CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

New Hanging Baskets At Preston Station

Railway stations are often dark and tricky places to nurture beautiful hanging baskets! Stations can be open to the elements; it can be very cold and draughty,  or stiflingly hot and finding the right flowers and plants for the conditions can be a quite a challenge.

Well, this has been overcome at Preston Station! CRL has partnered with Millie, one of the Avanti Community Champions and Michelle at So Plants in Longridge to develop beautiful hanging creations that will look stunning all year round.

The hanging baskets in place – Millie Woodhead

Katie Musgrove and Caroline Holden from the CRL team have worked with Avanti West Coast Community Champion, Millie Woodhead on this jointly funded project, and the finished baskets were installed on Friday 5th March.

Caroline said, “We have been delighted to work with Millie at Preston Station. This is the first time we have collaborated and have further plans to connect with local communities to make Preston Station even more pleasant for passengers and local people.”

All the flowers and foliage in the baskets are artificial, but amazingly life-like and for those of you who know your plants that won’t be a surprise, as they are mostly types that are only found as artificial or ones that you wouldn’t typically see as real plants in a hanging basket.

Michelle, of So Plants, Longridge, who designed and created them was at lengths to emphasise this. This was quite a departure from her horticultural roots, and we have been delighted Michelle got involved and developed creations that we can all enjoy.

We did hope to be able to encourage local community members to get involved in the making of the baskets themselves, but due to the social distancing restrictions this wasn’t possible, but we feel it has helped to improve the area at the entrance to the platforms.

Millie & Katie during installation – Caroline Holden

You can make similar hanging baskets. Katie has made a film showing how Michelle has made the baskets and this can be seen on this link: If you make one yourself, we’d love to see it! Share with us at

Further celebrations are in order, as Millie has just won an Avanti award for her work with the community. Well done Millie and we look forward to working with you on the next project! See a short video made by Katie introducing Millie here

And they light up! – Millie Woodhead