Skip to content
Mechanical marvel: Thameslink MD Tom Moran with Nick Mair, inventor of Denmark Hill station's marvellous marble run
Mechanical marvel: Thameslink MD Tom Moran with Nick Mair, inventor of Denmark Hill station's marvellous marble run

Press release -

South London station partnership presents marvellous marble run

  • Inventive public art on show at Denmark Hill station
  • Camberwell Society and Thameslink to stage a series of quirky sculptures on ‘partnership plinth’
  • GTR is showcasing local artists at thirty of its stations in a network-wide ‘ambience’ improvement programme

Passengers and passers-by can pause at Denmark Hill station to enjoy a quirky work of public art, thanks to a partnership between the Camberwell Society and Thameslink.

The partners built a plinth on spare ground alongside the station to display curiosities and sculptures by local artists. The Society has now installed a mazy mechanical marble run on the plinth.

The marble run is the work of artist-inventor Nick Mair, Chair of the Camberwell Society. The community group will source further sculptures from local art colleges to present a regularly changing local attraction.

Nick said: “It has been wonderful how many people have stopped to chat – socially distanced! –and then carried on their journeys with smiles on their faces. It’s especially wonderful to see the fascination children have shown as they watch the marbles roll along the track and get lifted back up.”

The ‘partnership plinth’ has lighting and a low-wattage power supply for mechanical artworks. It is one of over 1,000 projects, at more than 250 stations, in a multimillion-pound improvement programme by Thameslink’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway.

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We’re working across our network to make stations more attractive, comfortable and sustainable. We’ve commissioned artists, community groups and schools to liven up thirty stations with unique artwork inspired by their local area. Hugely talented artists across the region are coming forward with paintings, photographs, murals and mosaics.

“The Camberwell Society’s fabulous marble run here at Denmark Hill is probably the most inventive and enchanting so far. By working with local partners like this, we can really make our stations valuable assets for their communities.”

The Society worked with Thameslink on another prominent artwork at Denmark Hill, the ‘Camberwell’ mural painted on the nearby road bridge last year.

The community art will complement a major station expansion project being undertaken by Network Rail. This £7.5 million scheme, scheduled for completion this summer, will create a second entrance on the north side of the station. Thin-film solar cells on the roof will generate enough energy to make the whole new building carbon neutral. The scheme also includes additional platform canopies, seats and information screens, and 85 new cycle parking spaces.

Ends

Notes to editors

Please see video clips attached:

  • Tom Moran introduces Denmark Hill's marble run
  • Nick Mair talks about his creation
  • Denmark Hill marble run B-roll

A note on the station’s history

Denmark Hill station was originally built between 1864 and 1866. It is in the Italianate style, with a lavishly decorative frontage and ‘French pavilion’ roofs. Through the 1920s the waiting room held services by the ‘Mystical Church of the Comforter’, station staff often working to the sound of hymns. After an arson attack in 1980, British Rail planned to demolish much of the building, but the Camberwell Society led a successful campaign for restoration.

About the Camberwell Society

The Camberwell Society is a charity whose aim is to preserve and promote the amenities of the area. For more information see https://www.camberwellsociety.org.uk/

About GTR’s wider station improvement programme

GTR’s network-wide, multimillion-pound improvement programme involves over 1,000 projects, many of which were suggested by local passenger and community groups, at more than 250 stations. While we’re working hard to achieve the punctuality and reliability our passengers rightly expect, we want them to know we are with them all the way and making their stations better places to pass through.

The vast number and range of improvements can be described under three themes:

1. Giving many stations a better ambience by redecorating, planting and installing artwork, often with substantial input from the local community

2. Making stations work better for passengers, improving comfort and safety with new waiting rooms and shelters, seating, lighting, information screens, defibrillators for public use, and accessibility schemes

3. Making stations more sustainable, with schemes such as electric vehicle charging points, secure facilities for cyclists, rainwater retention systems, and even bee gardens.

We’ve created dedicated web pages where passengers and local communities can get updates on what’s happening at their station. They can be found at:

Subjects

Tags


For more information, contact the press office on 0203 750 2031.

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.comwww.thameslinkrailway.comwww.gatwickexpress.comwww.greatnorthernrail.com

Related content