02/04/2012 - HITRANS Most Improved Station 2011 – Falls of Cruachan
A volunteer gardener’s work to brighten a West Highland train station for ScotRail customers has been honoured with a posthumous award.
Brian Bentham single-handedly rejuvenated Falls of Cruachan station with beautiful floral displays, but he died in October last year before it was named the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership’s (HITRANS) Most Improved Local Station 2011.
Mr Bentham, who had lived in Oban since 2005, had voluntarily planted and maintained colourful flowers at Falls of Cruachan since July 2010 as part of ScotRail’s Adopt a Station project.
Mr Bentham’s daughter Mandi Dees travelled from Lyneham in Wiltshire to Inverness to accept the award on his behalf from HITRANS vice-chairman Councillor John Laing, at a ceremony on Friday 30 March.
She said: “It makes me such a proud daughter to know what my dad has done to brighten Falls of Cruachan station, particularly for walkers to enjoy during the summer months.
“He was very happy with his work and would spend a good few hours at the station every day, just to make sure everything looked good.
“He often took his camera with him so he could see the difference he was making over time, and it is pleasing for our family to now be able to look back at those pictures.”
A plaque will be installed at Falls of Cruachan station to mark the achievement.
John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, said: “We are grateful to Mandi for travelling so far to accept this prestigious award on behalf of her father, whose eye for detail and love of the outdoors have made a lasting, positive impact for everyone who uses ScotRail’s station at Falls of Cruachan.”
Before moving to Oban, Mr Bentham had previously worked as a landscape gardener in other areas, including Perth and Dunblane.
Falls of Cruachan is a summer-only request stop on the West Highland Line.
It is particularly popular with hill-walkers and tourists travelling to Cruachan Power Station Visitor Centre.
John Yellowlees, ScotRail communications, 0141 335 4787 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Danny Carden, ScotRail communications, 0141 335 5087 / email@example.com