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Youngster helps Virgin Trains mark the last weekend of Manchester's Bee in the City

Press release   •   Sep 21, 2018 14:49 BST

15 year old Talia Hasid applies the finishing touches to her bee

Virgin Trains has marked the last weekend of Manchester's Bee in the City with the creation of the last ever bee at a pop up studio at Piccadilly Station.  

With the help of passers-by, 15-year-old Talia Hasid and artist Jodie Silverman have painted a little Bee as part of an initiative by Virgin Trains, a presenting partner of Manchester’s buzzing public art trail.

Talia came up with the design as part of a competition ran by Virgin Trains for under 16s to create and take home a little Bee. Jodie Silverman, the artist behind The Original Worker Bee sculpture that kicked off Bee in the City, brought the artwork to life during a live painting session at the busy train station. It gave people the opportunity to place their mark on the final Bee – the 233rd – for the city’s free, fun art event.

Talia Hasid, a pupil at King David High School who wants to be a graphic designer or illustrator, said: “What really interested me in Bee in the City was the amazing artwork on each Bee. I noticed how each Bee was created by a different artist and no two Bees are the same, which really made me think about how everyone is creative in their own way. The idea of the Manchester bee is so wonderful, as it brings everyone together and inspires hope for people.

“I came up with the design when I was travelling down to London on a Virgin Trains and I never thought I would win. The fact that it is the last Bee to be painted is really special, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see it finished!”

Gaynor Stewart, Virgin Trains General Manager for the North West and Wales, added: “Congratulations to Talia. Her design really stood out and is was great to see the smile on her face when she saw her Bee for the first time.

“Bee in the City is a celebration of all that is good about Manchester. It has captured the hearts and minds of so many. So, it seemed fitting that Talia’s design was brought to life with the help of so many at the station today. A big shout out goes to all of them.”

Although Talia’s special addition to the colony named Day of the Bee will not be on the art trail closing on Sunday, people will be able see it at the Farewell Weekend in October before she takes it home. All Bees from the main trail, together with Day of the Bee, will be gathered together at the HSBC UK Cycling Centre on 12 – 14 October. Tickets are on sale now at

Ticket holders will be able to get up close and personal with the Bees at the Farewell Weekend before many are auctioned off to raise funds for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity. Over 70 of the giant Bees will be heading off to their new hives after the Auction, but 23 super-sized sculptures that have been decorated by community groups will be staying in Manchester as a lasting legacy of the Bee in the City project. All of the 131 little Bees will make their forever nests with the schools and youth groups that created them.

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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