KNUTSFORD and Goostrey Railway Stations have scooped awards at the Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards evening, with Chelford Railway Station gaining a commendation.

The awards were presented before 160 guests at The Grange Theatre in Hartford by Professor Garfield Southall, Dean of Science and Engineering at the University of Chester and chairman of North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.

The evening was attended by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and 12 mayors from boroughs, town and parishes across Cheshire. Merseyrail were the 2018 lead sponsors of the evening.

Mark Barker, chairman of Cheshire Best Kept Stations said: “Tonight's awards evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers, community groups and rail staff who do so much to brighten up our stations in Cheshire.

“Knutsford Station won the 'Best Staffed Station Award' as it has a good mix of planter installations, photographs and art work, along with a clean and roomy booking office with very helpful staff.

“Goostrey Station won the ‘Northern Youth Challenge Award' because of its work with the Community Primary School, which provided an ever-changing art display in the platform waiting shelter encouraging parents and residents to visit the station.

“Chelford Station was highly commended for the ‘Cheshire East Award’ because of its good planted areas on both platforms and in front of the station. It is obvious the station is cared for by those in the village.”

All three stations are operated by Northern.

Cllr Peter Coan, Mayor of Knutsford said: “The staff at Knutsford Railway Station have always been a credit to the town and the Mid Cheshire Line. Their pleasant and helpful demeanour has been recognised with the fantastic Best Staffed Station Award. What a wonderful achievement and a big well done from the town.”

Mike Jarvis, chairman of The Friends of Goostrey Station (FOGS) said: “This is a reward not just for FOGS but for the children of Goostrey Primary School, our Cubs and Beavers in Goostrey, our D of E candidates and all our volunteers who work to improve our station.”

Peter Hammond from The Friends of Chelford Station said: “We are extremely proud of our local railway station and pleased we have been Highly Commended in these awards. Can I thank everyone in the village that supports our working group at the station.”

Sally Buttifant, Community Rail Officer for the Mid Cheshire Line said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the Knutsford award and awards to Northwich and Greenbank on the Mid Cheshire Line.

“We have Friends Groups at most of the Mid Cheshire Line stations, so I would like to take this opportunity of thanking them all for their continuing hard work, whether they have won awards or not.

“Our station staff should also be applauded. They make our stations more welcome in the communities they represent.”

Chris Dale, chairman of the Crewe to Manchester Community Rail Partnership said: “I am delighted with the Goostrey award and Chelford commendation as they recognise the hard work and commitment of the volunteers and railway staff on the Crewe to Manchester Line.

“All the community volunteers on the line give their time freely and are dedicated to making our stations more hospitable for those that use our local train services. We all owe them a big thank you.”