'I like this place, and willingly could waste my time in it.’Wise words from the Warwickshire bard, and a sentiment I felt strongly as I travelled along the Shakespeare line back in March.
Of course, a journey between the 22 stations from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford-Upon-Avon could never be considered a waste of time. Far from it, and a far cry from the description I would give the purposeful and groundbreaking work I was privileged to see, and has been achieved by the trustees, volunteers and partners of the Friends of the Shakespeare Line (FOSL).
Established in 2020, in just two short years (despite the challenges of a global pandemic) the FOSL has already helped to fund and produce a rich and diverse range of projects that bring huge benefits to both local communities and the railway. I was particularly blown away by the partnership with Woodrush Academy at Wythall station – the first station adoption in the country to be undertaken by a school.