It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

All Aboarders gardening volunteers had their last regular gardening session last week. Now we are taking a break for a couple of months. But we are still busy!

You can see us at the St Francis Church Chistmas Tree Festival on the afternoons of Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December with our eco-themed entry “The Tree on Platform Three”. Here’s a sneak preview …

All Aboarders would love to see you at the Christmas Tree Festival. Proceeds go to the Church and to the First WGC Scout Group. Please support these good causes.

We wish all our volunteers, donors, sponsors and partners all the best for the festive season.

Recognition from Community Rail

Following closely on success in Anglia in Bloom, All Aboarders are now the proud holders of a Silver Certificate of Excellence from Community Rail. At a Gala Dinner on Thursday 3 October, Lynda Cowan, Chair of All Aboarders, received the certificate from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) in the category It’s Your Station 2019. This is a remarkable achievement amidst stiff competition for our gardening project on WGC station, which is only just over 18 months old.

All Aboarders All Abloom

Welwyn Hatfield are celebrating an ‘exceptional’ haul of awards in Anglia in Bloom 2019. The awards ceremony took place on 10 September. See the report by the Borough Council here.

All Aboarders was pleased to share in a Special Award shortlisting for Industrial/Commercial Area, a City Category Award (silver) and an Urban Category Award (gold), all of which went to Welwyn Garden City Town Centre. The judges made a point of commending the work of All Aboarders volunteers in helping to brighten up WGC train station.

All Aboarders’ chair, Lynda Cowan, commented after the awards ceremony:

“What we have achieved in 18 months with volunteer effort and income of less than £1500 – in the form of small donations and grants (none from WHBC) – is truly remarkable”.

This echoes a recent Community Rail report on the All Aboarders project, which said:

“This is a fairly rare example of a group working on a very busy station close to London and what has been achieved is all the more remarkable as they have only been active here since spring 2018. There is potential for further work and the group is well aware of the need to plan ahead for at least a decade to ensure continuity and sustainability.”

Thanks to the continuing support of our sponsors, the station planting is still looking splendid despite the arrival of autumn and the continuing drought. In the short term we are planning our autumn/winter planting, and we are indeed starting to plan ahead.

In all, Welwyn Hatfield took home three ‘Special Awards’ after the judges shortlisted 10 local initiatives against hundreds of entrants from across the region, and then went on to claim two bronze, three silver and two golds in the ‘Category Awards’. One of the golds was for Sherrardspark Woods which also won a best in the region accolade for a Large Woodland. All Aboarders congratulates the Sherrardspark Wood Warden volunteers.

Shortlisted for Community Rail 2019 silver award

We were thrilled to learn this week that we have been shortlisted for a silver award by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, in the category It’s Your Station. This comes as All Aboarders is barely 18 months old.

 

Now in their 15th year, Community Rail Awards celebrate the important and often unsung work carried out by community rail volunteers, partnerships, station friends and community groups, in bringing local people together, running community engagement and rail accessibility initiatives, and helping communities get the most from their local railway lines and stations.

We heard the welcome news just a week after a very successful gardening event at Welwyn Garden City station held with rail company GTR Great Northern. We had a fantastic morning working on the station, building on what we have already done. We are grateful to GTR who provided six new flower troughs with plants to go in them. The existing six troughs were donated by local organisations Smart10 and Digswell Community & Gardening Project.  We were all very pleased with our efforts on the day and we had fun into the bargain! The station platforms are gradually being restored to their former glory.

Gardening event 31 July 2019

 

We joined forces with staff from GTR Great Northern and representatives of sponsors, donors and partners on Wednesday 31 July for a gardening event. We planted up no less than six big planters, supplied by GTR. We now have 12 planters! Work continued refreshing the existing flower beds and troughs.

About 30 people attended, including guests who represented Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City, Garden on a Roll, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and private donors.  It was a productive morning with much gardening and painting activity, fuelled by refreshments provided by Marchio’s café on Platform 2.

We had a fantastic morning working on the station, building on what we have already done.  We are grateful to GTR who organised the event and provided the six new flower troughs with compost and plants to go in them. The existing six troughs were donated by local organisations Smart10 and Digswell Community & Gardening Project. We were all very pleased with our efforts on the day and we had fun into the bargain!  The station platforms are gradually being restored to their former glory.

One of our private donors said:

The station itself is really looking cared for, and as the work continues, it will be a special feature for the WGC Centenary. Keep up the good work, All Aboarders, it is a pleasure to see”.

WGC Station Manager Will Buck was also enthusiastic:

“It was fantastic to see GTR, All Aboarders and the community come together to install new planters and spruce up Welwyn Garden City Station. We at GTR are excited to continue to grow and nurture the relationship between ourselves and the community.”