A new artwork celebrating Wallsend’s Roman heritage is being unveiled by local MP Mary Glindon to mark the refurbishment of the town’s Metro station.
The artwork takes the 1.5 million people who use the station every year on a photographic journey along Hadrian’s Wall, from nearby Segedunum Fort and museum to Bowness on Solway 76 miles away.
The commission marks 10 years since Wallsend made headlines as the only station in the world to have signs in Latin (as well as English) to mark its unique position at one end of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site.
Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, is now close to completing the refurbishment and rebuilding of all six stations from Wallsend to North Shields as part of its £389m Metro modernisation programme.
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “The refurbishment of stations to improve accessibility and the waiting environment is an important part of Metro modernisation, alongside the vital work we are doing to replace ageing tracks and infrastructure for the decades ahead.
“We are taking Metro into the future but we still have an eye on our rich history, which Wallsend’s Latin signage and this new artwork celebrates.”
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside Mp, said: “The refurbishment of the town’s Metro Station is great for the people of Wallsend, who deserve such a modernised facility.
“Moreover, it is the gateway to our World Heritage Site, at Segedunum and I am thrilled that Nexus have commissioned this artwork, to highlight our Roman Heritage for all Metro passengers.”
Linda Tuttiett, Chief Executive of the Hadrian’s Wall Trust said; “It is great that through the new panels at the station visitors and local people will be able to appreciate how Segedunum is a key part of the world’s largest World Heritage Site, and the amazing landscapes and archaeology that can be experienced along its length.
“Metro is a vital link in the access network that enables visitors to travel the whole site using public transport. We are really pleased that Nexus appreciate the importance of linking the Metro network with the rich history of the places it connects”
The refurbishment of Wallsend Metro provides better accessibility, seating and lighting at the station as well as giving it a modern new brand, into which the artwork and renewed Latin signs have been incorporated.
The images by well-known North East photographer Graeme Peacock present modern views from the wall out across the surrounding country, capturing changing seasons and times of day from urban Tyneside through wild Northumberland to the coastline of the Solway Firth.