I was pleased to read the letter from Lynda Cowan in last week’s letters page regarding the successful recruitment of a number of volunteers to improve the appearance of the gardens on the railway station platforms. The Centenary of the town is just 20 months away, and, by a happy coincidence, this initiative ties in well with the work of the ‘Gateways Team’ which is one of 14 such teams who are beavering away, making arrangements for all of us to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Our Town 2020.
The basic aim of the gateways Team is to improve the welcome people get when they cross the town’s boundary by road, or arrive by train or bus, so that they feel that they have arrived at a place that is special.
On the roads entrances to the town, most of the road signs announcing Welwyn Garden City are in a very poor state or even completely missing. The railway station is looking careworn, and after two years of talks with Network Rail, Govia, the Railway Heritage Trust and Herts County Council, we are now making good progress in getting significant improvements promised at the station, in time for our Centenary in 2020.
I am indebted to by colleagues Malcolm Day, Cllr Malcolm Cowan and County Cllr Nigel Quinton, and we have been very fortunate also in having a volunteer, Alan Willison, who has given us invaluable support in photographing all the bent and twisted (or missing!) road-signs and compiling PowerPoint presentations for the team
Along with improvements to the station gardens and the station buildings, when the railway people have given the station a thorough repair and paint job, and when the county council have erected the new road signs, and have arranged new welcome material at the bus station, we shall be able to say with justifiable pride: “Welcome to Welwyn Garden City”.
Dr Dennis Lewis, The Links, WGC. (Member of the Centenary Delivery Group).