Here are are some of the things we've been up to recently ...
On 23rd May 2010 Walkden station witnessed unprecented scenes as a celebration gala was held to mark the return of Sunday train services after a gap of 41 years. For more pictures of this remarkable day see our special Sunday Service Gala webpage.
To some some people station Friends groups are synonymous with station gardens, and FOWS have certainly tried to improve the environment on the platform at Walkden by creating gardens in places that used to be derelict eye-sores.
This small patch of disused land at the west end of Manchester platform was converted to a flower bed by FOWS in November 2008.
On the north-facing Manchester platform FOWS have planted shade-dwelling plants like hostas, but as the picture shows we have also been successful with more colourful flowers like pansies and violas despite the limited amount of sunshine this bed receives.
FOWS have transformed this disused flower bed on the south-facing Wigan platform into a colourful display of sunshine-loving plants by FOWS.
In May 2008 FOWS installed three large stainless steel planters on the previously barren open area at the east end of the station.
The planters were funded by a grant from Salford City Council's In Bloom fund and built by J. Hughes, a local engineering company.
On 2nd July 2008 FOWS held an Anniversary Party to celebrate 120 years since the station's opening day. With a celebratory cake, goodie bags for commuters, and enthusiastic participation from Northern Rail and British Transport Police, for a couple of hours the station was celebrated like it has never been before !
On an icy evening in December 2008 homeward-bound commuters were greeted by FOWS serving mince pies and mulled wine to the sound of Christmas Carols on the station platform !
The evening had a serious purpose too and we were joined by Natasha Wilding and Bill Robison from Northern Rail who talked with travellers about their views on the station and its problems.
In March 2009 Friends of Walkden Station teamed up with local deep-cleaning experts Jet Clean UK to give Walkden stationís entrance a much-needed clean.
The simple but elegant brick entrance dates from the opening of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway station in 1888. Although no-one is sure when the station was previously deep-cleaned (if ever !), it was certainly in need of attention to deal with the grime, algae and graffiti that had built up over the years.
Working free of charge for over 5 hours, the Jet Clean team cleaned the brick and stone work around the entrance with high-pressure water jets. The stationís exterior signs were also cleansed of the green algae that had spread across them. Moving inside the hallway, Jet Clean washed the entrance hall floor and the first three steps of the stairway.
The difference between the treated and untreated areas was striking, with the original rose-pink colour of the sandstone blocks in the doorway showing their true colour for the first time in decades.
FOWS hope that the station owners and operators (Network Rail and Northern Rail respectively) will be inspired by the voluntary work of JetClean to bring further cleaning improvements to the historic station buildings.