The Friends of Marple Station were formed in 2014 and adopted as their mascot a tiger that had been painted on a cabin in the car park, thetiger has roared ever since! Inspired by the Friends of Rose Hill Station also in Marple, the main objectives and aims of the FoMS are to improve the station environment and campaign for better services for the greater good of all those that use it.
At the beginning of July 2015 and although only one year old, the FoMS marked the 150thanniversary of the opening of the station. Events included the unveiling of a plaque, various displays, an exhibition of old station memorabilia, a book launch with slide show, a Miss Marple themed event, a guided walk and a special retro train journey.
As acknowledged in Warwick Burton’s original book, the first public train arrived at Marple station on 1st July 1865 across the magnificent River Goyt viaduct. Marple quickly became an important hub on the Midland Railway with express trains to Manchester and Liverpool. In its heyday there had been sleeper trains to London St Pancras, with over 100 trains calling at Marple per day and being manned by 40 staff.
150 years later to the day, FoMS members handed out refreshments and breakfast pastries to local commuters on a baking hot morning, which formed the start of a packed Marple 150 calendar of events. This created interest in the FoMS group with a few people enrolling whilst waiting for their train to arrive.
Later that day a crowd of a 100 gathered to see the Mayor of Stockport and VIPs from Northern Rail unveil a blue plaque and eat a splendid ‘pacer train cake’. They also took part in a question and answer session with children from St Mary’s Primary School that included such topics as ‘What does a Mayor do?’, ‘Have you met the Queen?’ and ‘When can we have some new trains?’ – good question! They also admired various pieces of art produced by local artists, students, children, and a series of posters of Miss Marple books covers. These have transformed the station in less than a year of the FoMS group forming.
From Marple station, Etherow Country Park is a five minute bus ride down the hill (routes 383/4). It is a pretty area of lakes, woodland, rivers and wildlife with plenty of marked walks. There is a year-round café, lots of ducks to feed and is suitable for everyone, particularly for children.
The Peak Forrest Canal passes through Marple via series of locks. Come along and spend an hour gongoozling! That’s canal speak for idly watching boats pass through locks and tunnels.
For general information about what’s on in and around Marple visit Marple’s own web site.
Marple has a footbridge and a lift to give access to the Manchester platform. Please note that currently the lifts are only accessible when the ticket office is open. The partnership is actively campaigning to improve this level of service.