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​Northfield gets creative with art and planting for station

Press Release   •   Sep 06, 2017 11:27 BST

The Northfield community and London Midland team celebrate the adoption planting and mural before fitting

The Northfield community has got on board with London Midland to adopt their station.

Thanks to the creativity of the Northfield Arts Forum’s Tuesday Culture Club the station now has on display a bright new mural featuring a train full of famous Birmingham names, and a unique poem about rail travel.

The Tuesday Culture Club is an arts group of local home-schooled children aged between 4 and 16 years. Supported by Northfield Arts Forum members Fran Littlehales and Celia Palmer, they researched famous local people past and present and painted their portraits as rail passengers looking out from the train windows. The work features characters as diverse as actor Lenny Henry and famous Birmingham manufacturer, Matthew Boulton.

The colourful design is complemented by the children’s poem entitled My Railway Journey, detailing the sights and sounds experienced during a rail trip into Birmingham.

Alongside these creative projects is the first ever adoption of Northfield station by the local community. Facilitated by resident Bethan Armstrong in conjunction with Northfield Arts Forum, the adoption encourages people to plant and grow vegetables and herbs at the station.

Bethan and her group, who have joined London Midland’s Adopt a Station scheme, will be planting strawberries, raspberries, herbs and pollinators. The three new planters for the greenery have been specially designed, built and fitted by London Midland artisans Mark Squire and Nick Rogers to support the group. An extension of a project already established in Northfield, it invites people to pick and try the produce.

Olly Armstrong, coordinator of Northfield Arts Forum, said: “31 children had a great time researching local people, painting their likenesses and thinking about what makes up a rail journey. The project has been part of their learning and has helped them to work as a team. Many thanks to Fran and Celia, Callum Bates and Joe Todd who supported the poetry project and to Leo Pswarayi for bringing the design together. It has been a real community project!”

Bethan of the Northfield station adoption group said: “The aim of our planters is to encourage bees with pollinators and for people to pick the locally grown food.”

Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, said: “It is really inspiring to see the community of Northfield coming together to support their station and to see children learning and growing through these projects. The station’s adoption is both a celebration of the rich culture of the local area and exemplifies what our initiatives are all about – engaging with the communities we serve with the aim of providing ‘simply better journeys’ to rail passengers. The mural, poem and plants can be enjoyed by the people of Northfield for a long time to come and the volunteers should be very proud of their achievement.”

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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 three 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 awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.

For more information about London Midland please visit the London Midland website or the newsroom website.

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