Images of town highlights installed at St Annes station to greet visitors

Images promoting a host of particularly attractive features of St Annes have been installed at the town's rail station.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 5:54 pm

The three montages of photographs - two on the platform and one at the entrance - is part of the Hidden Gems project being developed across a number of Lancashire stations involved with the Community Rail Partnership.

St Annes Town Council agreed several years ago to fund the artwork as part of the Neighbourhood Plan to improve the entrances into the town.

The idea was to brighten up the rail gateway, to link it with local community groups and promote the town as a tourist destination.

One of the montages in place at the station to welcome visitors.

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The pandemic restrictions meant photographic contributions were sought via word of mouth, local links and via social media, but there were still many more entries submitted than could be used and some may well be used in the furure for further montages.

The St Annes project was a joint enterprise between the Community Rail Partnership, the Friends of the Station and the Town Council. A grant of £500 was awarded by the Town Council, with the remaining cost, about £150, covered by Community Rail Lancashire.

The images, which promote St Annes as a 'garden town by the sea', were unveiled by by St Annes Town Council chairman and vice chairman Gavin Harrison and Karen Harrison.

Another of the montages of images at the station.

St Annes Community Rail Partnership Tony Ford said “The project was a great way to connect with the community despite the restrictions and while we would have liked to have worked directly with local groups, especially schools, we have still been able to deliver a project to enhance our station and offer a colourful welcome to the town for rail users.

"It has taken a while to come to fruition for obvious reasons but although delivered later than planned it comes at just the right time as restrictions are being eased and people are being encouraged to use public travel and enjoy 'staycations', putting our town at the forefront of the visitor economy."

Coun Gavin Harrison said: "The photomontages create a bright welcome for visitors to our town, highlighting many sights and features of interest and they will encourage people to explore St Annes. This project also fits in with our work to attract artistic talent and businesses to town, for example the thriving Craft Quarter centred around St Andrews Road South.

Coun Karen Harrison added: "These montages give a really colourful lift to the station alongside the floral displays that the In Bloom group works so hard to provide."

Katie Musgrove, a member of the Community Rail Lancashire staff who liaised with the designer and printers said “The artwork looks stunning. Hopefully all the contributors will choose to visit at some point and see their wonderful images in situ.

"We would liked to have invited them to the unveiling but the social distancing restrictions meant that was too much of a challenge.”

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