The writing's on the Waiting Wall

One hopeful message, reads: 'Will we meet again on the 7.32 or is she gone forever?'

Friday, 25th September 2015, 3:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:28 pm

Commuters have been going about their daily business at Brighton railway station this week, some perhaps, unaware of the messages flashing up on the big screen.

Waiting for a delayed train, grabbing a quick coffee, meeting friends, rushing home from work, life at the bustling station goes on.

All the while, someone's deepest and darkest secrets, fears, or desires, appear on the advertising board that overlooks the forecourt.

'I feel so alone,' one reads.

'Come home, I miss you', says another.

One hopeful message, reads: 'Will we meet again on the 7.32 or is she gone forever?'

So where did the idea come from?

The Waiting Wall is part of Brighton Digital Festival, and will be displayed at the station for one week only - it launched on Monday, September 21, and ends on Sunday.

Alan Donohoe, 39, and a software developer from Hove, set it up with Hove designer Steven Parker, 38.

Mr Donohoe said: 'The inspiration came from Alain de Botton's book Religion for Atheists. He talks about The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, where people post messages in prayers in the hope that God will answer.

'He suggests an electronic or digital version, in amongst advertising, where anonymous submissions and confessions are posted for everyone to see.'

With the philosopher and author Mr de Botton giving his blessing, the pair began designing the software, and pitched the idea to Brighton Digital Festival.

Securing arts funding, and getting the permission from Brighton Station, the project launched on Monday, and had received more than 2,000 anonymous messages by Tuesday evening.

'There are some that are really upsetting, about death, grief, depression, and mental illness, failed relationships, the pressures of work,' said Mr Donohoe. 'But some people just want to post that they love someone, with their initials on the bottom.'

The innovation has had plenty of attention over the last week, catching the eye of the national press. Mr Donohoe said he planned to keep The Waiting Wall going online, and that Mr de Botton had asked him to create something similar for his own website.

But until Sunday, the anonymous messages will continue to pop up among, among adverts for beer, crisps, and flashes of Sky News updates.

So if you are passing through, getting on with your day-to-day life, take a moment to look up at the screen, and read just a couple of these poignant and often heartfelt messages.

To write a message, and to view The Waiting Wall online, visit: www.thewaitingwall.com