Station makeover is cream of the crop as residents win top award

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Bett Langford in the Cornish Pilot gig     

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Age no barrier as Bett, 99, enjoys a row across the harbour

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HARD-WORKING volunteers who helped to transform a train station have won a prestigious award.

Emsworth Residents’ Association has beaten competition from towns across the south for its major role in bringing new life to the town’s railway station.

The group were winners in the regional Action for Market Town awards in the Partnership and Strategic Working Category.

As reported, residents have rallied round to give the station a stunning makeover, including the reopening of the station’s toilets and waiting room.

A year ago the waiting room was a mess and had not been open to the public in years following vandalism problems.

But residents have spearheaded the renovation, which cost around £25,000.

Most of the cash came from Southern Railway, with contributions from SEEDA, the Residents’ Association and Hampshire County Council.

Lorraine Clode, chairwoman of the residents’ association, said: ‘I am thrilled on behalf of the Emsworth community who made this project happen.

‘If it gives other communities who have stations that need attention the inspiration to do as we have then it will benefit everyone.

‘The project we did here is replicable.

‘It’s really something where we all worked together.

‘It has been such a pleasurable project. It’s been very satisfying and continues to be.’

A new ramp will be ready very soon and will allow people with disabilities to access the north platform.

Chris Wade, the chief executive of Action for Market Towns, whose awards are supported by The Big Lottery Fund, said: ‘The quality and quantity of our entries shows that innovation and creativity is at the heart of many towns across the south of England.’