Lydney train station was transformed into a comfortable ‘first class’ lounge complete with cushions, rugs, pictures and plants for commuters this morning – thanks to a partnership between Arriva Trains Wales and local artists group FarOpen.
Passengers were surprised to find that Arriva’s usually empty railway shelters had been decorated with home furnishings and artwork, alongside a large sculpture playing relaxing sounds to soothe them as they waited for their train.
The commuters enjoyed complimentary tea and coffee from Arriva and were thrilled to meet ‘Dog’, a life-like puppet accompanied by two members of Found in the Forest Youth Theatre, as part of this pop up arts event.
Geraint Morgan, Community Relations Manager at Arriva Trains Wales, said: “We are delighted to support today’s event at the station, which has been well received by customers. Stations can be a great venue to promote the arts and we are pleased to have been able to provide the opportunity for the participants to perform. Arriva aims to support arts projects in local communities where we work to help people learn new skills, improve the environment at stations and give pleasure to the passengers who travel on our network. It’s been fantastic to see our shelters and platforms transformed into a spectacular show for the enjoyment of our customers this morning, and the smiles on their faces as they went on their way to work.”
Carolyn Black is an artist member of FarOpen Studios and organised the event at Lydney station.
She added: “We wanted to raise awareness of the arts exhibitions and performances which take place in the Forest of Dean, and attract new members, by staging an event with a difference. My inspiration for this event came from two other projects. One was a story I read about where a bus shelter had been decorated like a living room. The other was at Lydney station last year, when I was waiting for my train and saw a theatre group using the opposite platform as a stage. As my work as an arts producer is all related to art in unusual locations, I thought it was a great idea to use the public space in that way. We’re pleased that we have been able to combine the skills of so many talented local artists and performers to give rail travellers a positive start to the day, and showcase what this area has to offer for visitors.”