Margate litter-picking group Rise Up Clean Up have less than a week to rehome a large installation aimed at encouraging people to keep our beaches and streets clean.
The installation was created by Rise Up founder and set-designer Amy Cook, and local design agency Because Creative and is a snaking display case filled with 75 bags-worth of rubbish, showing people just how much litter is collected from the beach in one single day.
It was homed in the ticket hall of Margate Train Station last summer in a bid to raise awareness of the enormous litter problem affecting Margate’s beaches, and the simple ways in which it can be tackled.
The display was removed in March this year as a £160,000 scheme to declutter and redecorate both Margate and Ramsgate stations took place. Part of the works included the polishing of the parquet flooring.
Due to the scheme Margate’s station manager says the installation cannot return this year.
Disappointed Amy said: “Last summer we fundraised for a community designed and built anti-littering art installation which was housed in the ticket hall of Margate Train Station. This was incredibly successful and was viewed by around 7,000 people per day at peak times during the summer.
“In March we were asked at short notice to remove it from the station at the floors were being re-done. We did this at our own expense on the proviso that it would be re-installed in May in time for the summer season. When we came to re-install it we were told the station manager did not want it back.
“We feel this is a massive mistake on their part. They do not have anything else that they would like to put in there, they just want it to be empty.
“The installation now needs a new home by next Thursday when our storage runs out.”
Station manager Aaron Wilcox said although supporting anti-littering initiatives, taking in the installation had to be balanced with the needs of passengers and staff.
He said: “:We wholeheartedly support any anti-littering initiatives in the community that we serve, which is why we agreed for Rise Up Clean Up’s art installation to be placed in the booking hall over the summer period last year.”
“However, Margate station is a nationally-significant Grade II listed building, and we have to balance the needs of our passengers who pass through it, and our colleagues who work there, including the British Transport Police, who help keep us all safe. While the booking hall is quite spacious, we’re once again expecting a busy summer and we need all the circulating space within the station to ensure that people can move through it safely and efficiently.
“The parquet floor is also listed and has recently been polished to improve its appearance, as part of a £160,000 scheme to declutter the main atrium areas and redecorate both Margate and Ramsgate stations, which recently featured in a TV documentary that highlighted their heritage value, The Architecture The Railways Built. By putting the installation back we would risk damaging the floor further, which we don’t want to do for obvious reasons.”
The interior of Margate – and Ramsgate – station has been painted in the original colours of the Southern Railway as when the station opened in 1926 – Malachite Green And Cream.
Rise Up Clean Up is now offering to donate the installation – which can be separated into four pieces.
Amy said: ““We are looking to donate the installation. It is made up of four display cases which can house anything from litter to artworks. They can be displayed together or individually. The information sheets are removable, so you can put your own information in there. We can deliver the installation anywhere in Thanet for free.”