Local have been wowed as Network Rail has teamed up with celebrated London-based street artist, Lionel Stanhope, to paint a mural on Pontypridd railway bridge with the aim of contributing to regeneration in the area.
The 30ft by 12ft murals mirror a vintage railway sign, with the lettering ‘Pontypridd’ on one side of the wall and ‘Graig’ on the opposite side.
Following conversations with local stakeholders, including a Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) councillor, AM and MP, the signs include a row of terraced houses and an icon of the Old Bridge to represent the landmarks of the area. Black, yellow and red were chosen for the lettering as a nod to the colours of the iconic Taff Vale Railway livery.
Renowned for his typography work, this is Lionel’s very first project in Wales, having painted a series of bridges across the network, including many locations in London.
Working on projects for Hollywood movies and Netflix, Lionel’s work has been featured in Timeout magazine and the Evening Standard.
Huw Beynon, asset engineer for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said:
“After several efforts over the years to improve the appearance of the bridge, I’m so pleased that Lionel has succeeded in brightening up this important asset for the community to enjoy.”
Speaking about the transformation of the railway bridge, Mick Antoniw AM said:
“I’ve been pleased to be involved from the start of this project, which in addition to producing this unique piece of street art at the ‘Gateway to the Graig’, has also seen new lighting installed and a deep clean of the railway underpass.
“Projects such as this encourage a sense of community pride and those involved in this project must continue to work with the local community to bring about further improvements in the future.”
Owen Smith MP, added:
“Pontypridd railway bridge is a major gateway to the town centre and the Graig and I’m delighted that Lionel’s artwork puts the proud history of Pontypridd and Graig at the very heart of the community.
“We’ve been working with Network Rail and our council for several years now to improve the station and its surrounds and I think the murals do a great job of brightening up the Victorian bridge. I’ve already had a lot of positive comments about them and I hope they’ll be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”
RCT Graig ward councillor, Cllr. Jayne Brencher said:
“A huge thanks to Network Rail for this transformation to the entrance to the Graig. It provides a vibrant gateway with the image of terraced housing and has been received with overwhelming support from local people. We are proud of our strong community and hope to continue the revitalisation with further projects.”
Finally, street artist, Lionel Stanhope, concluded:
“I was very pleased to work with Network Rail and come to Pontypridd to do my first project in Wales. I am very pleased with the results and the colours look amazingly vibrant. I also enjoyed painting the terraced houses which gives the work an even more local flavour.
“I very much enjoyed my time in south Wales and would love to come back and paint more stations here.”
The ‘Graig’ street art image shows the artist, Lionel Stanhope, standing next to his work.