Severn Dee Travel and The Station Cafe opened their doors this week as lockdown restrictions were eased.
The café which is run by students from specialist further education provider Derwen College, welcomes regulars from the community as well as commuters and day trippers taking the train. The café also provides young adults with special educational needs and/or disabilities with work experience, supporting them to learn the skills to work in hospitality after leaving college.
Sheila Dee, the Community Rail Partnership officer for the region and a volunteer director at Severn Dee Travel said that Gobowen Station was much more than simply a train platform, it was also a popular community hub.
“We are blessed that at Gobowen Station we have Severn Dee Travel, a long established rail agency but a not for profit, community-based company which always has had a community ethos. I work for the Community Rail Partnership for the line so to have had this on my patch for all my time in this job has been amazing. This has meant we have been able to develop really deep meaningful relationship with them, as with Derwen College.
“We are thrilled to welcome this wonderful partnership back, and to be able to serve the community once more.”
A special celebration cake made by Hospitality and Food staff and students at Derwen College was cut to symbolise the partnership between independent rail agency Severn Dee Travel, the Chester to Shrewsbury Rail Partnership and the College. Each slice spelled out a word describing the partnership, Inclusive, Community, Connections, Opportunities, Independence and Partnership.
Derwen College Commercial Manager Pete Evans said that the idea for the cake came about during a conversation with Sheila.
“We were talking about how unique our partnership is. We decided that what we did at the station was very much like a cake as it illustrated so many ingredients being brought together. Gobowen Station Café is a mixture of many things that benefit many people equally and everyone has their slice of the cake. I was talking about a metaphorical cake, but Sheila loved the idea of a real cake and we are lucky to have experienced cake baker and decorator Tracey Southern amongst college staff."