London Midland’s ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’, which featured in this summer’s ‘Big Sleuth’, has found a new home at The Orchard School in Oldbury.
The bear, designed by local Black Country artist Glen Brooks, spent the summer greeting the public outside Snow Hill station. ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ was one of four bears sponsored by London Midland, which was also a presenting partner of the Big Sleuth event.
The Orchard School specialises in providing support to pupils with special educational needs and is the only school of its type in the borough of Sandwell. Located between London Midland’s Langley and Rowley Regis stations, the school also has close ties with the West Bromwich Albion Foundation, of which the train operating company is a partner organisation.
Running from July until the end of the summer, the Big Sleuth encouraged people to take to the streets and explore their local areas, whilst raising money and awareness for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
At the end of the event, the bears were auctioned off for charity and ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ was won by the train operating company. The Orchard School was selected to receive the bear because of its location on London Midland’s network, and because of its close ties with the Albion Foundation.
After being unveiled by the school and artist, Glen Brooks, the ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ will be displayed for all to see outside the school’s main entrance.
Richard Brooks, commercial director at London Midland, said: “The Big Sleuth has been incredibly important to us over the past six months and seeing the whole city engage with the art trail has been brilliant. The Orchard School provides fantastic support in the Sandwell area so it seemed fitting to present them with our special bear. I’m sure it will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.”
Diane Ellingham, head teacher at The Orchard School, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’. It’s a real focal point and being a bear, is ideal for primary school children. It’s a visual reflection of the school ethos of having fun, being approachable and friendliness.
“It’s such a significant feature in front of the school and seeing the children’s faces when they arrive is fantastic. First impressions are so important and our staff love it too! Thank you to the artist, Glen, the Albion Foundation and to London Midland for bringing ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ to us.”
Rob Lake, director of The Albion Foundation, said: “The staff at The Orchard School are second to none. The way they interact with the children and the players shows a great emotional connection.”
Visit our newsroom website for the latest news, press releases and information about London Midland. You can also create your own account to receive our updates as soon as they are published, straight to your email inbox.
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).