Friends of Gillingham Station/Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership picked up two awards at the recent South West in Bloom awards in Torquay on 5th October last, in the ‘Its Your Neighbourhood’ competition.
FOGS entered seasonally planted milk churns, buckets and the new idea of window sill boxes both to the front and rear of the station. Judging took place on a very wet and dismal day back in July.
The award was a Level 4, Thriving, one down from Outstanding, Level 5.
Lord and Lady Fellowes presented the awards.
Judge Lesley Jelleyman commented:
Areas of Achievement: They have created an extremely attractive station platform and entrance. The milk churns in all shapes and sizes represent their milk train history. The planting is extremely good, a mixture of herbs, grasses and herbaceous. The banks are covered with daffodils and narcissi in the Spring. The Platform 1 café is award winning.
Areas of Development: Plans to create a wildflower and bee friendly garden, this will be an attractive addition.
The Town Council also entered their two themed borders, one for 40yrs of Gillingham Twinning Association and 100yrs of The Lions. These were awarded a Level 1, Establishing award.
FOGS was set up in early 2016. Made up of volunteers from the local community, with support from the Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership, local businesses, individuals and the station staff, FOGS have planted up vintage milk churns, buckets and window sill boxes to bring colour and interest to the station for the enjoyment of rail users.
“We have received so many positive comments about the planting and now are very pleased to have received an award from South West in Bloom. Members are always coming up with new ideas to enhance the station and this award has given us a real boost to do more. It is very rewarding and a pleasure to be able to create something which others can enjoy on their travels and help promote the town as a good place to stop and have a look around!”