Purley Station’s new artworks offer inspiration from history

Purley BID’s efforts to enhance their district centre has seen them commission three giant artworks for the local railway station.

Platform 6 at Purley now has some ‘inspirational’ art

A collaboration of works by Dan Cimmermann and Morgan Davy, the project was supported by Southern Rail, with the art being installed at Purley Station last month.

The striking pieces provide an eye-catching welcome to train travellers with motivational messages of “inspire” and “innovate”. The designs are drawn from the area’s rich history.

The portraits, which have been installed on the wall of Platform 6, depict three distinguished people with historic relevance to Croydon:

  • Amy Johnson, who in 1930 was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, setting out from Croydon Airport;
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the 19th Century composer and conductor from Croydon; and
  • William Jessop, the civil engineer who masterminded the Surrey Iron Railway, the world’s first passenger railway that went through Croydon. The Purley Rotary field is home to part of the original track.

Simon Cripps, the CEO at Purley Business Improvement District, said, “These artworks are a welcome addition to Purley and to the station for railway users to enjoy.

“The pieces highlight the remarkable people that have lived here or helped to place Purley on the map over the years. We hope this helps the wider community discover more about our outstanding history and to inspire them for the future.”

Over the coming year, Purley Station plans to host a series of talks for schoolchildren in the waiting room next to the paintings to give them the chance to find out more about these fascinating individuals and discover how their stories are inspiring and relevant today.

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7 Responses to Purley Station’s new artworks offer inspiration from history

  1. Lewis White says:

    Excellent! I look forward to seeing these new murals on my first trip up by train to London since lockdown no 1, hopefully in a few weeks. Got my jab today ! Yesss!

    Very good to see these Greats of the local scene celebrated . Stirring stuff !

    Clearly, Purley is currently a happening place for public art.

    I am wondering if Purley BID is actually planning to make a “bid” to take over running of Croydon’s London Borough of culture 2023 event programme ?

    Their task might be helped by local residents. Surely must be a DJ /artist king or queen / diva of rap, or other music style of our time who has made it big, and is now living semi-incognito but not semi-detached, on the leafy Woodcote Estate, where a peaceful and green luxury suburban lifestyle with swimming pool, garaging for numerous giant 4 wheel drives and a bathroom for every day of the week can be enjoyed without sacrificing the street-cred prestige of having a CR post code. Purley has it all…… including some very good public art !

    • moyagordon says:

      I know Purley BID are well meaning in helping local business in Purley but is taking over the choice of art in public spaces their forte or even their right? Keeping Purley clean and tidy and safe is more important, there are plenty of scruffy areas and shop fronts that need attention.

  2. moyagordon says:

    Are the pictures finished? Look a bit scary to me. I wonder how much was spent on them.

  3. I think these paintings are fantastic and wonderfully executed. What an amazing thing to do at Purley Station. They inspire me every day I see them. Imagine if all railways stations were mini public galleries, linked by trains!

  4. Lewis White says:

    Is Life life, without Art ?

  5. Lewis White says:

    Further to Moya’s point about scruffy areas needing attention, I would mention litter bins and the need for regular emptying, as an obvious need, although I am sure that this is Croydon’s responsibility, perhaps not the sort of thing that Purey Bid’s funding should be subsidising, at least not, the emptying.

    Many a time have I gone into Purley, by bus, alighting in the Brighton Road stop in the main shopping portion of the Brighton Road, or have come back from London by train, then walked down to the South-bound bus stop by the Downland precinct, to wait for a bus.

    On a huge number of these occasions, particularly on evening visits, and on Saturday afternoons, I have been amazed and angered to see litter bins full and overflowing.

    I reported this on a couple of occasions, but it really should not be necessary. Town centre bins should be emptied daily, at the right time, so that the next day, the bins will not overflowing by the tiome of the next emptying.

    Business owners could help, by ensuring that they, their staff and clearers do not use the bins as a free trade waste disposal service. Tempting yes, but I have seen personnel come out of shops laden with boxes and bags, and fill up a public litter bin in a space of a minute.

    Looking at the wider context, and the need for permanent improvements, that would make a lasting and obvious positive impact on the face of Purey, I would like to mention again something I have mentioned in Inside Croydon before…….. that the Brighton road shopping area needs the kind of Urban design makeover that some other areas of Croydon have received in the last 10 years, under Conservatives and Labour, and, in fact, Purley’s station forecourt , and Purley High Street (the street with the currently shut Leisure centre and pool) received when the Conservatives were in power around 10 years ago.

    Quite simply, the pavements on each side of the Brighton Road shopping street are drab, bland and grey asphalt. They always look dirty, even when clean ! Purley looks down at heel.
    But it needn’t be.

    It would not cost a significant amount–but not a fortune – to resurface these pavements in York stone or speckled grey granite paving slabs, which last a life time or more, and always look good. The kerbs already present are the orignal wide granite kerbs (high class) –probably dating from Edwardian times. They are still fine.

    In my view, the pavements do not need widening, as there is plenty of space for pedestrians, but the paving just needs replacing. A couple of Green Party bus shelters, and many more bins, would also go down nicely. The lighting might need to be boosted–it is rather gloomy at night, in spite of new(ish) street lighting.

    My hope is that part of the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) money from the Purley Baptist site redevelopment (the Purley Tower) will be invested in repaving the high street. TfL could chip in.

    I mentioned this hope/ request to the Planning Inspectior when the Inquiry into the Tower was held.

    I really hope that the CIL funding will not be siphoned away from Purley. It’s up tio BID, Councillors, Purley RA’s and locals to ensure that this does not happen.

    Returning to Moya’s mention of shop fronts, what I noticed soon after the previous works were done in the High Street, several of the shop owners installed new shop windows.

    Shops respond in this way to the renewal of the public streetscape. It’s a positive sign of confidence. Our High Streets need it.

    Good public design results in a “feel-good factor” and thus, greater footfall, in my intuitive view, based on observation. Good environment must be good for the public- and for business.

    I live in hope– Purley repaving is high on my urban design bucket list. But how long do we have to wait ?

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