Owl artwork brings new life to old tree stump outside St Annes rail station

An old tree stump has been transformer by a Fylde craftsman into an eye-catching wood sculpture outside a town centre rail station

Monday, 27th September 2021, 5:33 pm

The rather forlorn-looking stump was left behind outside St Anne station after Network Rail removed a dead tree for safety reasons.

The Friends of the Station suggested that the stump, suitably modified could be used creatively and that has certainly proved to be the case after Wesham artist James Sheliker from Acorn Woodcraft was approached agreed to give it a new lease of life.

A hastily-arranged £250 grant from St Annes Town Council, backed by a contribution from Community Rail Lancashire, meant James showcase his talent to carve two owl images on either side of the stump to greet passengers entering and leaving the station car park.

The owl artwork at he exit from the St Annes station car park

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The wooden sculptures add to the recent Hidden Gems artwork adorning the station's platform area and booking office and station volunteer Margaret Beddoes, who suggested an owl as a subject for the carving, said, “They look amazing, I am so pleased with what James has produced for us.”

James said, "I was really pleased to be asked to undertake this piece as I am local to the area and value working with and supporting local projects.

"It was good wood to work with and I am pleased the owls have such a prominent position at the front of the station."

James Sheliker of Acorn Woodcraft at work

Tony Ford, chairman of the Station Friends group said “It is a real boost for the station and we were so pleased to be able to use a local artist to create these sculptures.

"They have become a real talking point locally already.

" There are a couple more trees that are in a poor state so it may be possible to have some more sculptures created in a few months' time.”

The station Friends are becoming known for their innovations and have been shortlisted for an award by the Community Rail Network.

The group's Christmas trees, created from disused pallets, gained a lot of media attention last year.

The annual Community Rail Awards taking place in Southampton in December are a national event that recognises the hard work and dedication shown by volunteers and station adopters across the country.

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