Network Rail looking for signs of new times at your local station

Live near Norwood Junction? How about Coulsdon Town or Thornton Heath?

Network Rail is offering neighbours of their south London stations the opportunity to spruce up nearby railway arches with the work of a world-renowned mural painter.

Lionel Stanhope is looking to work on a railway mural near your local station

Lionel Stanhope is a signwriter renowned for his vintage typography work, and has been painting murals on the railway across the capital.

Lee, Brockley and Hither Green are among the stations which have been given the Stanhope treatment already, utilising vintage railway sign designs with added modern splashes of colour.

Stanhope has painted sets for Hollywood movies and worked in Disneyland. He has transformed nine bridges so far, and has now set his sights on completing another five murals before the end of the year.

“I trained as a signwriter, so lettering is my thing and I paint scenery for films,” he said.

“So I love working on anything big and these signs are 50 feet wide by 12 feet deep.

“I really enjoy doing these signs for Network Rail because I like to work on big pieces, plus it’s cool to get so much positive feedback from people, especially in Brockley where I’ve lived for 15 years.”

The mural at Lee station, where a heron was added to reflect the local park wildlife

The vintage railway-style signs first graced a wall in Herne Hill after the community launched a successful crowd funding campaign for the artwork.

Next up are signs at West Norwood, Brixton, Clapham and at Selhurst, where residents also joined forces recently to create their own mural.

“Some of these railway bridges are on the south circular, so all the heavy traffic has made them quite grim to look at,” Stanhope said.

“So these murals really help brighten the place up. I design the signs, all in the same typography but with two or three colours to choose from, then the community usually create an online poll to vote for their favourite.

“I’ve also personalised some of the signs based on suggestions from local people, so I painted a Walrus in Forest Hill because they have had one on display in the local Horniman museum for over a century, and I added a heron in Lee because they’ve got herons in the park.

“I’ve been inundated with emails from communities wanting something similar and I plan to paint another five before the end of the year, so we could end up doing 20 in total.”s

Five more stations could get the Stanhope treatment before the year’s end

Eddie Burton, the customer service manager at Network Rail, said: “We’re looking at similar areas that could benefit from a makeover and hope to continue these fantastic murals across the capital.”

So if you want one of the signs to brighten up a railway structure in your neighbourhood, contact Eddie Burton on

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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