Armoury mural

WW2 ARP MURAL on the ARMOURY

Give us your views: complete the survey form here

Book your ticket for the screening here

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+) to explore designs for the mural. Everything is up for negotiation; even which wall(s) the images will feature upon (see below). We want the people of Roseburn to help shape this mural, especially the park users.

The Film Screening

The film can be seen on the National Library of Scotland Museum of the Moving Image website here. FoRP are also organising a screening on Sunday 12th May from 6.30-8.00pm at the Masonic Lodge of Brotherly Love,  5 Roseburn Gardens, EH12 5NJ

Note the venue does not have wheelchair access. If you are a wheelchair user, view the film at the link above and if you want to do more, register your interest in the project on the survey form (see below).

The film lasts 30 minutes; there will be a talk and discussion about the mural afterwards. Bar available and children welcome. Admission is free;  tickets are available from Art et Facts at 19 Roseburn Terrace and online here.

Please If you decide not to use any of your tickets, please email chair@friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk as we will reallocate those seats to others; the event is likely to sell out. Thanks

The Mural – consultation

FoRP seek to consult the community as to which walls on the Armoury will be muralised and what the designs should feature. The detail, we shall work out at a brainstorming workshop to be held in Roseburn, on Sat 15th June. If you want to attend that workshop, please attend the screening, add your name at the end of the survey form, see below or note it on the paper survey form.

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 will be done primarily through a survey of views, both online and using paper forms. The big questions are – 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)? We could even have a small image on each wall, as if they were “windows” into the building as it was 80 years ago.

To give us your views, please complete the survey form here. Paper survey forms are available from Art et Facts at 19 Roseburn Terrace or at our local screening. The survey will close on the 12th June and the results will be published here 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 and New Trees

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

Temporary repairs to toilet block

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.

Toilet block now

 

Stepping Stones into Park

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

Playpark Launch 7th Dec 2018

    

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:

A Roseburn Primary School pupil took this selfie


The Evening News of 10th December carried this story

Noise Survey on Murrayfield SRU events

Please help local student Luke out by completing this survey on noise pollution in the area “Community Noise Survey Murrayfield, Roseburn, Balgreen & Corstorphine.”
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TXJ5W3F

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

Survey Results on Toilet Block

What to do with the toilet block?

Toilet block now

Our problems with the block are outlined here and here as well

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.

Bake-off 2018 – new friends for the Friends

Another great bake-off! Thanks so much to all the brilliant volunteers and bakers. We made £160 profit today; maybe we only got 100 folk instead of the usual 200 and 9 cakes instead of the 30 we got last time because the school had a bake-off on Friday to say goodbye to the Head.. But the Friends made some lovely new friends!

We were helped by the FoRP Committee, Patricia Simpson, Laura Howarth, Declan Egar, Jane Stevenson, Lynne Schyma and James Kinnear, Scott Douglas, Mary McHugh, George Randall and PC Sam Davison (+ colleague) who was doing free Bike ID stamps. And Michelle from Fallen Tree Workshop in Perth who did hot drinks. Roseburn Primary School, Murrayfield DAFs and Murrayfield Wanderers helped by loaning us kit. Judges were Nic from Buna and Brendan from Fishers. Ritchie Fraser from Edinburgh Council helped us get the grass white-lined for races.

Prizes for cakes and the raffle came from Roseburn traders: House of Hound, Thallon Soullis, Art et Facts, Roseburn Café, Simon Smith Collectibles, Roseburn Bar, Brendan Haddock, Roseburn Shoe Repairs, Tescos, Eat’n’Joy, Buna, Delta Takeaway, Cafe Colpamia, Right Medicine, Ice Rink; Murrayfield Indoor Bowling, Vigo’s

Baking winners were Alix Dickson, Jasmine Flynn, Judith Lamb, Dan Ratcliffe, Grace Ratcliffe, Emile Poedke, James Kinnear, Zoe Lamb