This is our second team update covering the period October – December 2023, we hope you will find it informative.
Paul, Daphne, and Karen (Rob is incapacitated at the moment and definitely missed) and Barrie comes and assists when he can or indeed when the weather allows any of us to actually get our hands dirty!
As the weeks go by there is never a dull moment at the station with always something to keep us busy, the final bits of mowing, strimming, and tending plants, trimming back, always there for us to do.
By early October Paul and Barrie had made good progress on the area behind the overgrown gorse bushes which were covering the old Platform 2 “edge” which butts up to the mesh fence, beyond which is the golf course. It was very overgrown and lots of trees from the golf course were growing onto the railway side. These were gradually cut back opening up the old platform edge walkway behind the gorse bushes that grow outwards towards Platform 1, as you can see from the pictures below. It took many weeks to clear it but it’s now safely accessible.
Daphne at this point was tending the beds along with Karen, which ensures they always look full of colour as a result of the layout and the plants used.
By the end of October, we were into our “Peace” theme and began to deck out the station tastefully with our Remembrance commemoration poppies
During November Paul and Barrie managed to do some more trimming back of overgrown trees and bushes on the old Platform 2 side. Lots of logs accumulated and the surface vegetation which just skimmed off quite nicely in places. Some trees had grown out of the original surface. We did manage to have our tea break though with a bit of train watching! Karen had been tending the flower beds and trimming back around the station and we also had a “bee” so late in the year, presumably because of the mild sunshine. It was on a fuchsia bush probably after the last flourish of nectar.
Into December and contractors arrived to remove the tall Leylandii trees that were obscuring light from the adjoining flats. You can see the before and after in the first picture. It seems so strange not having them in place now they have been removed, but with it opened up, it makes the walkway down to the station less threatening for anyone alone
December also saw frost on the ground, perennial plants embracing the covering of a cold carpet, bulbs popping their heads above the soil, as if to check out the weather before consuming more energy on growth, and we began to prepare for Christmas with our trees being carefully positioned on the platform.
A nice end to a very productive year, giving us plenty of comments from rail users on how our work has had made them pleased to use the station and enjoy the surroundings. We look forward to 2024 as we continue to make the station as appealing for rail users as it is for us to work here.
Karen Cornforth, Friends of Ansdell and Fairhaven Station, (January 2024)
To download a PDF with more photographs click the link here: Ansdell & Fairhaven Update January 2024