The comment in the previous newsletter that a lease on the building might be negotiated by early spring turned out to be wide of the mark – in a new development, presumably because Network Rail no longer has any use for the building (at one time it was thought that a couple of rooms might be used by their maintenance people), it will be offered to Abellio, the new train operator for the ScotRail franchise. Also it now transpires that the gable end of the building will have to be taken down and rebuilt to increase the clearance from the platform edge, and taken together these factors are going to delay things by months. However, it is likely to be beneficial in the long run, with Abellio being very committed to the concept of community rail.
Despite this delay, I would still encourage anyone who is interested in working with the Stow Community Trust and has not already made themselves known, to contact either Alan McNeilly or myself – email A.McNeilly@ed.ac.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel 730209 (Alan), 730262 (Bill).
With the opening date being less than four months away, it is certainly time to start progressing the idea of a ‘FRIENDS OF STOW STATION” group. With the SCT already having a constitution and a bank account it would seem sensible to run such a ‘Friends’ group as a sub-group of the SCT and if anyone is particularly interested in this aspect please get in touch as soon as possible so that we can have an early meeting. The activities that such a group would undertake are not particularly onerous, for example the most common initiative is to enhance the station environs with planters or hanging baskets (depending on what is appropriate). Abellio will finance the purchase of materials, with volunteers carrying out the work – obviously there is a longer term commitment in terms of watering, weeding etc.