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‘Suzy the Sheep’ project promotes safety on the Bentham Line for over five years

The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has worked with local primary school pupils to help promote rail safety messages in the fifth year of the ‘Suzy the Sheep’ artwork project.

The character of ‘Suzy’ originated from an illustrated guide to rail safety produced by the Leeds-Morecambe CRP in 2017, and since then the project has engaged pupils from Carnforth and Cononley in 2018, followed by Clapham, Giggleswick, and Hellifield in 2020.

This academic year, Heysham and Bentham pupils have been the latest to take part in the project. After a trip to Carnforth to create their ‘Suzy’ with its unique Bentham background, the children enjoyed various additional rail safety related activities.

The pupils from each school contribute to an original artwork which is framed and presented to the school, as well as being incorporated into a finished display panel for their local station, coordinated by professional local artist Alastair Nicholson.

Rod Tickner, Vice-Chair of the Leeds-Morecambe CRP, said: “The artwork at my local station, Cononley, has been in place for five years, and it is still a vibrant reinforcement of the need for vigilance and care, as trains cannot stop quickly. There are several level crossings and numerous foot crossings along the Bentham Line which are public rights of way, so it is a vital that the safety message reaches a wide audience.”

Hannah Owens, class teacher at St Peter’s, said: “It was a lovely and fun experience for the children, who learnt a lot of useful information about keeping safe when using trains. The children were very motivated by the challenge.”

The Partnership is keen to extend the initiative to other schools and stations in Morecambe, Bare, Lancaster, Skipton, Steeton and Silsden, Keighley, Bingley, Shipley, and Leeds. Any schools who would like to take part in this project should contact the.bentham.line@gmail.com.

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from the Leeds-Morecambe CRP via their website.