South Tyneside Underground Stations Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Special Artwork

The artwork was produced as part of a project by The Cultural Spring, in collaboration with County Durham artist Laura Brenchley and a mix of local community groups. The project was a partnership with Metro operator, Nexus, and was funded by Arts Council England, as part of the major Metro Takeover project marking 40 years of the service.

The artwork is in the form of large collages made up of individual tiles created by members of the community groups and can be seen at Hebburn, Chichester and Bede stations.

Groups and schools that participated in the project included Hospitality and Hope’s Wellbeing Hub, Hebburn Sea Cadets, Lord Blyton Primary School, Monkton Academy, groups from Bilton Hall Community Trust and NAAFI Break South Tyneside, a veterans-led organization for veterans.

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Pupils and staff at Lord Blyton Primary, with artist Laura Brenchley, right, in front of the newly installed artwork on Chichester Underground station

Cultural Spring Project Director Emma Horsman said: “Our Metro 40 project was a great project to work on with local community groups, and I think Metro riders will enjoy the results for years to come.

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Artist Laura Brenchley asked people to reflect on what the Underground meant to them and their memories of the service.

Laura said: “I’m really, really happy with the end result and excited that something so awesome has been created using everyday materials. What was particularly powerful

Representatives of NAAFI Break South Tyneside, with Emma Horsman from The Cultural Spring (right), artist Laura Brenchley (second from right) and Rebecca Ditchburn, from Nexus, in front of the newly installed artwork on Chichester Underground station

about the project has been the stories behind so many tiles – and how proud each is of their own contributions and the final collages.

Alison Collins, a teacher at Lord Blyton, led the school’s work on the project: “There were around 20 children in Years 5 and 6 involved in the project and they loved working on it – learning about the area in which they live as well as learning new artistic techniques.

“They loved seeing their work in the flesh too.”

The takeover of Metro 40 breathed new life into the system through dance, song, music and visual arts projects, involving major regional arts organizations including Sunderland Culture, Dance City and The Cultural Spring.