Full Steam ahead!
Work has started! We intended to begin with the ugly brick wall at the Slateford end of the tunnel and work backwards towards the former Colinton Station but it rained! Then it rained again, even heavier! So we started inside the tunnel and our home page shows the stunning outcome of four days’ work by three talented artists - 32 metres of comprehensively illustrated RLS poem. Magic! WE also spent a week at Colinton primary School, where evry pupil was involved in painting on marine ply boards - nearly 60 of them - which will be mounted on the tunnel walls.
The outdoor panel - the crowd scene - will now be started when the forecast says that it will be dry for a week. It will feature the faces of real people from our community. Exciting times! Here's a small section - if you're a local you may see some people that you recognise.
The work is being carried out by a multi-skilled team of muralists led by Edinburgh-based Chris Rutterford to develop the design. They are being helped by more than 400 young people and other volunteers from 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 recent exhibitions, the most recent being Tea in the Park (or should that have been Tea in the Rain?). Upgraded LED lighting, now in place, has transformed the tunnel and already makes it feel safer for users. It will show the mural to maximum effect.
Work has begun - help needed!
Work has started. The process begins with surface preparation (brushing and scraping to remove loose paint, etc.) and then one or more coats of masonry paint to create an "undercoat". Can you spare some time and energy to help with this? We'll welcome you at the tunnel on Mondays and Tuesdays during June.
Daler-Rowney - our official paint sponsor.
We are delighted to have heard that Daler-Rowney will be our official paint sponsor and will be supplying their System 3 acrylic paint, which is Chris Rutterford's paint of choice for the mural, at a substantially reduced price. Thanks guys!
Money and more
Fundraising is a major priority for us, to ensure that our ambitious plans are achieved. Big thanks go to the many local residents who have made generous individual donations (many using the Government's Gift Aid scheme to add 25% to their donation). We are also hugely grateful to Sustrans ArtRoots for their funding, as well as to City of Edinburgh Council (Community Grants Fund), the Currie and Balerno News and our other funders. Keep it coming, please! Please also let us know if you're aware of any grants or trust funds that might support us.
Opportunities for individuals, families, businesses and companies to sponsor elements of the mural or to create personal memorials will be announced shortly.
Community engagement continues to be a priority. Over 400 young people from local schools and youth groups are involved with the project, as well as Army Reserves, Cadets, Veterans and families; and members of the Pentlands Art Club. Our art team's 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 areas of dampness inside the tunnel, another big benefit. Tiphereth's mighty "Peregrine" group are already making big progress with surface preparation work - thank you!