A week ago here in Mytholmroyd the first of two events took place – a twinning ceremony between Bentham and Mytholmroyd!
It was an event full of good humour and wit, hardly surprising because it was Geoff Mitchell, Chair of MSP and Gerald Townson, Chair of FOB who were the hosts, both of whom are well known for their laid-back and warm personalities. After a cracking lunch enjoyed by over 50 guests from ‘Royd and Bentham that included the local Mayors from each area of Yorkshire – Mayor of Hebden Royd Town Council Cllr Tony Hodgins and Mayor of Bentham Cllr Gareth Adams as well as representatives from Northern, ACoRP, Network Rail, local Councillors let al, the fun began.
Speeches from the various guests as well as our own Geoff were all short, to the point and full of humour – presentations of artwork from Mytholmroyd to Bentham, and vice versa were made to seal this new twinning event.
But why? Apart from confirming a friendship that has been created between our two stations’ members – we are all confident that this initiative will encourage other volunteers within the Northern region who would like to ‘adopt’ their station to see that it is achievable and is a worthwhile thing in which to become involved; ‘adoption’ reaches out to the wider community.
After ten years our group is still mostly ‘founder’ membership and we have fun; we have met many people from diverse walks of life and thus broadened and enriched our personal lives. We have created a welcoming gateway from our railway station into the village from the vandalised and unsafe station that it was ten years ago.
We know that Yorkshire is a fabulous County – and that you can easily travel from West to North Yorkshire and back in a day, and enjoy the differing landscapes as you travel by rail through towns, villages, moors and dales. We want you to know – come and see for yourselves.
This is broadly inline with the DfT edict that has been taken up by our new franchisees Arriva Northern; and we have received support and encouragement from our Stakeholder Managers, Pete and John
And it is Bentham’s turn to host us on the 9th of September. Watch this space! I wonder what that Gerald has in store for us!
Following pictures are by Paul Bigland.
Mytholmroyd Station Partnership volunteers have met their match – Friends of Bentham Station,situated on the North-West frontier of Yorkshire on the Morecombe Line, are in the same category as we are here in West Yorkshire. We are all keen supporters of our railway stations, keen to provide welcoming and colourful gateways to our respective villages and to involve our communities in the many activities that this involves.
We have joined forces with Bentham in a ‘twinning’ event due to happen here in Mytholmroyd on the 2nd of September to reinforce the friendship already in place, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and encourage other stations to ‘adopt’ their station.
Geoff Mitchell Chair of Mytholmroyd Station Partnership and Gerald Townson, Chair of Bentham Friends Group will host the event – Geoff will present a piece of ceramic art based on Hannah Hauxwell – Daleswoman of renown; by Sue Mitchell and displayed on a specially commissioned plinth by Eric Alston.
The Mayors of Hebden Royd and Bentham will be in attendance together with twelve other guests from Bentham and other dignitaries from Northern and the railway Industry.
Involving local school children in producing artworks to be displayed on and around the station is part of our remit to instil a sense of ownership in the youngsters that helps them turn away from vandalism; the unloved and vandalised station was the main reason for our Partnership’s formation ten years ago. They certainly enjoy the litter-picking sessions !
Mytholmroyd Station Partnership and their guests will make the return journey to Bentham on the 9th of September. We are all looking forward to these events.
Yorkshire is special; we intend to blow its trumpet loud and clear.
June the 10th – at last! All in place, thanks to George our Deputy Chairman, and looking good in spite of the mizzling atmosphere.
Lunch was at twelve. The Queen’s representative Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mrs Chris Harris, attended, together with her husband Stuart, the Mayor of Hebden Royd, Cllr Tony Hodgins, and his Consort Hazel Scrivens and Father John Gott all did a stirling job in making this celebration go with a swing. They joined guests from London, Leeds, York, Bentham as well as Halifax and Huddersfield, and of course Mytholmroyd.
It was informal, joyful, full of fun and high spirits and reflected the installations on the station embankment. The birthday cards, all ninety of them, created by our Community; the Cubs, the Marmaladies, the three local schools plus additionally pupils from Ravenscliffe school in Halifax. Local residents were not left out, and friends of friends all joined in to make this special tribute to a special Lady – Queen Elizabeth, and were much admired by Mrs Harris. We all enjoyed the company, and repartee, of this relaxed and informal but worthy representative of our Queen – (she is from Yorkshire- says it all)
Gertie the Giraffe stole the show – (created by associate member Sue Norton) but courageous and gorgeous Gertie was not dominated by Agatha, or Selwyn (papier-mâché heads) nor by the ‘cat in the hand’ or by the visiting Martian and his bee!
The Mayor, Cllr Tony as he is known, unveiled the posters of artwork on the station building, composed of works by all three schools in previous years, as well as new history boards were compiled and designed by Annie Lawson; ‘The library steps’ by local artist lynda Thomas was admired by all present.
Fr. Gott opened the display of ten year plaques dedicated to our good friends and sponsors with generous and kind words for the Station Partnership. All in all a fabulous occasion, and we know it was enjoyed by all who attended.
All pictures by Paul Bigland (Professional Railway Photographer) Thanks Paul for these.
This morning Thursday the 9th of June, George, Geoff and Sue met on the station to start assembling the 90 cards that have been created by our fantastic community – together with bedding-in the flirtatious Gertie and finding a home for all the other weird and wonderful creations that are part of our Fantasy and Fun weekend of celebration for the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Keep watching out…
We are in the national Station to Station project. Celebrating HM Queen 90th birthday – AND our group has been going for 10 years.
Many thanks to all our sponsors and supporters – not to mention the couple of dozen volunteers who come out in all weather to make your village station an attractive gateway.
If you are interesting in joining our friendly band – gardening or non-gardening it is a very exciting time ahead with all sorts of promising stuff mentioned by the new franchise.
In the meantime, come down and see what fabulous local talent of all ages can produce.
It is Fun Station Time.
Friday 10 June at 1.30pm at t’station.