WW2 ARP MURAL on the ARMOURY
The survey form here is now concluded and the results are now available.
Click here to view them The workshop took place on June 15th and we have designs.
All 3 walls will have an image in shades of green. The main mural (west wall) will depict an Air Raid Protection warden and a squaddie on a bike with an Edinburgh cityscape and roads radiating from Roseburn. The south wall will have a silhouette of a tree. The east wall will have the ARP lettering in a 1940s font
Here is a picture of the workshop group at the armoury exploring the options, against the west wall, which will see the major work taking place. On the left is Jane Wood, Keiran Gorman of Zap Graffitti Arts and Paul Harding. (Other participants, not in the picture, were Alex Dickson and Pete Gregson).
The images will be in shades of green, marching the existing colouring. The first task is to paint the west wall in very light green, as a base. This will be in late July, in preparation for Kieran coming to do the work in August. The launch of the mural will be on the 1st September, on the same day as the FoRP annual bake sale and fun games day.
The Armoury in Roseburn Park was built as a signals report centre for WW2, as part of Air Raid Protection (ARP) measures for civilians against Nazi bombs. Its history came to light a few years ago when Friends of Rosebun Park (FoRP) uncovered a documentary made during the war featuring the building. The film, entitled “The Message Must Get Through” shows how the Armoury served as the nerve centre for squaddies on bikes coming from all parts of the city. In pre-internet days, when even the telephone service was relatively new, messages were carried by hand. Cycling found huge favour in the 30s with cycling clubs established throughout the land and so it was only natural that it became the most reliable and economical way for soldiers to bring messages of bombs hitting Edinburgh, the better to co-ordinate emergency measures. Rosburn Park, then as now, was easily accessible by bike and this location was the natural choice to build a report centre for ARP measures. It may be that this particular site was chosen under the trees to help protect it from Luftwaffe spyplanes and bombers.
The Armoury is of national significance, because it’s the only surviving example in Scotland of an ARP HQ building.
Why a Mural?
The survey FoRP carried out in 2016 is available here. It asked residents what they wanted to see in the park, and FoRP have been addressing those suggestions which found favour. Twelfth on the list was “Sculpture trail or other improvements along the river “corridor” from Roseburn to Saughton Park” – this drew 67% who loved or liked the idea, with 26% saying they didn’t mind it. Only 7% doubted or disliked the idea.
When the Council announced it was seeking bids to its local events fund in January, FoRP thought a mural like this would reflect the building’s uniquely well-documented history. A grant was secured of £3,000 for a mural on the Armoury wall(s), to be produced by ZAP Graffitti of Liverpool. The artist, Kieran Gorman, did the FoRP mural on the north Armoury wall with young people back in 2012. He is from Livingston and lived in Roseburn before moving south.The next mural will be as different as we want it to be.
He will be working this summer with both old and young on this project (with the accent being on those aged 50+). The design will be based on the survey results (see above).
The Film Screening
The film can be seen on the National Library of Scotland Museum of the Moving Image website here. FoRP organised a local screening on Sunday 12th May at the Masonic Lodge of Brotherly Love, 5 Roseburn Gardens, EH12 5NJ. Art et Facts at 19 Roseburn Terrace assisted in giving out tickets.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
The Mural – consultation
FoRP consulted the community as to which walls on the Armoury should be muralised and what the designs should feature. The detail was worked out at a brainstorming workshop to be held in Roseburn, on Sat 15th June.
The mural will be produced over the summer and launched on the 1st September, to mark the 80th anniversary of the declaration of WW2 and the 74th anniversary of its conclusion, six years later. We want the mural to celebrate the people who helped keep Edinburgh safe through that terrible time, the deadliest conflict in human history. That is, what they did in and around the Armoury – and why and how they did those things, to help us survive the air raids. Read more about Air Raid Precautions in the UK in WW2 here
Mural Survey – location and design
Consultation was done primarily through a survey of views, both online and using paper forms. The big questions were – which wall(s) do we want the mural on? Do we want it in black and white, sepia or in colour? Do we want several discrete images or one big image or a big image with different parts (like the existing mural)?
The survey ran from 19th April and closed on the 12th June and the results were published on the 14th June on the FoRP website, on our Facebook page, at the workshop and at the Murrayfield Community Council meeting on the 25th June.
OLD TREES In March, the Council lopped the top off the beech tree by the NE entrance. We knew it was going to happen. The tree has love hearts, etc carved on its trunk and because we asked, the Council has left most of the trunk standing. Also, we wanted it left as a habitat for river wildlife..
NEW TREES The Council have been putting in new trees. One is special.. for into the ruins of the old beech tree by the ping-pong table, we’ve got the Council to plant a Serbian Spruce.
In a few year’s time, it will be somewhere to sing our Xmas carols under… It’s A TREE IN A TREE
FoRP was granted £700 by the West Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership which has allowed us to make temporary repairs to the toilet block. We have had the leaking water main fixed, which has caused ponding this past 5 years; this will prevent further deterioration. We gave boarded over the roofing felt and collapsing roof with waterproof board and removed the trees growing out of the roof. And we hace replaced a rotten fascia panel.
These works will make the building wind and watertight as we work to get quotes and funding for its refurbishment into a cafe.
We put in two stepping stones for kids to get into Roseburn Park today. They’ll be able to get over the wall from the school to the new playpark in a short cut from Roseburn Av. We were worried about them crossing the road at number 32 Roseburn Place because it’s a bit of a blind junction there and many speeding cyclists. It’s taken us 3 years to negotiate this with the Council. Thanks to a local resident for providing and transporting the stones
We only got 20 people rather than the 60 we were expecting (we got 60 last time, two years ago). We shall need to explore why turnout was so poor; it may not be worth doing it again. But those who came enjoyed it. Some asked for the link to the film online; to see it, click here
The Lord Provost, Cllr Frank Ross cut the ribbon to launch the long-awaited Roseburn Play park on 7th Dec 2018. Costing £90,000 and almost 10 years in development, the playpark had been held up by the flood defence works. The old playpark catering for a small age range – kids up to 6 – was worn out and was cold in the shadow of Murrayfield stadium. And the flood defences left it isolated and cut off from the rest of the Park. The new one is at the east entrance of the Park in an open sunny spot, has much more equipment and caters for children up to age 12.
It’s taken a long time and almost didn’t happen. In 2016, the then convener of the Council Environmental Committee, who oversaw the £23M Flood Prevention scheme at Roseburn, Cllr Leslie Hinds, fought to ensure that Roseburn did not lose out in the face of the austerity cuts that were crippling the Council. The West Edinburgh Environmental Sub-Committee stepped in to ensure the playpark was built. Council staff David Sinclair (local Environment Manager) and Ritchie Fraser (Parks officer) worked with Sub-Committee Convener, Cllr Robert Aldridge after the Friends of Roseburn Park (FoRP) made a successful plea for funding to the Sub-Committee in January 2016, to ensure the project went ahead. Council playpark design staff James Galloway and Alan Grevers then worked with Friends of Roseburn Park who brought in the schoolchildren at Roseburn Primary School to help shape the design.
Now, two years on, the work of many has come to fruition and the Friends of Roseburn Park extended a warm wintery welcome to children and their parents to try out the swings and roundabouts on a cold Friday afternoon at 2.30pm. The police were there to stamp bikes with ID badges to help trace them if they get nicked; there were prizes for the quiz asking which bits of the design were from the local kids. MW Groundworks Ltd of West Calder have been working on site for over two months on the build and were pleased with the finished product.
The playpark includes a UniMini Apista climbing frame for kids to age 6, a sand pit, a play mound, a tunnel, a Uniplay Ipex climber for older children, cradle swings for toddlers, a basket swing for tweenies, normal swings, a picnic table, a tunnel, a balance beam, stepping logs, a cone net rotating climber, play boulders* and a stilt walk – all surrounded by a new beech hedge. Residents organised by FoRP have been out planting 5,000 bulbs by the playpark and everywhere else and refreshing the nearby planters to help make the park look beautiful come the spring. The school’s new Head Teacher, Natalie Borrowman, has worked with FoRP and the contractor to get local children involved, the better to create a sense of ownership by the area’s young people, who must help care for the new playpark in the future.
FoRP Chairperson Pete Gregson said “Thanks to the Council, children from Roseburn, Riversdale and Murrayfield now have a new place to go and have fun, get fit and make new friends. This is a key element in helping the area recover from the flood prevention work. It will bring new faces to the park over the years to come. And their parents will have somewhere new to gossip. The Council and the West Neighbourhood Partnership have worked hard with everybody to make this project work. We are truly delighted.”
The children who got the quiz answers right were Lucy Booth, who observed the design was changed to add the tunnel; Lucy has won tickets to the ice rink.
The other big winner was Max Kevios who noted the “birly Thing” aka the cone net rotating climber, was added after various school suggestions; Max won a box game.
.*The Play Boulders were left out due to financial pressures; FoRP are exploring whether they might supply these themselves
Here is the promotional flyer:
Here is one more photo:
Please help local student Luke out by completing this survey on noise pollution in the area “Community Noise Survey Murrayfield, Roseburn, Balgreen & Corstorphine.”
The research he is conducting is part of his postgraduate thesis in Environmental Health.
Specifically, he is looking at noise from Murrayfield stadium. There is essentially 2 parts to it. The first is to physically measure noise from the stadium to see if it meets the required licensing conditions and legal requirements. This also includes measuring noise from sources associated with the stadium which is not subject to specific regulation e.g. crowds going to the stadium.
The second part is to see how this noise actually affects the local residential population. The perception and effects of noise are affected by individual and situational factors. This is what he is measuring via the survey.
The results will be available next year
The notes for the meeting are here
What to do with the toilet block?
Our survey of local preferences, over a 1-month period and closing on the 16th Sept, was advertised widely – on 200 flyers in shops, on the toilet block itself, at our public events to around 200 people, on Facebook and on our website. It drew 74 responses.
83% were in favour of leasing it commercially as a cafe with toilet attached. 15% said to demolish it.
We believe that this high level of support indicates we should work with the Council to market this dilapidated property.
Given the enormous challenges and expense of refurbishment, with a building at permanent risk of future flooding, we propose the Council leases it on terms akin to those that were originally offered to FoRP, at a peppercorn rent of £1 a year for 25 years, with the permission to sub-let.
This proposal will require Council Committee approval, but we would like to get the ball rolling on this, so are discussing the way forward with the Estates team.