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Lucy Burton from the Palmers Green Action Team (PGAT) tells the story of PGAT's latest project - cheering up Palmers Green Station.

palmers green action team logo no padding 1As a group, we're always looking for ways to make Palmers Green a little more beautiful and a little more "Green". There are over 5,000 commutes a day at PG station, so clearly a lot of residents come through it regularly and we thought they could probably do with cheering up! We had also seen the fabulous planting done by Michael Williams at Alexandra Palace and Dave Cockle (and partners) at Enfield Chase stations and wondered how they had been achieved. So last year we met with Duncan Primrose, Palmers Green Station Manager, and asked him - could the Action Team do this at PG?

It turns out that Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have an established programme for volunteers who want to improve their local station called Station Partnership. The partners basically need to be an (informally) organised bunch of people, who are going to respect the many railway regulations and who have the ideas and motivation to create something new and then keep it going over time. This includes designing schemes, liaising with the Station Manager on practicalities, funding and sourcing landscaping materials or art, working out the logistics of plant watering, and keeping planting and maintenance going on a voluntary basis. (This last can be quite a commitment in the summer when planters need daily watering). Anyone who's going to work on a regular basis needs to go through a series of paperwork, and get their plans signed off, but Duncan has been marvellously receptive - even fixing the broken tap on the southbound platform within days of us discussing it! I should also mention the support and encouragement we received from Dave and Doreen at Enfield Chase - well worth a visit to see what's possible on a 100 per cent voluntary basis.

As a result of the Station Partnership, and as part of the GTR Passenger Benefit Fund programme, late last year we were allocated funding for art installations at PG. We've spent the last few months commissioning artworks on the theme "What's Green in Palmers Green?", sourcing our artists locally and looking for community engagement wherever possible. And when we needed help with design concepts or making connections our volunteer network has been amazing. As a result, we have the three projects that Liz has posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages, with two out of three artists running free community workshops, and the mosaic artist with particular connections to PG, having grown up in Hazelwood Lane. They're a fantastic group of people and we're really excited to have them on board. Even more excited that they are sharing their skills with the local community. 

Spoiler alert: Next on the list is a planting and volunteer gardener scheme, and we hope to have details on that soon....

Finally, a cheeky plug - the missing piece in the puzzle now is permission from the council to smarten up the front, with hanging baskets and also barrier baskets on the pavement railings, which currently house a no-drinking sign and several bikes. Fingers crossed we will get this soon, but feel free to express your support so we can show how much PG residents care!

The three artists and studios who will be brightening up Palmers Green Station

Bread Collective

mural by bread collective

Bread Collective 💡 We are thrilled to announce the first of the three artists who will be working with us on the Station Art: @breadcollective 👌🏻 You may well have spotted some of their amazing work around London and we are thrilled to have a little slice of their genius coming to PG very soon.

ATM Street Art

mural by atm in walthamstow

Delighted to announce our second artist for our station art project: @atmstreetart. Specialising in street art featuring endangered wildlife in urban areas their work can be found all over the UK. We are over the moon that they will be part of our project in PG. The image featured is from their brilliant work in neighbouring Walthamstow, you may we have seen it.

Alex McHallam

mosaic by alex mchallam

The last of our three station artists to be announced is @alexmchallam — a mixed media artist with a special interest in mosaics - we couldn’t be more excited to have her on board. Alex is originally from PG so has a natural affinity with the area, she teaches classes at @stitch_n13 and is very experienced in working on community projects and has a passion for heritage and history; we know Alex is going to create something for our community to treasure ✨

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Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #5249 24 Feb 2020 16:51
Well done PGAT and with the anticipated planting and gardening scheme. Just throwing in previous ideas to your pot: the art gallery set up in the Platform 1 waiting room had a welcomed life while it existed some few years since while the idea to have musicians playing on Platform 2 for the banks of morning commuters waiting on platform 1, ruled out at the time by station authorities, might have legs with fresh train management.
Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #5251 24 Feb 2020 17:00
Ref the cheeky plug about the outside of the station. It is in the Lakes Estate Conservation Area and is Locally Listed. I'm not suggesting that anything you are planning will be a problem, but you need to bear it in mind. As the then Chair of the Lakes group I spoke to someone several managers ago to see if the outside of the station could be made more attractive , or at least if some of the redundant fixtures could be removed. So better luck this time!
Lucy B's Avatar
Lucy B posted a reply #5262 27 Feb 2020 09:39
Thank you for both of these comments and noted!