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Striking artwork transforms pedestrian approach to Matlock Station

An impressive 3.4 square metre artwork has been unveiled on the Matlock Station footbridge at a ceremony on Friday 9 February.

Dominating the approach to Matlock Station since 2007, the structure was in need of a refresh. The new artwork has transformed the space, depicting a Midland Railway 100 Class steam locomotive, a common sight on the rail network in Matlock until the 1960s. This particular locomotive was chosen to symbolise the creation of modern Matlock, which resulted from the arrival of the railway in 1849.

A complementary plaque installed beneath the artwork tells the story of the Number 100 steam engine and features two maps: an 1899 map showing the layout of Matlock Station in its Victorian prime, and a 2024 map showing how much has changed in the last 125 years.

Many local organisations played key roles in making the project happen. Matlock Civic Association conceived the scheme, secured the funding and co-ordinated its completion. Derbyshire County Council (owners of the footbridge) granted a licence for the work to Matlock Town Council, who took ownership of the completed project. Much of the £10,000 cost was secured by the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) through funding from Community Rail Network and East Midlands Railway. AJS Structural Engineers provided the structural calculations, artist Phil Rutt provided the illustrations and contractor Chris Addison completed the design and installation by fret-cutting the art, followed by baking the illustrations onto both the artwork and the site plaque.

Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, Chair of the Derwent Valley Line CRP, said: “This impressive railway artwork is a great way to distinguish the entrance into Matlock Station, providing an attractive welcome for passengers as well as a link with local history and the community, which the railway has served for generations.

“The CRP is delighted to have supported this project and we are extremely grateful to Community Rail Network and East Midlands Railway for their generous grant funding provided towards this project.”

Contractor Chris Addison said: “This has been a great project to take forward to completion. I learned a lot about the story of the Locomotive – and a lot about the story of Matlock too!”

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from the Derwent Valley Line CRP via their website.