Bill Cash MP today unveiled innovative artwork produced for Stone station by a group of local artists who have come on board to work with London Midland in order to show their pride for their local community.
The group of amateur artists are members of a weekly art class led by Staffordshire artist Vanessa Timmis, which is held in the historic station building. Their colourful designs, 14 in total, now feature as the centrepiece of a modern version of the traditional railway travel posters of the 1940s and 1950s. Each design has a distinctive Stone-feel, inspired by the local area and its iconic scenery.
These artworks, which will be the first of a series of art projects by the Stone community, will be displayed in rotation in new poster cases in the freshly-painted waiting shelter on Platform 2, providing a colourful display for customers, and the first exhibition forum for the talented amateur artists.
Members of the art group are all ages and backgrounds from Stone and the local area.The group’s youngest member is 19-year-old Holly Oldroyd, whose design of a wine bottle and glass is the centrepiece of a poster to promote the hugely popular Stone Food & Drink Festival.
This project at Stone is one of a wide variety in which communities are working in partnership with London Midland to enhance local stations and make them welcoming gateways to the local area. As part of this dynamic engagement with communities, called ‘community rail’, London Midland also welcomes local people through its Adopt a Station scheme, which supports dedicated volunteers right across its network who bring new life into station gardens.
MP Bill Cash attended the event to formally unveil the designs alongside London Midland’s head of West Coast Services Steve Helfet and Faye Lambert, head of community rail, as well as participating in a photo call with the artists.
“This is a huge point of pride for the local community and these volunteer artists should be celebrated. Stone station has never looked so good and it’s down to their hard work and dedication as well as the support of the London Midland team. It just shows what can be achieved when people work together to support their community. On a personal note, William Cash of my family was involved in the creation of the North Staffs Railway in the nineteenth century.”
The art group’s teacher, Vanessa Timmis, said: “Many thanks to Faye at London Midland for inspiring us to have a go and get our designs formally exhibited at Stone station. We found the project to be great fun and involving the local community to showcase their creativity allowed them to demonstrate their pride for their town.”
Faye Lambert said: “Our Stone station artists are blazing a trail when it comes to creative ways of making stations look and feel better. Grateful thanks to them for taking up the challenge and creating such incredible artwork for their station. Thanks also to our very talented marketing apprentice at London Midland Megan Crowley for so ably turning their designs into real railway posters.”
“We would very much like to welcome more local groups, individuals and businesses to get creative for Stone station with a new artwork project or support their station through our Adopt a Station scheme. So if you would like to follow in the proud footsteps of the artists and support your station in this way, please drop us a line to email@example.com“.
- Thank you to Vanessa Timmis and amateur artists Sue Price, Christine Malin, Alison Mason, Gill Mountford, Margaret Chapman, Joan Holland, Jenny Ralph, Erica Meehan, Mary Lister, Ann Hemmant and Holly Oldroyd for creating the designs for the Stone station community art project.
- To join the local art group, contact Staffordshire Artist and Art Tutor Vanessa Timmis on 01785 813314.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work.
In 2013 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Silver Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.