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Jul 2023

Hidden Stories come to life at Bridgwater Railway Station

Hidden Station is an exciting new free augmented reality exhibition  on Platform 2 of Bridgwater Railway Station.

Recognising the walls around the station would benefit from some new artwork,  Seed Sedgemoor and Sevenside Community Rail Partnership came together to bring about an exciting re-fresh. With the support of a range of funding partners including Arts Council England, the National Lottery and the Community Rail Network, the exhibition was launched by the Mayor of Bridgwater on Friday 14 July, and run through to the end of March next year.

The project started by commissioning artists David McMillan and Jayde Perkin to meet with users of Bridgwater Railway station to create a series of stories celebrating and people’s connection to
the station. The artists have illustrated these stories, and Bristol based Zubr Curio have created augmented reality filters that will enable visitors to the station to bring them to life using their own
smart devices.

Seed Director Scott O’Hara said  “People generally said the same thing.  While they liked the idea of there being some creative element at the station, their usual way of spending the time at the station was on their phones. We saw an opportunity to bring those two ideas together and create something that could be enjoyed via a smart phone or other device.”

Faye Keane,  Severnside Community Rail Partnership’s Community Development Officer,  said “This is our first venture using Augmented Reality.  We are so impressed with the playful way it allows people to engage with Bridgwater station. This ambitious exhibition creatively shares stories from the community to other local residents and passengers, creating a deeper connection to the station and enhancing the value it has for everyone passing through.”

Debbie Ferris, GWR station manager, said: “This is a fabulous new addition to Bridgwater station and we’re sure our customers are going to enjoy seeing how Hidden Station has helped to bring community stories to life. This is another brilliant example of the work Severnside Community Rail Partnership does in the local community through working with organisations like Seed.”

Paul Webster, Support and Development Manager at Community Rail Network,  said  “Railway stations have a long history of being more than just places to catch a train, they are also places where people meet and connect into the lives of local communities too.  We are pleased and excited to have been able to contribute funding towards this creative and innovative art project which has
worked with that community to tell and share their hidden stories about Bridgwater’s elegant station with a much wider audience, connecting the present with the past and the community with its railway.”

Paul Webster of Community Rail Network speaking at the launch event