Distinctive artwork by artists Ian Richards and Cathy Wade, inspired by the Longbridge community, has been unveiled at Longbridge station.
The work has been produced as part of the five-year Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP) by WERK to support the regeneration of Longbridge. The work features a subtle redesign of the station name running in boards as a unique temporary art intervention by the artists.
Complementing the station name and the Network West Midlands logo, each of the 15 station name boards now feature reflective quotes collected by the artists through conversations with community volunteers within ‘Wild Longbridge’ clearing and planting sessions that took place at the station to establish a micro wildflower meadow. Other phrases by the artists make reference to geographical and historical characteristics of Longbridge such as ’Changing Landscapes’, ‘By The Hidden River’ and ‘Austin Memories’ contributing to a celebration of the Longbridge heritage.
Ian and Cathy’s artwork, which is called ‘You have arrived’, is derived from long-term residencies in Longbridge and many engagements with local community members over the last few years.
Ian said: “We hope this work will invoke the character of the station beyond bricks, mortar and tracks and in particular the historical significance of Longbridge that surrounds it.” Cathy added: “Collectively, the work represents a place that has lived through so much change and has been animated through millions of conversations for nearly a century.”
The new name boards have been commissioned and funded as part of LPAP, with sponsorship from Sign Service, Birmingham. London Midland has sponsored the production of a special information booklet to detail and celebrate the project.
Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland said: “This is a really distinctive new artwork for Longbridge; well done to Ian and Cathy for creating something special through working closely with the community, a fitting, innovative tribute to the massive regeneration undergone at Longbridge. It makes for a fascinating source of reflection for customers and for people passing through on their rail journey.”
The artwork will feature at the station until December 2017.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and five Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work. In 2017 London Midland was named as Britain's most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and the UK's most improved organisation for customer service in the UKCSI survey.
In 2017 London Midland was also awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014. Achievements for working with communities recognised with an International Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) award (2017), an HR Excellence award for Best CSR Strategy (2017) and five national Community Rail awards (2017).