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Kettering Civic Society
'Time Travellers' at Kettering Railway Station

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Time Travellers on the Northamptonshire Open Studios Trail

A surprising venue for art could be found at Kettering railway station, and what an excellent place to find an exhibition by Jamie Poole to cheer up the spirits and buy a work of art. Time Travellers is the name that Kettering Civic Society has given to the room, because the Society is interested in the past, present and future of the town and if you have visited you would see from archive material that things do go around in circles. An art exhibition by one of the oldest art Societies, The Kettering & District Art Society, took place in the station masters office in 1979!

Kettering has been described as a town that people ‘pass through’, the Society is keen to invite travellers to explore what the town has to offer, specifically it has a rich heritage of the Arts and art, it can boast many great artists such as the well-known Dan Dare cartoonist, Frank Bellamy, Gotch, Sir Alfred East, Nettleship the list goes on.

As well as exhibiting Jamie Poole’s art at the station, on show is a piece of the 1960’s mosaic by Kenneth Budd. It is Kettering’s own public art.(Budd’s works include the Kennedy Mosaic that was in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, also now re-sited). The Mosaics’ abstract images tell of Kettering’s rich heritage, it is a modern version of Kettering’s coat-of-arms and pays homage recognising the importance of the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society, William Knibb the emancipator of slaves as well as recording the towns industry; made possible because of the railway coming to town. The Mosaic had adorned the former Grammar School, latterly Tresham College but when it was decided to pull the building down no provision had been made to keep the Mosaic and it was offered to Kettering Civic Society as custodians to save for the town in 2007. Since then it has been in storage awaiting funds needed to restore and re-site it. A mammoth cost for a small Society who has worked hard over the years fundraising. Ł24,000 is still required to restore and re-site it, a small price to pay for a large piece of an iconic 1960’s mosaic showing Kettering’s heritage. Are there any philanthropists out there willing to sponsor and donate a Kenneth Budd Mosaic to the town and have their name in Kettering’s list of benefactors along with Carnegie (Library) and Charles Wicksteed (Pleasure Park)?

It was a privilege to have Susie Corke's traditional hand and machine patchwork quilts on show during September. She is very well-known within quilters as a professional teacher and an award winning textile artist. Thank you to our volunteers who staffed Time Travellers during September.

On Friday 26th February @ 11am the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Mukhtar, Opened Kettering Civic Society’s new base “Time Travellers” on platform 1 at Kettering Railway Station and The Mayor of Kettering, Councillor June Derbyshire, acknowledged the gardening and reconstruction work that PRINCE’S TRUST STUDENTS have completed to enhance the station.

In 1979 Kettering Civic Society won a Civic Trust Award for work on the station gardens and 37 years later Princes Trust students work on the same garden.

The Society contacted Tresham College Mark Williams, Team Leader of the Prince’s Trust to ask whether students (Team 43) would be prepared to make a garden, restore a mail cart and provide a planting display at the station. Students were delighted to take up the very challenging heavy work planning their project and spending time raising funds by bag packing at Asda to help pay for materials. They spent 10 days creating the garden and didn’t give up when the weather was cold and rainy. This formed the Teams Community Project, an essential part of their 12 week personal development Team programme whereby the learners gain new skills to better prepare them for the world of work.

Sponsors were; Frosts Landscaping – Stones, gravel, plants and weed membrane. Denford Construction donated stones for the rock garden. David Rose and Steve Howkins helped to transport the stones. Bosworths Garden Centre (and more as this is being prepared).

Kettering Civic Society’s partnership and history with Kettering Station

The Civic Society which was formed to encourage high standards in architecture and planning and to encourage civic pride has a long standing connection with Kettering Railway station and after 37 years continues to do so.

2016

The Society has for several years been looking for a base to give it a ‘face’ in the community and to fulfil its objectives. In December 2015 Dan Eustance, East Midlands Trains Customer Experience Manager offered a room on platform 1 for Kettering Civic Society use.

Dan Eustace: “ Through this partnership, Civic Society Secretary Monica Özdemir has adopted the station. Together we (East Midlands Trains) are planning to have more community activities take place at the station including working with Prince’s Trust offering career advice and work experience as well as offering students the opportunity to engage in environmental and conservation projects.”

The Time Travellers Room, although just big enough for 10 people to sit around a table, benefits from high walls allowing for exhibitions. It is suitable for use as a small workshop, and an information point for promoting the county and the town. It is felt that the activities that will take place in the room will evolve as new volunteers join in and the projects that will be undertaken under the Heritage Lottery bid will be the start. The room will also form a good fundraising base aiming towards installing the Kettering Mosaic on the Newlands Shopping Centre above the car park entrance, an area of the town to be regenerated.
Dan Eustace, David Rose of Network Rail and Civic Society secretary, Monica Özdemir decorated the room in December 2015.

In 1979 Kettering Civic Society won a Civic Trust Award for work on the station gardens and 37 years later Princes Trust students work on the same garden.

The Society contacted Tresham College Mark Williams, Team Leader of the Prince’s Trust to ask whether students (Team 43) would be prepared to make a garden, restore a mail cart and provide a planting display at the station. Students were delighted to take up the very challenging heavy work planning their project and spending time raising funds by bag packing at Asda to help pay for materials. They spent 10 days creating the garden and didn’t give up when the weather was cold and rainy. This formed the Teams Community Project, an essential part of their 12 week personal development Team programme whereby the learners gain new skills to better prepare them for the world of work.

Sponsors were; Frosts Landscaping – Stones, gravel, plants and weed membrane. Denford Construction donated stones for the rock garden. David Rose and Steve Howkins helped to transport the stones. Bosworths Garden Centre (and more as this is being prepared).

2003 In recognition of the partnership between Kettering Civic Society and Kettering Railway Station the Society celebrated by hiring the steam engine, the Union of South Africa, taking 500 passengers from Kettering to York for the day. A spectacular aerial photograph was taken of the train steaming over Harringworth Viaduct.



The Society was formed in 1969, the Chairman being Arthur Heath MBE (for his subsequent work for the town).

In 1979 the station carpark was in a neglected state and Arthur together with committee members, businesses and the community set about clearing and planting the area calling it Car Park Improvement Scheme. As a result the Society was presented with the CIVIC TRUST AWARD. (by Michael Middleton, Director of Civic Trust, also in attendance were British Rail Manager, Sir Peter Parker).

Tree- Planting scheme reported to Northants Press Agency:
“A meeting was held on 26th July 1979 between the following: Bernard Kaukas (Director- Environment, British Railways Board, John Reeks (Divisional Manager British Rail), John Mays ( Area Manager BR), Divisional Engineers (BR) David Woodhall (County Planning Officer), John Rowland (County Landscape Architect), Michael Beswick (Society Architect), Councillor Christopher Groome (Kettering Borough Council Chairman of the Housing Committee), Cll. Denney (KBC Chairman Amenities Committee), John Pemble ( KBC Amenities Officer), John Billows (who is providing the mechanical digger), Mrs Helga Neale (giving top soil), Ken Royston (Agent to His Grace The Duke of Buccleuch who is giving some trees to the scheme), a representative of Kettering and District Scouts (who will help plant the trees) and myself – (Arthur Heath, Civic Society Chairman.)”

1981 Kettering Civic Society Annual Environmental Award was presented to His worship the Mayor of Kettering Cll L. March, J.P. on behalf of the Kettering & District Army Cadets, Scouts, and young men of the Manpower Service Commission, for their work on planting at the railway station.

1978 Kettering Civic Society met with British Rail Director, Mr Bernard Kaukus and successfully persuaded British Rail not to take down the ornate ironwork at the station. Those involved in discussions were; Mr Sidney Jones, Vice Chairman of the Civic Society, Keith Allsop, Civic Society advisory architect, Mrs Sherley Phillips, Chairman of Kettering and District Arts Society, Arthur Heath Chairman of the Society, and advisory architects, Mrs Michael Beswick and Mr Peter Buttenshaw.

1979 Kettering Arts Society Exhibition at Kettering Railway station Sponsored by Kettering Civic Society.
Reported in Kettering Evening Telegraph 18.5.79 Exhibition; Thanks for all the help.

Floodlights
Heritage Outlook, Journal of Civic Trust Vol. 11 No. 3 May/June

“Kettering Civic Society recently celebrated the “switch on” of the new floodlights at the town’s Grade 11 listed railway station. This was just the latest stage in the Society’s 12 year campaign to make the station a better place for rail passengers and a building which Kettering can be proud of.

The Society’s involvement with the station began at a time when it splendid iron work and canopies were under threat. The Society succeeded in rescuing these and also initiated a tree planting programme to improve the stations car park- a disused engine shed area which had become an eyesore. As a result of its concern for Kettering Railway Station, the Society built up a relationship with British rail and in particular Bernard Kaukus, BR’s former Environmental Director.

Arthur Heath, Chairman of Kettering Civic Society describes the floodlighting scheme as an “arm-twisting arrangement” where Kettering Borough Council and Phillips Lighting made very generous contributions. Five high-tech low wattage floodlights have been installed. They have a splendid effect on the station, making it look very welcoming.”