Poets, planters and painters praised for making railway stations more pleasant places to visit

Commuters at a Birmingham railway station got a surprise when they were serenaded by a Black Country poet during a visit from the Mayor of the West Midlands.

Steve Pottinger was in Stechford to present his poem 'Pride of Place' which celebrates the work of dedicated community volunteers who are transforming their local stations across the West Midlands.  

Volunteers at Stechford and Coseley, like many groups across the region, make a real difference to their stations by giving the buildings a lick of paint, installing art works, landscaping the grounds and bringing community presence to the station platforms. They're making visits to the station a more welcoming and enjoyable experience for passengers.

Steve, who is part of the renowned Black Country group 'Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists', composed the piece to celebrate the work of volunteers and the celebratory ode will now be used in a volunteer recruitment campaign by West Midlands Railway.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, thanked the groups and encouraged others to consider volunteering at their local station. The Mayor said:

"I was delighted to be able to thank in person the volunteers who are working hard to transform Coseley and Stechford railway stations. I am sure their excellent efforts are also appreciated by the many rail passengers who use the station daily.

"A number of stations have been improved by these groups and there are many ways in which volunteers can help, from creating brilliant artwork to organising local pop ups and hosting coffee mornings."

Station adoption groups are springing up right across the region and West Midlands Railway is looking for volunteers for community activity and station adoption schemes across its entire network of 114 stations. Neil Langford from the Coseley station volunteers added:

"We wanted to make the station look good by getting rid of the trees, the privet and the weeds that were there and planting some really nice flowers, making it look colourful. 

"It's open to everybody, children have been planting bulbs. People's mornings are a lot brighter by seeing our flowers."

The call for volunteers comes as the train operator launches its Cross City Heroes campaign, to recognise community achievements along the region's busiest commuter route through Birmingham. Community engagement is being backed by the West Midlands Rail Executive which is responsible for leading the transformation of rail in the region.

For more information about station adoption and community activities at railway stations across the West Midlands, visit the West Midland Railway website.


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