Award-winning designs for new St Albans Abbey Station’s gateway

Marlborough Science Academy in St Albans gained second place in the awards

Marlborough Science Academy in St Albans gained second place in the awards - Credit: Archant

Art panels inspired by St Albans’ history have helped a local school reach second place in a national railway competition.

St Albans Abbey Station’s recently renovated gateway, an art project involving the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP), The Marlborough Science Academy, Groundwork Hertfordshire and Campbell Engineering, recently earned the accolade in the Association of Community Rail Partnerships’ (ACoRP) Community Rail Awards 2015.

The membership body represents over 80 community rail lines across the UK, as well as more than 1,000 station ‘adoption’ groups.

ACoRP awarded second place in its community art schemes (permanent) category to Marlborough and its project partners for the transformation of the Abbey Line’s entrance.

The Abbey Line CRP engaged Marlborough students to design art panels for a new gateway to improve the entrance to St Albans Abbey Station. The project’s aim was to harness art and technology students’ artistic ideas to help transform an unattractive gateway, which was successfully achieved with metal ornamentation.

Freddie Wernham, a Year 11 pupil at Marlborough, said: “We took a lot of inspiration for the design from the history of St Albans.

“As a group we thought that it was an important part of the city and should be displayed clearly as people enter the city.”

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Head teacher Annie Thomson said: “We are proud as always of our students’ and staff achievements; what a wonderful legacy, and so beautiful too – something they can show their grandchildren in years to come.”

Year 11 student Kate Mercer explained: “It was a brilliant and crazy process! We were given a day to come up with our designs and presentations. Coming up with this design was challenging but we focused on the history of St Albans and ended up taking designs from the Abbey and adding them to our [art panels].

“I walk to school, so walk past the station every morning, and it’s great knowing the team of students who worked together to create that piece of art.”

The Community Rail Awards celebrate the railway world – projects and volunteer contributions in 2014/15 – and were judged by an independent panel of experts.