Why have Leighton station's platform signs turned gold?

Leighton Buzzard train station is glowing gold to celebrate the Olympic success of a former Vandyke pupil.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 4:14 pm
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 5:26 pm
Leighton Buzzard platform sign in honour of Charlotte Dujardin

London Midland decorated destination signs on all four platforms with a gold plastic coating on Saturday to mark the achievement of Charlotte Dujardin, 31, winner of gold in the individual dressage and silver in the team dressage at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The rail network is transforming six of their stations including Leighton Buzzard, Bedford St Johns, Stone, Sutton Coldfield, and Hemel Hempstead to honour each town’s local Olympic heroes and inspire young stars of the future.

Francis Thomas, Head of Corporate Affairs for London Midland, said: “Not only did we want to celebrate the fantastic achievements of Charlotte, but we wanted to give something back to the community.

Charlotte Dujardin

“The gold stations will become a beacon for the rest of the network, while it will spark conversation, creating a desire for more people to become interested in sport.”

To help find future stars like Charlotte, the rail company has launched a programme called Your Sporting Chance.

The aim is to promote the health and wellbeing of young people by providing sports kit and equipment for youth/junior sports teams, whom London Midland employees can nominate to receive funding.

Charlotte’s signs will certainly be motivational for LBO land, as the golden girl who left Vandyke to pursue a career in British dressage was awarded an OBE in 2013.

Charlotte Dujardin

Over the years she has stormed competitions with her horse Valegro, currently holding the complete set of the available individual elite dressage titles; the individual Olympic freestyle, World freestyle and Grand Prix Special, World Cup individual dressage and European freestyle and Grand Prix Special titles.

But commuters will have to read the LBO to understand why the station’s glowing gold – there are currently no boards explaining why the signs have permanently changed colour.

Mr Francis added: “This is definitely something we will consider after the Paralympics have concluded.”