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Station volunteers marking World Polio Day
Station volunteers marking World Polio Day

Press release -

West Midlands Railway station volunteers add a splash of colour for World Polio Day

West Midlands Railway station volunteers pledged to add a splash of colour to stations along the Shakespeare Line in celebration of World Polio Day.

Thanks to volunteers along the route between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham, 8,000 purple crocus bulbs have been planted and are due to flower next spring.

The project is part of a partnership between Rotary International, the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help make the world polio-free.

Vivienne Wilkes, president of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, is also lead volunteer at Yardley Wood Station and teamed up with the Friends of the Shakespeare Line to make the project come to life.

Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway, said: “It has been an honour to work with Vivienne to help involve our railways in this global charitable venture.

"Our volunteers are all delighted to be planting purple corms to ensure a beautiful colourful display is ready to bloom in 2021.”

Vivienne said: “As a volunteer at Yardley Wood and being involved with the Rotary Club there was a natural fit with planting purple crocus corms along the Shakespeare Line for passengers to see and enjoy on their journeys.”

Friends of the Shakespeare Line have pledged to donate £500 towards the End Polio Now Campaign, and all donations are set to be tripled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who set up the cause. This will help 3,750 children across the world receive the vital polio vaccine.

Fraser Pithie, from Friends of the Shakespeare Line, said: “Vivienne is an energetic station adopter for Yardley Wood and this year she has ensured that all of our Shakespeare Line stations can take part in this worthy charitable cause to support the global efforts to end polio.

“We are delighted to be part of this activity and we’re all looking forward to seeing the purple splash of colour next spring as the bulbs come to flower.”

World Polio Day took place on Saturday 24 October 2020.




About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

For more information on these services visit or

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. 

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