Old railway tunnel given a new lease of life through an innovative new art project

hild me dear posterA former railway tunnel will be given a new lease of life this September, becoming home to an open air public art exhibition of work by local Edinburgh residents. From 24th September, a month ­long outdoor photography exhibition will open in Rodney St tunnel, Canonmills. “Hold Me Dear: Four Cities, [Extra]ordinary Places” offers a chance for local people to share their treasured places in the city through an open call to submit photographs and stories behind the places that have personal meaning to them. Selected images will be printed for the tunnel exhibition, giving the chance for anyone to become an artist. The exhibition provides a unique and exciting opportunity for people to share the places that matter most to them, building up a very personal insight into a residents’ view of their Edinburgh the places that actually matter personally to local people ­beyond the usual tourist landmarks.

The exhibition opens Thursday 24th September and will be open 24 hours a day for one month. The launch event on Sunday 27th September at 12noon will take place where the Rodney St tunnel emerges into King George V Park, inviting people from the local neighbourhood, broader Edinburgh city and international guests to bring a picnic and come together for a series of speeches, live music, bike workshops, live mural painting and cycle tours.

The exhibition was initiated by Edinburgh­ based co­design studio HERE + NOW ­ a small team of landscape architects, designers and photographers who specialise in engaging people in their local places. The exhibition is designed to be open call, inviting anyone living in the city to take part­ from children and schools to artists and local residents. It recognises that everyone’s story is important and that they should have a say in what their local places mean to them.

HERE+NOW_PEP Talks Event_24 AprilHERE+NOW’s first engagement with the Rodney Street tunnel began back in April through an engagement project with the local community. The tunnel became the venue for their first ‘PEP Talk’ ­ a community place­-making event, engaging with local people to give a voice to aspirations for the local area. The ‘community brief’ that resulted from this ‘PEP Talk’ was to turn the Rodney St tunnel into a creative destination as a community focused improvement to this walking and cycling route. Through the September exhibition HERE + NOW will deliver on this brief, creating exhibition boards for reuse by the community for future creative exhibitions and long-­lasting impact in the neighbourhood.

HERE+NOW have been working with the exhibition’s Main Sponsor ­ Sustrans ­ as well as other Supporting Partners including the local community group ‘Friends Of King George V Park and Scotland Yard Parks’, the City of Edinburgh Council and Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership to deliver this event.

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St Bernard’s FC on STV

St Bernard's Pitch Post WW1

St Bernard’s Pitch Post WW1

STV had a nice piece by historian Dan Gray recently on the fascinating story of St Bernard’s Football Club, winner of the Scottish Cup, whose ground was in our park.  Here is the link to the 4 minute clip.

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Green Flag now flying!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe braved the wild wind to raise the green flag together with Jen, our council park ranger  and Ross from the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, who delivered the new play facilities.  See their write up

Green flag 2014-judy A

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Green Flag

We are very pleased that the park was awarded a Green Flag this year. Here is a photo of the flagpole!

20140925-100947.jpgYou can vote for us as your favourite Green Flag park if you want before 30 September.

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A fun day had by all

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat a great turnout and great to meet so many people from the local community.  we reckon 300 people of all ages joined us and the youth workers from community education led by Callum McLeod.

This  event celebrated the upgrading of the play park in the tunnel area which Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust undertook last year on behalf of the City Council with funding from Biffa.

John Hedge inspired with his demonstration of Parkour skills, circus skills were tried by people young and old and prizes were handed out to the teams who completed the quest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn excellent barbeque was served by Lesley, Jacqui and Maggie and we appreciate the contribution kindly provided by Tesco.

Thank you to all who helped to make this event a success.

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Family Fun Day – Monday 4 August

Please join us between 2 and 4pm for

Barbeque

Parkour Demonstration

Portable Football Pitch

Circus Skills

It’s a free event!  

You could also do the Inverleith Challenge before – It starts at Blackhall Library and ends in our park at about 2pm..

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Date for the diary – 4 August

Please join us on 4 August from 2 to 4 pm for the grand opening of the new play area!

Full plans to be revealed soon.  We will be joined by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (who managed the project) and Calum from Community Education.  

Open to all – we hope you can join us!

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Starting to flower

It is good to see the first flowers in the meadow. Some small white alyssum blooms are visible. Soon it should be a riot of colour’

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Outdoor Parkour Classes

We are delighted that the parkour classes in the park are going so well!  See the poster below for details and this video on YouTube, some of which was shot in our park.

Parkour flyer

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More improvements!

It’s pleasing to see continued improvements implemented by the council. New paint and a nice sign (painted by local artist Kathy Parker) to replace the old one the small children’s play area. And the wild flowers are starting to grow.

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