Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, with adopters and volunteers, attended the Association of Community Rail Partnership (ACoRP) Awards on Thursday 1 October 2015 in Torquay and won first prize in the category Small Projects Award – under £500 Sue and Georgeta, who were nominated by ESSCRP, were very excited and pleased to have been nominated. Wilderness to Wonderness is a fantastic project that demonstrates the good work that encourages community engagement around the branch line stations as well as promoting the lines and improving the station environment.
Harwich station garden had an amazing make over in just five weeks, Sue and Georgeta, Harwich Station adopters, set about the task and enrolled local people as volunteers to help out. The work started with clearing the garden which had a lot of rubble, ironwork and rubbish: it was cleared and the volunteers had endless trips down the local tip.
As the funding was limited the adopters were creative and placed an article in the local paper asking people to donate plants, generating an amazing response and the majority of the plants were donated by the public and volunteers. The garden has been transformed and is now a lovely place to pass by the look at and all of this was achieved for well under £500.
All aboard the Sea Shanty Train, where we'll be setting sail for the Sea Shanty Festival in Harwich. Now in its third year, this popular train features sea singing crews, activities, games and an enthusiastic team who will get you in the spirit for the fun that awaits you when the train reaches Harwich Town Station.
Our specially decorated carriage will leave Manningtree on Saturday at 11:00 and 12:00hrs and on Sunday at 11:26hrs - don't be late, as we cast off on time. You can find more information out about the festival at www.harwichshantyfestival.co.uk.
Because of the popularity, there are three trains running this year (two on Saturday, one on Sunday). Specially discounted train tickets are available at on the Greater Anglia Special Tickets webpage - click here to buy your tickets.
It's easy to forget as you ride along the branch line that there is a community built of lives outside of the station doors. Great Bentley is a great example of this with Britain's largest village green a stones throw away.
Great Bentley Green hosts many events through the year, from the regular cricket matches to carnivals, fairs and even the circus. People visiting the village by train are now welcomed with a fantastic range of flowers and a beautiful station garden thanks to our adopter Susan Wood, who became a volunteer in April 2015.