FOBS Celebrates First Anniversary in Style
On the 14th September the Friends of Bentham Station in North Yorkshire celebrated the first anniversary of their formation with the formal unveiling of nine vibrant paintings on the theme of 'Life in Bentham' by local artist Gill Barron. The preparation and installation of the paintings and accompanying plaque was made possible thanks to a grant from the Craven District Council Arts Fund and was undertaken by Mike Barron, a local cabinet maker and Gill's son.
The ceremony was carried out by Drew Haley, Northern Rail's Client and Stakeholder Manager, and Bryan Jackson, a Bentham resident and former railwayman, who spent a lifetime getting the track on the Leeds to Morecambe Line in perfect condition.
The unveiling was followed by a FOBS buffet lunch with guests from the Leeds-Lancaster-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership, the Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group, local councils and other volunteer groups in Bentham. To round off the event the artist Gill Barron cut a celebration cake which was beautifully decorated to reflect one of her paintings by another Benthamer Linda Atkinson.
This was the culmination of a positive year which has seen new garden areas established, tubs planted and tended, grade II listed Midland Railway signs, c.1870 lovingly restored, platforms tidied of weeds and moss, and preparations made for a leaflet to encourage 'green' rail travel from Bentham. The members of FOBS have recently submitted a proposal to Network Rail's Community Rail Department to rejuvenate one of the embankments on the road bridge adjacent to the station. A further venture will be to extend the local heritage walking trails to the station and produce a rail-friendly leaflet to encourage visitors and walkers to the town.