CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Connecting communities through art and history

Northern Trains stakeholder manager Owain Roberts (left) presents chair of South Fylde Community Rail Partnership Tony Ford with items for the St Anne’s Station time capsule.

Community rail volunteers in St Anne’s celebrated Community Rail Week with the launch of an exhibition of railway artwork and the unveiling of a time capsule to mark the station’s 150th anniversary.

The Friends of St Anne’s Station will bury the time capsule in November – as part of an extensive programme of events to mark the anniversary – and they would like local people to donate everyday items with railway associations.

Deputy Mayor of St Anne’s Cllr. Karen Harrison set the ball rolling by depositing a personal letter and a pamphlet about the town into the suitably engraved capsule. Owain Roberts Regional Stakeholder Manager for Northern Trains Limited handed over badges, train timetable covers, tickets and a lanyard which all went into the time capsule.

Time capsules provide historians with invaluable insights into people’s actual lived experience alongside official accounts and histories. Other items planned for inclusion are a memory stick, laminated photographs, coinage and anything else that is rail-related that will fit.

Northern Trains stakeholder manager Owain Roberts said: “We’re proud and delighted to have contributed some railway-related artefacts for inclusion in the St Anne’s station time capsule. Who knows what sort of transport systems will serve this station over the next century and a half, but it’s nice to know that the service provided by Northern Trains will still be preserved for posterity.”

Chairman of the Station Friends Group Tony Ford said: “The Time Capsule is being buried so that in 50 years’ time, our successors will get a real flavour of what life was like in 2023 when this station celebrated its 150th Anniversary.”

“We would still like to receive any railway-related items from members of the public before we seal the capsule up for posterity. We are looking for everyday items ideally related to the railway, the trains, tickets, timetables and photographs. Old travel passes, railcards and old and new tickets will all be considered.”

Local artist Nicky Thompson, who designed a series of distinctive railway posters, also launched an exhibition of his artwork in the ‘Shifting Sands’ exhibition at stations along the South Fylde Line.

The exhibition celebrates the railway poster as an art form and explores the development of the railways in the north and their impact on the Fylde Coast. The artworks depict well-known and beloved landmarks that bring tourists and rail travellers to the Fylde Coast in droves to this day. Community Rail Lancashire co-sponsored the exhibition when it initially opened at Lytham Hall in February 2022.

After opening the exhibition at the station, Nicky donated several framed prints of the posters for display in the waiting room at St Anne’s Station.

The time capsule and the poster exhibition are just two of a number of events taking place on the South Fylde Line to mark Community Rail Week.

Anyone who would like to donate items for the time capsule should contact Tony – ideally with a photo of the item and any ‘back-story’ – to allow collection/storage and acknowledgement information can be documented: