A Permanent Way? / Swinton Greenway Cycle Route, Salford City Council

In the summer of 2022, I was commissioned by Salford City Council to designs and create a mural inside Clifton Tunnel on the Swinton Greenway Cycle Route in Salford. 

Working with artist Tasha Whittle we hand painted this incredible location, all 60 metres of it.

Historically, the tunnel and its surrounding area has had a high volume of movement passing through, from people to transport and water, the flow of energy has been constant. 

As the space moves into a new era, this mural aims to encourage people to enjoy, share and find wellbeing in green spaces, create a feeling of connection to nature and to the rich historical past. 

Working with local historian, Mark Charnley, the design has been informed by significant areas of heritage interest including the roman road, the thirlmere aqueduct and the railway. 

Permanent Way People aka P-Way men was the collective name given to those who worked on and maintained an allocated stretch of the railway, The Permanent Way being the finished track and bed of the railway. 

The text in the mural is a nod to the workers who would have overseen the tracks on this stretch of the line. It is also a provocation that aims to encourage the viewer to think about not only the permanence of the physical “way” where they are standing and how this has changed over hundreds of years and what the future might hold, but also the permanence of their own “way”.

Swinton Greenway is a 7km traffic-free walking and cycling route connecting Swinton and Monton in Salford. It is now greener, safer, accessible and easier to use thanks to investment by the Mayor for Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund and Salford City Council. It is part of the Greater Manchester Bee Network.

Thank you to Dundas Digital for the giant stencil making and paint crew Michelle Tatton and Luke Passey

Photography by Jody Hartley