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Poems on the platforms mark Community Rail Week at Bolton Station

Bolton Station has had a further boost to its title of ‘Poetry Station of the North’ to mark Community Rail Week eight poems by local writers have been erected on the platforms alongside poetry by Lancashire writers and Walt Whitman.

Bolton Station Community Partnership selected the winning poems from the 2021 ‘Poetry from the Platform’ competition held in partnership with Live from Worktown and the University of Bolton. The competition was divided into age categories and the winning poets are as follows; under 16, Scarlett Holt and Seph Maher, 16 to 25, Abigail King and Kate Jones, 25 to 50, Emma Byron and Ibby Ismail, over 50, Sally James and John Keane. As well as having their poetry up for the passengers to enjoy, their poems are also included in an anthology of over fifty that were selected from the submissions. This can be purchased via the group’s website –

Chair of the station partnership Julie Levy said: ‘This is a landmark event for the poets and everyone involved in supporting and judging the competition. Special thanks must go to Dave Morgan who was instrumental in having the anthology published and to the other judges, Hilary Walker, Dr. Ben Wilkinson and Dr. Evan Jones. The competition was launched during lockdown and despite everything has come to its final stage with a fantastic flourish.’

The station platforms and in particular the P5 gallery on platform 5 have been a hive of creative activity over the last couple of months with exhibitions of art from New Mills and Bolton artists, a two day programme of films from the Bolton Film Festival and some landscapes and townscapes mounted onto the outside of the building on platforms 4 and 5. The gallery is currently set up as a pop up cinema but will re-launch as a visual art space in December with an exciting multi-media exhibition ‘Different Pasts, Shared Futures’ presented by artists from the Bolton City of Sanctuary. Work on the station gardens is continuing with the planters on Platforms 4/5 made ready for a blaze of colour next Spring.

Chair of South East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership, Professor Paul Salveson said: ‘Our two organisations working closely together on many of these projects show what Community Rail can achieve at Bolton and other local stations.’