A local artist, Ursula Hurst has been working with 180 pupils from the three primary schools in Rishton, St Charles’ RC Primary; St Peter and St Paul’s CofE and Rishton Methodist School to introduce them to the tradition of Lancashire mill town Wakes Weeks.
The pupils have been learning the history of the local textile mills and how they were shut down for at least a week for the mill workers to have a holiday normally in Blackpool. Hence the title of the project ‘From the Mills to the Tower’!
Apart from learning about the history of their community the pupils were asked to develop artwork that could be displayed at the station. After looking at old photographs many pupils noticed how smoky the town looked due to the mills. This led to them creating paintings of the smoke-filled skyline which the artist used as the inspiration for a long backdrop that has been fixed to the palisade fencing to the rear of the Blackburn platform at the station.
Finally, the pupils were asked to think about the positive aspects of Rishton today. After looking at old vintage posters of other towns they noticed there were none for Rishton! So, with the help of the artist, they have created their own posters. The result is three vintage style posters that have been displayed on the Accrington platform celebrating all that is good about Rishton along with a map of Rishton today.
It is also worth noting that the Rishton Prospects Panel, who have adopted the station, initiated this project to celebrate 20 years of voluntary environmental work at the station and around the village through a major community art project at the station.
This project was funded by a grant from the Community Rail Development Fund, a pot of money provided by the Department for Transport and managed by the Community Rail Network. The fund is available for accredited CRPs to help with their projects.