Saturday 28 July saw the launch of Bridgnorth Art Trail with the unveiling of the 12 statues of the Catch Me Who Can locomotive along a two-mile walking loop. Each statue features original artwork by local artists along with historical information, and the statues also feature an anagram competition, with a Severn Valley Railway ticket for the winning code-cracker. Organisers were overwhelmed by the positive response to the trail, and more free maps had to be printed to keep up with demand!
“The trail has been a big hit with families and tourists alike during the summer holiday,” explains the trail’s chair Cllr Julia Buckley. “We wanted it to draw visitors to the beauty spots and hidden gems of our town as well as providing a fun, free and healthy activity for residents.”
The endeavour has involved scores of volunteers as well as community and business groups, including the Marches Centre of Manufacturing and Technology. The training centre, along with shareholder partner Grainger & Worrall, was challenged by Bridgnorth Council to produce a casting representing the famous loco – the world’s first fare-paying passenger train built in the town in 1808.
Cllr Sarah Stevens was instrumental in working with businesses to sponsor many of the statues, and she says, “My art trail colleague Cathy Fox and I would both admit it’s been incredibly hard work and blood, sweat and tears have been shed, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with her. I know we would not be launching such an amazing trail to the people of Bridgnorth without this teamwork.”
Cllr Julia Buckley says, “We plan a further eight statues in 2019 and another five in 2020. So any businesses who would like to commission a statue, artists who would like to showcase their artwork, or volunteers who would like to join the team are invited to contact us via bridgnorth-art-trail.org.uk.”