Money and more - we're half way there!
Fundraising is a major priority for us, to ensure that our ambitious plans are achieved, and we're now almost half way to our target of £100,000. 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 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:
There won't be much happening in the tunnel during the next couple of weeks, though lots is happening behind the scenes. A recent week-long residence at Firrhill High School saw their S3 students create over 60 square metres of really exciting images based on the line of the poem "painted stations whistle by". Their panels are currently being varnished to protect them. Last week saw a quarter of the students at Bonaly Primary School creating their own contribution, based on the line "here is the green for stringing the daisies" which will be another major contribution to the total mural. Chris Rutterford is also completing various elements on marine ply boards in his studio. All of the board-based art will be mounted onto the walls during a "construction week" in mid October.
Thanks to recent generous donations from local people, the Armed Forces Covenant Trust and the Currie, Balerno and District Round Table we have now been able to commission the next stages of work that will take us slightly beyond the half way point in the tunnel. Six more lines of the poem will be added during the coming weeks, four directly onto brickwork and two onto marine ply boards to "bridge" over wet patches. The same two talented street artists will return to do that, and at least one of our local "interns" will also be there. By the time that air temperatures drop and force us to cease work in the tunnel, we will have completed ten of the sixteen lines of poetry and illustration. 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, youth groups and the Pentlands Art Club will also becreating their contributions on marine ply boards
The huge wall just outside the tunnel 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 being completed on 8' x 4' boards, which are being cut to shape and will be mounted on the brickwork. We tested some of them recently - they looked great. Chris is currently completing them. Here's the work in progress being tested on the wall - if you're a local you may see some people that you recognise.
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 more than 450 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 exhibitions and details were given in publications that reached more than 6,000 local residents. Upgraded LED lighting, now in place, has transformed the tunnel and makes it feel much safer for users. It already shows the mural to maximum effect.
We've already scraped, brushed and masonry painted more than two-thirds of the tunnel. A huge thank you to all of the organisations and volunteers who did that work, which is a vital "undercoat" for the mural and is complete at low level, though we'll need to spend time catching up at the top. We've also now painted more than a quarter of the mural itself, which attracts hundreds of positive comments every week. Colinton Primary's floral scene, on the wall, looks stunning. The work from Firrhill and Bonaly is also exciting. 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 continues to be a priority. 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. 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 have reached the end of their brilliant surface preparation work - thank you! Thanks also to SAMH Redhall Walled Garden and to the Water of Leith Conservation Trust volunteers 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!