FAMILY and friends of dedicated volunteer Tony Icke attended a special event to mark his contribution to Chelford Railway Station.

The Friends of Chelford Station held a commemoration to celebrate the work of Tony, who died last October, by installing a new bench and plaque in his memory at the station.

Tony was one of the four original volunteers, with his wife Barbara and Peter and Heather Hammond, who did so much over 10 years to improve the station and were rewarded with Best Kept Station awards.

Tony was a railwayman through and through, and could always be counted on to work extremely hard, even when he wasn't feeling very well.

He was dedicated to improving the station for all who use it and is very much missed.

Northern kindly funded the memorial bench, which has been placed on platform 1 (Manchester bound) at the station.

The commemoration was attended by Tony’s family and friends and all the original volunteers, together with newer members of the group. Vicky Cropper and Pam Williams represented Northern.

The event was also attended by John Hulme, Mark Barker and Chris Dale of the Cheshire Best Kept Stations organisation.

Peter Hammond gave a short speech in celebration of Tony’s dedication to Chelford Railway Station.

He said: “Previously unknown to each other, we both attended a Chelford Parish Council meeting, where volunteers were asked for to tidy up Chelford Station.

“Tony and I put our hands up, and a few days later were invited to a councillor’s house and told what was expected of us.

“Our first task was to get to know each other. The first job was to convince our wives to help! This was the start of a friendship that lasted until the day Tony passed, and continues with Barbara.”

Mr Hammond thanked all who had made the improvements at the station possible, especially Pam Williams and Vicky Cropper of Northern, who he said had done a huge amount to support the volunteers.

Mr Hammond recalled: “Tony loved this station, and our work parties always ended around 4pm when it was tools away and watch the 4 o’clock freight, which we loved to do.”

Shortly after, the 4pm freight ran through the station, drawn by a Class 70 loco sounding its horn in tribute to a lifelong railwayman.