Friends of Crewkerne Station chairman Tony Reese welcomed the Community Rail Partnership manager Andrew Harrowell, local partnership officer Caroline Rowlands and Association of Community Rail Partnership representative Daniel Wright to Crewkerne Railway Station, on a volunteers working day to sign the new CRP agreement.

The visiting group were able to see what has been achieved by FOCS and to discuss how South Western Railway can support their ambitions for the station. FOCS have worked in partnership with SWR and local businesses to set up cattle trough planters on the platform with colourful insect friendly plants. They also work with the staff at the station to report any damage and needed improvements and have been able to obtain both an inside seat and an outside seat with canopy, for the benefit of the travelling public.

Chair of Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership (BVCRP) and secretary of FOCS, Gail Coleshill said: “This is an exciting time for us. We have signed the Community Rail Partnership agreement and look forward to working with South Western Railway to promote travel from and between all of our stations.” CRP manager Andrew Harrowell, who has responsibility for all station adoption groups in SWR said: “Station adoption can help provide links between South Western Railway and the local community. It has been interesting to meet the well established Friends group and I thank them for all their efforts with us.

“I’m delighted they have renewed their agreement with us and look forward to working further together in the future. We are keen to increase the number of rail community partnerships across our network. If anyone is inspired by BVCRP’s work and wants to set up their own partnership with SWR they should contact me.” One of South Western Railways’ franchise winning strategies was to encourage existing station adoption groups and develop more Community Rail Partnerships in its network.

FOCS are holding their next meeting today (Wednesday March 27th) at 7.30 pm at the Globe in Misterton. Anyone who is interested in joining FOCS is invited to come along to the meeting. Alternatively, prospective new members can complete a membership form at the station, email chairman or phone Tony on 07967947335.

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