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Friends of Bentham Station chairman Gerald Townson wins national award
10:00am Sunday 20th October 2013 in News
The chairman of the Friends of Bentham Station has won a national award.
Gerald Townson came top in the outstanding volunteer contribution category of the National Community Rail Awards, announced at a ceremony in Llandudno.
He was honoured for his extensive voluntary work not only with FOBS, of which he is a founder member, but also as general secretary of the Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group and as director responsible for station developments for the Leeds-Lancaster-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership.
He has worked tirelessly to promote the Bentham line and to develop good working relationships with the rail bodies associated with it.
“I am over the moon,” said Mr Townson, who has lived in the town all his life. “It is unbelievable and I certainly did not expect it.”
The Friends – who formed in 2011 – also took second place in the category for small projects under £300.
Their Informs scheme has seen the creation of a FOBS website, the introduction of quick-response codes on posters, banners, plaques and literature for smart phone and tablet users and the installation of an information monitor in the station window, using a grant from Bentham Town Council.
“The station is so successful because people have come together as individuals and from various organisations to make it a gateway to the community,” said Mr Townson.
The Friends also reached the final five in two other categories – best community art scheme and best station volunteers’ project.
The recognition comes just weeks after Bentham was named joint winner of Community Rail Lancashire’s Station of the Year competition.