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Railway Workers’ Art arrives at Bolton’s Platform 5

Chair of the partnership, Julie Levy and ISS worker John Taziker – the first visitor to the Platform 5 exhibition.

Bolton Station Community Partnership is hosting a unique art exhibition at its Platform 5 Gallery on Bolton Station. ‘Routed – an exhibition of railway workers’ art’ displays the work of active and retired railway employees and is the only show of its kind in the UK.

It includes paintings and photographs by five artists and runs until Saturday August 28, culminating in the first-ever Station Mela which will feature stalls and music. The exhibition is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from midday to 4pm and admission is free – barrier staff will let visitors through the gates on request.

“We’re really excited to host this latest exhibition, building on the success of the first-ever Railway Workers’ Art exhibition in 2019,” said July Levy, chair of the station partnership who is curating the exhibition. The show features the work of Nigel Valentine, Susan Skully, Richard Hall, Josh Watkins and Paul Salveson.

The subject matter is largely but not exclusively rail-related. Some of the photographs were taken in the Bolton area and include images of railwaymen at work. The paintings of railway manager Josh Watkins feature scenes from the Welsh narrow-gauge railways whilst Richard Hall’s paintings include a dream-like scene at the former ‘Mop’ pub in Halliwell.

“It’s a great show and follows on from our last exhibition featuring Bolton artists including Julia Uttley and Dave Burnham,” said Julie. “People really like the cosy atmosphere of the gallery and everyone can be assured of a friendly welcome.”

Paul Salveson, vice-chair of the station partnership and retired railway worker (former signalman in Bolton, started rail career at Horwich Loco Works) has several of his photos on show. “It’s nice to be able to show some of these photos, which date back to the late 60s in some cases, for the first time. Some of my pictures feature railway workers themselves, like Fred Arrowsmith of Bolton and Kenny Whittle, a driver at Astley Green Colliery in the late 60s.”