Did you see us on the BBC?
We were delighted to have Hope Webb, from BBC Scotland, with us on Monday 11th November. Her piece was broadcast on "The Nine" that evening and attracted lots of positive comments as well as over 100,000 views. It's available on BBC iPlayer for a while, but there are other versions available, including this short edit:
We also celebrated RLS's birthday in style on 13th November by creating what we believe is a new record for the most people reciting a RLS poem at once! 107 young people from four local schools (Braidburn, Bonaly, Colinton and Firrhill) made a great noise in the tunnel. Well done everyone. Thank you also to Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of the Culture and Communities Committee, who unveiled a stunning new portrait of RLS, in a railway carriage, at the Slateford end of the tunnel.
Money and more - we're nearly half way there!
Fundraising is a major priority for us, to ensure that our ambitious plans are achieved. We're now almost half way to our target of £100,000. Big thanks go to local residents, who continue to make generous individual donations (many using the Government's Gift Aid scheme to boost their donation by 25%). We are also hugely grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant and Sustrans ArtRoots for their funding, as well as to Currie, Balerno & District Round Table (CBDRT), City of Edinburgh Council (Community Grants Fund), The Mushroom Trust, the Educational Institute of Scotland Arts Fund, Cruden's, the Currie and Balerno News, the Co-op, and our other funders. Keep it coming! Please also let us know if you become aware of any grants, trust funds or corporate donors that might support us.
Do you bank with Virgin Money and use their Edinburgh Lounge in St Andrew's Square? If so, we are one of three charities being featured from now until the end of December. Please vote for us to increase our chance of being awarded £2,000.
Opportunities for individuals, families, businesses and companies to sponsor elements of the mural or to create personal memorials will be announced soon. For now, here's the big red button again for individual donations:
You will have seen sudden progress as the mural has now passed the half-way mark inside the tunnel. Our professional street artists have been back, writing four more lines of the poem that forms the core of the mural. You can now see a very large child developing ".. the child who clambers and scrambles". There's also stunning tramp and his dog ("here is the tramp who stands and gazes ...") whose face may be familiar to you. The crowd, waiting for the train at the Slateford end of the tunnel, is also growing. Firrhill High School's striking work is now mounted on the wall and is attracting rave reviews - you can't take it in at a single visit - linked to the line "painted stations whistle by". Bonaly Primary School's work, linked to "... child who clambers and scrambles, all by himself and gathering brambles" is also now in place and is another important part of the total mural. Have you seen the flowers, insects and small animals that are now also apprearing - and you can't miss the huge rainbow - visible from both ends of the tunnel.
We're styill hoping to have completed ten of the sixteen lines of poetry and illustration this year. That's five eighths, or 62.5% of the entire mural. Thereafter, it's back to the "behind the scenes" and studio work - at least one more school, Army families and youth groups and the Pentlands Art Club will also be creating their contributions on marine ply boards
The huge wall at the Slateford end has attracted lots of attention since the Balerno Pug was painted, emerging from the tunnel as it approaches Colinton from Princes Street Station. The waiting passengers are now gathering and more will join them very soon. The 3D effect is really striking! Here are some images of that and of recent work inside the tunnel.
The whole project is being carried out by a multi-skilled team of muralists led by Edinburgh-based Chris Rutterford. They are being helped by young people and other volunteers from throughout our community - see "Community" further down this page. The design concept, based on a short poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, is hugely exciting and stimulating. It is a visual description of the delight of a child's rail journey, which also links to various elements of Colinton's history.
The detailed design and more of the panels were shown to more than 300 people in two exhibitions and details were given in publications that reached more than 6,000 residents of local communities. LED lighting, completed in June, has transformed the tunnel, makes it feel much safer for users and shows the mural to maximum effect.
We will commission further sections of the mural as funds permit, so please give generously to help us finish Scotlands largest and most striking heritage mural. You can give electronically, either direct to our bank account (see our Giving page). Alternatively, just click the big red button below to go directly to our Virgin Money Giving page. Thank you!
Community engagement is hugely important to us. Over 450 young people from four local schools and various youth groups are involved with the project, as well as Army Reserves, Cadets, Veterans and families; and members of the Pentlands Art Club. The brilliant idea is that, by using marine plywood boards, we can take the mural to the community - rather than everyone having to come to the tunnel. That approach also enables us to address problems with the few remaining wet areas inside the tunnel, another big benefit. Tiphereth's mighty "Peregrine" group have reached the end of their brilliant surface preparation work - thank you! Thanks also to SAMH Redhall Walled Garden, the Water of Leith Conservation Trust volunteers, Sustrans volunteers and the mighty men of Boroughmuir Rugby Club for helping with surface preparation and associated work. You may also have spotted the stunning new dry-stone bench, commissioned by the Colinton Amenity Association and built by SE Scotland Drystone Walling Association. That forms part of a wider package of measures, including wildflower planting, that are part of the local organisations' collective plan to bring visitors to enjoy Colinton. It's already working!