In the coming months, a number of large walls in Prestonpans
are going to get painted - by leading local and international
artists. The first five are imminent, but they will be just
the first of many more to come.
The paintings will tell the history of our town and the
neighbouring area. They will, from the outset, include the
history of Morrison's Haven, of our Colliery, of our Brickworks
and Potteries, and of our Brewery. Whenever possible local
families involved in that history can expect to see their
Research for authentic detail has been going on for the
last three years in association with the Industrial Heritage
Museum at the old Prestoungrange Colliery. A dozen booklets
have been completed and are on sale there. And the History
of Prestonpans, published some three years ago by Prestonpans
Local History Society, is a vital key source of detail beyond
the industrial heritage.
The Prestoungrange Arts Festival Society, as organisers
of the Murals initiative, are looking for as many photographs
and insights into local history as they can get. From June
1 st their office will be at The Cockenzie Centre, on the
Edinburgh Road at Port Seton. Jane Bonnar is the Murals
Director and based there. Let her have any/ all great ideas,
both for walls that would be great for painting and themes
that you feel can be captured in a mural.
And, to whet appetites beyond the murals telling our history,
there is every intention to get a microbrewery going in
town to get some Fowlers ales here again and to work with
local potters to make reproductions of some of the best
of the old designs as well as to create a wholly new 21
st Century range.
All brewers and potters who wish to get involved should
contact the Prestoungrange Arts Festival Society offices
as soon as they can.
The Prestoungrange Arts Festival Society cannot claim to be
the first in the world to launch such a Festival of the Arts
to attract tourists. But we are seemingly the first in the
UK. The global movement as it is known today was founded in
Chemainus, British Columbia, by Karl Schutz who visited Prestonpans
and presented several workshops in September last year and
GLOBAL ASSOCIATION FOR ARTS TOURISM
Karl Schutz is no Scot, but there are many descendants of
Scottish settlers living today in and around Chemainus and
more widely across Canada. His home town lost its sawmill
and most of the town's jobs went with it. It's a tough story,
but twenty years later it thrives as a world leader. 29
Palms in California, is home to the largest Marine Corps
base in the world, but it needed to build links for families
KatiKati in New Zealand was the kiwi fruit capital of the
world but lost its hold. Bowen in Queensland Australia is
sugar country facing changing world markets. All these have
been visited by the Festival team and are giving their fullest
support and advice on how our own Murals here, in Prestonpans,
can make the biggest impact, attract visitors and tourists
to our town, and bring enjoyment to us all in our daily
An exhibition of some of the Murals that these towns have
painted is now open at the Cockenzie Centre.
If you want to get involved, with your own historical knowledge
and/or skills in the mural business anywhere from A-Z, or
have a great wall to be painted. We shall be holding Cef
Involved Workshops on a regular basis at Cockenzie Centre.
The Prestoungrange Arts Festival Society
The Gothenburg, 227 High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian.
EH32 9BE Scotland. Telephone (44) (0) 1875 819922.