Great things have small beginnings.
Friends of Goostrey Station (FoGS) has worked tirelessly to improve our historic station, its facilities and the service provided to our village.
Opened in 1891, the station has witnessed much over its history, but since it became an unmanned station in the early-1990s it fell into disrepair and the previously award-winning gardens overgrown and unloved.
Most seriously, the rare and stunning Station Building was in extreme danger of being destroyed.
When the Station Adopter for Goostrey Station - under an adoption scheme through the then franchise owner Northern Rail - won an award of £200 from his employer Royal London Mutual Insurance Society based in nearby Wilmslow, he approached Goostrey Parish Council to suggest the formation of a Friends Group to utilise the money. The most pressing concern was the protection and ultimate restoration of the Station Building which was slowly falling apart. On 01 May 2012, at a meeting at Goostrey Railway Station between the Station Adopter, Crewe -Manchester Community Rail Partnership and Goostrey Parish Council…Friends of Goostrey Station (FoGS) was born!
Over the subsequent seven years, FoGS has punched far above its weight in terms of its achievements, which we are proud to say includes…
Four Cheshire Best Kept Station Awards
Five national ACoRP short-listings
One national ACoRP long-listing
…as well as securing significant sums of money (£170,000.00), with the much appreciated support of the Railway Heritage Trust, to watch ecstatically as the Station Building was beautifully restored to its former glory.
With the enthusiastic involvement of the local community, including the Primary School, Cubs, Beavers, Rainbows, Guides and young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards,, our Station is now a vibrant, cherished and pleasant place to be. And we look excitedly towards the future.
EXPLORE JUST SOME OF WHAT FoGS DO…
When Goostrey Community Primary School was approached about using a platform shelter for exhibitions, the deputy headteacher responded enthusiastically. For five years there have been displays with themes ranging from Going Places to the Queen’s 90th birthday. Goosfest, our annual Arts festival, included Rainbows in an Art Trail.
“Lovely to read whilst waiting for the train”
“Very interesting ideas from the children”
“Top marks for display and presentation”
“I wish our school did this”
FoGS secured the support of the Rail Heritage Trust. As the building is one of the last remaining Victorian, wooden, modular buildings complete with canopy in the whole country, the Trust agreed that it was worthy of being saved. They are providing £40,000 out of a total cost which we believe will be over £100,000.
And so restoration of the old ticket office started. In November 2018, Network Rail organised the replacement of the floor and in December the redundant electrics, internal panelling and ceiling were removed. Renovation of the outside of the building took place between January and June 2019 which, for budgeting purposes, overlapped two financial years. Owing to the proximity of the high voltage power lines, much of the exterior work had to be done during the night with ”possession” of the line so electricity could be switched off completely. The building is finished in specified heritage colours, principally green and cream as now, rather than in the livery of Northern.
It is envisaged that FoGS will be responsible for the decoration of the inside and the installation of new sanitary ware. Extra volunteers will be essential at this point. After that the franchise holders and FoGS will be seeking tenants for the building; the tenancy can be for commercial or for community use and for the whole building or a part thereof.
Thanks to Love Goostrey for some of the photographs below! Visit https://lovegoostrey.com.
FoGS meet every second Sunday of the month between 10am and 1pm at the Station. One thoroughly enjoyable task is gardening! We are slowly but surely transforming the garden areas, creating a stunning array of flowers, shrubs and hedgerows, as well as planters on the platforms overflowing with colour all year round.
Members of FoGS were delighted when a local resident recovered a large piece of sandstone which was originally part of the road bridge over the railway and was removed during electrification. The real interest was the carving on the stone. At the top are two shields and the letters M.B.R for Manchester Birmingham Railway. In the lower half is the name G. W. Buck and the date 1841, which is when the branch line from Manchester Store Street, later Piccadilly, to Crewe North Junction was completed. A local farmer loaned equipment when the keystone was lifted onto its new support on the Manchester platform.
An article in the local press led to the return of a metal and glass surround which shielded the wick of an oil lamp that was lit each evening by a porter. It was removed when electricity replaced oil and was retrieved by a relative of a former signalman at Goostrey. It has been restored and is mounted next to the keystone with an explanatory plaque designed by members of FoGS.
Members of the public have also been in touch and donated rare photographs of the Station and individuals who once worked there. We are extremely grateful for these precious glimpses into the past!
There’s two new banners mounted beside the platforms. The artwork is by Eamonn Murphy and the banner was commissioned by FoGS.
Chair of FoGS, Mike Jarvis said ‘The digitally produced images are part of a Community Rail project featuring iconic buildings close to local railway lines. Northern Rail chose two structures to represent Goostrey : the Old Medicine House, which is the home of author Alan Garner and his wife Griselda, and the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank.’
Several members of FoGS attended the launch exhibition in Manchester. All were impressed by the designs which are in a style reminiscent of the classic posters of the 1920s and 1930s. The aim of the project is to increase the number of visitors to the sites illustrated and also to promote travel by train.
Vice chair of FoGS Craig Sidebotham explained that, after discussion, Eamonn Murphy agreed to create a banner especially for Goostrey. FoGS members asked him to use images which reflected the stations along the Crewe - Manchester line. Hence the title of the banner is…
Thanks go to the volunteers who transported and erected the banners. But special thanks must go to Bill Macdonald who planned and made the wooden supports. FoGS members are also grateful to the owners of Blackden Manor who allowed one of the structures to be placed on their land.
‘What a privilege to have this special feature at our station!’ commented FoGS secretary Louise Willis.