Armoury mural

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. The plan is to have a large mural on the west wall, a tree shadow on the south side and the letters “ARP” in 40s- style lettering on the west wall. 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).

Next Steps

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.

Background

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 chair@friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk

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.

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