It was all change at Mossley as the railway station receives a new look courtesy of a master craftsman. On Saturday, March 26th, the Manchester-bound platform now features an exhibition by artisan sign writer Robert Walker.

Robert, who works under the trade name Signs by Umberto, has been inspired by the vintage signage and advertising typography of Mossley’s shops through the ages. Eleven intricate sets of panels will be fitted along the platform and in the waiting room.

He said: “I take inspiration from craftsmanship that spans generations – lettering that is rooted within our heritage and carved into our architectural and industrial past.

“Because we do our research using black and white pictures, we tend to view old high streets in that way. Yet they were actually bursting with colour. I find that deeply fascinating.

“Each sign depicted an air of social class, advertising the goods on sale and denoting social progression through lettering and the colour.”

The launch formed part of a day-long celebration of town centres called “Up our Street” organised by carnival arts organisation Global Grooves and supported by Tameside Council drawing on the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Welcome Back Fund to encourage people to return to the high street post-lockdown.

Events included talks by Signs by Umberto, a light-hearted guided walk around the Top and Bottom Mossley high streets with Greenbanks Productions, a reminiscence workshop with Mossley Writers, and a participatory art installation on Stamford Road with Mel Roberts.

Sarah Hardacre, project manager for Global Grooves, added: “The history of Mossley’s high streets is the history of its people. Although times change and the high streets have had their ups and downs, they continue to serve the community with their many friendly shops, pubs, cafes and community centres. Mossley was home to the first co-operative society shop in Tameside in 1856 and has been a Fair Trade town since 2011. Our research revealed JD Sports actually began in Mossley. For a small town, it has always had a lot going on.”

Global Grooves chief executive Leon Patel commented: “It was always our ambition to have a rolling programme of exhibitions at Mossley Station. As sad as we are to say goodbye to Chris Cyprus’s work, we’re delighted to share another artist with station users.”

Historic images and fascinating facts about Mossley’s high streets can be found at