Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

Friends of Westhoughton Station

Westhoughton Station at outset - in need of tidying up About

A voluntary project that began in late 2012 and led by local resident and commuter Joanna Parncutt who was aware of a 'friends' group and project which had improved the look of and revitalised nearby Hindley Railway Station.

The idea was to bring together local residents and interested parties in an undertaking to improve the appearance and facilities at Westhoughton Station. Such improvements being: tidying up the area; clearing away rubbish; clearing and replanting borders and improving the general ambience of the area for people who use the station.

Work begins at Westhoughton Station with the Friends first work session - 2nd Dec 2012 Such a project would not only need willing volunteers to do the work, but also the co-operation of station owners Network Rail and train operator Northern Rail, as work would be being undertaken on private land with health and safety considerations.

Initially, commuters were targeted and the authorities approached for an initial meeting held on 21st November 2012 (Minutes) at The Communiversity - a well attended meeting that included a presentation by the Friends of Hindley Station, and showed a good level of support for the idea of improving one of our local stations. The first meeting not only provided impetus to form and constitute the group but also agreed a time for regular work to be done at the station - the first Sunday of each month.

First Endeavours

A further session at Westhoughton Station as the Friends clear and prepare a border - 3rd Feb 2013 Having attended a safety briefing with Northern Rail, and armed with bin bags, hi viz jackets and a borrowed purple bin down there for recycling cans and bottles, volunteers met up on a Sunday afternoon (2/12/13) for an initial assessment and clean-up. With permission pending from Network Rail to work on the banks, this was followed by another litter pick on Sunday 6/1/14 - litter grabbers borrowed from Bolton Council.

The second formal meeting of the group took place on Wednesday 9/1/14 (Minutes) at the Sports and Social Club (Reform Club) to discuss what Friends of Westhoughton Station want to achieve during 2014, how to promote themselves and further involve the community including local schools (invited to provide artwork to fill the blank white boards along the platform). A further clean-up and area preparation session took place on Sunday, 3rd February with the first plants planted.

Friends of Westhoughton Station plant their first plant - 3rd Feb 2013 Behind the scenes there have been meetings and contacts with people to help and facilitate the project. Issues such as licensing for access to station property, public liability insurance, funding and resources for administration, materials and equipment, as well as practicalities of doing the work are being addressed as the project takes shape. Additionally, the group has been in touch with local media to raise awareness for the project and cause.

Video

Video of initial work at the station produced by volunteer Ted Wisedale.


Work Schedule and Update

After a phenomenal start and good work done clearing out debris and preparing the borders, planting and adding features to the station, work began again for volunteers; a work pattern of first and third Sunday in the month, with summer Wednesdays - from 10am.

Friends of Westhoughton Station logo as designed by Sienna from St. Bartholomew's CE Primary School, Westhoughton. As the project developed the success and achievements of the group have become evident; one that has engaged the community and local businesses and received recognition in Westhoughton and beyond. A competition with local schools found a winning logo. In December 2014, the group was successful in getting some National Lottery funding, used to hire skips and buy tools for a 'big clean-up'

From getting a coat of paint on the woodwork, extra litter bins, the removal of a non-working phone, and agreement for an extra waiting shelter on the Manchester side, to removing large amounts of rubbish and debris, and planting numerous bulbs, shrubs and plants. A great difference has been made to the station. Special mention to local businesses - Darby's, Hardman and Cain, the Pottery Studio, Railway Motors, the Co-Op and Stateside Foods (Video - March 2015) for donating plants, artwork, ceramics and their time to transform the station. Residents and dedicated volunteers have been the driving force to this exceptional project. One of the challenges is working within the confines of sloping banks as opposed to flatbed areas and pathways.

Recognition!

The Friends of Westhoughton Station project has seen much media attention, however, in 2015 it was nominated and was a finalist at the ACoRP Station Awards (1/10/15), short-listed in the best station garden category. Attended by Chair Stephen Freeborn and Ted Wisedale, who presented photos and videos, the group missed out this year (Winners) (PDF).

Sunday, 6 December (10am), the Mayor of Westhoughton to present the Friends of Westhoughton with a 'Certificate of Achievement' for all of the work on improving the environment of the station.

Friends of Westhoughton Station welcomes and is grateful for the help of volunteers, and the support of local business in their endeavours to improve the station.

Westhoughton Station - clean-up and planting work 2013 - Friends of Westhoughton Station Westhoughton Station - clean-up and planting work 2013 - Friends of Westhoughton Station
Westhoughton Station - clean-up and planting work 2013 - Friends of Westhoughton Station Westhoughton Station - new features, bird box added - Friends of Westhoughton Station

Getting in Touch

Friends of Westhoughton Station meet regularly and carry out work on site on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Main contact: Stephen Freeborn (Chair).

For further information call 07970 582472 or email: Friends of Westhoughton Station.

They have a group website with a blog giving the latest news, pictures and video links showing the progress of the project.

See also their Friends of Westhoughton Station on FacebookFacebook page.

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Community Events

  • Social Distancing (Covid-19)
    In light of arrival of virus and advice given by Govt, all WCN groups and community organisations are having to suspend meetings and activities for time-being. End of year Civic Events such as Poppy Appeal / Remembrance Sunday (8 Nov); Schools Carols Services/Christmas Lights (27 Nov); Pretoria Remembrance (21 Dec) and Rotary Santa Float fundraising tours (7-19 Dec) cancelled or impacted. Programmes continue to be hit. Other news and updates on our
    Westhoughton.net Facebook Page.

    Light at the end of the tunnel. Small groups can meet indoors from 17/5. End of Lockdown 21/7?
  • Speaker Events
    Both Westhoughton Local History Group and the Rotary Club of Westhoughton have been holding monthly 'open' Zoom speaker events. See our Facebook for details.
  • New Support Services
    Two new services have commenced during Lockdown to support local community and vulnerable: Covid Assist and Westhoughton One Stop Shop.
  • Civic Awards
    Recipients of Westhoughton Town Council Civic Awards 2020 for service to the local community 2021 are David Kaye and Linda Winrow, who will also share the Harold Daniels Trophy. Presentation evening 2020 (25/1/20)
  • Rotary Club of Westhoughton
    In an unusual year with no Christmas Santa Float Tours possible due to Covid, Rotarians are pleased to report donations of £6,772 via 'Just Giving' for 2020 - grateful for public and business support. Money raised will help support local charities. Active on Facebook, they are using Zoom for 3rd Thursday Speaker events (open to all).
  • Westhoughton Library
    Did you know as well as books, computers and newspapers, your local Library provides Bolton Council One-Stop Shop services and is a base for many community groups and special events!
    Library currently closed. Community meetings and activities suspended. Libraries & Museums Service Review 2021 consultation underway.
  • Daisy Hill FC Fixtures (Home)
    League Division 1 North
    New Sirs (BL5 2EB)
    After Covid-19 resulting in termination of a decent season for 'The Cutters' in 2019/20, a delayed new season had begun with measures in place to keep everyone safe. After a further suspension sport is resumed.
    WCN has been providing community news and features for home game programmes.
  • Town Centre Masterplan
    Proposals for investment in Town Centre (Market street focus) reaches public consultation stage. Drop-ins at Library took place on 12 & 15 Feb. Closing date for feedback 23/3/20. Significant investment and changes proposed inc. Carnegie Hall and Town Hall. Final meeting conducted via Microsoft Teams (18/8). Revised plan now approved.
  • St. James Church (Daisy Hill)
    Heritage Lottery funded restoration work on the bell tower completed. Now off the 'at risk' register. Fascinating short about the project.
    1st Sat of mth (10-12) open for Grub Tub donations.
  • Bolton College Survey
    Adult Learning Provision in Westhoughton
    Wigan & Leigh College have a number of FREE online courses available aimed at wellbeing/public sectors to teach about mental health, leadership and social care. Adults >24, or 19-23 (see conditions).

    Prior to Lockdown Bolton Council and Bolton College consulting with WCN and other partners to reintroduce Adult Learning Provision to Westhoughton.
  • Tribute to Tony
    Tony Berry Tribute Concert at St. Bart's 22 Nov 19 - . £2,716 raised; shared between Cancer Research and St. Bart's Tower Fund. A bench in his honour at Ditchfield Gardens unveiled on 27 Sept 2019.
  • Hope Community Centre
    Central Drive
    Programme. Group activities and events; available for hire for community groups - also parties. 'Grub tub' available for Foodbank donations - 9:30am to 3pm on Mondays. Centre currently closed.
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