Merseyrail – Art On The Network

Do any of you Merseysiders out there recall this ‘Art On The Network’ project being launched by Merseytravel in 2005? Can’t say I do but during a rummage through my collection of books and magazines about Merseyside’s railways I rediscovered a forgotten pack from Merseytravel dated August 2010 all about the progress and future of this artistic project.

In the pack, sent to me by Merseytravel’s former Chief Executive and Director General Neil Scales was an Official Trail Guide, a book mark, a brochure and a DVD. In terms of ‘Selected forthcoming projects and plans’ the brochure says that in 2010 the following will take place – Animate the Underground, Art on the Network website to be launched, Art on the Artwork Open Art Competition and Charity of the year Art Project. And in 2011 – Animate Your Wait, Art on the Network Open Art Competition, Charity of the Year Art Project, Olympic 2012 programme, New [Merseytravel] Headquarters Artwork. It seems that Merseytravel was really becoming quite arty indeed. Time to start some internet searches for the project as I’m partial to art, particularly if it’s railway related:-

The first hit was this Flickr page www.flickr.com/groups/1557796@N25/ trouble is it has no photos on it!

This internet link to – Art on the Network – Public Art Update moderngov.merseytravel.uk.net › documents › Art on the… 15 Nov 2012 — The purpose of this report is to update Members on Merseytravel‟s. Public Art Policy/Strategy and Art on the Network (AOTN) activities. 2 – no longer works

I then found this Liverpool Echo article from 2012 launching that year’s art competition www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseytravel-launches-art-network-competition-3348110

I also found this from back in 2010 ‘The Drum’s’ website – www.thedrum.com/news/2010/06/23/merseytravel-launches-art-network-site-mando The link to the Art on the Network site does not work though.

In 2009 the Art on the Network Competition was won by Ron Davies farm8.clik.com/rdphoto/articles_114212.html

That’s pretty much all I found by Googling Merseytravel Art On The Network so I went onto Merseytravel’s own website and searched ‘Art on the Network’ but nothing came up at all. Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s not as if nothing was achieved by this project which may or may not be on-going. Indeed, some quite significant pieces of artwork have been created and displayed across the rail network on Merseyside it’s just that Merseytravel seems to have all but let the initiative go as there’s nothing on it’s website that I can find. That’s rather sad I feel.

But My point in penning this posting is not just to say how sad I am that the initiative ground to a halt (or should that be shunted into the sidings?) because it didn’t and hasn’t! I know that because my two local Merseyrail Stations have had artwork displayed on them in recent years and here’s the proof. First Maghull:-

Displayed at Maghull Station and designed by Deyes High Academy students

By Maghull artist Margaret Walton as part of the Station Volunteers project.

And at the new(ish) Maghull North Station:-

These two photos of the same sculpture celebrate the fact that this new station is on the former grounds of Moss Side Hospital which as a consequence of the Great War became a centre of expertise dealing with shell shock victims.

So to conclude my voyage into Art on the Network all I can say is how about celebrating it all at least on your website Merseytravel if nowhere else?

Merseyrail’s review of 2019

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

The story is on Merseyrail’s video which you can see via the link to You Tube below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3lEe-ZATeA&feature=youtu.be

A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station.

Nice to see Maghull’s award winning Station Volunteers featuring on the video…….

Maghull – It’s Hornby Town

Maghull Station

Quite some years ago (February 2015 to be precise) I recall standing on Maghull Station with fellow Frank Hornby Trustee Les French, a rep from the Station Volunteers and a chap from Merseytravel. We were talking about making a story board for display on the station linking it to the life and works of world famous toy maker and Maghull’s most famous resident, Frank Hornby. A bit of back tracking on this blog site and I found what I said at the time. Here it is:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/02/02/maghull-promoting-frank-hornby-the-towns-most-famous-resident/

And the reason for mentioning it again now? Well the plan of February 2015 went nowhere for reasons I am not really aware of but it’s been one of those matters that from time to time I’ve promised to resurrect but then failed to follow through. So imagine my delight when I was contacted last week by a lady who’s one of the Station Volunteers and who’s clearly determined that the story board idea will see the light of day.

History board about Moss Side Hospital on the platform of the new Maghull North Station

I met said lady last Monday at the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre, within Meadows Leisure Centre, so she could photograph some of our display items which are normally behind glass. My understanding is that the plan is to put together boards akin to those at the new Maghull North Station which in that case tell the story of the work of the world famous Moss Side Hospital.

My very best wishes for the project, the Frank Hornby Trustees will be very pleased if it comes off this time around.

Maghull Station should be amongst those mentioned in this BBC posting

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42085145

The BBC has the uplifting story on its web site but the author clearly had not been told about the magnificent Maghull Station, made to look stunning by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Let’s remind ourselves of what they have done in recent years, whilst winning many, many prestigious awards:-

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers literally on display at Maghull Station.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Have a read on the train

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Lydiate – Will a volunteer ‘In Bloom’ type group take off?

Well I would like to think so as it could build on the work of Lydiate Parish Council which created the lovely garden area at Southport Road/Nedens Lane and the grassed/planted area outside St. Gregs Church on Liverpool Road. My previous blog posting about the gardens at Nedens Lane refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/02/10/lydiate-a-lovely-oasis-amongst-its-urban-surroundings/

And here’s a shot of the flower beds outside St. Gregs Church:-

Of course Lydiate Parish Council also used to provide beautiful hanging baskets along Southport Road and outside the Coronation Road shops but it stopped them a couple of years ago due to the cost implications. If a way could be found to reinstate them that would be a great.

And now a bit of history. Maghull in Bloom and its award winning volunteer groups used to be called Maghull & Lydiate in Bloom but became Maghull in Bloom due to the vast majority of its volunteers coming from Maghull. That volunteer group together with Maghull Maghull Station Volunteers has been going for 10 years now.

Sheila and I whilst living in Lydiate these days have been volunteering for Maghull in Bloom for two or three years now and we maintain the Lydiate/Maghull boundary planter on Southport Road outside Astor Court flats.

Helen Jones is trying to pull together a Lydiate volunteer group and she can be reached via this e-mail address:-

lydiateinflower@outlook.com

If you want to get involved please get in touch, Sheila and I have found working with Maghull in Bloom a real treat as you get to meet locals who also care for the local environment and make new friends too.

Maghull – Volunteers make Station look special but have you seen the weeds on the line?

A walk across the level crossing at Maghull Station recently brought this into sight:-

Network Rail have weed spraying trains that travel the rails of the UK dealing with the unwanted growth between and at the side of the rails and it looks like the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseytrail must be due a visit.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Considering the work Maghull Station Volunteers do to make Maghull an award winning station a little weed spraying by Network Rail would not go amiss me thinks.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/