About the Friends of Walkden Station

Stainless steel planters installed on the platform at Walkden by FOWS FOWS volunteers have installed a series of stainless steel planters to improve the appearance of Walkden's open platform.

Anyone using Walkden station through the 1960's to 2007 would have observed a sad, slow decline in facilities, maintenance and services. FOWS is a community volunteer group founded to reverse that decline, campaigning for better services and facilites, improving the station's environment through gardening schemes, litter collections and station cleaning, and raising awareness of the station as an asset for the local community to be proud of. Our aim is to put Walkden’s darkest days firmly in the past.

Objectives

FOWS was founded in February 2007 by volunteers determined to improve facilities and services at the station. We’ve cleaned the walls, removed graffiti, planted new flower beds and planters, and regularly tidy weekend litter from the platform and hallway. Our long-term strategy focuses on three main goals:

Researching the Past

Walkden station has a rich architectural and historical heritage, having been a key transport link since its opening in July 1888 by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. The platform retains its original iron and wood canopy and the nearby signal box, dating back to the opening of the line, is thought to be one of the oldest boxes still operating anywhere in the country. We are compiling a history of the station and welcome any information or stories about the station’s past from readers.

Disused area of Wigan platform before planting of a flower bed by FOWS Disused areas of the platform (above) have been transformed by three new flower beds planted by FOWS (below).
Wigan platform after planting of a flower bed by FOWS

Preparing for the Future

As fossil fuels become scarse and environmental concerns grow, FOWS believe the railway station will become an ever more important asset to the people of Walkden and Worsley.

Funding

Our projects are funded by charitable grants from bodies such as Salford City Council and ACoRP (the Association of Community Rail Partnerships). We enjoy good relations with Northern Rail and are in constant communication about ways to improve the lot of Walkden's ever-growing passenger numbers.

Constitution

We have a formal constitution, an elected panel of officers, and a bank account. Membership is open to all users of the station and costs just £2 per year.

Awards

In September 2010 FOWS' Sunday Service Gala was awarded second place in ACoRP's national "Best Marketing Event" competition. FOWS were also short-listed for Best Station Adoption Group in the same awards.

In 2008 FOWS were short-listed for both ACoRP's Best Station Adoption Group and Salford City Council's Best Community Activist Group awards.

Partners

FOWS works in partnership with: