Rediscover Rushden and the app ‘All Aboard for Rushden!’ created back in 2018! It’s the perfect activity while we are taking our daily exercise! Created and developed as a collaboration between Nenescape, the University of Nottingham and with contributions from Professor Matthew McCormack from the University of Northampton.
‘All aboard for Rushden’ is a mobile phone app that has been designed to encourage use of the East Northamptonshire Greenway, a cycle path that links the town centre to Rushden Lakes. It aims to encourage people young and old to engage in physical activity, use sustainable transport and discover new things about the history of the town. It also seeks to encourage users of Rushden Lakes to visit Rushden itself. The free app is available in app stores and uses Artcodes technology, which allows users to scan pictures in order to link to content, in a similar way to a QR code. When users find the images along the Greenway, they link to pages that tell the story of the town.
“The project is based around a railway theme as the Greenway used to be a railway,” explains Prof McCormack. “The various ‘stops’ along the way reveal interesting stories about famous residents of Rushden. This is a fun way for young people, in particular, to get out and about and to find out about the history of their town.”
By following the story of a mail bag accident on a local railway in 1911 and the imagined contents of the bag, visitors can work their way along the former rail line finding out more about Rushden’s history. Drawn by artist Michelle Barnett, the pieces of art depict cyclists on the Greenway with a traditional railway signal, bringing together the historic and current uses of the path. Discover some interesting characters from Rushden’s past, including the strong-minded suffragettes and the cracking story of an egg delivery lady.
This app is just one element of a wider piece of work to reinvigorate the Greenway in Rushden and encourage more people to walk or cycle between Rushden Lakes and the town centre and beyond into the landscape. Another programme of work in the Nenescape scheme, ‘Out to Water, Into History’, is led by East Northamptonshire Council and has breathed new life into the pathway, thanks to a fantastic mural in a tunnel, new benches, tree planting and litter clearance.
Nenescape is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Northampton is a major partner for the bid. The University’s new Waterside Campus is located on the river Nene and its staff and students are involved across Nenescape’s 16 project strands.