TWO Wirral railway stations are among 19 honoured for the work done by volunteers and community groups to brighten them up.

Hoylake, Meols and Ellesmere Port were presented with their Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards during a ceremony attended by the Mayors of Wirral and Ellesmere Port and the Lord Mayor of Chester.

Hoylake Station was named "Best kept station", the first time the top award has gone to a Merseyrail station.

Wirral Globe:

Mark Barker (chair of CBKS) and Michael Trippitt, Merseyrail station manager, with mayor and mayor Cllr George and Catherine Davies and Friends of Hoylake & Meols volunteers in Bloom at award-winning Hoylake Station

Meols Station won the Wirral Award and Ellesmere the Cheshire West and Chester Award.

Wirral Globe:

Mark Barker (chair of CBKS) and Michael Trippitt, Merseyrail station manager, with mayor and mayor Cllr George and Catherine Davies and Friends of Hoylake & Meols volunteers in Bloom at award-winning Meols Station

The awards were presented before almost 100 guests at The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich by Chris Jackson, regional director of Northern. Seventy people watched the event by live stream.

Mr Jackson said: "It is fantastic to be part of this celebration of volunteers and the local railway community, who through their incredible skills, passion and hard work, help to brighten up stations across the county.

"Our community partners are the heartbeat of the railway and we're extremely proud to work closely with them to deliver such a wide-ranging positive impact for the North of England."

Hoylake Station won the top 'Cheshire best kept station award'. Judges described it as "A busy and spacious station graced with a classic art deco station building, attractive and well maintained planters and some art work demonstrate a strong community involvement that not only improves this station but has led to Station Adoption groups forming at other stations on this line."

Meols Station won the Wirral Award. It was described as: "A suburban station that has been much improved with recent provision of lifts to provide full accessibility. The Friends group have complemented this with attractive and skilfully planted beds and planters."

Jan Foster of the Friends of Hoylake & Meols in Bloom said: "We were absolutely thrilled to hear Meols and Hoylake stations had won these amazing awards.

"Our teams really enjoy working on both stations. We know how important it is to provide people with a space to enjoy as they arrive and leave our lovely area especially during the last two difficult years. We would like to thank Merseyrail for all their support."

Ellesmere Port Station won the Cheshire West & Chester Award. It was described by judges as: "A well-maintained station with historic station buildings well looked after by the Train Company, and great community involvement through an active station friends group with interesting art work and well tended planting areas."

Garfield Southall, Chair of the North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership said: "Ellesmere Port has a bright, attractive station and the volunteer team there has worked wonders in making visiting the station a pleasant and welcoming experience. Congratulations to the Community Rail Partnership team and Merseyrail"

The Winners of the 2021 Cheshire Best Kept Stations:

  • Cheshire best kept station: Hoylake (Merseyrail)
  • Cheshire West and Chester award: Ellesmere Port (Merseyrail)
  • Highly Commended: Greenbank (Northern)
  • Cheshire East Award: Sandbach (Northern)
  • TfGM Award: Rose Hill (Northern)
  • Wirral Award: Meols (Merseyrail)
  • Halton and Warrington Award: Warrington West (Northern)
  • Chris Dale TravelWatch Award for Large stations: Stalybridge (TransPennine Express)
  • Best Staffed Station Award: Altrincham Interchange TfGM / Northern
  • Best Kept Gardens Award: Disley (Northern)
  • In Bloom Award: Nantwich (Transport for Wales Rail)
  • Highly commended: Knutsford (Northern)
  • Community Rail Network Award for Community Engagement: Romiley (Northern)
  • Art Project Award: Heaton Chapel (Northern)
  • Highly Commended: Alderley Edge (Northern)
  • CrossCountry Promoting Rail Award: Handforth (Northern)
  • Highly-commended: Alsager (East Midlands Railway)
  • Sustainability Award: Goostrey (Northern)
  • Northern Most Improved Station Award: Woodsmoor (Northern)

On announcing the Awards, Alf Clark of Cheshire Best Kept Stations said: "The awards evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers and community groups who do so much to brighten up our stations in Cheshire.

"You are all winners! - whether or not you pick up an award, this is a big thank you to you all; a party for volunteers and for those who support & encourage you; rail industry, civic leaders and local authorities. You deserve it.

"We can celebrate something to be truly proud of at so many of our Cheshire stations.

"We have seen some truly excellent work from volunteers and staff at stations right across Cheshire."