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Children’s efforts transform Forest Gate bridge with artwork

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales praised everyone who worked together to transform the bridge Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales praised everyone who worked together to transform the bridge

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
9:41 AM

Youngsters have transformed a drab railway bridge into a work of art by working with residents and some help from Newham Council.

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The students from Earlham and Godwin primary schools were joined by other children, Newham councillors and residents to transform the bridge that carries Balmoral Road over the railway line.

Landmarks such as Forest Gate Station and the drinking fountain with clock near the station, the University of East London and angels inspired by the nearby cemetery, feature prominently on the painted panels on both sides of the road.

A grant from Newham Council’s Let’s Get the Party Started fund helped pay for paint and equipment to make the eye-catching mural possible. More than 100 residents and children did the painting last summer following a series of workshops with local artist James Valentine at the CoffeE7 café where the overall design was created.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales joined the students, councillors and residents, to cut a ribbon and unveil a celebration plaque on the bridge that carries Balmoral Road over the railway line.

He said: “This is exactly why we created Let’s Get the Party Started grants. We want to give our community support to create their own vision, to engender pride in their neighbourhood and bring people together.”

Forest Gate community lead councillor David Christie, who helped with the painting, said: “This was an eyesore site that has been transformed. It is a great example of people working together to improve where they live.”

Artist James said: “I was amazed by the enthusiastic response and the artistic skill of everyone involved.”

If you want to find out more about Let’s Get the Party Started grants, or to apply for one, can email communitygrants@newham.gov.uk ddd

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