SWR customers are being urged to get behind Sherborne, Sandown and Hedge End stations this week as they compete in an online poll to be crowned winner of the 2020 World Cup of Stations.
The World Cup of Stations, returning for its second year, will give the people of Dorset a chance to cheer on their local station as it competes in the top-flight of social media polling. The competition comes as stations up and down the country welcome more people back to the railway, supporting communities and local businesses as Britain continues to learn to live with COVID-19.
The competition will see 48 stations, large and small, representing each region of the country competing in a series of online polls starting today. Regional and national heats are sure to stoke rivalries. By Friday (16 October), the competition will have been whittled down to a final four with one of Britain’s 2,579 railway stations named the nation’s favourite on Friday evening.
A Cinderella story unfolded last year when Huddersfield saw off competition from some of the country’s biggest and busiest stations, including nearby juggernaut Leeds. Sherborne will look to repeat the giant-killing trick this year as they start out in the regional group stages with other stations.
Let's take a closer look at the shortlisted stations:
Hedge End, Hampshire
Hedge End begins the competition in the South East group with SWR station Sandown, along with Aylesbury and Sevenoaks. The station was adopted during the pandemic by Customer Ambassador Sheree Whetren as she wanted to use her extra time - afforded during the crisis - to engage with the local community and brighten up the station.
Through SWR funding, Sheree and volunteers from the local community helped to install new flowers, and planters as well as give the station a lick of paint. She also worked with a local school to produce a wonderful window display in tribute to key workers. Sheree said:
“Hedge End is a special station, with many people from the local community helping to create a welcoming and colourful environment for colleagues, keyworkers and commuters during these tough times. Let win this for our colleagues, the local community and Hampshire!”