kearsley and Clifton station as they look so very desolate and definitely un-cared for. Lets hope that within 18 months the Bolton lines will be all pleasurable to travel through and prove that it is not a stereo-typical "grim up north" town, which it has become in the last 15 years. nigella farrage
  • Score: 3

3:14pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Wolfie190 says...

Thanks guys.
Thanks guys. Wolfie190
  • Score: 2

9:16pm Mon 28 Jul 14

danssoncabaret says...

Looks great, well done! x
Looks great, well done! x danssoncabaret
  • Score: 2

8:15am Fri 1 Aug 14

Exwin4 says...

Well done to all the volunteers who must have worked really hard to make it look so pretty. What a difference it has made. Thank you very much for giving up your time to do this. (Now if you could just come and look at my garden !!! Lol).
Well done to all the volunteers who must have worked really hard to make it look so pretty. What a difference it has made. Thank you very much for giving up your time to do this. (Now if you could just come and look at my garden !!! Lol). Exwin4
  • Score: 1

9:31am Thu 7 Aug 14

beautifulbolton says...

Fantastic. Well done to all involved!
Fantastic. Well done to all involved! beautifulbolton
  • Score: 1

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