25 February 2009

Kissing Zone

Virgin Trains made headline news last week when they unexpectedly received world-wide attention after they re-introduced a No Kissing Zone at Warrington Bank Quay station.

The media attention failed to acknowledge that Virgin introduced a Kissing Zone ten years ago at the station and that the No Kissing Zone's introduction is the 'ying' to the Kissing Zone's 'yang'.

The decade-old Kissing Zone was initially introduced at the request of the local Chamber of Commerce who, upon returning from a trip to America, though it would be a nice quirk to add to the station and something that would compliment the unique Virgin brand.

With Warrington Bank Quay station's £1 million refurb now complete, the Kissing Zone has been re-introduced, located in the short stay car park, and the No Kissing Zone is located at drop-off point. The reasoning behind why Virgin don't want people kissing at the drop-off point is that it tends to hold-up traffic during the morning commuter rush.

Both Virgin Trains and the local Chamber of Commerce are attempting to re-create the romance of railways of old, with a long, lingering kiss before bidding farewell to a loved one. This is something that those behind the re-construction of St. Pancras International had in mind when they erected Paul Day's 30-feet tall bronze Meeting Place Statue, although it's located in the place where meeting a loved one, fresh from Europe, simply wouldn't happen!

Paul Day was to sculpt the £1 million pound piece of the couple kissing, but this was dropped as London & Continental Railways thought the pose was too risque - adopting their own No Kissing Zone.

A nice touch though nonetheless. (GL)