Murals complete Rotary centenary project and￼celebrate area’s rail heritage
Written by RADio Admin on June 21, 2022
Article Published on Tuesday June 21, 2022 9:19 PM by RADio Admin
- Rugby News - Murals complete Rotary centenary project and￼celebrate area’s rail heritage
Colourful artwork depicting Rugby’s origins now adorns Hillmorton Road Bridge, marking the completion of an award-winning four-year Rotary project to upgrade a section of The Great Central Way
The murals, including the Central Station building, the Houlton transmission station, four famous Rugbeians, and the new ecology found there today, have beencreated by professional graffiti artists Nicolo and Stefano Suglich.
The inventor of the game of rugby, William Webb Ellis; inventor of the turbojet engine; Sir Frank Whittle, poet Rupert Brook and Rugby School headmaster and historian Thomas Arnold, are all depicted.
It is the final stage of Rugby Rotary Club’s four-year-year centenary project to upgrade a 1.2km section of The Great Central Way in collaboration with Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The Way ceased use as a railway in 1965 when Rugby Central Station was also demolished. Without the resources to manage it along its full length, the council handed over the lease to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust which now maintains the section south of Hillmorton Road. But they don’t have the resources to manage the northern section.
Rugby Rotarian and GCW project leader Laurence Wilbraham, said: “The painting of the murals represents the effective completion of the Rotary Club of Rugby’s Centenary project. After four years of work removing self-seeded trees and invasive vegetation to create glades and large ‘bug hotels’, native flowers have multiplied and there is more insect and bird life now on the section of the Great Central Way north of Hillmorton Road.
“Butterflies and moths have colonised the new growth and there are now more bird species and numbers of birds than before work began.
“We have been pleased to have been awarded both a district and a national Rotary environmental award for this project which has taken four years to complete. Walkers and cyclists have been very complimentary regarding the work which the club has carried out and we are very pleased that it has been so well received.
“I would like to thank all our sponsors without whom it would not have been possible to do all this work.”
It took twin brothers Nicolo and Stefano, from Lutterworth, almost two weeks to complete their painting of a 25-metre stretch of bridge this month. (June)
Nicolo – an artists for 20 years from Lutterworth – said: “The reaction from the Rugby community and all the people that were walking past it, has been really positive. Everybody has commented on how bright and colourful, and cheerful the mural is.
“It was an absolute pleasure to get involved in this project and we want to thank again to Laurence Wilbraham and the Rotary Club as well as sponsors, including Cemex and the Rugby Decorator Centre.”
As part of the work along the former railway line between Hillmorton Road and Abbey Street, three new bespoke benches, funded by The Rugby Group Benevolent Fund, were also installed last summer, the design incorporating trains, pedestrians and a cyclist as well as wildlife.
Laurence added: “To mark our centenary, Rugby Rotary Club members wanted to do something that would raise both the profile of the club and of Rotary, would provide long term benefits for the people of Rugby and involve volunteering and young people as well as doing something environmental.
“This is the largest and longest project we’ve ever been involved in and so far the feedback we’ve been getting from everyone who uses the Way is extremely positive.”
For further information about the Great Central Way project or any of the Rugby Rotary Clubs – Rotary Club of Rugby; Rotary Club of Rugby Dunsmore and Rotary Club of Rugby Saturday, visit: https://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.php?PgID=801977&ClubID=382
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