CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Young Artists Work On Display At Museum

Young artists handiwork takes pride of place at Clitheroe Castle Museum.

Schoolchildren worked with local artist Gosha Gibek to create vivid illustration of Ribble Valley train journey.

A vibrant piece of artwork created by local schoolchildren has gone on display at Clitheroe Castle Museum as part of an exhibition which takes a deep dive into Lancashire’s rich railway heritage.

The artwork: ‘By Train to Clitheroe Castle’ was unveiled as part of the ‘On Track’ exhibition in the Steward’s Gallery at Clitheroe Castle and Museum by Ribble Valley Mayor Councillor Stuart Hirst.

This piece was inspired and developed with local Clitheroe artist, Gosha Gibek, who worked with children visiting the Castle Museum for the ‘All Aboard Fun Day’ during the February half term. Organised jointly by Castle Museum Manager Claire Sutton and Caroline Holden from Community Rail Lancashire, the fun day attracted more than 250 additional visitors to the Castle Museum.

The illustration depicts a meandering train ride from Blackburn to Clitheroe, featuring many of the landmarks along the route – including Blackburn Cathedral, Whalley ‘Arches’ and Pendle Hill. The landscapes are inset with illustrations created by the participating young artists along with some imaginative flourishes suggested by the children.

The ‘On Track’ exhibition at the Museum’s Steward’s Gallery delves into the history of Lancashire’s long lost branch lines and forgotten stations, featuring artefacts, photography and films from Lancashire Museums’ archives and privately owned railway memorabilia

The presentation also marked the invaluable contribution made by local rail enthusiast Brian Haworth to the exhibition. Brian provided a significant number of railway artefacts from his own collection to enhance the appeal of the exhibition, which has attracted many additional visitors to the Castle Museum since it opened in February.

Alongside the mayor, VIP guests including representatives from Northern Rail, Community Rail Lancashire and Lancashire County Council.

Artist Gosha Gibek said: “This was as much of a journey into the children’s imagination as a railway ride. I asked the children what they would really like to see out of the windows of a train travelling from Blackburn to Clitheroe and along with the beautiful countryside and a few spring lambs, the children said they really would like to see ghosts, witches and dragons, so I incorporated these within the artwork.”

Castle Museum Manager Claire Sutton said: “Gosha really sparked the imagination of the children who came along to the ‘All Aboard’ event during half term and it’s wonderful to see the end result taking pride of place here in the Steward’s Gallery at the Castle Museum.

“We hope the artwork inspires many more families to visit the Museum during the exhibition to get involved in the many hands-on, railway-related interactive activities on offer at the museum.”

Chair of the Clitheroe and East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership Melanie Taylor said: “This fabulous piece of art is a testament to the power of collaborative working and a wonderful illustration of the creative forces that are unleashed when young people work together.” “The illustration completes and complements the ‘On Track’ exhibition here at the Castle Museum, and I’d like to acknowledge the contribution of Brian Haworth in making this showcase such a fascinating insight into Lancashire’s railway heritage.”

The ‘On Track’ Exhibition runs at the Clitheroe Castle Museum until June 30 2023.

For details of trains to Clitheroe, visit the Northern Rail website: