Colourful artwork celebrating Rugby's proud history marks completion of four-year project on former railway line

Colourful artwork depicting Rugby’s origins now adorns Hillmorton Road Bridge, marking the completion of an award-winning four-year Rotary project to upgrade a section of The Great Central Way.

Nicolo Suglich and Laurence Wilbraham.
Nicolo Suglich and Laurence Wilbraham.

The murals, including the Central Station building, the Houlton transmission station, four famous Rugbeians, and the new ecology found there today, have been created by professional graffiti artists Nicolo and Stefano Suglich.

William Webb Ellis, Sir Frank Whittle, Rupert Brooke and Rugby School headmaster and historian Thomas Arnold are all depicted.

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It is the final stage of Rugby Rotary Club’s four-year-year centenary project to upgrade a 1.2km section of The Great Central Way in collaboration with Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

Some of the most celebrated Rugbeians feature in the work.

Without the resources to manage it along its full length, the council handed over the defunct line’s lease to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which now maintains the section south of Hillmorton Road.

But they don’t have the resources to manage the northern section.

Rugby Rotarian and GCW project leader Laurence Wilbraham, said: “The painting of the murals represents the effective completion of the Rotary Club of Rugby’s Centenary project.

"After four years of work removing self-seeded trees and invasive vegetation to create glades and large ‘bug hotels’, native flowers have multiplied and there is more insect and bird life now.

“Butterflies and moths have colonised the new growth and there are now more bird species and numbers of birds than before work began.

“We have been pleased to have been awarded both a district and a national Rotary environmental award for this project which has taken four years to complete. Walkers and cyclists have been very complimentary regarding the work which the club has carried out and we are very pleased that it has been so well received.

It took twin brothers Nicolo and Stefano, from Lutterworth, almost two weeks to complete their painting of a 25-metre stretch of bridge this month. (June)

Nicolo – an artist for 20 years from Lutterworth - said: “The reaction from the Rugby community and all the people that were walking past it, has been really positive. Everybody has commented on how bright and colourful, and cheerful the mural is.