Railway mural builds links between school and residents
An artistic creation on a former railway bridge in Chadderton is strengthening links between students at The Radclyffe School and residents on Hunt Lane.
The project HeART for Heritage has seen talented art students working with artists Rich and TJ from Manchester-based Spearfish Arts and the Hunt Lane and District Residents’ Association (HADRA). The students took part in a workshop at the school to create designs for the mural, learning about the history of the area. This week they moved on site to put the artwork onto the brickwork.
HADRA members were keen to clean up the neglected site linking the housing to the footpath. They won funding from Oldham Council through local ward members, the Community Foundation for Greater Manchester and ROCA (Respect our Community Award) funding from First Choice Homes Oldham. The residents approached the school to develop ideas for the mural.
The colourful mural has taken shape on one wall under the bridge that carries Hunt Lane over the entrance to what used to be the Chadderton Goods railway siding. Students’ ideas for the mural recalled the railway heritage, local wildlife and the history and community spirit of Chadderton. They were helped in this by Michael Lawson from the Chadderton Historical Society.
HADRA Secretary Carole Schofield said, “We’ve been working to tidy up the site since 2013 as a way to bring the community together and to engage with students at the school. The site had been litter strewn and untidy. It’s wonderful to see it transformed with a fantastic work of art for everyone to enjoy.”
Head of SPA at The Radclyffe School, Alison Taylor said, “The students have been excited to see their work appear, from their first ideas to the finished mural. Working with Spearfish has taught them new techniques. Some of the students live close by and can all appreciate their achievement.”
Councillor Susan Dearden, Deputy Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives, said: “HADRA have made a fantastic difference to the area and they have exciting plans for parties and picnics this summer.
“I loved watching the mural being painted especially seeing little children adding their own drawings of worms and ladybirds to the elder students’ designs.
“We are really pleased to support this and proud of the achievement of our community.”