Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed to Parliament hard-working volunteers who have “adopted” the stations along the new Borders Railway.
Seventeen guests representing Make Stow Beautiful, the Rotary Clubs of Melrose, Esk Valley and Dalkeith, Gala Community Council, Gala in Bloom, the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange and Scotrail came to Parliament to discuss their work beautifying the new railway stations with flower tubs and shrubs. The group also enjoyed an official tour and lunch.
Local representatives included Anne Maher and Brian Paterson (Gorebridge), Elaine Henderson, Beth Thomson and Sojung Lim from Esk Valley Rotary (Shawfair), Gillian Rankin and Kerry-Lee Godfrey from the National Mining Museum (Newtongrange) and Albert Jaster and Jim Orr from Dalkeith Rotary Club (Eskbank).
Speaking after the visit, Ms Grahame said: “I was delighted along with my colleague Colin Beattie MSP to welcome representatives from ‘Adopt a Station’ to Parliament. It was a real pleasure to meet the individuals behind the hard work we often take for granted as we travel up and down the Borders Railway.
“The newly-constructed railway stations along the line looked bare right after construction. These volunteers quickly set to work and have transformed the appearance of the stations with colourful flowers and vegetation, enhancing the entire journey experience for visitors and commuters alike.
“I wanted to congratulate these groups for taking the initiative and brightening up our railway to make it something we can all take pride in. There was also a range of issues raised during the lunch meeting and I have undertaken to take these up with Scotrail.
“I also announced a small competition to be given to the group which does the best floral display.”
Phil Verster, MD of Scotrail, also congratulated the groups on their work: “We are delighted at the range and variety of floral displays which are already helping give the stations individual character.
“What we have is a journey where the charm of the passing countryside is enhanced by the welcoming smile that greets the traveller at every stop along the way.”