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Friends of Glossop Station

Neil Williams on the station concourse

Since its formation ten years ago, the Friends of Glossop Station volunteer group has helped to transform the Grade 2 listed building into a thriving, bustling asset to the town.

As well as being an attractive hub for travel between Glossop and Manchester, it now boasts an art gallery, poetry platform, well-tended gardens and a popular coffee shop.

Glossop station was always an impressive sight, created from local millstone grit. It was built in 1847 as a private enterprise by the 13th Duke of Norfolk, Baron Howard of Glossop, but over the years, like many Victorian stations of its type, remained functional but fell into disrepair.

Then in 2006, local resident Linda Newman, decided to tackle an overgrown piece of wasteland at the side of the station.

She sought funding to create a raised flower bed and recruited a team of willing volunteers, which became the Friends of Glossop Station, to help build it and fill it with soil and plants.

Everyone was so impressed with the result that the group wanted to carry on with more projects. They continued by painting the adjoining metal railings which had a huge effect on the overall look of the station.

“We work closely with Northern station staff, led by Glossop Line Manager Theo McLauchlan, as well as other organisations including the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership. 

“It really is team work and it is great to see what we have achieved and to consider our exciting plans for the future,” said Neil Williams (current chairman)

As well as looking after the seasonal hanging baskets and flower boxes, the friends have recently worked with Northern and Network Rail on the installation of 14 Victorian-style cast iron lamps in the main concourse, bringing an authentic look to the station. 

Recent activities have included a royal-themed Teddy Bears’ Picnic to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, with free travel, refreshments and activities for families at Glossop, Dinting, Hadfield and Hattersley stations.

The art gallery is always a popular draw with artwork from different local artists throughout the year. Other attractions include the poetry platform featuring a range of poems to help visitors pass the time while waiting for their trains.

The Twig coffee shop, run by Mike Ball, has been a welcome addition to the station, opening all day from 5.45am until 7pm in the week for early morning commuters and slightly shorter hours at weekends.

Over the years, the station and friends have won numerous awards including Best Station Friends group in 2009 and Best Station Development in 2012. Then in 2015, a Highly Commended in the National Rail Awards and recognition for Friends’ floral designer, Bunty Gibson, on the outstanding volunteer shortlist of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships awards

There have been several highlights over the last decade but one of the most memorable was a visit two years ago by the Duke of Norfolk who was keen to see the work of his ancestors.

Neil said: “It was a very nice occasion and he seemed genuinely interested in the history and heritage of the station.

www.friends-of-glossop-station.co.uk