23 May 2024

[23 May 2024] Local rail operator, Trenitalia c2c, unveils train-themed planter, designed by Bournes Green student, Bella Gjika, at special event at Thorpe Bay station.

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c2c’s Remembrance Day poster competition winner, Bella Gjika, a year six student at Bournes Green Junior school, was guest of honour at Thorpe Bay station on Wednesday (22 May) for the unveiling of her special prize – a train-themed, four-carriage planter – which she designed herself!

The planter, which has pride of place next to the main entrance at Thorpe Bay station and contains a variety of pink, mauve, violet and white geraniums, is based on a detailed drawing Bella sent to c2c after the train company asked for her suggestions on a competition prize.

 664f1f96a8578 664f1f96a857abella Gjika And Presentation Group.jpg

Speaking at the unveiling of the planter, where members of the local community, including Andrew Hall from the Thorpe Bay Residents Association, Bournes Green Executive Headteacher, David Denchfield, senior c2c colleagues and Bella’s proud father Ylli gathered, Bella said:

“The planter is absolutely brilliant, it’s really colourful and looks just like my drawing.

“I am very grateful to the team at c2c for building it – even adding small windows for extra flowers – and I can’t wait to bring my friends and family to the station to see it.

“This really is the best competition prize ever.”

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c2c’s Customer Experience Director, Abu Siddeeq, commented:

“Working with our partners at Ashwells Timber, we are delighted to have been able to bring Bella’s planter to life. The final result is fantastic and I’m sure it will be an extremely popular addition to the station and a real talking point with our customers.

“Not only does the planter brighten up Thorpe Bay’s station entrance for the many hundreds of customers who travel with us every day, it also showcases local talent and our ongoing commitment to working closely with the community.”

The bespoke planter has been built exclusively for c2c by the Woodshed in Milton Keynes, and it sits on a tropical timber track – made from reclaimed railway sleepers – provided by Ashwells Timber of Upminster.

Executive Headteacher at the Bournes Green School, David Denchfield, added:

“I am absolutely delighted to join for the unveiling of Bella’s planter.

“Bella is a conscientious and community-spirited student, and the planter demonstrates both her and Bournes Green’s desire to enhance existing relationships with local businesses, schools, social groups and the wider Thorpe Bay community, while also building new ones.

“Bella is a credit to her parents and our school, and I am very proud to be a part of today’s unveiling ceremony.

“We very much look forward to working closely with c2c on future projects.”



About c2c

  • c2c is the award-winning train operator running services between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness, serving 26 stations in East London and South Essex.
  • Owned by Trenitalia, c2c is one of the UK’s most punctual and popular train operators and nearly 34 million journeys are made on its services every year.
  • Italian-based Trenitalia is one of Europe’s leading rail operators and the passenger rail arm of FS Italiane Group.
  • For more information email mediaenquiries@c2crail.net
  • Main image: Bella Gjika and Bournes Green Executive Headteacher, Mr David Denchfield
    Presentation group image (from L-R): Iain Palmer, c2c; Andrew Hall, Thorpe Bay Residents Association; Leah Cable, c2c; Ylli Gjika; Bella Gjika; David Denchfield; Abu Siddeeq, c2c.

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