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Possibly the biggest stencil project in the UK ever!

‘It’s a wonderful life’ has a magical ring to it and you would be hard pushed not to know that this is the UK’s, and most of the rest of the world’s, favourite Christmas movie of all time.
No wonder then that this sparked an idea for Stef Midmer and the PR team at Virgin Trains. Working with Lucy McGettigan and Joe Burdon of The Romans, this merging of minds has developed into a really creative and thought- provoking approach to marketing Virgin Trains’ Christmas message of 2018. 

They decided to paint the script of heart-warming Christmas classic, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, along the length of its route from London to Glasgow. Next step was to source a stencil maker who had the skills and experience to cope with such a large scale project. 

The ‘It’s A Wonderful Line’ initiative has been developed with Virgin Trains’ charity partner, Rethink Mental Illness, in recognition of how difficult the festive period can be for some, and the positive impact that simple acts of kindness can have. The campaign directed customers – via a URL below the script – to information, advice, and support around mental health and the words from the script were recreated using stencils on 14 major city station platforms from London to Glasgow. Glasgow's script includes words from Auld Lang Syne

Virgin Trains raise awareness of mental illnes with Christmas campaign It's a Wonderful Line Tweet This

Laser Cutting Services were delighted to be approached, to win the contract, to produce the cutting files and manufacture the stencils required. These hundreds of metres of stencils were applied at each of 14 stations. Some 7.5Kms of stencils were produced in total! Bagnalls, the commercial decorating contractor was tasked with applying the stencils to the platforms starting with London Euston on 22 November.

Some Virgin Train travellers will no doubt make it a quest to visit every station to read the entire script for themselves… 

  1. London Euston, Platform 3, 22-Nov
  2. Rugby, Platform 2, 23-Nov
  3. Birmingham International, Platforms  2 and 4, 27-Nov
  4. Birmingham New Street, Platform 4, 28-Nov
  5. Stafford, Platform 3, 29-Nov
  6. Stoke-on-Trent, Platform 2, 30-Nov
  7. Crewe, Platform 1, 03-Dec
  8. Warrington Bank Quay, Platform 3, 04-Dec
  9. Liverpool Lime Street, Platform 9, 05-Dec
  10. Manchester Piccadilly, Platform 6, 06-Dec
  11. Preston (Lancs), Platform 3, 10-Dec
  12. Penrith, Platform 2, 11-Dec
  13. Carlisle, Platform 1, 12-Dec
  14. Glasgow Central, Platform 2, 13-Dec

If you need any more advice you may want to check out our extra extra large scale stencils  page.

Here's some more pics of the stencils being applied.

Sand bags are required to weigh down the stencil for spray painting.



The De Walt paint sprayer was really effective at appying the water based paint to the #it'sawonderfulline stencil. Yellow was  chosen to match the safety line on all patforms.


Once the entire stencil roll was spray painted, each stencil was carfully removed leavig the script on each platform.


 This shot shows the finished platform at London Euston, winding way into the distance, with all the paragraphs applied.



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You can watch our video of the project here.

You can read Virgin's entire article here.