News and activities
Inscriptions in Arcadia
Catherine recently met with visual artist Audrey Grant. Audrey’s new art work, ‘Inscriptions in Arcadia’ will invite visitors ‘to walk an existing route around the RSPB Nature Reserve at Skinflats, encountering elements of its rich industrial and cultural past through a series of [site specific] physical artwork installations that also encourage a reflection on landscapes present and imaginary’. The project has been commissioned by Forth Valley Art Beat.
The selection of locations that relate specifically to traces of past industrial/cultural activity connects strongly to the Bothkennar Route at Skinflats on the Coal App (released earlier this year). The walk was designed by local resident, and former ‘Heritage Masters’ student Ian MacIntosh, and utilises the landscape legacies of mining, brickmaking and transport networks to narrate the history of the Grangemouth Colliery Company. Audrey and Catherine’s discussion focused on how the two projects intersect and link together. The plan is to feature images and descriptions of the artwork on the Bothkennar walk on the app. This will both provide the temporary installations with a lasting presence, and, a first for Landscape Legacies of Coal, also allow users to understand and experience industrial landscape history through an artistic lens.
The image below is of the Grangemouth Coal Company’s capped coal shaft at Barony pit which features on the Bothkennar walk and is one of the sites selected by Audrey.
© Audrey Grant (2021)
The project is returning to one of the first areas of exploration, the East Stirlingshire villages and are once again collaborating with their original funder the Macrobert Arts Centre and also Scene Stirling on a series of small community engagement pilot projects ‘Vantage Points’ designed to test ideas and establish local community contacts with view to developing and art trail and event in the summer. For more information see Scene Stirling.
Photography Competition: Best Route Shot
As part of the one year birthday celebration, Landscape Legacies of Coal is holding a Photography Competition ‘Best Route Shot’. It can be anything you want a landscape, a
The winning entry will receive two free tickets to the National Mining Museum Scotland and a framed copy of the print. This will be exhibited in the University Art Collection as
Yvonne has kindly agreed to select the winning entry which will be announced at the birthday celebration. Please email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact
Closing date extended until we have a new date for the postponed Birthday Party. So please keep sending your images.
Landscape Legacies of Coal 1st Birthday Celebration
Following guidance regarding COVID-19 unfortunately we have had to postpone the event. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate later on in the year.
The ‘Coal App’ will be one year old in April. We have expanded from just 3 routes back in early 2019 to 10 live on the app with an additional 11 in various stages of planning. We are going to celebrate with coffee, cake (absolutely fundamental to all our field work) and a range of speakers all who have involved in making our first year a huge success. These include Murray Dickie from the Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society, Nicola Moss and David Bell from the National Mining Museum who are going to talk about their excellent but underused archives and collections.
Mining the Future: The Coal App, One Year on And What’s in Store
Catherine Mills, University of Stirling
On the Trail of Coal
David Bell, National Mining Museum Scotland
Colliery Waggonways - the Development that Shaped the Clackmannanshire Coal Industry
Murray Dickie, Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society
Miner Poets and their Landscape
Julieann McHale, University of Stirling
Going Coal Mining - Exploring the Linn Mill Walk
Kat Pruente, University of Stirling
Collieries, Canals and the Coal Baron
Lisa Snedden, University of Stirling
Past events and activities
The ‘coal app’ was formally launched on 18th April 2019 at Creative Stirling (44 King Street). Miles Oglethorpe Head of Industrial Heritage at HES opened the event with a talk entitled ‘Losing Our Mines: Remembering the Scottish Coal industry. This was followed by Julie Ellen, the Artistic Director at MacRobert Arts Centre. Julie presented the origins of the project in ‘How Coal Created Heat: a fire starter to partnership’. This was followed by Catherine introduced the app, its aims, the content and how local communities can get involved.
Research Images competition
The project image titled ‘A Landscape Legacy of Coal’ was awarded second prize in the University's Research Images competition.
History of the Devon Colliery Beam Engine at Open Doors Day
Andrew Wood from Clackmannan Field Studies Society and Catherine talked visitors through the History of the Devon Colliery Beam Engine at Open Doors Days 29th September, 2019. The Beam engine features on two routes on the app ‘Devon’ and ‘Alloa Waggonway Walk Three’.
Catherine presented the project and the coal app at the ‘Mining History and Archaeology: Towards a Research Strategy’ conference at Leadhills, South Lanarkshire 19th October, 2019.
Catherine is looking forward to collaborating with artist Yvonne Weighand Lyle, the University Art Collection and PhD student Julieann McHale on an art exhibition focusing on Newbattle parish to explore ideas around ‘mapping place’ in the context of coal mining (April-September 2020) and a public event based around the spoken word and mining landscapes (date in April 2020 TBC).
Catherine is also looking forward to working with Vicki Robb, Education Officer at the Mining Museum on a ‘schools project’ with Newtongrange Primary School exploring the mining community’s social landscape. Again provisional dates for this are late April/early May 2020.