Hunmanby Railway Station has been entered for many years as part of Hunmanby In Bloom's village bid to both Yorkshire in Bloom and Britain in Bloom. More recently the village station has entered Scarborough Borough Council's 'All Much & Magic Awards' receiving a Silver Gilt and Gold. Support has been given from the start back in 2006 by Sheila and Roger from Scarborough Borough Council, dedicated officers to community involvement and improving the environment in the Borough of Scarborough. Without their support and encouragement many projects at the village station, Hunmanby village and other villages in the Scarborough Borough would not have happened.
Northern Rail have been supportive from day one. Their enlightened staff are pioneers in community involvement in the rail industry. Hunmanby Railway Station is part of the National Rail Network, looked after by Network Rail, between them, they have opened up village stations, welcoming community involvement. This in turn has benefits, helping to reduce crime and anti social behaviour, through community ownership. The new Northern Rail franchise has put in place a generous community support package for stations. As part of this Franchise Commitment, Northern Rail wished to see adoption groups at as many of their stations as there is community interest. The formation of the friends group saw Richard their community officer real off a list of support that Northern could provide, ranging from a trip out for a class from the village school on the local line to funding for the history group to produce display boards. Generous funding has been provided each year for flower, wooden barrel replacement and bulbs.
Eileen, was a founding member of Hunmanby in Bloom, over 15 years ago, though no longer living in the village, Eileen is in the photograph taken on that winters day in 2006. Through her hard work, enthusiasm, a start was made at the village station to 'brighten the place up'
David, long standing retired member of Filey Town Council, former Mayor. David worked very hard to promote and retain the local railway line through Hunmanby and Filey, especially in the 1980's and 1990's a time of 'managed decline' on the railways, especially in rural areas. It was an era of rising car ownership, the line north of Bridlington to Seamer Junction through this period was always likely to be a closure candidate. Through the efforts of Filey Town Council and Scarborough Borough Council, Filey's historic station building were retained and restored (Grade II* listing) David is seen here at the launch of the new hourly service at Hunmanby Railway station in May 2019.
Above Photo: John is to the right, the flower displays won many awards, creating the best 'gateway' into Bridlington
John Sadler sadly died less than a year after his retirement from the Station Buffet at Bridlington Railway Station, which he had run since 2003. While the traditional station buffet was a gem, the flower display John developed over the years was an inspiration and trail blazer for other station groups. Northern Rail were pioneers in community involvement and welcomed the passion John had with these simple 'good doers' His flowers were not flash and exotic but the humble bizzy lizzie, trailing blue lobelia, and geranium, that produced a wow factor. John would modestly mention 'he was not a gardener and knew nothing about plants.' The same reliable plants each year, supported by Northern Rail, but the display just got bigger. It was the sheer scale of the vertical display, that spread around the whole of the concourse, that made the Railway Station, the gateway to Bridlington. (The display also extended to the outdoor area in front of the station.) These very traditional flowers of the English summer thrived in what was Bridlington Stations answer to Chelsea Flower show, but it was free, and under cover and a much longer season! The display John put together showed how gardening was for everyone, balm to the soul, and had such a calming effect on those who visited the station. Hidden under thousands of flower heads were hundreds of pots and an irrigation system extended and developed over the years of John's tenure. John as well as looking after the station buffet and flowers also volunteered for many years as the Chair the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership which has helped to raise the profile of both the Yorkshire Coast and its rail service. The Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership was the most successful in the country under his chairmanship, with over 120 members & winners of the best railway promotion project. He regularly hosted visits from charity groups & helped with many fund-raising activities. John was a trail blazer in transforming a railway station in flowers. The local Northern managers of the time embraced and encouraging his amazing flower displays, it was definitely 'not the norm' on a railway station! For John, it was with a sense of great pride that Northern Rail held its first Community Rail Partnership and Volunteers trip to Bridlington, when John & his team fed over 500 guests, as Northern ran 2 special charter trains from all over the North for its first community rail event. This event gave confidence and inspiration to station groups throughout the north. Northern Rail look after 480 railway stations, 20% of the nation's total. 80% of which have a local adoption group, who have made their local station a community asset.
The Station Buffet was an institution, with its own cat, and railwayana decorating all the walls. There were once Refreshment Rooms at all the larger stations, in 1969 over 100 were listed. Few now remain, let alone in their original condition. Bridlington Station Buffet was to the Yorkshire Coast what Stalybridge Station Buffet is to Manchester and the North West.
Link to the BBC website, historic cafe up for sale.
Pictures above and below thanks to David.
Picture below, John is in the photo taken back on that winters day in 2006 which started the transformation of Hunmanby Railway Station