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1st Jul, 2022

Murals depicting Rugby's heritage add finishing touch to transformation of nature trail

THE FINISHING artistic touches have been made to the transformation of a nature trail on a former railway line which runs through Rugby.

Murals depicting railway heritage, nature, and famous faces from Rugby’s past now adorn the walls under a bridge in Great Central Walk.

Artist Nicolo Suglich’s paintings can be seen under the Hillmorton Road section of the nature trail, where the old Rugby Central Station once stood.

They include images of the wildlife which can be found in Great Central Walk, murals of Frank Whittle, William Webb Ellis, Thomas Arnold and Rupert Brooke, and a depiction of the station itself, which was demolished in 1965 when the railway line closed.

It marks the completion of the Rotary Club of Rugby’s centenary project to upgrade the Great Central Walk.

Rotarian Laurence Wilbraham and a team of dedicated volunteers have spent the last four years working with Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to spruce up a three-quarter-mile section of the former railway line between Hillmorton Road and Abbey Street.

The project included the removal of undergrowth and trees, improving the Sun Street Play Area, creating a wild play area, providing signage, and laying old railway tracks donated by Network Rail.

It also included the installation of three new bespoke benches, funded by The Rugby Group Benevolent Fund and designed by Cawston artist and former Rotarian Eric Gaskell. The back of the bench design incorporates trains, pedestrians and a cyclist as well as wildlife.

The project received the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Ireland Environmental Award last year, picked out as the winner from projects across the UK which fulfil sustainability criteria.

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