Belfast Telegraph

Belfast right on track with renamed station

Editor's Viewpoint

At a time when our rail service providers receive perhaps more brickbats than bouquets, Translink is definitely on the right track by re-naming Central Station after Sir Charles Lanyon, the 19th century architect.

Sir Charles was born in Eastbourne but in his distinguished career he became part of the very fabric of life in Belfast, and the surrounding area.

His list of achievements is breathtaking. They include the Antrim Coast Road, Glendun Viaduct, the Palm House in Botanic Gardens, St John's Church, Whitehouse, the Lanyon main building at Queen's University, the Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church at Belfast Harbour, and many others.

The list seems endless, and whether or not Central Station - opened in 1976 - compares less favourably with these is beside the point.

Lanyon, above all, was the great civic architect of Belfast, though he also accepted private commissions, and it is entirely proper that visitors' first impression of the city, namely the railway station, should be named in honour of such an outstanding public servant.

Charles Lanyon, like Sir Christopher Wren in London and elsewhere, leaves a stunning legacy in stone, and his name is rightly being perpetuated in the re-naming of the city's main station.

It will also give a much greater exposure to the name of a man who has perhaps been best known to the general public for his design of the Lanyon building at Queen's.

Translink, the station's owners, are to be congratulated for consulting with local stakeholders, and even more so for avoiding the "public vote" convention which seems a good idea at the time, but which can lead to disappointments.

It was the public vote process which led to the name of an Arctic research vessel as "Boaty McBoatface", until common sense prevailed, and it was finally named the "Sir David Attenborough".

The re-naming of Central Station is welcome not only because it was not all that "central" for many commuters, but also because it heralds a facelift for a rail hub that was used by more than 2.6 million passengers last year.

Translink has also shown that it possesses a corporate memory that stretches much further back than the so-called 'Swinging Sixties', and the company deserves all our thanks for an admirable decision it has made in favour of an outstanding citizen of our city.

Belfast Telegraph

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