Full Steam ahead!
Work will begin this month! We are starting with the ugly brick wall at the Slateford end of the tunnel and working backwards towards the former Colinton Station. The first panel - the crowd scene on our home page, should be completed on the brick wall by the end of June and will feature the faces of real people from our community. We then move into the tunnel itself. Exciting times!
The work will be carried out by a multi-skilled team of muralists led by Edinburgh-based Chris Rutterford to develop the design and deliver the mural. They will be helped by young people and other volunteers from our community - see "Community" further down this page. The design concept, which is 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. More detail to follow soon.
The detailed design was shown to more than 300 people in an exhibition featuring the latest design drawings and maquettes, as well as some of Chris Rutterford's other work. There was also a beautiful small-scale (Z Gauge) working model of Colinton Station, showing how it would have looked in its heyday, on loan from Bonaly's Neill family.
The poem, "From a railway carriage", will be presented and illustrated on one wall of the tunnel. Each line of the poem will then link to one or more elements of Colinton's history and heritage on the opposite wall, with images filling both walls and the ceiling. Upgraded LED lighting, which will be installed in the next two weeks, will brighten and enhance the experience as the mural develops. The image below shows Chris with an early mock-up of part of the mural. We'll profile Chris and other members of the art team in coming weeks..
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 300 young people from local schools and youth groups will definitely be 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.