Saturday, August 16, 2008

Age of Steam, Carnforth Station

Last Monday was the 40th anniversary of the withdrawal of steam trains by British Rail. Carnforth Station Visitor Centre has organised a month long celebration of steam to mark the occasion. As part of the Age of Steam celebration, I was asked to design a timeline, written by Phillip Grosse, for the exhibition area of the Visitor Centre.

The four boards feature archive photographs supplied by the Cumbrian Railway Association and are each a metre wide, 70cm tall. We produced a David Lean exhibition some months ago (see below), which were shorter (40cm) and I wanted these to be a bit bolder to fill this less fussy space. The previous exhibition had been in a large meeting room which was once, I believe, the ticket hall, while this is in a more traditional exhibition space.

The background of the boards is a burst of steam, taken from the photo on the final board, while each image is appropriate to the dates on the given board. The time lines are split between the blue line, the history of steam in Britain and beyond, and the red line, the Age of Steam at Carnforth Station.

Sharp eyed observers will note some little dots, which cover the screws holding the boards up, and a few little boxes of a slightly different colour, which are changes made to the boards after printing, though there seems to be some debate as the accuracy of the original information and the changed information – so much for absolute facts.

Thanks to Robin Brogden for the careful alterations and mounting.

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