Platform for brighter St Annes gateway

New sign at St Annes rail station
New sign at St Annes rail station

Schoolchildren and community groups have played key roles in inspiring new signs at a busy Fylde rail station, promoting the best of what the area has to offer.

The signs at St Annes station, newly installed and set to be officially unveiled at a ceremony next month, are the result of a joint project involving Heyhouses Primary School, St Annes Town Council, Lytham’s ParkView4U community park, Community Rail Lancashire, the Friends of St Annes station and the company responsible for the station maintenance.

The new look for the signs visible as soon as trains enter the station is based on artwork produced by Heyhouses pupils and reminds station users and visitors of the town’s annual international Kite festival and its seaside location.

They are the latest in a series or projects to brighten the station involved the school, which is St Annes’ biggest primary.

Coun Tony Ford, chairman of the Friends of St Annes station, said: “The pupils have spent time studying St Annes station, took a trip to Preston station to learn more about rail travel and safety and have also been involved in a range of eco-projects which involved building bug hotels and bird boxes and replanting containers.

“After the station friends group built a new wooden planter on the platform, it was left to pupils to fill it with plants which to attract insects and other wildlife to the area and, working closely with Julie Norman from Park View 4U, they also created brightly-coloured insect houses and bird boxes which have also been installed on the station.

“As a result of this local focus on the station, Carillion, the company which manages the station maintenance on behalf of Northern Railways have had their brushes out and the bulk of the station furniture has received a much-needed coat of paint to accompany the new signs, with which we are delighted.

“The pupils from the school have been really creative in their efforts and have been been well supported by Emily Elliott from Lancashire’s Community Rail Partnership. It is a busy station and plays a vital role in bringing visitors to events in our town.

“The brighter and more attractive it looks the better and it is great to be able to promote as importtant an event as the Kite Festival, which has grown so rapidly in bringing thousabds of visitors to St Annes.”