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Cuthill Park Renaissance to build on 2003 Consultation and 2005 Plan


The Residents' Action Group to get Cuthill Park back as a community resource met at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg on February 27th last week to begin the process of designing the way it might look in the future. It has the total support of Prestonpans Community Council led by Jimmy Yule, local East Lothian Councillors and MSP John Home-Robertson. Those who attended were well able to recall the pleasures and some unusual uses [see pictures below]. And all readily confirmed that there had also been some problems awhile ago. But it was resolutely agreed that it was completely unacceptable in 2007 that past difficulties should blight the future for the park. If concerns still existed they must be addressed and overcome. Jim Forster from the Historical Society tabled two photographs of the park in the early 90s shown below, one of which includes the temporary housing used whilst Council homes were refurbished close by.

click on all images to enlarge

Councillor Willie Innes alluded to draft plans the Council had prepared in 2003 / 2005 but not been able to action and it was agreed Maree Johnston, Countryside Manager with East Lothian Council, should be asked to table these asap so they can act as the starting point for the Action Group's new design - and she did so with alacrity. They will now be widely shared amongst the community staying between Prestongrange Road and Redburn Road with comments and suggestions collected throughout March. Residents Garry Woods, former Prestonpans Community Councillor and Residents Association Chair, Jim Forster, Chair of the Historical Society, Tom Ewing, the local mural artist who created the park's Witch mural last year, and Gordon Prestoungrange from East Lodge agreed to help manage the consultation process.

To address past concerns Willie Innes agreed to join good neighbour discussions with the Bowling Club at the north of the park prior to grass cutting recommencing, and Gordon Prestoungrange agreed to ask the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club to reintroduce their golf classes for youngsters which is looking most promising.

Ideas for the New Park Flooding In

Ideas for the renaissance of the park include a new play area for children and benches for families and walkers to enjoy the great views across the Forth. But several also hope that the park's natural amphitheatre can be used for small outdoor events. Tom Ewing, for instance, is already arranging the Arts Festival's first annual Murals Fest and Cow Painting Competition in the park during the Three Harbours Festival June 1st/ 10th.

Everyone accepted that winning Lottery Parks funding is more challenging these days but that it was absolutely worthwhile trying and Gillian Hart, the Treasurer of the Arts Festival, has volunteered to be responsible for getting the application together in time for the September deadline.

But regardless of success with the Lottery there was a great deal that can and must be done this spring by both Councils and the residents to make the park useable again. A second litter sweep at Cuthill Park on Sunday led by Jan Barker with complimentary Gothenburgers at The Goth as their reward attracted a score of local people who simply detest litter.

Published Date: March 6th 2007

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