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21 Sep 2018

Southeastern supports world record mural colouring

Southeastern supports world record mural colouring: HerneHillMural10

New Guinness World Record set by Herne Hill children and local community transforming station underpass

Southeastern staff joined members of the local community at Herne Hill station last Wednesday in setting a new Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a ‘colour by numbers’ picture that will transform a busy underpass.

Through the efforts of over 2,332 local primary school children, film star Mark Rylance, local politician Helen Hayes MP, the Mayoress of Southwark and the Mayor of Lambeth, local residents and rail passengers who stopped off on their way home, the 40-metre long mural was created in just two days.

Local artist Victor Szepessy was commissioned by Herne Hill Forum to create a design that would transform the underpass between Station Square and Milkwood Road. He chose to incorporate a range of people, places, fables and myths from Herne Hill history.

Children from eight primary schools in Herne Hill - Jessop, Michael Tippett (children with special educational and physical needs) , Herne Hill School, St Jude’s, Turney (children with learning difficulties), Rosendale, St Saviour’s and Judith Kerr – spent two days colouring the mural with paint pens, helped by Southeastern staff and members of the public keen to help break the Guinness World Record.

Southeastern Managing Director and local resident David Statham volunteered at the world record attempt, helping local primary school children complete the mural. He said: “It was fantastic to see the local community come together to help colour the mural, which I’m sure people will be proud to walk past for many years to come.”


“This complements work we’re already doing to regenerate Herne Hill and a number of stations on our network. We have some beautiful station buildings and understand looking after them is important – not only as guardians of history, but also so local communities can be proud of the stations they use every day.”

The new 40 metre long mural will be placed on the wall that runs along the “piano” side of the underpass and will be unveiled on 30th September. Over 6,000 colour by number sections were completed over the two days, by Herne’s Hill’s local community. The mural has been created on parachute fabric, which will then be pasted into place once completed, before being covered with anti-grafitti varnish. The extensively used passageway provides a vital link between local shops, businesses, transport hubs and public spaces. It is just one element of a big and ambitious transformation programme for the station which includes new lighting, removing anti-graffiti panelling and providing a new lick of paint. The station side of the underpass will also undergo a facelift, with new boards added so members of the community can display artwork, exhibitions and local information.

Lucy Reynolds, Project Manager at the Herne Hill Forum explains: “The idea behind the world record attempt was to give the children of Herne Hill a day they will remember for the rest of their lives, whilst creating a beautiful space right at the heart of our community. The mural was inspired by local residents who wanted to have a focal point where they can understand the history of where they live.”

Victor Szepessy, Illustrator and Muralist, added: “The idea for this massive mural came from working with kids on the Brockwell Passage mural. As I was painting the outline, local kids started running up and asking if they could colour it in, so I gave them brushes and paint and we ended up making it together.”


“When it was finished we saw kids going by with their parents, pointing and saying “I made that.” I hope that creating a nice space together as a community will give the kids and everyone involved a sense of connection and pride in their area, plus a vision of what we can achieve when we work together.”

In addition to sprucing up the station, Herne Hill Forum is currently working with Southeastern to plan how they can develop a space on the first floor of the station which is currently not used into a new town hall and community centre. The Forum are exploring ways to raise funds for the new space, including a bid to the GLA Good Growth Fund.

Lucy Reynolds from Herne Hill Forum said: “The unused station space is huge, with beautiful views across Herne Hill. Our vision is to turn this forgotten place into a vibrant forum for events, activities and entrepreneurship, harnessing the demand for a new civic space right at the heart of our community. We would love to hear people’s ideas for how we might use this space.”

Contact information

Emma Owen

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors


Picture captions:


  1. Local artist Victor Szepessy with David Statham, managing director at Southeastern 
  2. David Statham, managing director at Southeastern with local school children from St.Jude's Primary School 

For further information contact:

Southeastern Press Office

Ph: 0207 620 5080 (24-hours)




About Southeastern:

  • Southeastern runs train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, operating over 2000 trains a day, carrying more than 640,000 passengers a day, serving 176 stations and covering 540-miles of railway infrastructure.
  • Southeastern is owned by Govia, a joint venture between the Go-Ahead Group (65 per cent) and Keolis (35 per cent).
  • Govia is the most enduring partnership between transport operators delivering rail franchises in this country.
  • It is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for 28.7 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its four rail companies, Southern, Southeastern, Govia Thameslink Railway and London Midland Further information on Govia is available at:
  • Go-Ahead Group plc is one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport services operating in the bus, rail and aviation services sectors.
  • Keolis is a French-based operator of transport services in 13 countries worldwide and is owned by SNCF, AXA Private Equity, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and Keolis management.

Underpass Project

The underpass project has been led by the Herne Hill Forum and funded from Section 106 funding from the Tesco development, with the funding being managed by Lambeth Council. Additional funding was also secured from the Aviva Community Fund, as a result of the Herne Hill community voting en masse and enabling the Herne Hill Forum to win this funding. In-kind resource has also been provided by Southeastern (who have invested in new lighting, removal of the old anti-graffiti panels, installation of new panels, and re-painting of existing surfaces) and Network Rail (who are providing volunteer resource and supplying paint for improvements to the station side of the underpass).


Herne Hill Forum - a volunteer led community group.

We are a volunteer-led community group of local residents and traders, who work together to make Herne Hill amazing, independent and unique. The Forum was formed over 15 years ago and as well as organising fun community events we have successfully spearheaded local campaigns to make Herne Hill a better place to live, work and do business. For more information please see -


Victor Szepessy

Victor is an illustrator and muralist who lives in London with his wife and sausage dog. He loves using ink and Japanese brush to create illustrations with plenty of texture. His work is often based on maps and incorporates images from the natural world. Victor also likes to sketch people on the tube, bus and over ground around London. He believes in the power of art to change public spaces and improve the quality of life of both the people who live there and those who travel through. This is part of his aim in creating large scale, outdoor murals that include elements of public participation. He is a member of the Association of Illustrators. See some of his work on: Victor is also known for designing the artwork in Herne Hill’s Brockwell Passage, which connects Station Square with Dulwich Road.

Lucy Reynolds

Lucy is an experienced project manager who has led community transformation and regeneration programmes, both within Herne Hill and across the country. Lucy lives in Herne Hill with her little boy Ralph, and has delivered many local projects on behalf of the Herne Hill Forum. These include establishing a groundbreaking recycling collaborative amongst local traders; leading the installation of public artwork throughout the area; and campaigning on behalf of flooded businesses to secure Thames Water compensation. Lucy has been leading the underpass regeneration project for the past four years, managing all elements, from funding to delivery, and fronting the partnership that is behind this ambitious piece of work. Lucy will also be leading the work to regenerate the space above the station. Please direct all ideas and enquiries to


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