Saddleworth School’s art talent on display to brighten up Greenfield Station

SADDLEWORTH School pupils will have a lasting memory of their time there after their new artwork went on display at Greenfield railway station.

Local artist Chris Cyprus worked with the students as part of a project aimed at improving the facility as part of the multi-billion pound TransPennine Route Upgrade.

The Year 10 members effectively pitched their ideas and sketches and they were the commissioned.

Now their work is on show for all as the scheme to electrify the lines between Manchester and York, which will cost between £8.5 billion and £11.5 billion, starts to have an effect on the Saddleworth area.

Chris Cyprus with some of the students from Saddleworth School

One pupil has focussed on the iconic Dove Stone reservoir and the fond memories it holds of her late mother.

Another has expressed her love for Saddleworth after arriving from Ukraine to escape the war in  the project titled Routes to Roots.

Chris, whose work is on show at other nearby stations, described the unveiling as a ‘big proud moment for me.’

He also told the artists now on show: “Your work will inspire other students along the line. It’s about believing in what you can do.

“You are the seeds of the whole story. It’s an honour and a privilege to do something like this.

“I remember being on the train to Leeds and most people look at phones, I looked at views.

“Something like this is long overdue and you can say I was here at the very start.

“This whole thing is a journey and it goes back about 15 years when I had initial idea on a train from Mossley.

“I said to friend, Leon Patel, ‘I’ve got this idea. Looking at other platforms to get work displayed on them.’

“I said to Northern, ‘What are the chances of rolling it out?’ The initial idea was doing it from Manchester to Huddersfield but TransPennine said, ‘We have 23 other stations. We love the idea, so you’re going to be busy.’”

Other stations on the leg from Stalybridge to Huddersfield are likely to have similar displays added to them, along with extended platforms and other alterations as the route upgrade goes on until the mid-2030s.

And those who contributed to what is now a great visual display at the station were told by Mark Ashton, one of the senior engineers responsible for the whole upgrade, they have laid the groundwork for others.

He said: “You can be proud of what you’ve done.

“This is about how massive investment can filter down. We’ve not started journey yet in this location yet, it’s about to start, so we’re working with communities and bringing them on journey with us, so people understand why we’re doing these things.

“You can celebrate where you live. I’m local and I’m proud of where I live. It may draw people from outside the area to explore it. We could leave this area in hopefully better shape.”

On the artwork itself, he added to Saddleworth Independent: “I had a sneak peek and it blew my mind what the kids have done.

“To me, what these 14-year-olds have done is just amazing. They must be so proud, it’s absolutely fantastic.

“It captures the local community and it’ll be a really good things for passengers to read what the children have done. You get a feel of what’s on offer in this area.

“This is a multi-billion pound investment but you have to be mindful of how imopavc6s people’s day-to-day life.

“Stations are going to be better and more accessible too.

“This can make them visually better too. It makes it a better experience for customers.

“As part of the scheme, we’ll have to interface with lots of structures – bridges, tunnels and make sure trains can pass through them with electrification.”

Once work starts on the upgrade in Saddleworth, work will be done on Saddleworth Viaduct, which was described as an ‘iconic structure’ before heading into Standedge Tunnel.

However, it is believed the electrification process can be accommodated in the current landmark.

Natalie Hewitt, Senior Sponsor for Transpennine Route Upgrade said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade will create opportunities for these young people as they enter the world of work or higher education later in the decade.

“Their pride in Saddleworth and the talent and dedication they have applied to this project is inspirational and we know that our ambition for the future of rail travel to and from Greenfield will match it.”

Craig Harrop, Regional Director at Northern, added: “It’s wonderful to see the wealth of creative talent that we have in Saddleworth, which is now on display for everybody to see here at the heart of the community.

“The entries to the competition have been fantastic and will really transform the station environment.”

 

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