Community Rail Awards. Wednesday 5th October Manchester Convention Centre
Entry for section 11. Station Friends and Adopters at the Heart of Communities
Title: North Eastern Railway Tile Map, Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station
In the Edwardian era, over 110 years ago, the North Eastern Railway erected at least two dozen tile maps across its network. Amazingly half still exist, nine at their original locations: Beverley, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Morpeth, Saltburn, Scarborough, Tynemouth, York, and Whitby. During the pandemic the first brand new North Eastern Railway Tile Map on the National Rail network for over a century was erected at Hunmanby in July/August 2021. The North Eastern Tile Company generously supplied the new tile map at cost price, it was hand made by Craven Dunnill at Ironbridge, paid for by an anonymous donor, and local Hunmanby builders B. Edmond & Son made no charge for their work putting the tiles on the old station wall. The work involved attaching over 300 tiles onto a wall of hand-made Hunmanby bricks erected in the 1840s. All trains have to stop at Hunmanby station on the Yorkshire Wolds Coast line, so the 6 foot x 6 foot tile map is viewed by thousands of passengers travelling through Hunmanby by train each month. The Tile Map has also enhanced the station as a gateway to the village which is a developing new tourist destination.
Caption: Station House wall prior to starting work
Concept & Aims
Since 2006 the local community have gradually transformed Hunmanby station. There are now four flower beds totalling over 350 feet, containing mainly lower maintenance perennial plants and bulbs. But the station lacked a prominent focal feature, such as an artwork or mural, and this was a project to provide one. The station house wall on platform 1 (which is privately owned) is very prominent, facing the railway platform adjacent to where trains stop, an ideal spot for a new feature. The Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station had a very kind offer from someone who wants to remain anonymous to fund a new North Eastern Railway Tile Map. It could have been quarter or half size, but the donor chose to fund a full-sized map which measures over six feet square. It was ordered through the North Eastern Railway Tile Company. Its high cost reflects the craftsmanship involved in producing it; it was hand made at original works at Jackfield in Ironbridge. (Now a UNESCO world heritage site) (167 words)
The tiles were delivered to Hunmanby in December 2020, but due to a wet spring work putting them up at the station was delayed until early summer. Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station are grateful to the North Eastern Tile Company for their help and advice, and also the loan of a half-size tile map and sample tiles, which could be taken into the local community during the pandemic. This was done at first at open air events and later inside events including the American Car & Classic Vehicle Show and Pop Inns, a social group for older residents at the Community Centre. This was greatly appreciated, as people could see the beauty of the hand-made tiles and it generated village pride in the project. Hunmanby Parish Council included a story about the project in the village newsletter, so when work started preparing the 1840s Hunmanby brick wall in July 2021 it became an attraction for residents on their daily walks. In just two weeks the work was completed by local builders B Edmond & Son. John & Chris Edmond are both Hunmanby born and bred, and relished the challenge of this heritage project, which is a lasting legacy.
Caption: Chris & John with the first new North Eastern Tile Map on the National Rail Network in over 100 years
The new Tile Map has really put Hunmanby ‘on the map.’ On Wednesday 18th August the ribbon was cut by Edna Bates, a Hunmanby resident, who was born in 1920, when the North Eastern Railway still operated trains. It was a simple low-key event with Edna’s neighbours and her friends from Hunmanby Methodist Church and St Catherine's Hospice Shop, where Edna was still volunteering in her 100th year. In attendance also were John and Chris Edmonds who installed the tile map, and John and Monica Bridge who own the old station wall where the map is attached. Tea, cake, and biscuits were kindly supplied by Spring Café, a community café in the village. A more formal launch took place on National Heritage Day on Saturday 11th September, with guests from the rail industry, businesses, local councillors, the Railway Heritage Trust and our local MP, Kevin Hollinrake. Hunmanby Railway Station was a visitor attraction in its own right that day, with the North Eastern Tile Map, alongside a display of railway photographs through the years and a community harvest giveaway as it was National Heritage Week, with the theme 'edible produce'.
Caption: Edna still volunteering in her 100th year cuts the ribbon August 2021
Testimonials from the summer of 2021
Kevin Hollinrake Member of Parliament for Thirsk & Malton
‘It has always been a pleasure to work with the Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station who do such wonderful work campaigning for improved services and keeping the station looking in such first-class condition. I offer my warm congratulations on yet another successful project and will continue to support their efforts wherever I can.’
Councillor Roberta Swiers Elected Representative for Hertford & Cayton Division, North Yorkshire County Council
'I would just like to say on behalf of the County Council how proud Hunmanby should be to have the status of being one of the most attractive small stations in the county. The community have built on this asset in so many ways, it must be a pleasure for rail users to look at the whole station and be very envious of its whole appearance. A massive thanks to all volunteers who have made this possible.'
Councillor Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff Elected Representative for Hunmanby Ward, Scarborough Borough Council
‘The new tile map is a great addition to a much-loved station and will add to the wonderful welcome for users of Hunmanby Railway Station.’
Councillor Paul Riley Elected Representative for Hunmanby ward, Scarborough Borough Council
'I congratulate Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station on securing us this fantastic work of art - a tile map celebrating over a century and a half of railway heritage. Whilst it will be sad to look at the map and remember lines lost and stations closed, we can be sure that the Hull - Scarborough line and our own village station have a secure future with better services introduced in response to increasing passenger numbers. Our railways will play an important part in providing environmentally sustainable transport options as the country responds to the challenge of climate change.'
Caption: Heritage Day at Hunmanby Station September 2021