A little piece of Buxton now sits on the main concourse of Manchester’s Piccadilly Station. A wonderfully engineered model of The Crescent advertises the town’s best assets to those passing through the UK’s third busiest railway station.
Measuring in at an impressive 1.5m by 1.0m, the 1:150 scale model was offered by the Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS), working in partnership with the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust (BCHT), who previously owned it.
The pioneering marketing idea was the inspiration of FoBS chair, Dave Carlisle who heard about the model possibly becoming available when the new Buxton Crescent Visitor Experience exhibition was being put together. He loved the idea of folk taking the train ride south from Manchester to enjoy the town’s facilities, the renovated spa hotel and the Buxton Crescent Visitor Experience.
Dave explained: “We love our home town of Buxton and have come up with lots of different ways to help promote it to others, particularly to rail users. Perhaps one of our most innovative promotional ideas has come with use of this model of The Crescent, Buxton’s undisputed architectural jewel. Never has it been more important to support the town as it is now, since many local small independent traders struggle to recover from the damage done by covid-19 controls.”
He continued: “We managed to do this thanks to the partnership with BCHT and Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s head of performance and customer relationship on the North West Route and Margaret Edge, Piccadilly’s station control manager.”
Margaret Edge said: “We are really pleased to work together with FoBS on this project.”
BCHT’s Louise Cross added: “The model was originally commissioned by the Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holdings Ltd, developers for the project to renovate The Crescent into the spa and hotel complex, with shops and a visitor centre. The developers donated it to the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, who in partnership with the Friends of Buxton Station, offered it to Piccadilly Station to highlight the rich heritage of Buxton.”
Alongside the model, there’s a simple interpretation panel, explaining a little about its history. Also there’s a couple of “make a bee-line to Buxton” travel posters featuring Kenneth Steel’s striking 1950s “blue waters” image and reference to FoBS’s Bilberry bumblebee support work.
FoBS had to pay for and obtain a Licence from the National Archive held by the Science Museum to use Kenneth’s work.