Picture this: you are in a strange country and come off the coach, bus or train and don’t know where to go. Then it rains, and you head for the nearest shop to ask. It is shut.
Well this happened to 20 mostly Chinese planning students from Liverpool University on a visit to Whaley Bridge.
They were on a mission to discover the canal heritage of the 19th century Whaley Bridge Basin, and walk to the Bugsworth Basin. They eventually found their way, but left disappointed and wrote a report which said: “tourists cannot find any information about this town” and “there is no interpretation centre”.
This report was presented to 150 planners at the Lowry on 13 May 2013. Ouch!
Well the community of Whaley Bridge has come up with a response: an eye grabbing information point outside the station car park, besides the main bus stop.
Photo by Chris Tetley
The Information point is a restored Gilbert Scott telephone box, recycled after decommissioning by BT, from nearby Bings Road. Information is displayed in the window panes of the box.
Photo by James Middleton
Local artist, Andrea Joseph impressed the members of Whaley4wards with her innovative design of a map for a local art exhibition in Whaley last May. They commissioned her to come up with an artist’s impression of the town showing its main attractions in a timeless fashion. The result of this is now installed on the back of the telephone box information point designed to show the best of where to stay, eat and take refuge in the not infrequent rain!
The action group which organised this – called Whaley4wards to sound like forwards as well as including all areas of the town – has 12 members, some from the council and others from the community. Their aim: to activate ‘short term achievable goals’ which regenerate and improve facilities in the four wards of Whaley Bridge’.
Any local businesses interested in advertising here should contact the Town Clerk here. Artwork should be proportioned to the size of a Tele Box window pane (34cm wide, by 17cm in height).
You can see more of the work of Andrea Joseph at Peartree Café in Canal Street and follow her work on her blog here