Birkdale station in Sefton needs your support as it will battle it out for a place in the final to be crowned ‘The UK’s best loved station’ and winner of World Cup of Stations 2023, the competition hosted by the Rail Delivery Group in partnership with the Community Rail Network.
This year’s competition takes place during Community Rail Week (22-26 May), to shine a spotlight on the work of dedicated volunteers that support our stations through Community Rail, and celebrating the benefits the railway brings to the people of the Liverpool city region, the environment and the local economy.
And your vote could help ensure the station progresses to the semi-finals.
Over 100 nominations from across Great Britain were whittled down to 48 by TV presenter Tim Dunn and will compete head-to-head in a public vote.
The winner of each regional group will go through to the semi-finals on 25 May and the final held on 26 May when the winner will be crowned.
Community Rail Network host the annual tournament, which was established in 2019, and will this year crown ‘The UK’s Best Loved Station’ and shine a spotlight on the work of dedicated volunteers.
Tim Dunn, TV presenter and shortlist judge, said: “I had the tricky task of selecting the shortlist of 48 stations – tricky, because it represents the work of 48 groups of chuffing ace volunteers.
“The time, energy and love each group gives is because of a love of our shared railway and their communities too. It might seem bonkers, but this competition showcases the hard work of hundreds countrywide, then amplifies and celebrates all in community rail. Remember: like a football World Cup, the winners each day need more and more support – in every battle, it’s the one with the most votes who wins!”
Birkdale station has made the group stage thanks to the work it has done with local volunteer groups Birkdale Civic Society and The Station Master’s House.
The two groups, along with Merseyrail, have created a community library with 5000+ books including many large print. The Station Master’s House has three meetings rooms all with internet connected TVs and ethernet ports, and wifi connectivity throughout. One of the meeting rooms is a computer suite with six high spec PCs free to use for members (and membership is free).
Charlotte Woods, Chairman of Birkdale Civic Society, said: “For over 40 years we have been on a mission to keep our village and station looking as beautiful as possible, and ensuring the heritage is protected for the future.
“Our volunteers’ commitment to the planting and tidying really make our community proud, and our close relationship with the railways is integral for our village to thrive.
“As the centrepiece to our village, we are incredibly proud to work alongside the Birkdale Community Hub to keep our station at the heart of our community.”
Judith Hunter, of the Station Master’s House, said: “Birkdale Station means so much to everyone as it is right in the middle of our beautiful village.
“We feel so privileged to be part of the station, in the Stationmaster’s House. It means we are extremely accessible and we love getting passing footfall for the station popping in.
“Since opening our doors two years ago, we are growing as both a library and a community hub. We now have nearly 1,500 members, over 5,500 books and a wide range of activities and groups, for both adult and children in our community, to take part in.
“We feel intrinsically linked to the railway and are extremely proud to have brought the Stationmaster’s House back to life for the good of the community.”
And now the station is in a world cup of stations group, in competition with Runcorn, Goostrey and Hindley. In order to progress Birkdale station needs your support! You can vote for Birkdale station to win on Wednesday 24 May – just go to https://bit.ly/3WevhRB or you can vote on Twitter by going to https://twitter.com/raildeliverygrp or searching on #WorldCupOfStations.