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East Lancashire's railway stations officially the best in the county
9:00am Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
RAIL stations in East Lancashire are among the brightest and most welcoming in the county - and that's official.
Campaigners from Lancashire Community Rail Partnership launched a competition earlier this year to find the most attractive platforms in the county.
And the efforts of two community groups in East Lancashire has led to them sharing the crown after judges toured 10 entrants.
Supporters of Colne in Bloom, winners of regional and national prizes within the civic horticulture world, are past masters at securing prizes.
But their efforts were matched by the Hands on Huncoat team, which has made great strides in revamping the tiny Hyndburn halt.
Ten stations in all were nominated for the prize - with Brierfield, Croston, Meols Cop, Nelson, Rishton, St Annes, Squires Gate and Whalley ultimately missing out this time around.
A Lancashire Community Rail spokesman said that judges were looking at whether improvement works at the various locations added anything to the experience of passengers and, if 'something different' had been created.
And the inspectors were also conscious over whether the station gardeners had paid attention to the little things in ensuring every corner was spic and span.
He said: "The judge commended all the stations and the hard work the station groups had done to get their sttaion ready for judging.
"After a great deal of deliberation the judge decided to award two first places and the joint winners were Colne and Huncoat."
Each of the stations will receive a framed certificate, and a copy to display on the community noticeboards at Colne and Huncoat, and a small prize.
Plans are now being drawn up for a similar competition in 2013 and rail bosses hope more entries can be secured.
A SPUR of the moment health check has lead to a grandmother-of-five receiving treatment for a serious heart condition.
Kathleen Hill decided to take part in a free NHS health check session when one was held at The Energy Zone, Roman Road Community Centre, where she worked.
A nurse was attending the centre, offering cholesterol tests as well as assessments of blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
“They were just there in the centre and I thought I might as well take one,” said Kathleen, from Roman Road.
“I hadn’t had any problems with my health but I thought why not?”
The 62-year-old was told that she that she should go to see her doctor after the test revealed some problems with her blood pressure.
“I went to see my doctor but a few days later I ended up fainting in the middle of the night and I was sent up to the hospital,” she said.
“They told me that my heart beat had slowed right down and I’d have to have a pacemaker fitted.”
Kathleen’s health is now stable, but she has to take things a little slower.
She said: “I’m really glad I had it done and I would say to other people go for it, because you never know.”
Health checks, which are supported by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Care Trust Plus, are open to people aged between 35 and 74 who have a GP in Blackburn with Darwen, and who have not already been diagnosed with a heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes.
They can help pick up on any risks associated with conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease, which can sometimes be prevented by improvements or alterations to lifestyles.
Dr Chris Clayton, chief officer of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I would urge residents, even if they are feeling well and haven’t had any problems to have a health check.
“They are free, only take 20 minutes and could prevent a minor issue turning into a serious health problem later down the line.”
To find out when the health nurse is next in your area or to book an appointment, call 01254 682037.
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