A HUGE public artwork designed to brighten up a neglected Dearne Valley spot has been officially opened.
MP John Healey did the honours for the Under the Tracks mural at Thurnscoe’s railway station underpass, which includes a mosaic produced by villagers and schoolchildren last summer.
Artist David Cross was commissioned by regeneration group Big Local Thurnscoe to paint a graffiti skyline on one side of the underpass, which also incorporates landmarks from the village such as St Helen’s Church and the war memorial in Thurnscoe Park.
Alison Vint, Big Local Thurnscoe development worker, said: “Following a green space audit last year, members of our green space group agreed that the underpass was looking neglected and did not provide a suitable welcome to the village.
“We have matched our own environmental funding with grants from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership and (rail firm) Northern in order to commission this stunning new artwork for the station and underpass.
“An exciting community arts project was set in motion over the summer involving local school children and residents in a series of workshops to design and create a stunning mosaic celebrating what makes Thurnscoe a better place to live.
“The design features the oldest church in Thurnscoe, St Helen’s, and references Thurnscoe Reservoir and all of the amazing green space that we have.
“Hickleton Colliery is represented by a pit wheel with a huge phoenix rising from the flames.
“We also commissioned a David, a local artist, to paint a lovely silhouetted skyline which also features key landmarks in the village.
“In addition to work on the underpass, we are also planning to produce a timeline of Thurnscoe which we hope will be installed on the station platform this year.”
She added: “This project has been fantastic in terms of working with different sections of our community to produce something that will not only improve a neglected area of the village but provide a real talking point for years to come.
“Big Local is all about transformation, and we have proved with Under the Tracks that residents are happy to celebrate the rich history of the village whilst looking to the future.
“Both of the artworks produced so far celebrate the beautiful green spaces in the village including the parks and the reservoir, and we hope to encourage more people to get involved in our work and take the time to visit the village.”
Richard King, manager of the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to support Big Local Thurnscoe’s 'Under the Tracks' project through our community grant scheme.
“One of the key aims of the DVLP is to fund small projects which local communities are passionate about and this project is a great example of showcasing heritage in a different way.”