Friends of Hadlow Road Station
The Santa’s Grotto was a huge success and the best one yet. A total of 149 children went in to see Santa in his well-decorated signal box grotto along with 195 adults attending as well. The traditional steam traction ride was “chuffing” around the car park giving rides to the children and adults and the face painter was kept busy all afternoon with lovely artwork on faces.
It takes over 600 hours of volunteer time with over 30 volunteers involved in all the planning and preparation let alone the day of the event itself and still clearing away days after.
Hadlow Road Green Singers, Riversign choir, and Simon Le Barber were singing all afternoon to keep everyone entertained.
Work is still in progress with relaying the railway track but hopefully the end (of the line) is in sight. Meanwhile, the signal arm and supporting mechanisms have been removed from the top of the signal to make repairing and repainting these parts easier. Painting of the signal stem will also be undertaken when the weather improves before the signal arm mechanism is put back in place.
In addition, there is a lot of intricate cable work to be done in order for the signal to be operated from the signal box, and this could take some time before all this work is completed. Watch out for adverts for signal box opening days when visitors will be able to access the signal box to see what life was like as signalman in the 1950s including pulling the signal lever in the signal box to operate the signal itself.
Thanks to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) who have replaced and painted white the large timber gates to the car park and the kissing gate onto the platform as these structures were in a state of disrepair. Other timbers around Hadlow Road station will also be renovated including the signal box handrail that is rotten.
The busy pop-up café has received the top five star rating following a visit by CWaC’s food hygiene inspector. The next pop-up-cafe is on Sunday 24th February from 10.30am to 1.30pm and thereafter the pop-up café will be open twice monthly through to November.
Photo Credit: Martin Eves