Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Goostrey Station and the iconic building in need of restoration
Cleaning the shelter Gavin Hollinshead, Barry Alston
and Peter Godfrey
I 'm pleased to find the Friends of Goostrey Station are keeping me up to speed about their efforts to transform this vital asset with a major make over. Pleased too they had the good sense to refer to it as a "railway" station - not  that terrible American term of "train" station. But I guess many of the volunteers organised into monthly working parties will be of an age when the person in charge of a train was a guard, not a conductor as most operators (and media) now appear to insist on calling the individual. Perhaps they think it sounds posh or more upmarket to call the staff conductors. But personally I think it is daft. That should be reserved for an orchestra! Ok I hear what you  say - what the hell does it matter anyway. But I bet the job description doesn't come with extra lolly! Now I have had my little rant I'd like to say what a magnificent job the 50 or so friends are doing at the railway station. Like magic floral tubs have popped up on the platform and the banking on the roadside is looking really splendid with new plantings.  Goostrey is one of 450 stations managed by Northern Rail and I gather the main building - recently identified by the London Midland Railway Society as one of only a handful to remain of a type built between 1860 and 1920 - is in a sad state of repair. However, I learn from Mike Jarvis, the treasurer of FOGS, that sponsors are being sought so restoration can start. More volunteers are welcome to join the working parties meeting on the second Sunday of the month between 10am and 1pm.
Peter Godfrey, who is a parish councillor as well as vice-chairman of the friends, says the volunteers are from all sections of village life. "All are keen to make sure the station reflects positively on Goostrey."
I wish  Cheshire East  Council's highways department was as pro-active as our friends at the station. The condition of the roads about the village continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. My particular beef over several years, as the highways people well know, is Blackden Lane. I thought I was a bit of a lone voice crying in the wind but now my neighbours are complaining too about the state of the road surfaces.I have referred to it in the past as rock and roll alley but now that has changed to bomb alley since almost every vehicle that passes shakes my property and others like a blast from  high explosives.The other night one particular heavy vehicle seemed to lift the roof in the same way as I still remember in the blitz of World War 11! Fortunately a fire engine earlier today on its way to rescue a fallen cow in a field off Red Lane was forced to creep past the house because of oncoming traffic. Otherwise there might have been another emergency!