Why red flags are flying at Batley railway station

Why red flags are flying at Batley railway station

IF you’ve visited Batley Railway Station over the past few weeks you will have noticed its exterior has been adorned with scores of huge red flags.

While you may not have tried to count them as you walk through the entrance, there are in fact 150 – all hand-made by members of the Friends of Batley Station group.

Volunteer Julia King wanted to do something to make the station look more attractive whilst also celebrating 150 years since Batley became a borough.

Julia explained how she had seen old photos of Batley with similar bunting and wanted to recreate that look – as well as giving a nod to the popular film The Railway Children, where youngsters would wave red flags to passing trains.

She said: “It’s 150 years of Batley and we wanted to mark that. It’s all about improving the town. If you can do something in the town to cheer people up then do it.”

Julia came up with the idea in May and the flags were completed in time to put up before the Great Get Together weekend at the end of June.

Coun Gwen Lowe, who founded the friends group four years ago, said: “We wanted to start looking after the station because it’s the gateway into Batley.

“We want to enhance it so that when people come to use the station or going out into Batley they are amazed by it.

“Just by doing the bunting it’s a bit quirky and something different and it’s a talking point – that’s what we want, people to talk about the station.”

The flags are part of a wider project to spruce up the station by the friends group, who spend their Saturday mornings clearing up and planting flowers.

They meet every week at 9.30am and Coun Lowe is looking for more volunteers to help out.

She said: “All volunteers have something different to offer and it’s lovely because there’s no pressure to do anything. You might want to get really stuck in digging in the new garden or take yourself onto one of the platforms and sweep up.”

Anyone interested in helping can get in touch with the Friends of Batley Station on Facebook or just turn up from 9.30am on Saturdays.

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