Double Awards Success for Belper Station Mosaic and Art Gallery
Transition Belper’s wonderful Station Mosaic and Art Gallery collected two top awards at this year’s Community Rail Awards. The first was in the category of best community art scheme for the new station mosaic and artwork, a year long project developed by Transition Belper working with four local schools and hundreds of members of the local community. The project also won best community rail photo, taken by local photographer Ashley Franklin.
Transition Belper’s winning project comprised the large station mosaic and art gallery of over 25 colourful and vibrant paintings at Belper Railway Station, which depict local places of interest including Strutt’s North Mill, Belper River Gardens, Belper town centre, local parks and play areas. A selection of the paintings inspired the design for the impressive Station Mosaic located on Platform 1 at Belper, which wonderfully illustrates Belper’s heritage by featuring Strutt’s North Mill, and the River Derwent set within the beautiful landscape of the Derwent Valley.
Christine Gray, a local artist and member of Transition Belper worked with children from Herbert Strutt Primary School, Leaps and Bounds Nursery, St. Johns C of E Primary School and Turnditch C of E Primary School to produce the paintings. The children’s paintings were scanned and printed onto large panels which now adorn the railings at Belper Railway Station. Children from the local schools and representatives from organisations involved in the project, unveiled the Station Mosaic and Art Gallery on 10 June. Ashley Franklin’s winning photograph, voted for by over 300 guests at the Community Rail Awards Gala Dinner, comprises a train pulling into Belper Station during the unveiling of the Mosaic.
The station mosaic and art gallery has been a real community project inspired by local children and produced by hundreds of local people at The Belper Goes Green ECO Festival, coordinated by artist Christine Gray from Transition Belper, working support from the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership and East Midlands Trains. The Station Mosaic and collection of children’s artwork wonderfully complement the bright and colourful station gardens which are maintained by numerous station volunteers. Funding towards the art project was received from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), Belper Town Council, Department for Transport, East Midlands Trains and Network Rail.
David George, Chair of Transition Belper said “This is true community art crafted by the children and people of Belper to welcome rail travellers to our town and tell visitors how proud we are to live in such a wonderful place. It is heartening that all the hard work and creativity put in by Christine and the children has been recognised in this way. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved."
Emma Knight, Stagecoach Group Head of Media and Public Affairs, said: “These awards are a well deserved endorsement of the dedication and commitment of our Community Rail Partnerships, our valued station volunteers and the other organisations we work with to create a better train service for our passengers. We would like to pass on our congratulations to all of the winners.”
Artist Christine Gray, from Transition Belper and Alastair Morley from the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership together with Jonny Wiseman and Kevin Knight from East Midlands Trains collected the awards at the Ceremony in Torquay, on 1 October. The Community Rail Awards is an annual national event organised by the Association of Community Rail Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in community rail development and received entries from hundreds of projects from throughout the country. Artist Christine Gray and photographer Ashley Franklin will be presented with the trophies at Transition Belper’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 6 October at Strutt’s Community Centre starting at 7.30pm.