Seaford Martello Rotary has signed a partnership agreement to adopt the town’s railway station on the South Downs.
It means the Rotary club will be able to put up branding around the station to tell rail passengers about the work it does in the community.
A partnership agreement was recently signed by Andy Gardner, station manager at Seaford Station, on behalf of Govia Thameslink Railway, and Rodney Reed, President of Rotary Martello Seaford.
Station Partnerships are groups of volunteers who come together to adopt a station, in this instance Seaford Station.
Working in conjunction with the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, the Seaford initiative aims to make the railway station feel more attractive and serve as a focal point for residents and visitors.
I am really looking forward to the colourful improvements that are planned, with volunteers from the local community helping at the station and pupils from local schools being able to enjoy seeing their artwork on display.”
The Seaford Station Partnership plans to engage the community with a set of ‘Seaford Through The Ages’ murals to brighten up the station.
There are also plans to provide flower boxes – all with Rotary branding.
Station Manager, Andy Gardner, said he was delighted with the partnership with Martello Rotary. He said: “One of the pleasures of this role is seeing bridges built between the railway and the communities that we serve.
“I am really looking forward to the colourful improvements that are planned, with volunteers from the local community helping at the station and pupils from local schools being able to enjoy seeing their artwork on display.”
Seaford Martello Rotary President, Rodney Reed, said that Rotarians would work with local volunteers, including school children, to create the murals, be involved with the flower planting, and to water and maintain the flowers.
The Seaford Station Community Partnership involves supplying eight large wooden planters and perennial planting supervised and maintained by professional gardener and Rotarian, Diane White, with her young helpers and the eight murals of ‘Seaford Through The Ages’.
The mural subjects have been itemised teacher, historian and Rotarian, Mandy Davis, and these will be painted by local school children.
As well as the children’s artwork, these murals will carry Rotary promotional graphics. Work will start on the platform in mid-September and the project will last for five years.
Rodney said: “It’s an opportunity for the town of Seaford to identify with the railway station and enable it to be a colourful and interesting entry into the town.”
And Catherine Simmons, from the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Seaford Martello Rotary to the station.
“The partnership will help to create a welcoming environment for visitors to the town through artwork and planting.
“It will be fantastic support for Jenny in the ticket office who has worked over the last 15 years to keep the station looking great.”
The Station Partnership Agreement doesn’t include nearby Bishopstone Station, which is the main rail access point to Seaford. However, the Friends of Bishopstone Station have agreed to permanently display a duplicate set of mural panels.
The pop-up will be informal, and it is to catch and enthuse travellers returning to Seaford at the end of their business day.”
The Rotary club received matched funding from District 1145 from their ‘membership development and public image’ fund.
In a further development, Martello Rotary intends to pilot ‘pop-up interest meetings’ in the Steamworks Bars on the station platform at Seaford.
“The pop-up will be informal, and it is to catch and enthuse travellers returning to Seaford at the end of their business day.” added Rodney.
“Many of the young professionals we want to recruit live, but don’t work in Seaford, and they commute to work by train.”
In a separate event, Martello Rotary provided the final £1,000 needed to complete wheelchair user, Sam Taylor’s ‘Seaford Beach Access’ project completed and commissioned.
To provide accessibility for wheelchair users and young parents with buggies, work has been carried out allowing these easy access to Seaford beach.
To mark the occasion, Rotary President, Rodney Reed, attended the ribbon cutting with Seaford Mayor, Nazish Adil.