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Cuthill Park Renaissance Cont'd ... The Community's Punishment Shall End!

Fighting Talk? Not Really ... Just That Nothing is Not Enough ...

The photograph from the Park shortly after it was donated to the Cuthill miners' community in the 1920s shows youngters with their parents enjoying life and presumably swinging their way about. The reportedly maligned stone wall to Prestongrange Road was surely in place then as was the since-disappeared railing so that children leaving alone by the south east exit would not run straight onto that street. So why cannot the same facility be available today; indeed why has it been deliberately denied for nigh on a decade?

click on all images to enlarge

The official answer is that vandals had consistently messed up the facilities and youngsters were practising their golf, hitting the occasional ball onto the neighbouring Bowling Club. Which needless to say in this age is readily characterised as a 'health and safety risk'. The official solution for a decade has been not to cut the grass, not to pick up litter and to encourage dog walkers but provide them with no dog fouling bins. This inspired punishment regime of course turned a golfing fairway into the rough and the trouble making youngsters indeed stayed away. Victory for the Bowling Club perhaps but it did nothing but provide negatives for the great majority of the neighbourhood's residents.

Let Bygones Be Bygones and Let's Get The Park Back in Action

No matter what the rights or wrongs of this past sad tale may be, today's message is that the Future Shall Look Bright! Come what may, litter will be picked up and a bold attempt will be made by the residents' community itself to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund's [HLF] special Parks Restoration Fund to bring the park back into use. On request, East Lothian Council has already volunteered to place dog fouling/ litter bins in the park and grass cutting is confidently expected in the near future.

The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club is tidying up at the southern perimeter of the park and atending to that common boundary fence.

February 27th is the Next Red Letter Day for Residents

The HLF application requires that the residents' notions of what might well be accomplished in the major restoration and renaissance of Cuthill Park are clarified. Landscape architect drawings will be required. On February 27th at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg the residents will start to debate and determine that issue.

March 4th sees Litter Pickers Pickin Again

The first major litter sweep recycled over a ton of rubbish but left the job half done. On March 4th Jan Barker in association with the What2DoinEH32 Group and local families generally will be making the second major litter sweep across the park. And dining on a personal Gothenburger apiece at The Goth wll be the reward for all who labour thus in the park.

June 2nd/ 9th sees Three Harbours Murals Fest in the Park

Under Tom Ewing's leadership a Murals Fest will be held in the park during the Three Harbours Festival. He's the Pans resident who painted the Lord Mayor of Goteborg's Celebration painting at The Goth, two murals in The Co-op car park, the Witch Trial Mural on the north side of the park with Lottery funding, and led the team that painted some 20 images on all the BathHouse windows at the Prestongrange Museum in 2006.

The Murals Fest will be taking as its theme: The Community Enjoying Cuthill Park: Past, Present and Future. Up to ten artists will each paint their own interpretation of that theme throughout the week with a winner chosen by popular vote and also by a second vote of arts experts - [spot the difference perhaps?].

September 2007 is the Submission Date

... and by September, with the help of the Arts Festival's Grant Applicator, Gillian Hart, the residents will be tabling their formal application to the HLF. So it will be an exciting year and one full of 'optimism' which for a decade that has not been an appropriate word to describe the leisured life round and about Cuthill Park.

Published Date: February 16th 2007

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