The project to honour Paul's memory began in January and evolved over the months with his family coming up with a design and wording. Donations towards the cost of the plaque were received from Northern, Community Rail Network, TfGM, South East Manchester Community Rail Partnership, Railfuture, Platform 5 Publishing, Friends of Hadfield Station and Friends of Glossop Station. Our sincere thanks for this support. The plaque was designed and manufactured by Leander of Dove Holes. We thank Leander for an outstanding plaque which fulfilled the family's wishes.
The location of Ashburys was chosen as Paul was born in nearby Gorton. Alongside the plaque is the Heritage Information Board written by Paul - we hope you will read this and remember Paul when occasion permits!
Owain Roberts, Stakeholder Manager for Northern, welcomed everyone and gave a resume of Paul's diverse career. This was followed by Brian Abell who gave us some thoughtful recollections of his late father. Neil Williams then presented Shirley, Paul's wife, with flowers from railway friends.
Guests and family then made their way to Guide Bridge where Theo McLauchlan Station Manager had kindly let his office be used for refreshments organised by members from FOGS. These were provided by Sizzlers of Stalybridge and kindly funded by Mark Angelucci from TfGM.
FOGS would like to thank everyone who attended the ceremony in memory of Paul.
We have really appreciated the support especially from Owain, Theo and Becky Styles Northern's Community and Sustainability Manager and Mark from TfGM in helping us to deliver this special project. And our thanks too to ISS for installing the plaque and to Paul Bigland from CRN for taking photos of the occasion.
We hope that the plaque, viewed from passing trains or by people using the station, will honour the memory of Paul.
Read the moving tribute to Paul by his eldest son, Brian, here