New cathedral garden for Lichfield City station

The creativity of a London Midland train technician and the support of London Midland business partners, colleagues and the local community have helped to bring colour to Lichfield City station through a new platform garden inspired by a local landmark.

The garden planter installation, designed in the form of Lichfield cathedral, has come to life through creative planting by green-fingered London Midland colleagues with bay trees and a variety of flowers. Created with the aim of celebrating the station as a gateway to the City and the famous annual Lichfield Festival, the eye-catching new display has also been entered into the Blooming Lichfield competition.

Ben Williams, a technician at London Midland’s Soho depot, pioneered the creation and with the help of Soho colleagues Shaun Wright and Clair Smith Wright built the planter from wood generously donated by Marshdale Construction, with volunteers from Carlisle Cleaning, colleagues and London Midland’s Property Services supporting the installation.

Richard Lewis, president of Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce, and chair of the Blooming Lichfield Committee, commented:

"It really has been a community affair. Blooming Lichfield has jumped at the opportunity to support London Midland to brighten up the station by supplying hanging baskets for the front of the building. Additionally, the Tourist Association & Lichfield District Council has helped to install attractive planters on the platform areas. I’m sure that passengers will benefit from a cheery addition of colour to their journey."

Brian Pretty, Chair of the Lichfield District Tourism Association, added: “Congratulations to both London Midland and Blooming Lichfield for all their hard work in getting this project off the ground; it is an excellent example of partnership working.”

Going forward, the ‘cathedral’ display will be tended by a new Lichfield City station adoption group, which is currently being formalised, and the adoption project will be expanded to include artwork by local schools for the station.

Tawhida Yaacoub, London Midland customer service manager for Cross City North, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by Ben’s creativity; well done to him for being an outstanding colleague and going the extra mile. This project would not have been possible however without the staunch support of so many partners and the London Midland team, so many, many thanks to them all for coming together to make Lichfield City a station to be proud of.”

Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, added: “The support of London Midland colleagues reflects our passion for sustainable engagement with the community to make the journey experience better for customers. Ben is an inspiration and a true advocate of community rail. His ideas and support for Lichfield City station have given a sound footing for an enjoyable and sustainable station adoption project by the local community.

“If you would like to join the new adoption team at the station and take pride in tending this fantastic platform garden, full details on how you can get involved can be found at www.londonmidland.com/get-in-touch/adopt-a-station

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