Ryde Academy sixth formers have taken on board a project from the Community Rail Partnership (CRP) on the Island and incorporated it into their studies.

Business skills, marketing and PR – as part of media studies – have all been employed by the teenagers to stage the event between February 20-22. Isle of Wight County Press News Features Editor, Richard Wright, gave the girls a tutorial to produce Press material.

The competition is part of celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Island railway network.

People of all ages are invited to Winchester House in Shanklin to design a plaque to celebrate the milestone and mark the celebrations. The permanent plaque is set to be mounted at Ryde Esplanade Station.

For inspiration, one of the rare, original, railway posters will be displayed at the event and Ryde artist Carol Jaye will be on hand to provide practical help to would-be designers on the day.

Carol said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing some imaginative entries.”

One of the organisers, Stephanie Carpenter, 17, said: “Art equipment will be provided and there will be a team to help and give information about Island trains. After the three days everyone’s entries will be judged and the winner will receive ferry tickets and a First Class rail journey to London for a family of four – plus £100 spending money.”

The design will be made into an enamel sign by Newport specialists A.J.Wells and Sons, who have built a worldwide reputation for them and the iconic signs for the London Underground.

The design will be unveiled on August 30 on the 150th anniversary celebration day by a surprise celebrity guest, who will meet the winning family and the five teenagers.

The group will have seen the sign being made, have joined the rail partnership as its “Youth Voice” and have received a year’s railway pass from Island Line in return for their efforts.

People of all ages are welcome to the free competition, but those under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult.

Opening times for the workshops at YMCA, Shanklin are 11am – 3pm with  refreshments provided.

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