Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Network Rail and Purley Business Improvement District have united their efforts to welcome new artwork to Purely. Enlisting the help of street artist Lionel Stanhope the railway on Godstone Road now displays a mural which honours the rich history of the town and the origins of its name.
The artwork brightens up the area and celebrates the close link Purley has to the railways after the town became increasingly popular in the 19th century when the railways made quick access to a range of areas possible. The design of the mural also holds great historic significance as it features an image of a pear tree which alludes to how Purley originally got its name. The croydon towns name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'Pirige' meaning pear tree and the word 'Leah' meaning woodland clearing. Overall, the meaning of the name Purley being 'A woodland clearing where pear trees grow' hence the picture of a pear tree being displayed on the mural.
The man behind the paintbrush, Lionel Stanhope, stated “I’m really happy with this mural and the pear tree is a nice touch which reflects the Anglo-Saxon roots of the town. I hope the locals appreciate it – I received positive comments from people passing by when I was working on it.”
Eddie Burton, community engagement manager at Network Rail also commented, saying that “The wall in Purley looks great and I’m glad we could highlight the wonderful heritage of the town. We own bridges and other structures across the South East and not only do these murals make them much nicer to look at, but they also encourage people to respect and look after them. We’re always open to creative ways in making our bridges look better and more welcoming for the neighbourhood.”
Altogether the mural manages to marry the essence of Purley today with the bold and modern lettering of the name whilst still paying homage to the towns routes with the addition of the pear tree, making it a great addition to all the other amazing artwork that's emerging on the streets of Croydon.