Artistic pupils from Ancaster Primary School have brightened up Sleaford railway station’s footbridge.
The initiative started by Jon Moody, Schools Officer from Sustrans East Midlands, in conjunction with the Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership, saw the pupils use their artistic talent and knowledge of the local area over the space of a term to create the first of a series of new permanent pieces of art for the station on the theme of ‘Full Steam Ahead’.
Local artist Louise Hill worked with the children on the final design, amalgamating all of the children’s artwork. She then led a series of half day workshops at Ancaster School with year four and five pupils from Class Jamaica putting the mosaic together.
Jon Moody said the project promoted knowledge and awareness of alternative and sustainable transport, encouraging children to cycle to stations and make onward journeys by train.
He said: “It is fantastic to see this first stage of a larger project come to fruition. Not only is it visually stunning in its own right; it represents a lasting summary of a fabulous, whole term scheme of work that has been enjoyed by the pupils and staff at Ancaster both of whom have been enormously receptive and engaged in this exciting collaboration.”
Pupils explained that they had incorporated local thems including the Roman soldier emblem of their school, Lincoln Cathedral and Ancaster Church in silhouette, the Ancaster quarry and its famous local stone, as well as the Lincolnshire flag and, of course, a steam train.
The school has also adopted its own village station and created a garden area.
Mr Moody said: “I would love to repeat this activity in other schools throughout the county.”
He aims to get at least three other schools along the Poacher Line, from Skegness to Grantham, to create mosaics.
The unveiling of the art comes as the whole of the Sleaford station footbridge is being refurbished this summer. It is hoped that other local schools will see the mosaic and show interest in the wider project that Jon Moody, affectionately known as Dr Train to the pupils, has created.
The Poacher Line is a designated community rail partnership, which works with local communities to enhance the stations along the route between Nottingham and Skegness.
Kaye Robinson, Community Rail Partnership Officer, said: “The partnership working with Ancaster School and Sustrans has been a lovely way to showcase the difference that can be made to the Poacher Line. It also adds incredible educational value to the pupils and we’re really excited to take this project across other schools in the coming year.”
Clive Yates, Service Delivery Manager on the Poacher Line for East Midlands Trains, said: “East Midlands Trains love to involve the community at our stations. Our aim is to make our stations a real part of the community and it is great that the pupils at Ancaster school have worked with us to create a fantastic piece of artwork for Sleaford station.
“In 10 days time this footbridge will be closed down and repainted and refurbished so it comes at the right time.”
Donna Adams, Stakeholder and Community Rail Manager for East Midlands Trains, added: “We’d like to thank everybody involved in this initiative, particularly the children who have worked so hard. We’re certain that our customers will love the new mosaic.”
The Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership is funded by Lincolnshire County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, East Midlands Trains and the Department for Transport.