The Covid-19 pandemic did not stop a Community Rail Lancashire celebration going ahead on Tuesday 19 January 2021 to ‘unveil’ the fantastic variety of artwork now adorning Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Station. Karen Allerton, the commissioned artist has successfully worked with students from Ribblesdale High School and Blackburn College and gained insights into the history of the area through CANW (Child Action NW), the Talbot Archive and local Alzheimer’s Society to achieve artwork that not only brightens the station, but also helps people find the way more easily too.
Ribblesdale High School were struck by the environment of the station, the station being in a cutting, concealed by trees and foliage and wanted to increase the visibility of the station and give it an uplift through artwork, as well as learn new skills along the way too.
Artist Karen Allerton said: “by travelling on the train, the Ribblesdale High School students found out what people wanted from their station. The students not only looked to brightening the station up in way that was empathetic to the location, but provide helpful signage in a fun and friendly way. The staff and students were inspiring and so enthusiastic to work with – it was infectious!”
Mel Taylor, director Community Rail Lancashire and Connecting East Lancashire project officer, who was MC at the joyous event said: “I am so incredibly proud of everyone involved in the production of all the artwork at Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Rail Station. The artwork supports and will hopefully encourage more people to enjoy and embrace the local rail network in addition to taking pride in the place they live, appreciating its history and what it has to offer today. The artwork designed has been a joint effort between a local artist and the local community, and I have no doubt that everyone who sees this artwork will undoubtedly have a smile on their face.”
Richard Watts, chair of Community Rail Lancashire said: “It has been wonderful to see the station’s environment reflected in the artwork so sympathetically and we are delighted at last to be able to celebrate this mighty achievement. There is a range of artwork inspired by local groups including historical features, photographs of the area and even memories of local people who have used the station in the past. It is amazing that this station was established to serve Ribchester, but of course now it is a valued facility for people who are on the doorstep of the station.”
Huckleberry Films have also produced three short films about the development of the project, the third becoming the launch film as no celebration on the station itself was permitted at this current time.
Caroline Eccles, director of Huckleberry Films said: “It’s been a real pleasure to be part of such a fantastic community project with artist Karen Allerton, and the finished artwork on the station is beautiful. I hope people using both platforms take the time to look at the details on each piece, and that they will find it inspiring. We’ve seen how hard the young people from Ribblesdale High School have worked on the project and hope that everyone involved is proud of what they have accomplished together. We know that it’s not possible for the participants to visit the station in person at the moment, and hopefully our film will be able to give them a taste of the beautiful work on display.”