Station art project was no folly, says leader

THE project manager of the year-long Mangotsfield Folly creative project has written to highlight some of its successes.

Suzanne Heath organised events at the wooden structure, built by architects Artel31 at the former Mangotsfield Station next to the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, in a project organised with transport charity Sustrans and funded by Arts Council England and Emersons Green Town Council.

The project had a rough start, being damaged by vandals in April and May last year before the first installation, a mural by Bristol artists Lucas Antics, was even started.

And it was brought to a premature close when two stolen motorbikes were set on fire in April and May of this year, wrecking the structure and scuppering plans to hold a farewell event then give it and the mural to a local group.

Suzanne said: “Over the past 12 months Mangotsfield Station on the Bristol – Bath Railway Path has hosted a series of temporary artist commissions responding to the history of the station.

“Artworks have included participatory events, dance, music, visual art, printmaking and audio-based artworks.

“Artist Feral Practice ran public events at the site, including bug hunting with a local expert and bird ringing with an ornithologist.

“Her project culminated in a series of seven audio artworks including an interview with the last stationmaster’s daughter. 

“Three emerging artists were awarded mini commissions to create experimental new work for the site, including local female artist collective Comfy Club, who installed bike stands and a tiny slide; Lauren Ainley who performed her choreography commission at Mangotsfield; and artist/gardener Jo Ball, who planted 1,000 bulbs at Mangotsfield Station and sang with the Orchard Community Choir to welcome spring. 

“Other Bristol-based artists involved included writer Holly Corfield Carr who collaborated with printmaker Nick Hand and illustrator Harriet Lee Merrion to create a poem-based card game called Impatience. The project launched with an event where people could print a postcard on Nick’s Printing Bike.

“Hand painted and gilded signage was commissioned by signwriter Straight and Narrow Signs, and we worked with City Edition Studio on the graphic design. The site was also used by two groups of art students from Bath Spa University who showed their work at the station in May 2022. 

“We would love to hear your views on the project, and what you would like to see at Mangotsfield Station in the future.”

Suzanne is inviting people to share their views by emailing

Images videos and sound recordings from the project, and more information, can be found at