Volunteers at Stratford-upon-Avon railway station were jubilant on Friday as they worked on their planned red, white, and blue plant display for the Queens Platinum Jubilee. The cause for celebration came as a much-needed water supply was restored to platforms 2 and 3 at the town’s station after the old supply was abandoned five years ago, since then volunteers have had to carry heavy cans of water over the footbridge from the station supply on platform one. Cllr Jenny Fradgley, leads the Friends of Stratford Station volunteers who tend the plants and landscape the gardens at the station, and she warmly welcomed the restoration of water via the new tap supplying platforms 2 and 3. The urgent need for this water facility to be restored was highlighted in 2020 but had proved difficult to progress given the limitations caused by the pandemic. In 2021, The Friends of the Shakespeare Line (FoSL), who support over 90 station volunteers at the 21 stations between Stratford and Birmingham became involved, with retired Severn Trent manager Fraser Pithie, Chair of FoSL, taking up the issue and liaising with Network Rail Birmingham and West Midlands Trains to help secure this much needed installation. Welcoming the new tap and water source Jenny said “It was just magical for the first time since Covid to meet up with our friends and co-volunteers from Forest of Hearts and Avon Support Services and what made our day was the installation of the long-awaited tap on Platform 2 & 3. I can't tell you how over-joyed we all were. This installation means that all our helpers can now come along in the Summer and develop the planting on platforms 2 and 3. These station gardening pursuits are highly valued as a 'coping with life mechanism' by the local organisations we partner with and we're so looking forward to welcoming their members back to our group.“ Fraser said “It’s taken much longer than we would have liked, but thanks to all involved at West Midlands Trains and Network Rail we have finally returned the water supply to platforms 2 & 3, this will enable Jenny and her team to do their magical work in making the environment so much more pleasant for the travelling public and critically, to be able to involve key support groups in the town." Fay Easton, Head of Stakeholder & Community at West Midlands Trains added “It was a Friday 13th with a great outcome, we are delighted that the water supply has been re-instated and are so grateful for the support for our stations and the travelling public from the local groups in Stratford. We're all looking forward to seeing the patriotic red, white and blue planting burst into life in time for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations."
Cllr Jenny Fradgley, Lead Station Volunteer fills the first watering can from the new water supply on Stratford’s Railway Station’s platform 2 & 3 with Fraser Pithie, Chair of Friends of the Shakespeare Line.
Cllr Jenny Fradgley, Lead Station Volunteer and the new water supply on Stratford’s Railway Station’s platform 2 & 3 with Fraser Pithie, Chair of Friends of the Shakespeare Line and one of the Queens Platinum Jubilee banners, designed by Creative Touch design at Henley in Arden, and that have been put up at all 18 stations between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham as well as Bearley and Claverdon.
Fraser Pithie, Chair of Friends of the Shakespeare Line and Cllr Jenny Fradgley, Lead Station Volunteer at Stratford’s Railway Station’s with one of over 70 Queens Platinum Jubilee planters and specially designed banners by Creative Touch design at Henley in Arden that have been installed at all 18 stations between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham as well as Bearley and Claverdon.