Thrutch, Woolfold, Ogden, Grane Transcript


Audio transcript
Etchings at East Railway Station by Noah Rose
Duration: 03:02

Inviting you to enter the East Lancashire Railway Station are a set of steel gates by artist Noah Rose.

If you look at the development of the Irwell Valley, the railway’s played a very important part in first building up and connecting all of the towns that string along it. Many years ago when I was a student, I wrote my dissertation on the design and architecture of underground railways systems of the world, which earned me a reputation as a train spotter.

I grew up in London and I have always been fascinated by the London Underground. I think that the railways are a great resource really in Britain and something, which are very much apart of the history of the development of urban society.

Really I wanted to celebrate the role of the railways in developing the towns on the Irwell Valley and developing this notion of public space and shared public experience, but because of my studies and my dissertation I was so also very interested in railway architecture and the motifs that had grown up in the golden age of railway, which I suppose you can say is the first part of the 21stCentury. I was very interested in the art deco metal work that you see a lot of in the East Lancashire Railway Station at Bolton Street.

So the gates are functional but they also celebrate the railway as a force for social change.

These panels are maps. There are four different maps so there is a map of the geographical features of the Irwell Valley so the river itself, the hills, the mountains and so on and there is another map which show the full historical extent of the Irwell Valley railways, which were quite a lot more extensive than they were today, with lots little branch lines that no longer exist. And then there is a map that shows the conurbation as it is now with all of the rails and the M60 motorway and the different roads and built up areas. The final map was a stylised map in the style of the London Underground.

The materials and methods used reflect the golden age of railway architecture.

They are made of mild steel. They are hand forged by me or welded up and everything by me. The stainless steel panels are etched and infilled with enamel and they are made by a specialist etching company that I work with. It is a great material because you can create some quite fine detail when you etch into stainless steel. You can start with a drawing, a pencil drawing or a pen drawing with a lot of cross-hatching and shading and so on and it transfers quite nicely into the metal. I infilled the etched panels with enamel because I wanted the colours to stand out. I wanted them to function as maps do to convey graphic information in a clear visual way and make it very easy to read and very eye catching. So it has got that reference back to railway design and public information signage and a clean crisp 20thCentury modernist graphic design style.




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