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By Kevin Unitt Wednesday 03 October 2012 Updated: 04/10 07:50
ARTY murals depicting key historical figures and landmarks of Leamington have been officially unveiled in the underpass of the town's railway station.
Concerns about the look and safety of the underpass and walkway - which runs from the station to the bandstand in the Pump Room Gardens - were raised four years ago and led to the launch of a project to revamp the route.
Backed by the local councils, Network Rail and Chiltern Railways, Warwickshire Youth Justice Service appointed a group of 35 young people to produce a total 16 mural boards depicting historical events and figures from Leamington to showcase the town’s history.
Support and advice was provided by Friends of Leamington Station and the Historical Society who assisted with providing historical accuracy and background information for the mural subjects.
As part of a ‘Love where you live’ campaign, Warwick District Council also over-saw restoration of the area around the station, including the removal of graffiti, repainting of the underpass, cutting back overgrown hedges and replacing border fencing.
Coun Michael Coker, Warwick District Council’s community protection chief, said: “This project is in keeping with all of our aims to prevent crime and public nuisance and prevent re-offending.
“The people who have been involved are to be congratulated on all of the work and time that they have donated to our community which will make walking through the under pass a pleasant experience.”
The official launch was held on Tuesday afternoon (October 2).
The 16 mural subjects chosen for the underpass:
1. Leamington Train Station - in operation since 1852 when it was opened by Great Western Railways.
2. Leamington’s Spa water – from where Leamington gets the 'Spa' in its name, depicting the water which people believed had healing properties and took baths in.
3. Queen Victoria - first visited Leamington in 1830, returned in 1838 and liked the town so much she chose to bestow it with a Royal prefix and a statue erected.
4. Jephson Garden – award-winning gardens named after Dr Henry Jephson, who helped promote the healing properties of the town’s water.
5. The Regent Hotel - officially opened on August 19, 1819 and has been visited by many famous and influential people.
6. Isambard Kingdom Brunel – born 1806 and was an engineer who designed the Great Western Railway.
7. Elephant Walk – named after three elephants, Wilhelmina, Trilby and Haddie, who would walk up the Parade and be washed in the River Leam
8. John Wisden – one of the greatest cricket players of his day, he later set up a cricket and cigar shop in Leamington and is also the author of the Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac.
9. The world's first Lawn Tennis Club – established in Leamington in 1872 by Major Henry Gem and Augurio Pereira.
10. The Renshaw Brothers at Manor Court – depicts the site of the first tennis lawn in the world and the Resnhaw twins, who were Wimbledon tennis champions.
11. The Assembly – widely celebrate venue first built in 1926 and has house many high-profile bands and performers.
12. Frank Whittle – invented the jet engine and attended Leamington College for boys during his youth.
13. Naval Camouflage – developed in the town during the Second World War as an essential strategic tool.
14. Malcom Seyer and Spencer King – two Leamington residents, the former designing the Jaguar E-Type, the latter designing the Land Rover.
15. Randolph Turpin – AKA the Leamington Licker, he won the world middleweight title in 1951 by beating Sugar Ray Robinson.
16. Bowls Club – has hosted the Women's World Bowls Championships twice.
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