A WIRRAL blogger whose travels around the region’s rail network have earned him a loyal online following is in the running for a major award.
Scott Willison is among five contenders who fought off competition from almost 300 entrants in the Best Personal Blog section in this year’s Blog North Awards.
The 36-year-old former civil servant will learn the fate of Round the North We Go, his ongoing adventures in visiting each of the 529 stations on the Northern Rail network, at a glitzy ceremony in Manchester next month.
And those who consider him worthy of the prize can help him towards the trophy with their online votes.
Scott, who lives in Oxton with his partner Dave, was pulling in to Manchester’s Navigation Road station – another stop in his quest – when Wirral News contacted him to find out how he made the shortlist.
He explained: “As well as my own blog I write for a Coronation Street one and the woman who runs that suggested I put mine forward for this competition.
“I sent the organisers an email about three weeks ago, they had a read of my blog and I got a tweet from them telling me I was in the final five.”
The blog is a continuation of the project Scott started in 2007 under the name Merseytart, where he documented his visits to each and every station on the Merseyrail map, noting the architecture, the sights and checking off the ALFs (Attractive Local Features; the pictures of nearby attractions which appear on some station signs, such as the observatory at Bidston). He visited his final Merseyrail stations, the four stops on the loop line, in April last year.
He continued: “I really enjoyed doing that and when I’d completed Merseyrail I didn’t want to stop so I thought I may as well carry on.
“Merseyrail stations are on the Northern network so as I had already visited a large chunk of them I decided to do the rest. It’s a big task though, something like 600 stations, and I’m about halfway there. I’d like to finish it sooner rather than later.”
Due to Scott’s blogging focusing more on the places themselves than the engines which pass through them, he has attracted a diverse audience.
He added: “I have met quite a few people through the blog. Some of them are interested in stations, others in trains and others who say they have absolutely no interest in either but like my writing.”
His Northern Rail project – and October’s awards – remain a priority for now.
He added: “I’m looking forward to the ceremony.
“I just hope there’s lots of alcohol, in case I don’t win.”
To vote for Scott in the Blog North Awards, go to www.blognorthawards.com/vote and select Round the North We Go in the Best Personal Blog category.