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Shifting Sands: Artist Nicky Thompson revives the classic railway poster

North West-based artist Nicky Thompson has unveiled a new poster series in the style of the striking railway posters designed and issued in the 1920s and ’30s.

With influences from Art Deco to Art Nouveau, these eye-catching posters will be exhibited at the lovely Lytham Hall between 4 February 2022 and 30 September 2022. A selection of original heritage railway posters will also be shown alongside them.

My previous articles have often mentioned the railway industry as promoting top design work and these posters are another prime example of this. These pieces are real artistic survivors and I suspect many are familiar with them, if not their history. A history where the railways actively promoted rail tourism, including summer special excursion programmes to resorts. Nicky Thompson is to be congratulated in his following of this tradition. And what better place to exhibit his work, but the Georgian splendour of Lytham Hall.

The project has been completed in partnership with Fylde Borough Council, which approached Nicky to create twelve modern images that could be displayed alongside the council’s collection of vintage posters promoting the Fylde Coast and held in its archive. Now old and new will be displayed as a ‘walk through gallery trail’ at the hall.

Nicky’s posters are designed to help promote the Fylde area and to encourage people to use trains to reach the area, particularly after the Covid pandemic’s ravages. This supports a sustainable tourism and sustainable transport agenda, easing traffic and parking pressures. To this end, Community Rail Lancashire (CRL) and its local branch the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership (SFLCRP), has supported this initiative. Together with contributing railway knowledge, CRL has raised funds and arranged to have the posters printed at Double Royal size by the Source Creative company for display on its branded boards both on the South Fylde Line and at other stations on other routes.

As well as the Lytham Hall gallery trail, the twelve poster images will feature on CRL websites and other social media. One particular focus will be encouraging people to get involved with the SFLCRP self-guided walks, the Lytham Hall and Lytham Town Trails in particular.

Do get yourself to the Hall to view these magnificent posters and their forebears. While you’re there, tour the hall, sample the tea room, check out the grounds and browse the gift shop.

Find out more on the Lytham Hall website.

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  • I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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