Makeover Day 2022

A huge ✨THANK YOU✨ to all those that turned out to make the Welwyn Garden City station Makeover Day a grand success. It was so lovely to be able to bring everyone together for the first time since 2019.

Andrew Chillingsworth, GTR Community Engagement Officer, joined us and said of the day:

It was great to support the ‘Welwyn Garden City All Aboarders’ with their makeover day. This group of volunteers do a wonderful job all year round, keeping the gardens and waiting rooms in an immaculate condition, providing a welcoming and colourful environment that is highly appreciated by customers and staff.

The All Aboarders volunteers were joined by GTR & Network rail staff, local councillors, rotary club members and new prospective volunteers. Together we planted out donated plants (thanks to Prisca for these), weeded, pruned, & watered.

The facilities staff brought their expertise to paint posts & troughs and put up new signs. This really smartened everything up and the new paint makes the plants stand out.

The station was also reunited with one of it’s original light up platform signs, kindly donated by Malcolm who saved it when it was decommissioned years ago. We are hoping to display this with our heritage gallery in the waiting room on platform 3/4.

Last but not least, a big thanks to the staff of Marchio’s cafe on platform 1/2 who provided drinks, pastries and lunch for the volunteers on the day.

If you couldn’t make it to our makeover day but would like to join us, you are more than welcome on one of our regular volunteer sessions. We meet on alternate Thursday and Saturday mornings, 10am-12pm. To find out more please Contact Us or join and message through our Facebook group.

Join our Makeover Day

Have you wondered about volunteering with us, or wanted to find out what it was like? Join us on the 29th June at the WGC Station for a session to enjoy the gardens, a spot of gardening and light refreshments.

This follows from a successful makeover day in 2019 which saw a great turnout, lots of tasks completed and a lovely day had by all.

Makeover day 2019

What? The All Aboarders and friends will be joined by GTR workers to perform tasks such as painting, planting, weeding and watering. All tools and light refreshments will be provided

When? Wednesday 29th June 2022 at 9:45am, for a couple of hours

Where? Welwyn Garden City Train Station. Meet at the shed on Platforms 1/2 North

Find out More: If you would like more information please contact us , read more about volunteering with us, or visit our facebook page

Spring Station Updates

The All Aboarders are back at the station after a winter break. We have got stuck in with a couple of exciting projects, as well as enjoying the beautiful bulbs that are coming up all around the station.

John Ystumllyn Rose

The group entered a competition to receive plants from Harkness Roses in celebration of the first rose named after a black gardener – 18th century Welshman John Ystumllyn. We were successful in our application and received 24 mixed colour roses, plus one of the new John Ystumllyn yellow varieties. Roses are a very traditional part of public planting in WGC so we are thrilled to continue this at the station. Work has begun to clear space to showcase these, with the first batch going into the raised bed on Platform 1/2 South. We plant these roses in celebration of the brilliant diversity of gardeners and volunteers.

New Beds & Compost

Last year GTR edged the beds on platform 3/4 using wooden sleepers which were then treated for longevity. These beds roughly follow the original layout of the station and will help us to establish more plants in these area. GTR also cut the huge hedges here back to more manageable sizes, which really showcases the lovely scots pines. We are now filling these beds with lovely local organic compost and soil conditioner from Equigrow ready for some new plants! As you can imagine the logistics for all of this on a working train station can be challenging, so many thanks to all involved in this operation.

Beds on Platform 3/4 after edging and pruning work – 2021

Christmas Tree Festival πŸŽ„

The All Aboarders have once again entered the Christmas Tree Festival hosted by St Francis Church, WGC.

Our Tree is entitled “On Track for Christmas” and is decorated with recycled items such as train tickets & pine cones

Please come along to support the event if you can –
Saturday 5th Dec 12-6pm
Sunday 6th Dec 12-5pm

Full details can be found on the flyer at the bottom of this page.

The living tree which we decorated for the train station waiting room last year was planted in a platform bed where it thrived. This has been carefully dug up and potted on to be used this year at the festival.

After the festival it will again cheer up the waiting room for travellers on platforms 3/4.

The All Aboarders would like to thank all our volunteers and supporters for another great year at WGC station, we hope all have a festive Christmas season and wonderful New Year!

Pruning Session

In preparation for some exciting work to install new bed edging we decided to give the larger shrubs, hedges and trees on platform 3/4 North some dedicated pruning. Within 2 hours we had generated 19 bags of green waste – a new record! All that hard work was rewarded with coffee at Marchio’s cafe on platform 2.

This work will hopefully allow the contractors to install the sleepers without having to chop anything back. See below for a sneak preview of the edging going in..

The spoils of a pruning session

Outing to Hatfield House

Last week the All Aboarders volunteers took a trip to visit the gardens at Hatfield House. We chose to visit on a Thursday as the usually private East Garden can be accessed that day. A number of us took advantage of the quick train from Welwyn Garden City and then started the day with a coffee at the Stable Yard shops.

The All Aboarders at the Elephant Dell

There are many gardens and areas to explore around Hatfield Park but the group favourite seemed to be the Elephant Dell. This is a quiet area in the East garden with impressive life sized elephant sculptures formed from welded horseshoes. They have winter jasmine growing through them which must look stunning in flower.

The Sundial garden by the Old Palace has a complex and interesting sundial with directions to places all around the world. Unfortunately we didn’t have strong enough sun to use it!

We bumped into a number of automatic lawnmowers keeping the grass under control all around the park, and met the head vegetable gardener (Bill or Ben? Spot him in the photos below).

Everyone had a lovely day out and we are looking forward to organising more trips for the group in future.

Photo Display at WGC Station

The All Aboarders have installed a display of heritage photos in the Waiting Room on Platform 3 at WGC Station. A display of 12 photos includes different views of the main station from soon after it was opened in 1926 to the when the Booking Hall was demolished in the late 1980’s.

Colin Bifield, AA Vice-Chairman says β€œWe want to show how the station looked in the 1920’s and 1930’s, through to a view of the ticket office shortly before it was demolished. The photos complement the Heritage poster which is also displayed in the waiting room. There are other photos of the railway in the local area. We hope that the display will be interesting to those passengers who remember the old station and to those passengers currently using the station. We intend change the display from time to time, as more photos become available.”

If you have access to any photos that may be of interest, please contact Colin on 07855 876732.

Pride Month πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

The GTR properties team paid WGC station a visit to install a special feature to celebrate LGBT+ Pride this month. The bench surrounding the raised bed on platforms 1/2 North has been painted with the the rainbow flag colours to boldly show support for the community from GTR, WGC station staff and volunteers.

After a beautiful display of tulips followed by poppies, the All Aboarders team have recently added multi coloured dahlias to this bed to complement the paintwork. The dahlia tubers were overwintered by the volunteers after being lifted from WHBC town centre beds and donated to us for use.

A Surprise Visit

During a regular Thursday work party in May the team were delighted to have a visitor. Jenny Saunders the GTR Customer Service Director happened to be passing through WGC station so stopped to chat and show her appreciation. We would like to thank Jenny for taking the time to engage with us and for her lovely words below.

Jenny chats with Lynda and the team


β€œIt was really lovely to bump into the All Aboarders during my recent station visit to Welwyn Garden City. The hard work, dedication and passion from the group is obvious to see and the planting and flowers all look amazing. I’d like to thank the entire team for all that they do to make the station a great place for our customers and colleagues.”

Jenny Saunders, GTR Customer Service Director

Throughout May the work parties weeded, dead headed and pruned back the winter and early spring displays. The tulips have really shone out during this time and were thoroughly admired.

Spring at the Station

As coronavirus restrictions ease we are able to resume gardening once more in small groups. We were pleased to find spring flowers in abundance and fresh growth peeping through. The tulip and hyacinth bulbs were donated by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council as surplus stock. The teams pruned and weeded the beds ready for new planting schemes to go in later in the year.