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  • Friends of the Shakespeare Line

Blooming Display Along The Shakespeare Line

To mark World Polio Day, which took place on Saturday 24th October, a splash of colour has been added to The Shakespeare Line by planting an impressive 8,000 purple crocus corms.


The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary International’s fight to eradicate polio throughout the world and Rotary International has partnered with the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the past 26 years to help make the world polio free. The local connection to this global cause is through Vivienne Wilkes, the Lead Volunteer at Yardley Wood Station and President of the Rotary Club of Birmingham.


The Shakespeare Line station adopters all joined forces with Vivienne to plant the crocus

corms all the way down the West Midlands Railways Shakespeare Line - from Small Heath to Stratford upon Avon and the plants are set to bloom in spring 2021, creating a stunning purple display for rail passengers to enjoy.


Vivienne Wilkes, commented: “As a volunteer gardener at Yardley Wood Station and

president of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, there was a natural fit with planting purple crocus corms along the Shakespeare Line and we hope passengers will have added enjoyment to their journeys once these beautiful flowers bloom.”


As part of the campaign, Friends of the Shakespeare Line have pledged to donate £500

towards the End Polio Now Campaign, and all donations are set to be tripled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and this will help 3,750 children across the world receive vital Polio vaccine.


Fraser Pithie, from Friends of the Shakespeare Line, commented: “Vivienne is an energetic station adopter for Yardley Wood and this year she has ensured that all of our Shakespeare Line stations can take part in this worthy charitable cause to support the global efforts to end polio.


“We are delighted to be part of this activity and we’re all looking forward to seeing the purple splash of colour next spring as the bulbs come to flower.”


Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway, adds: “It has

been an honour to work with Vivienne to help involve our railways in this global venture and our volunteers are delighted to be planting the purple corms as we all look forward to brighter times next Spring and this welcome splash of colour.”


With one station adopter representing each station along the line, including Vivienne Wilkes President of Birmingham Rotary International and also station adopter at Yardley Wood, a total of 17 Shakespeare Line Station Adopters pictured at Stratford upon Avon Railway Station on World Polio Day having receiving their purple crocus corms from Rotary International which will now be planted at every station along the route between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon.
17 Shakespeare Line Station Adopters pictured at Stratford upon Avon Railway Station

Image: With one station adopter representing each station along the line, including Vivienne Wilkes President of Birmingham Rotary International and also station adopter at Yardley Wood, a total of 17 Shakespeare Line Station Adopters pictured at Stratford upon Avon Railway Station on World Polio Day having received their purple crocus corms from Rotary International which will now be planted at every station along the route between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon.



For more information please contact:

Fay Easton – Head of Stakeholder & Community for West Midlands Railway

Mobile: 07944 189436

Fraser Pithie – Friends of the Shakespeare Line

Mobile 07976 932762


About West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.

  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.


For more information on these services

visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk.