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! Then it kept raining! So we started inside the tunnel. 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 every pupil was involved in painting on marine ply boards - nearly 60 of them. Their work is now on the tunnel wall.
The outdoor panel - the crowd scene - will now be started when the forecast says that it will be dry for a week - so that still looks like being a couple of weeks away! 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. 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 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 makes it feel much safer for users. It will show the mural to maximum effect.
We've already scraped 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. 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 is now on the wall and looks stunning. From here onward, 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!
We are delighted to announce 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 also let us know if you know of any grants or trust funds or corporate donors 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. For now, here's the big red button again for individual donations:
Community engagement continues to be a priority. Over 450 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 making big progress with 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.