Students’ designs to give railway station a facelift

Students presented their proposals for the Weir Minerals Community Challenge 2012 before a panel of judges at Todmorden High School
Students presented their proposals for the Weir Minerals Community Challenge 2012 before a panel of judges at Todmorden High School

TODMORDEN Railway station will get a facelift after judges selected students’ plans as winners of a community challenge.

As part of the Weir Minerals Community Challenge 2012, the railway station underpass will be decorated with Hundertwasser style paintings that have been created by Todmorden High students as part of the curriculum.

Improved and extended lighting will also be installed and the whole area will be brightened up with new paintwork.

A panel of judges including Weir Minerals Europe managing director Tony G Locke, Todmorden News editor Tim Robinson and Incredible Edible Todmorden’s Mary Clear came together for a presentation evening at Todmorden High School which saw year nine pupils present their ideas on how two areas of Todmorden could be cleaned up and revitalised.

Mr Robinson said: “The challenges were created based on what the public would like to see most happen in the town and show a real understanding of what matters most to those living here.”

Each group of students was allocated a Weir Minerals mentor who worked closely with them to help develop a creative solution in response to the challenge.

The resulting presentations prepared by the students went on public display at Todmorden Library in June to allow local residents to vote for their preferred solution.

The Canal Pals group - which consisted of Peyton Mensforth, Alex Kiriakos, Luke Glover and Sam Pearce – put forward a plan centred around tidying up the perennial dog mess problem by providing extra bins and beautifying the canal bank with planted flowers.

They were mentored by Alison Jones, Weir’s financial controller, and by Paul Loderer, also from the firm. Their bid was devised to be self-sustaining.

Weir the A Team, mentored by commercial engineer Huw Whitaker and Brunella Stefanelli, examined the needs of the railway passengers who come to the town’s station.

The team of Jess Clarkson, Meghan Hamer, Tom Kelly, Will Day and Tom Shackleton envisaged additional safety lighting through the tunnel to platform two and artwork from the high school to decorate the waiting room on that platform.

The judging panel, which also included Robin Asby, chairman of governors at the school, and Carl Hopkins, the managing director of Joblink Solutions and former Channel 4 “Secret Millionaire”, selected the railway team as the winner because of the clarity of answers to the judges’ searching questions about their proposals.

The winning group will now receive £2,012 from Weir Minerals to bring their plans to life.

The proposed makeover has been endorsed by Northern Rail and will be put into action in the new school term in September with a view to being completed in October.

A team of volunteers consisting of Weir Minerals’ employees, Todmorden High School students and members of the community will help the team carry out the work.

As the standard of proposals was so high, Mr Locke has also offered to contribute a further £500 to pay for an awareness campaign for the other team’s proposal to clear up an area of canal towpath in Todmorden town centre which is neglected and plagued by dog mess.

He hopes his donation will help ensure that many aspects of the canal proposal can also be realised.

Helen Plaice, headteacher at Todmorden High School, thanked the participants and the judges and said she hopes this collaboration with Weir Minerals will continue well into the future.

“This has been an excellent opportunity to show how well institutions in the community can work together to make sure that something valuable can happen and improve the town,” she said.

“Students and their mentors have worked very hard on putting these proposals together.”