Projects

Arriva Poetry Bridgend

Arriva Bridgend

An arts project involving pupils from Maesteg and Llangynwyd Comprehensive Schools and students from Bridgend College has been unveiled at Bridgend station.

Following the success of similar schemes undertaken with Literature Wales, Guy O’Donnell, Acting Principal Officer, Arts and Community Development Department, Bridgend County Borough Council and the South Wales Valleys Literature Development Officer approached the pupils of Maesteg and Llangynwyd Comprehensive Schools with a view to writing poetry based on their experience of a train ride from Bridgend to Cardiff Bay. The pupils worked alongside professional poets Mike Church and Grahame Davies.

Students from Bridgend College were invited to design the four posters, which feature the poetry. They can now be seen in Bridgend station’s Café Express and on many of the trains operated by Arriva on the South Wales valleys network.

Speaking at the launch, Guy said; “This project has provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase how the Arts can link our communities in Wales. I would love to support more work in a similar vein and think we are on the right track.”

Lleucu Siencyn, Acting Chief Executive for Literature Wales, said: “Developing Young People’s creativity is central to Literature Wales’ aims. This project is an excellent vehicle to get students excited about writing.”

Geraint Morgan

Geraint Morgan, community affairs manager for Arriva Trains Wales said; “The project has given young people an opportunity to express themselves in a positive way and it has been fascinating to read their view of what to many of our passengers, is an everyday occurrence. They have been able to demonstrate their creative ability and hopefully it is something we can develop further in the future.”

The project was supported by Bridgend Council Arts & Community Development, Literature Wales and Arriva Trains Wales.

Poems:

Go on get on the train

Go on get on the train,
The permanent drone,
The ladybird seats,
The constant chugging, a rhythmic beat,
Go on get on the train.
Conductors galore,
Accepting coins with the head of the queen,
Go on get on the train.
Glare into your paper,
Block out all sounds,
The journey only costs a mere two pounds,
Go on get on the train.
Stare out the window,
See great, grand, green trees,
See desolate fields and various scenes,
Go on get on the train.
Then you open the door,
To arrive in the world once more.
Ewan Thomas

Destination Unknown

The relentless rumble of green cocoon rocked and
Swayed on the taut twisted tracks.
Early morning commuters, lulled into a static state
Of pensive thoughts.
Silent, stale air hung listlessly as
The smiling Valleys guard patrolled.
Coughs and splutters punctuated the void,
As bored babies wriggled and fidgeted.

Signals, crossroads and blinkered dark paths,
Undiscovered tunnels and truths.
Every excited traveller bound on an epic
Journey full of tantalising dreams and realities.
In the chaos and confused state of existence,
Who and what will ever truly get there, finish, arrive?

The Train Conductor

I am the train conductor,
Humorous, nothing is a hassle.
Repetitive rumbling of the railed roads,
My money machine feeds tickets to travellers.
An old man with white, whispy hair
Furiously fumbling for payment.
Crack of dawn commuters
In a cosy carriage.

A middle aged man,
Folded arms and a furrowed brow,
Battled through the barbaric breeze
To the heaven of the train.
Scraggly haired students
And track-suited teenagers,
My workplace, people wandering by.
Each day a new face to embrace
I am the train conductor
Adam Burgess
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