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Southern unveils new community mural at Thornton Heath

Press release   •   May 23, 2019 13:12 BST

Southern has unveiled a new mural at Thornton Heath station, paying homage to a couple of local celebrities in a very colourful way.

Crystal Palace Football Club’s mascot, Kayla the Eagle, and Grangewood Park’s famous white squirrel have taken centre stage in the piece of artwork, made up of four wall panels.

The project was brought to fruition by Thornton Heath Community Action Team (THCAT), working in partnership with Southern staff and Network Rail.

The mural is one of several additions to the station to help make people feel welcome and generate a sense of community.

Thornton Heath station manager Ade Akinniyi said: “It’s quite an impressive mural, focussing on the community and local identity. It’s brightened up an area of the station and given it a very new look. Lots of people have been stopping to take photos of it.”

THCAT has been working with Southern staff at Thornton Heath to enhance the station environment since 2016.

Previous projects have included the introduction of a book exchange in the waiting room, hanging baskets to brighten the frontage and even the installation of a piano.

THCAT chair Linda Watson said: “THCAT is a large and diverse group of local volunteers who have been taking action to improve our area. Members have carried out a range of activities, with help from station staff, to make our station more welcoming.”

THCAT member, Averil Coutinho, spotted the opportunity for a station mural and determinedly took on the liaison and preparation for this project.

Committee member and designer, Van Dang, then volunteered to design it.

Averil said: “Having moved to Thornton Heath from the East Midlands in July 2017, I was immediately struck by the community spirit and number of mini projects undertaken collectively to help improve our living experience. Our station provides excellent links into central London and beyond and I thought perhaps a splash of colour would be a talking point and prompt conversations whilst commuters awaited their trains.

“I can’t thank Network Rail’s Eddie Burton enough for funding the mural and helping us find the perfect position,” she added.

Eddie, who is a community engagement manager, said: "The mural looks great. We're pleased with the end result."

Since unveiling the artwork at a community event on Tuesday, commuters have described the mural as “awesome” and “brilliant.”

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com