A brand new mural, commissioned by Harrow Council and created by the We The Seeds art agency, has been created in Northolt Road, South Harrow.
The new mural is perfectly positioned under the bridge next to South Harrow station. Harrow Online had an exclusive opportunity to talk to Rikesh Patel, Creative Director of We The Seeds, a Creative Arts Agency based in Harrow.
“We see art as an immensely powerful force that can really make a difference in the daily life of Harrow residents. It brings people together, creates happier places to live and work, all whilst fuelling a collaborative approach towards progress and development as a society,” said Rikesh.
“It’s so powerful in fact, that when used efficiently, it can help to brand new visual identities and provide inspiration to both locals and visitors- All crazy stuff right?!
“So when asked by Harrow Council to create a piece of mural artwork for South Harrow station, we wanted to delve deep into the history of South Harrow, capturing it’s past, touching on the present and making way for it’s future. Glamorising both the old and the new within the two halves of the mural’s design,” added Rikesh.
The art is complementary to the urban culture of South Harrow and really ‘pops’ when you walk past it, a definite improvement we feel.
Rikesh continued, “Many may not know, yet it is still appreciated within South Harrow’s ward name, “Roxeth” was actually the original name of “South Harrow”.
“It wasn’t until 1903 when the first electric train ran to a station named “South Harrow, for Roxeth & Northolt”.
“The train company later dropped the last four words “For Roxeth & Northolt”, leaving the station to be officially named- “South Harrow” and from that day, the name stuck.
“Therefore one could argue that the transportation industry had a major impact into the shaping of what was once the quiet hamlet of Roxeth, an agricultural village filled with fields and water meadows.
“We wanted to showcase the impact the train company had on Roxeth in a subtle way, that’s why the colours found in the piece are a play on early South Harrow transportation company media, most notably a poster by Kate M Burrell.
“It features a woman in front of a countryside-style backdrop, alongside the words “Cheap Return Fares Hounslow or South Harrow” This original poster can be found at the TFL museum depot in Acton.
Within the left side (the old black and white part of the artwork) you can see see the following features:
In the top left corner you can see the skyline of Harrow on the Hill pervading Roxeth, along with the prominent church and steeple.
Just below that is the road that represents Roxeth Hill, with runners shown starting out on Roxeth’s annual marathon.
Towards the bottom left of the piece is Christ Church, Roxeth’s first Alglican church. The church was built by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed Vaughan Library at Harrow School.
In the bottom middle of the left side of the piece there is a big building named ‘The Paddocks Sports Ground’ (former Grove Dairy Farm, Northolt Road) this was originally a popular venue for Sunday school treats and children’s outings. As many as 3000 visitors could be accommodated on busy days hosting donkey rides, fairground attractions, a miniature Atlantic Railway and afternoon tea. The grounds were run by Mr A.B Champniss and his gift allowed it for today to be known as part of Alexandra Park.
In the bottom left hand corner is the word ‘Roxeth’ written in a font which was handwritten on top of an old photograph of Northolt road.
The big metallic structure with “NO” written on it overwhelming the skyline in the middle of the piece represents Roxeth’s gas-holder. The gas holder was typically seen as a controversial ‘eye-sore’ but provided the area with gas-lit lighting. Being demolished completely in 1987, the gas holder was painted with “NO” in large letters with aims to identify nearby Northolt airport- as a pilot once accidently put their plane down there thinking it was Heathrow airport.
Just below the gas holder is the ‘Old’ South Harrow station on South Hill Avenue joined with a ST type bus (114) parked outside.
Furthest on the right hand side of the black and white part of the piece is the “new” South Harrow station on Northolt road, built 1935. The station was built to high design standards at the time and won widespread acclaim from London’s transport architects.
The whole right hand side of the piece is full colour, showcasing the present day South harrow as the H9 bus makes it’s way underneath the train bridge.
The South Harrow train bridge is filled with colour, so much so that it drips down onto the road. This is all in the same time as the H9 bus passing through it!
Rikesh said: “We wanted to capture the influence and impact left behind from the transport industry, that’s why these colours run through the piece, even touching into the black and white areas.
“However, although installed – the piece is yet to be finished, which is why the rainbow stops at the top left and the top right of it.. So do keep your eye out for it’s completion! All will most definitely be revealed!”
“We hope that this mural art installation brings value to the South Harrow community, increases high street footfall and helps to build a positive identity for South Harrow’s future.”
If you are interested in the Arts within Harrow, join Harrow Culture Forum! Supported by Harrow Council & Harrow Arts Centre, Harrow Culture Forum is a collaborative open forum made up of arts and culture organisations, charities and individuals from across Harrow!
Sign up for free here: https://harrowarts.com/harrow-culture-forum