Presentation on theme: "Labour of Love: Exploring Community Regeneration through Adopt A Station Dr Kathy Hamilton and Dr Matthew Alexander."— Presentation transcript:
Labour of Love: Exploring Community Regeneration through Adopt A Station Dr Kathy Hamilton and Dr Matthew Alexander
Multiple methods of data collection gathered during a 2.5 year period. Visits to 19 adopted stations lasting from 2.5 hours to a 2 night stay in a railway carriage bunkhouse. In total, 40 adopters participated in in-depth interviews and informal conversations were held with more than 60 others. Participant observation included attendance at events including: Adopter lunches, press launch, model railway exhibition, and various rail journeys. Evidence collected includes: – 321 pages of interview transcriptions involving adopters and other relevant stakeholders, – 6 hours of video footage – 886 photos – Field notes and archival material. Method
The stations were variously described as unloved and uncared for, a very brown environment... very uninspiring to look at, it was filthy and semi-derelict. As a result of the efforts participants noted that stations were: more welcoming, a lot brighter and more cheerful, It has added colour to the platform making the whole area more attractive.
It is like ripples on a pond, you know, if one person tidies up their patch then immediately the bit on either side looks a bit scruffy so if you do one good project it is amazing how it ripples out into the community and everybody will think, hmm, maybe I could do something like that….. in the beginning it was all done by us and now everybody takes a part, individual businesses look stunning, residents gardens are beautiful…..it is the kind of knock-on effect in the community (Sally, Pitlochry).
Tourism the journey is award winning and sells itself but when you get to Mallaig the station could be perceived to be a bit barren… it is really nice to give people something to look at and hopefully take away from the barren structure (Sonia, Mallaig). All the way from Glasgows George Square and Queen Street to this scattered settlement on the Atlantic seaboard, age, gender, status, wealth and occupation are transcended by an unselfish attachment to and affection for the iron road which wraps residents and regular visitors alike in its ferroequinological thrall ( Pearson, 2009).
Just a couple of weeks ago I had a group of French Scouts, about 20 of them coming off at Glenfinnan and then promptly getting their schoolbags out and taking out this black school robe, because they had seen our broom in the station yard, so 20 little kids had to pose for photographs with this broom, but they come from everywhere, not all of them dressed up but there are tourists from all over the world. They are whizzing through the station saying, where is the Harry Potter bridge, which in a way is good that it has attracted attention but in other ways it is sad that is all that they are looking for and that is all they see when they look at that fantastic area (Hege,Glenfinnan).
[Adopt A Station has] brought me into personal contact with local people who work, travel, use the station facilities and services, and others from far and wide who have fond memories of a significant station building, one which is probably linked with memories of holidays on the Isle of Bute. To all of these, the station is important, and its survival matter greatly. I have found meeting these people a very enjoyable experience. (Nancy, Wemyss Bay). And a lot of the stories from the Seaforths have been put [on the mural], although you would not notice it, they are all there – in fact one of the widows was at the opening, do you remember, she burst into tears when she saw her husband on the wall and it was quite moving really (Wilma, Invergordon). A railway station mirrors the soul of the place where it is located (Kopperud, 1998).
I plan, plant and maintain containers at 6 stations. I grow plants from seed at home. I invite people to help me complete work. I spend between 1 and 3 days a week, leaving home at 8.30 am and returning about 8.30 pm (Louis, Ayr – Stranraer). Oh the funding for our station, oh gosh, well that is a big funding package that I have worked on for probably five years to put together (Hege, Glenfinnan) Well I suppose the huge challenge was from the beginning point of jumping up and down … in a semi-derelict space saying this is amazing, to getting it to become my new studio, having never done anything like that before in my life I just sort of had no idea what I was getting into and it was a hard task.
If its lived in, its loved (Andy, Railway Heritage Trust). So I got into it basically because I was wanting to do something else with my life and I handed in my notice as a school teacher two weeks ago and I finish at Christmas and this place should be open by Christmas (Lynette Kinghorn).
Stations were viewed as – a community gateway which welcomed visitors – a shop window representing the community to the outside world – An appropriate place to highlight unique identity of local area Role of the community in local tourism promotion – Transforming spaces of transit to places of heritage, entertainment, dining, accommodation, etc. Conclusions