Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Floral train returns to Station Road

A PARTY was held to celebrate the return of a floral train to Henley.

A PARTY was held to celebrate the return of a floral train to Henley.

Henley in Bloom staged the event to thank sponsors for helping to return the attraction to Station Park in Station Road.

It was last used at the site in 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Henley railway line.

The Chiltern House business centre sponsors Station Park and First Great Western made a £1,000 donation towards the project.

Norman Topsom, who is station master at Twyford station and was a Face of Henley last year, was a special guest at the celebration together with Deputy Mayor Martin Akehurst and his wife Glynnis.

Deckchairs were brought from Mill Meadows for the occasion and the Chocolate Theatre Café in Thames Side provided refreshments.

Kellie Hinton, who chairs Henley in Bloom, said: ?The engine is a great asset for the town and sits beautifully on Station Park where it will welcome people to Henley as they come from the station.?

Kate Bailey, manager of the business centre, said she was ?thrilled? the floral train was back in its ?rightful place?. ?It is such a great addition to the park and Henley as a whole,? she added.

Joseph Holmes, graduate manager for First Great Western, said: ?We were very keen to help support Henley in Bloom and have this train brought back to Henley and restored. I am absolutely chuffed to bits to have been able to help.?

First Great Western also provided a train-shaped cake, which was made by the Cake Collection in Burnham.

Signwriter Norman Ingram repainted the train in the First Great Western livery and Sam Walker, who owns Ezra Walker bespoke joinery, created four new wheels.

The town council?s parks and services department used a JCB and other equipment loaned by Southern Plant and Hire to hoist the train into place.

The town?s gardening buddies, who are sponsored by Hotel du Vin, spent six hours planting 4,500 succulents and seeders in heavy rain in May.

The train was brought to Henley from Barnstaple, where it had been used as part of the town?s entry for regional, national and international In Bloom competitions.

It stands on the site of the former train turntable which was in operation until 1925.

The celebration was also supported by Shaun Dickens at the Boathouse restaurant in Station Road.

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