Last week saw the installation of artwork at Ramsgreave & Wilpshire station on the Clitheroe Line. This was the third station across East Lancashire to see art work installed and is part of Connecting East Lancashire’s ‘Let’s Connect’ project.
Artist Karen Allerton worked with students from Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe to create artworks to brighten up the station. With a focus on the future and careers, the students travelled by train to Manchester and spoke to passengers about their career choices and journeys along the line. Inspired by the silver birch trees surrounding the station and the pigeons on the platform, they then worked on designs that share their aspirations for the future, aiming to encourage us to appreciate nature and the planet and to look at careers, which will support a more sustainable future.
Karen also collaborated with art students from Blackburn College, Stephen Read, Russell Taylor, Harry Taylor and Ian Fletcher, who produced some of the stunning photographs on view, and with Peter Graham to develop ideas on ways to incorporate photographs from the Talbot Archive alongside ones taken along the Clitheroe Line.
Artist Karen Allerton said this about the project; “The artworks aim to share some of the local areas history and the stories of the inspirational people who have lived and worked alongside the railway line at Ramsgreave and Wilpshire. I asked pupils at Ribblesdale High school, students at Blackburn College and local community groups to consider the phrase, ‘Along the Line’, which in itself, can be interpreted in so many different ways, and feel that the wide ranging resulting artworks at the station reflect this. I have found it incredibly rewarding working with all of the people involved in this project and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some of their fantastic work and stories.”
Cheryl Sandford from Connecting East Lancashire added; “I’ve been very proud to be part of such a wonderful community project from its inception. The finished artwork is something to treasure and represents the work of many young people and our artist Karen’s expertise. Working closely with Karen has been a pleasure and I’ve also been delighted to work with a local community group and primary school whose memories and thoughts are reflected within the pieces. The artwork is so informative and inspirational and hope the local residents and commuters are as thrilled with it as I am.”
Caroline Eccles of Huckleberry Films, who been creating short films about the project commented; “It’s been a real pleasure to be part of such a fantastic community project with artist Karen Allerton, and the finished artwork is beautiful. I hope people take the time to look at the details on each piece, and that they will find it inspiring. We’ve seen how hard the young people from Ribblesdale High School have worked on the project and hope that they are proud of what they have accomplished.”
You will see a wealth of information about the history of the area on the platforms and in the shelters, many thanks to Child Action North West for allowing access to the Blackburn Orphanage archive, and to Dave Pilkington, Jenna Collins, Brian Haworth, Ken Roberts, CRL and members of the Singing for the Brain, Alzheimer’s Society Wilpshire Group, for sharing their stories, knowledge and photographs.