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New Murals Town Planned - close by in MidLothian ...

Watch this space then ...

It has been a delight in recent weeks to chat and share ideas with neighbours in MidLothian who are planning a Murals Trail. That's the second time in a year that our Arts Festival has triggered others to have a go.

First was the inspiration that Sandy MacCall-Smith got from seeing The Prestonpans Tapestry. He's gone on with great enthusiasm to create for 2013 the Great History of Scotland Tapestry, designed by Andrew Crummy and stitched across the nation.

Now it's our Murals Trail that's got another community intrigued and keen to emulate us. The MidLothian Advertiser has just reported [August 23rd] that:

... the plans are part of an exciting arts project which takes its inspiration from a similar Mural Trail in Prestonpans.

'Ward councillors for Dalkeith, Easthouses and Mayfield hope to enrich the communities by celebrating their mining heritage. At the forefront of the project, Peter de Vink (Ind) and Jim Bryant (SNP) took part in a site visit to the East Lothian town last week.

'Mr De Vink said afterwards: “We are going to do the same as Prestonpans, but better. We want to celebrate the history of the communities, their mining heritage and history. There are so many wonderful places we could put these murals.'

It's actually going to be 'better' than The Pans ...

Well, we like a challenge. They said that up in Invergordon and they've done well indeed this past ten years ... but there is a subtle difference ... The Pans has worked with local artists throughout rather than drafted muralists in from across the world. In doing so we not only triggered 'colourful' street scenes but we triggered lots and lots of community involvement. If you involve the community bottom up it's totally amazing what grows ...

... arts classes, totem poles, the magnificent 3Harbours Festival, Friends of Cuthill Park, BIG lunches, Fowler's Ales, theatre, singing, music, poetry, witchcraft, novelists, pottery, rowing, fish festivals, battle re-enactments, embroidery, gaelic language classes, master arts-class visits to Barga, the reality of the 4* arts and crafts Gothenburg .... what have we missed?... Short Listed as a national Creative Place by Creative Scotland .......

No room for complacency of course. Some of our murals are nearly a decade old now and the totem pole's stains and shoreline murals are battered every year by the Forth. There has been a modest annual refurbishment under way for the past six years but 2012/ 2013 will see Tom Ewing taking charge of a total review for the Arts Festival to bring the whole collection up to a standard that MidLothian's new team will find it hard to better. And an updated leaflet and website ...

So yes, we like a challenge. Bring it on ... and Good Luck to all in Easthouses and Mayfield ... and everywhere.

Published Date: August 26th 2012

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