Colour for St Albans City Station

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News release: 11 June 2014
The murals on the railway bridge
Issued by First Capital Connect

First Capital Connect (FCC) in partnership with Network Rail and St Albans City and District Council has unveiled 16 original pieces of art at St Albans City Station on 9 June, in an ongoing campaign to promote the city. 

The theme of the murals that have been installed on the north side of the Victoria Street bridge, is a timeline of significant people, buildings or events in the history of St Albans from Roman Verulamium to the present day. 

The project has been led by the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Annie Brewster. Cllr Brewster worked in partnership with FCC and various organisations and families who were associated with each image. The Mayor was unable to unveil all the panels on her own so she invited a number of guests who could speak knowledgeably about each panel. These guests included The Countess of Verulam, and Christiane Kubrick, widow of local resident and film director, Stanley Kubrick. 

The professionally designed and painted murals, which are funded by Network Rail, are part of a coordinated drive to improve the experience of visitors to St Albans. 

St Albans City station is the primary gateway for visitors arriving by train. The Victoria Street bridge, which is Network Rail owned, was previously painted a dull battleship grey with numerous blotches where graffiti has been painted out. Both sides of the bridge alongside the footpaths have been repainted in a fresh blue colour which compliments the colours used in the artwork.

FCC has taken an active part in the promotion of St Albans to potential visitors. Over the past year, FCC has funded the printing of 27,000 ‘Enjoy St Albans’ guides which are stocked all along  the northern part of the Thameslink route. 

On 14 April a train was named ‘City of St Albans’ at London Blackfriars, once again raising the profile of the city, whose station is the busiest on the northern part of the Thameslink route. 
FCC Customer Service Director Keith Jipps said: “We want to help promote St Albans as a tourist destination and improve the station for the benefit of our passengers. 

“Thanks to Network Rail’s funding support, we’re delighted that the Victoria Street bridge has been repainted and murals introduced to reflect the history of the local community. 

“With almost 7 million passengers passing through its gates a year, St Albans is our busiest station on the Thameslink route north of London which is why we have been investing in the station and in our services.” 

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “We work hard with First Capital Connect to make sure passengers have the best possible experience of travelling on our network. Sadly, often our stations and the surrounding areas are subject to graffiti and vandalism. By working with FCC to develop these murals we hope to improve the environment for all users at the stations.” 

Cllr Annie Brewster, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said: “I am grateful to everyone who has been part of this amazing project. It has transformed a previously bleak bridge into a showcase of some of St Albans greatest claims to fame, although we still have lots more to shout about. Many different agencies have worked together to make it happen, sponsoring, organising and funding the project. I want to offer my congratulations to the wonderful artists and my grateful thanks to the people who have come to unveil each mural. I hope that everyone who crosses the bridge will enjoy seeing these illustrations of some reasons why we are proud of St Albans City and District.”  

Editor’s notes 
More information can be found on the website.

The murals and their representatives are: 
  • Roman Theatre of Verulamium - HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam 
  • c300  St Alban - Britain’s first saint - The Very Reverend Jeffrey John, Dean of the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban 
  • c300  St Albans Cathedral - Britain’s oldest site of Christian worship - The Reverend Canon Kevin Walton, Canon Chancellor
  • Nicholas Breakspear, first and only English Pope - Father Brian Reynolds 
  • Magna Carta, St Albans Abbey venue for first gathering - Fiona, Viscountess Trenchard, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire 2013/4
  • Alban Bun, The original Hot Cross Bun - The Reverend Canon Kevin Walton, Canon Chancellor
  • Clock Tower, Britain's only surviving medieval town belfry - Jill Singer, Civic Society
  • War of the Roses, 2nd Battle of St Albans - Andrea Hill, Sandridge 900
  • Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher, statesman, pioneer of scientific method - Donald Munro, President, Architectural and Archaeological Society
  • Samuel Ryder, former Mayor of St Albans, initiator of the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament - David Holwell, Trustee, Samuel Ryder Foundation
  • Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist - Dr Martin Guy, Head of Science, St Albans School
  • World Renowned St Albans International Organ Festival - David Titterington, Artistic Director
  • Stanley Kubrick, local resident and director of the film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ - Christiane Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick’s widow
  • Butterfly World, pioneering conservation project - Sally Cornish, Marketing Manager
Picture caption
(from left to right) David Statham, Managing Director of First Capital Connect; Cllr Annie Brewster; HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam

Notes for Editors:
1. First Capital Connect (FCC) operates trains from London to Bedford, Brighton, Wimbledon and Sutton on the Thameslink route and Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn on the Great Northern route.

2. The murals were delivered by young people from OnTheLevel Productions