woman at hebburn metro station
3 October 2014

A new community artwork which takes passengers on a journey through the history of the local community has been unveiled at Hebburn Metro station.

A High Place Beside The Water was created by local photographer Karen Atkinson, with the help of the Jarrow and Hebburn Local History Society, to mark the refurbishment of the busy suburban station.

The 15 panels spanning Hebburn’s two platforms throw new light on familiar and little-known aspects of the town’s history, including the famous HMS Kelly story and the Reyrolle plant.

The new commission was funded by DB Regio, which operates Metro on behalf of Nexus, and Nexus itself through its Art on Transport Programme.

Local MP Stephen Hepburn, who unveiled the work, said: “Hebburn has a rich heritage which remains a source of great local pride, so it is great to see the town’s story told in a new way through this artwork.

“I am sure A High Place Beside The Water proves stimulating and an inspiration to the thousands of people passing through the refurbished Hebburn Metro station in the years to come.”

Karen, a photographer from Jarrow, worked with members of the Jarrow and Hebburn Local History Society through its regular weekly meetings at the Mid Tyne Activities Centre on Grange Road, Jarrow.

She said: “Researching Hebburn’s rich history has become a real labour of love, greatly inspired by the fascinating stories and amazing wealth of archive material shared with me by members of the Jarrow & Hebburn Local History Society.

“Their passion and enthusiasm has inspired me to learn much more about the people and the places than I would ever have anticipated, becoming intrigued by and thoroughly engrossed in each twist and turn in the stories shared.”

Hebburn, Bede and Jarrow stations are now being refurbished by Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, with work due to be completed at the end of October.

The project, delivered by local construction firm Brims, will improve accessibility, seating and lighting as well as giving the stations a bright new look.

Hebburn, along with two neighbouring stations Jarrow and Bede, has been refurbished over the summer by Nexus as part of the £389m Metro: all change modernisation programme.

The project, delivered by local construction firm Brims, will improve accessibility, seating and lighting as well as giving the stations a bright new look. At Hebburn, Karen’s work succeeds an earlier community artwork by Lucy Crow.

A second new commission has also been unveiled at Bede. Both new works have been printed and installed within new display cases at the stations, creating the opportunity for new works to be commissioned every few years in future.