A huge new mural has been created on a wall at Uttoxeter Station to celebrate the town’s highlights as voted for by members of the public through a postcard campaign.
A previous mural on the 35 metre-long wall had deteriorated due to water ingress and needed to be replaced. Local residents were invited to contribute their favourite places on postcards collected in special post boxes left at four town centre locations. The Uttoxeter Station volunteers were key partners in this activity. They suggested the best places and groups to consult and they distributed and collected the posters and postcards.
The mural was commissioned by North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership and jointly funded by East Midlands Railway, CrossCountry, Uttoxeter Town Council, Uttoxeter Station Adopters, Community Rail Network and Uttoxeter Racecourse.
Two artists were selected: Maisie Baker Design from Leeds (who grew up in Uttoxeter) and We are Culla from Stoke-on-Trent. The wall is so long that it easily accommodates two separate, but joined, murals.
Maisie Baker managed to incorporate all of the community suggestions into her mural – a black and white wave featuring Uttoxeter buildings, facilities and events in detail, bordered by brightly coloured flower shapes at top and bottom. From the postcard responses received it is clear that local people really value their town. Most often cited were: the parks, Cinebowl, Go Active Leisure Centre, the station gardens, the friendly people and the town’s historic buildings and museum.
The second mural features the Crewe to Derby railway route operated by East Midlands Railway. Each station is illustrated with a nearby visitor attraction. The artists worked together to make the two parts flow together, using a similar palette of colours applied by spray paint and paint brush.
Claire Sandys, Community Rail Officer, says: “Uttoxeter Station now has a bright and interesting wall on platform 1. It helps to promote the resources and community groups of this friendly and historic rural town. It also raises the profile of the other stations along the Crewe to Derby route depicting just some of the local places of interest that can be accessed by rail as a green alternative to car travel.”
Jody Ball, CrossCountry’s Stakeholder Liaison Manager, West Midlands and North West said, “This artwork has brought vibrancy to Uttoxeter once again and will do so for years to come, CrossCountry are delighted to have been able to be a part of this collaborative project. The railway and its environment are an important part of the communities it serves.”