FoLS Meeting 21 November 2018

We are meeting on the 21st of November, 6.30pm – 7.30pm. At the Levenshulme Arcadia Leisure Centre, in the Community Room. It is fully accessible and everyone is welcome!

Below are extracts from the minutes from our last meeting. For more information visit our Facebook group.

Minutes of Meeting 19 September 2018
Held at Arcadia Levenshulme

1 Present: Lorenza Casini, Peter Naughton, John R Brown, Ian Ford.

2 Apologies: Pauline Johnston

3 Minutes of Last Meeting:
a) Plants were donated by Summer of Lev (thanks Jamie)
b) Item 4a should have read hosepipe and watering can (not bucket!)
c) Raj has now replaced Vicky as our point of contact at Northern (see below)

4 Recruitment:
We will run a recruitment drive on the March market (when the market reopens).
Need to prepare publicity design and print membership cards and book
stall. We should try to get a spot on All FM in February or March before the
market opening.

5 Chair’s’s Report:
a) Work on the pocket garden on Platform 1 is postponed for the time being
but definitely not abandoned. Involves moving the gate or the seat –
Carillion were to do the former before their demise
b) Access to the garden will be restricted to committee members – which
may be an opportunity to recruit some committee members
c) Troughs will be on outside of fence
d) Steve Forde has suggested some sources of funding
e) We need costings – Action LC
f) Lorenza has been to Friends of Heaton Chapel meeting
g) Lorenza has also been to the Market meeting and met members of the
Barlow Road Mosque we should try to further this contact Action PN

6 Treasurer’s Report:
We have approximately £1200 in the bank and some petty cash.

7 Refreshing Multi-lingual Language Station Signs
Pauline has asked ISS about taking down and re-erecting signs. We need a painter
– Mark?

8 Storeroom:
Should be in the dry now and is no longer obstructed by the ticket machine.
Please see email below.
We may need a volunteer day to clear up the store. Sign language signs are still
in there.

9 New Station Manager:
We have one – details to follow

10 Awards
We should send stories to ACORP’s Train on Line. LCA could nominate.

11 Access for All:
We are now 10th on TfGM’s priority list for wheelchair access. While this is a
major promotion, it is unlikely to see results in the foreseeable future. Write to
Afzal Khan MP and check he is on mailing list. Action IF12 Ward Co-ordinating Committee and pictures on fences
Not directly our issue but will ask local councillors what is happening in due course

13 LPIG – Levenshulme Pedestrian Improvement Group
Plan to present their report to Ward Co-ordinating Committee Action – circulate
LPIG report to FoLS members Action IF

14 Crewe Line CRP meeting
15 October Christchurch 111 Burnage Lane 4:30 to 6:00 Action JRB to attend

15 SUSTRANS festival on 15 Sept on the loop well attended


Report of Emergency Public Meeting – Northern’s Proposed Service Cuts To Levenshulme And Heaton Chapel Stations

Hosted at: The Klondyke, M19

Date: 27th March 2018

Facilitated by: Friends of Levenshulme Station

Report and analysis of meeting and workshop



On the 27th of March 2018 an emergency public meeting was held at The Klondyke Social Club in Levenshulme, for residents and users of both Levenshulme Train Station and Heaton Chapel Train Station. This followed the news received on Wednesday the 21st indirectly (i.e. not via the official Northern route) to the Friends of Levenshulme Station and Friends of Heaton Chapel Station that services to both stations would be reduced for a temporary period starting mid May 2018. The meeting was organised and facilitated by the Friends of Levenshulme Station after having received an overwhelming responses by worried station-users, asking for answers and clarification on the proposed changes. This was exacerbated by the lack of formal and clear information by Northern. Here the discussions about the issues, the concerns and the call for action to minimise the disruption to stations’ users are summarised for everyone’s benefit and understanding.

“Over 30 people attended the emergency meeting, which was arranged 24 hours after receiving the news of the proposed service cuts. The meeting run in a workshop format where attendees responded to question prompts using post-it notes”


1. IMPACT – How does this affect you?

– Can’t get into work (or will have to use much slower and more expensive bus)
– My footfall is ignored by not having swipe station as metro link does for concession cards
– Concern it will drive more people into cars: more congestion and increased air pollution
– Will have to use bus services to guarantee being on time for work – will add 30 minutes to each end of the day = 1 hour extra per day
– I am a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease sufferer, diesel fumes are slowly killing me!
– Danger on platforms with only 2 trains at rush hour.
– Knock on effect for older people at 9.30am > crowds
– I travel on the Buxton-Preston from Levenshulme with my folding bike due to the overcrowding on the Transpennine trains. The situation at Piccadilly with any bike is intolerable

2. INFORMATION – What Information do we have?

– Temporary crowd control measures
– Existing gap: 7.44am (2 coaches) and 8.10am
– Cloth ears
– Once a service is removed it may not be reinstated.

3. QUESTIONS – What answers do we seek?

– Will any of the remaining trains go to Oxford Road and Deansgate direct?
– At what stage does Northern become clearly incapable of continuing its franchise?
– What happens to trains we have now?
– What passengers loading do they expect?
– If a train is being (temporarily) cancelled, surely, this means a saving of £££ > money to provide rail replacement buses (temporarily!)
– What form will “crowd control” take?
– Measures to control the crowd safely?
– You have to get more carriages. Why do other train companies don’t have strike?
– Overcrowding on trains or station.
– Why hasn’t the revised May 18th service timetable not been published yet?
– Take back control from foreign owned rail companies.
– What steps are going to be taken to ensure the safety of would-be passengers on already
crowded platforms between 08:35 and 09:24?
– What strengthening is planned of the 09:24 service from Levenshulme to accommodate
additional passengers?
– What arrangements are in place to deal with passengers unable to get on the 09:24?
– Have arrangements been made for rail tickets to be valid on the public bus services – specifically
the Stagecoach 192 service?
– What exactly is the timetable? As of 23 March, the National Rail website shows one down train
an hour calling at Levenshulme complete with a warning that it may not run.
– When was it reasonably foreseeable that some disruption was inevitable?
– When was the specific decision made to reduce the service and by whom?
– When and how and to whom was the decision communicated?
– How and when do you propose to advise the travelling public?
– When will the timetable return to at least its pre-May level? Can we be assured that this will be at
the earliest technically possible date?
– Does the proposed service meet the requirements of the franchise?
– Are there any other developments in the pipeline which will disrupt services to or from

4. RESOLUTIONS – What do we want?

– Use the new additional Buxton 2x/hr service for Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme for 7 months till December.
– Delay repay if you miss the train
– Shuttle trains to Stockport so people can then get a train into Piccadilly
– Can we use season tickets on buses eg. 192/197 etc?
– No crowd control
– Freight off in the day! Money matters
– Make available the new working timetable NOW
– Will trains “Alderly Edge” and “Huddersfield” going through or stop?
– Temporary rail replacement
– More carriages on existing trains
– Less service needed at minor station (eg. Dove Holes, 4,000 trips a year compared to 600,000
Levenshulme and 1,000,000 Heaton Chapel)
– Delay extra Buxton service in the timetable until December – use these resources for
Levenshulme and Heaton Chapel
– Need rail replacement not Crowd Control
– Allow train tickets to be used on buses, e.g. 192
– Reduced fare during the time (of service cuts)
– (some of) the trains that pass through Levenshulme are half empty, they could stop more carriages from half-empty services to busy services
– Can through trains make stop at Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme during this time?

5. ACTIONS – Who do we contact to be heard?

– TfGM
– Andy Burnham
– Influence Andy Burnham – IRONY about Green Summit. Trains most efficient solution – so
reduction in service is MAD!!
– ALL FM radio
– Contact Sunday Politics North West programme
– Contact Local BBC and ITV
– Manchester Confidential?
– Contact local press and news especially if there is a protest
– Co-ordinate and focus tweets so we can ‘trend’ then promote the same to the MEN
– Ann Coffey MP
– Afzal Khan MP
– Community Branch of Unite and RMT (allies)
– Local Green Party / Friends of the Earth may advertise posters
– Alex Ganotis – Stockport Leader of the Council
– Identify businesses and public sector organisations/ MCC affected (in theory or actual) by
workers not getting into work and lobby them to contact Northern and get involved
– Contact other areas affected by electrification problems and Carillion going bust
– Try and interest local radio in this story
– Seek letters of support from other local groups: Levy Market; Levenshulme Traders;
Levenshulme Festivals; Levenshulme Community Association; ALL FM etc
– Nusrat Ghani of DfT
– Let’s get ALL FM on board – Vox Pop or on air? How are people affected “platform blues” etc
– Chris Gray links to Transport Secretary
– DfT: They could cancel timetable change until Network Rail completes their projects
– Use the web to identify other stations with the same issues – now or historically and seek advice
on their experience

6. ACTIONS – What should we do as a group?

– Start a petition
– Enemies of Levenshulme Station (Northern? Network Rail?)
– Take video/photos of Reddish South, Ardwick, Denton stations and use them to warn via social
media. Don’t let them (Northern) do this to Levenshulme Station
– Ask major local employers, e.g. Salford and Manchester Universities, BBC to put pressure on
– Demonstrate each week between week after Easter and 18 May
– Sing/ Fancy Dress / Cosplay outside the station (is on platform legal?) “Three is not a magic
– Bicycle convoy on the A6 (happy to lead this)
– Get the Levy Uke group to make a song/ crowd song, + get it on YouTube/ Twitter/ Facebook/
Link to MEN etc
– Working with Trade Union RMT etc
– Protest at station targeting Northern Rail (or better)
– Ask people to sign if they want more or less trains (comment by S. – 7 years old)
– Co-ordinated twitter campaign (and signs about this at the station) (is it allowed?)
– Protest on trains start at Stockport station – then protest on trains and stations right into
– Noisy demos, blockade?
– Day of protest?
– Invade the tracks (last resort) (note by FolS: this is illegal and very unsafe. Not a possible option)
– Regular demonstrations
– Token poll for morning passengers: Two buckets; Happy or not happy with reduction in service
– SLUG: Convene and campaign at Station at Levenshulme User Group (SLUG)
– Piccadilly protest
– Poster campaign
– Opportunity for publicity? When the Kurdish community is brought to court for closing down
Piccadilly station for 2-3 hours there may be an opportunity to air our grievance with Northern/
– Chaos causing Protest: car convoy? Instead of catching the train, one day only get everyone
who can to drive their car, one person only, in giant convoy on A6 f rom Levy Station – Piccadilly,
lots of publicity
– Short Twitter/FB videos less than 30 seconds “Stories from the station” targeting Northern etc –
Positive and appreciative of service with a “please don’t take our trains” message.

7. OUTCOMES – Our chosen action plan (initial list)

– Protest day: Cycle? At Piccadilly? Outside HC and LVM stations? Start at Stockport, get off at
HC, get on train, get off at LVM, get on train, finish at Piccadilly? Hand out leaflets too?
– New leaflets and posters
– Email to all attendees with list of Twitter and Key contacts – coordinate a twitter campaign!
– Organise PR
– Residents/ Stations users action group (LVM and HC united)


The meeting lasted one hour and discussions proved very useful and effective for those who attended, to feel empowered in organising themselves into a new group: The Levenshulme and Heaton Chapel Rail Action Group. This is a separate group from the Friends of Levenshulme Station and Friends of Heaton Chapel Station. It is made up of local residents and rail users of these two stations, who feel most affected
by the proposed cuts to Northern train services. A separate mailing list and social media platform will be set up to enable further discussions and actions led by the group.
The Friends of Levenshulme Station and Friends of Heaton Chapel Station will continue their work supporting the improvements of their station’s environment.

If you would like to download  a copy of the report, you can find it March 27th 2018 FoLS Emergency Meeting Report

If you would like to support the newly formed group – you can find them on Facebook group here

January 2018 meeting

We are meeting on Wednesday 17 January 2018
at 6:30pm in the community room, at Arcadia (Library) Stockport Road.

All welcome!

Meeting Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes and Matters Arising
  3. News and Reports
    3a.Chair – Update on incident of no lights at the station for five days.
    3c.Treasurer – Update on current funds available
  4. Levenshulme Market – Cities of Hope mural art project
  5. Draft letter to the Mayor of Greater Manchester
  6. AOB
  7. Date and time of next meeting

FoLS November meeting

Our next meeting is Wednesday the 15th of November. 6.30pm-7.30pm in the Community Room at our Arcadia Leisure Centre. It’s fully accessible and all are welcome.

Here is the Agenda

  1. Present and Apologies
  2. Introductions
  3. Matters Arising from Last Meeting
  4. Letter to GM Metro Mayor about petition and need for an accessible station for the Levenshulme Community
  5. Pocket Garden project
  6. AOB

Notes from September Meeting

Attendance: John Commons; Peter Naughton; John Roby Brown; Pauline Johnston; Lorenza Casini; Cllr Dzidra Noor

Apologies: Ian Ford; Audrey Meade

> Children’s artwork from workshop with artist Mark Jermyn will be turned into boards to be mounted at the station in Spring. We have received approval by Northern already.
> Lorenza (Chair) and Pauline (Committee Member) attended a short filming by Northern to talk about the work FoLS have been doing to improve the station in the last 12 months, and a reminder that our work is ultimately aimed to raise our profile to make our station fully accessible.
> FoLS (Lorenza and Pauline) run an autumnal activity on Saturday 21st of October with members of the community and help by local councillors (Cllr Noor and Cllr Sheikh) to tidy up the planters on the Street With No Name and plant spring bulbs as well as edibles.
> Artwork “Sign Language Boards”. It was agreed that this still remains a really nice project idea to pursue but should be pushed to Spring. It would also be nice to see if other FoLS members may be interested in being involved and help on this project, to support the Committee.
> Another idea for Spring time is to run a FoLS family-friendly day out to Buxton to promote our station and its local destinations (beyond Manchester and Stockport).

Few images from our activity day on Sat 21 October

FoLS Community Activity – SWNN planters

FoLS activity_21Oct2017

On Saturday the 21st of October, we will spending a few hours in the morning (11am – 1pm) sprucing up our wooden planters on the Street With No Name ready for spring!

We have spring bulbs and edibles (such as broad bean seeds and winter onions sets) to plant! We will be tidying up the plants that have been thriving over the summer and add some more good quality soil.

We will provide gloves, but if you have small gardening tools and your preferred gardening gloves please do bring the along!

We look forward to seeing you then.

New SWNN planters


If you don’t know what SWNN stands for… *drum roll*… the Street With No Name! Something that has gained quite a status in the Manchester area, so much so that tourists are often seen taking selfies in front of the SWNN sign. You would also know it as the generally unassuming cobbled street down the side of our train station that takes you, through the pedestrian tunnel, into the station car park (which also hosts the weekly and fabulous Levenshulme Market). Not now though, in the last few summer weeks the planting has bloomed as this tweet celebrates!

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 22.10.11

Together with the community we came together in April to bring much needed love and care to the neglected station alcoves, we cleaned them, covered them with a weed-suppressant membrane and topped with decorative gravel. Fast forward a few months of hard work, coordination and preparation and we all came together again in July to assemble the freestanding wooden planters, install them in place and plant them up!

The planters were made and supplied in kit-form by the lovely people at TreeStation, the veg-growing-grade compost soil supplied by the ever polite people at Kennedy’s Turf and the planting by the just as lovely people at Hulme Community Garden Centre, not to mention all the other plants that members of the community brought and donated on the day.

The SWNN now looks loved and cared for, receiving many compliments by local residents and passers-by. A small number of plants have been stolen or vandalised, which has been a shame, but looking at the bigger picture we are certainly not deterred. We hope that these saddening and seldom incidents will reduce to none soon, while the love from our community for this bit of Levenshulme will continue to grow strong.

Thank you again to all our wonderful volunteers who came to help us assemble the planters (and all the tools you brought along!) and plant them up, to Levenshulme Market for their ongoing support and help preparing for the two SWNN Community Action days, Northern for smoothing out the redtape to make this happen and ACoRP  (the Association of Community Rail Partnerships) for part funding and thus adding to our (FoLS) funding pot, as well as Incredible Edible Levenshulme who also contributed part-funding from their original “Manchester Clean and Green” fund from Manchester City Council. Last but not least, a special thank you to Tree Station and Hulme Community Garden Centre for all your support and for offering us a much needed community-group discount that helped our tight budget stretch a little further.

Levy Station Book Exchange!


Following the wonderful reception by our community to the new planters on the Street With No Name, we are busy finalising plans and details for our latest mini project… a Book Exchange at our station. Something to cheer up our daily train commutes!

Here’s a sneak preview, poster thanks to Pauline Johnston, one of our passionate committee members and author of

Keep your eyes peeled for more info soon.

FoLS May meeting and AGM

We are meeting tomorrow (Wednesday 17 May 2017), as per the listed dates. Only difference is that tomorrow will also be our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

We are meeting at Levenshulme Arcadia (library and leisure centre), in the Community Room (1st floor) at 6.30pm, finishing at 7.30pm

AGM Agenda
1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of previous AGM
3. Officer’s reports:
a) Chair
b) Secretary – including Annual Report
c) Treasurer
4. Election of Officers for 2017/2018
a) Chair
b) Secretary
c) Treasurer
5. Motions (see below)
6. Any other Business relevant to the AGM

Motions for FoLS AGM 2017:
Motion 1: The Friends of Levenshulme Station annual membership
fee for 2017-2018 will be set at £1.00 per member.
Proposed: Ian Ford, Seconded: John Brown
Notes: the following notes are an explanation only and do not form
part of the motion.
a. This isn’t about money – the few quid will doubtless be useful to
cover small items we currently rely on individual generosity for
but the issue is about sorting out our membership.
b. We currently have a mailing list but no formal membership. The
current officers want as many people to be involved as possible
and want to keep an open list for everyone with any interest and
to continue to welcome anyone interested to our meetings.
However we believe that we do need a formal membership who
can vote to elect officers and on any policy matters.
c. Our constitution requires us to consider a membership fee
every year – which has always been set at £0.00. We thought
the easiest way to list actual members was to have nominal
membership fee – the members are simply those who have

Our normal FoLS Business Meeting will then follow and conclude by 7.30pm
1. Apologies
2. Minutes and Matter Arising of last meeting
3. Reports
4. Future activities
5. Date of next meeting
6. AOB

All welcome!

In advance of the meeting you can read the following documents by clicking on the links:
– FoLS Minutes of AGM 2016 here
– FoLS Minutes of April 2017 general meeting here
– FoLS Annual Report for 2017 here

Thank you!

File 25-04-2017, 22 13 20

For coming out in force for the Community Action Day on the 22nd of April to clean, clear and bring a lot of love to our Street With No Name.

Now that the alcoves have been prepped, look out for new wooden planters and planting and of course another community action day to do this together again. (all photos taken by committee members)

The Street With No Name – Community Action Day!


The Street With No Name offers entrance to our station and it is the gateway to our community for many residents and visitors alike, but lately it’s been looking a little unloved.

We’ve got together with Levenshulme Market, Incredible Edible Levenshulme and Love Levenshulme to organise a community day of action on Saturday 22nd April from 10am to 2pm. We’ll be clearing litter, preparing some new spaces for planting and generating ideas for what we can do with this iconic space and we really want you to join us!


Meet us on the street any time from 10am – you can join in whenever suits you and all the equipment you need will be provided – all you’ll need is some energy and imagination