Wester Hailes: Films of New Town Utopia

Join WHALE Arts and Tower Block UK at Wester Hailes Library on Tuesday 18th September for an evening filled with film and conversation about high-rise and new town living.

The evening begins with an excerpt from 2017 documentary feature film New Town Utopia, exploring life in the new town of Basildon in Essex as told by local artists and residents. After a short break for tea and coffee there will be screenings of several short films taken from the WHALE Arts VHS archive, representing life in Wester Hailes as told by local residents, actors, and filmmakers.

The event will be chaired by film curator Shona Thomson and after each screening we’ll have an informal discussion about the films, together with an opportunity for sharing memories and stories of living in Wester Hailes.

Throughout the evening, there will also be a chance to explore a new pop-up exhibition by Tower Block UK, complete with a travelling museum box containing maps, photographs, slides, and newspaper articles focusing upon Wester Hailes.

This event will launch the Changing Perspectives: Wester Hailes Film and Moving Image Festival – look out for a full programme of events across 15-21st October.

All are welcome to join us for this event which will run from 6-8pm on the 18th September. Reserve free tickets on EventBrite (though people can also just come along on the day).

Poetry and creative writing with the Scottish Poetry Library

The Scottish Poetry Library are hosting a new poetry and creative writing workshop at Wester Hailes Library, running for four weeks on Wednesdays from 28 February to 21 March 2018, 11.30am – 1.00pm.

The free workshop, run in partnership with WHALE Arts, is part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s year long residency project in Wester Hailes. The residency also plans to include taster sessions with local community groups and partners and monthly poetry groups at WHALE Arts.

The workshop at the Library is suitable for all, with no writing experience necessary, and it is not essential to attend all four sessions.  For more information or to book your place contact Wester Hailes Library via email westerhailes.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or phone 0131 529 5667 or contact Helena at WHALE Arts on 0131 458 3267/ helena@whalearts.co.uk

Wester Hailes Library presents: A kind of seeing

Wester Hailes Library is holding a unique archive film and photography event on Wednesday 22 February, 6 – 7.30pm, focusing on the history of the local community.

Children playing, Wester Hailes Drive

The main event will be a specially curated archive film screening, which will be shown on the library’s new cinema-size screen, complete with surround-sound! Films included in the programme will explore themes of community, through both films about the local area and Scotland as a whole, including…

WEALTH OF A NATION (1978, 17 min) – Made as part of a group of 7 documentaries for the 1938 Empire Exhibition, under the supervision of John Grierson. The film compares the old and new industries in Scotland, from shipyards to local farms.

akindofseeing2

EDINBURGH SAYS FAREWELL TO ITS TRAMS (1956, 5 min) – A series of shots over the last couple of days before the original Edinburgh tram service closed.

HUTS – A FILM FROM WESTER HAILES (1985, 20 min extract) – A film following the efforts of local Wester Hailes residents working together to improve life locally through the building and development of ‘The Huts’ as community facilities.

The screenings will be followed by a short discussion about the films, and the history of the local area. Everyone’s welcome to join in the discussion, and stay to enjoy some refreshments (tea, coffee & biscuits).

Alongside the film screening, there will be a photo exhibition of images taken around the local community. The exhibition will consist of both printed photographs and laptops connected to online archives, such as Capital Collections and Edinburgh Collected. While most of the printed photographs will come from the library’s own collection, we’d welcome any additions, so if you have any interesting photos of the local area, please get in touch.

The event is free to attend. Limited tickets are available online from Eventbrite.

Tickets are also available direct from Wester Hailes Library: email westerhailes.library@edinburgh.gov.uk, phone us on 0131 529 5667, or drop in and speak to a member of staff.

“Wester Hailes library presents: A kind of seeing” is funded by Film Hub Scotland and is part of projects being piloted in Scotland under the Film Education in Libraries Project. The £190,000 initiative was made possible through Creative Scotland as part of their Film Strategy and aims to improve the provision of film and moving image education across the country.  This screening was commissioned by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

Heathervale Young People’s Centre and the knitters of Wester Hailes Library

Wester Hailes Library received an email back in February, calling for knitters and crafters to make some special items for an exciting new project.

Lesley, an Accommodation Planner for the Council, was in charge of designing the interior of the new Heathervale Young People’s Centre on Dumbryden Drive.  Not having a huge budget, Lesley appealed for help, and staff and service users of the local library, Wester Hailes, were very keen to be involved.

Once again, the ladies of the library’s ‘Knit and Natter’ group took up the challenge, and knitted and crocheted some amazing cushion covers, baby blankets and toys for the new young residents.

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

On 5th August, Lesley invited the group along to see the newly completed interior of the Centre.  They were really impressed, and pleased to see how their knitted contributions added to the warm, welcoming feel of the space.

‘It is an absolutely amazing home for the children and looks great with the colourful cushions in the lounge and den’.

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People's Centre

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People’s Centre

Lesley has kept some of the cushion covers aside, so that each child can choose one for their own room.

A huge thank you to everyone who created beautiful things, and also those who donated wool for the project!

Let’s Get Online launch at Westerhailes Library

Libraries, clubs and community organisations across the country are supporting the campaign offering older people the opportunity to join classes, showing them how to go online and get the most from the internet.

Westerhailes 2The Scottish Government held the re-launch of their ‘Let’s Get Online’ campaign at Westerhailes Library. The campaign is being run in partnership with organisations from the public and volunteer sector under the overall Digital Scotland brand.

Scottish Govt minister Jeane Freeman was joined by TV celebrity Carol Smillie at Westerhailes Library to meet with a group of recent learners from the Libraries’ ‘Get Online’ service and they enjoyed a very positive chat about the benefits of the course they had attended and the things they are now able to do online (including email, Skype and shopping).Westerhailes 3The Libraries ‘Get Online’ courses have groups at libraries across the city where learners receive 1:1 support on their own device. Groups run for two-hourly slots each week for five weeks and training is delivered by volunteers some of whom were present at the ‘Let’s Get On’ launch.

There was general agreement that taking up new technology and being able to use the internet are more important than ever for older people to remain in touch with family, friends and the world in general, but also not to be left out of the other considerable benefits to be gained from being online.

Westerhailes 1If you are interested in getting help with computing find a course near you at the ‘Let’s Get On’ website. Or contact Kenny Sharkey regarding groups run by the Library ‘Get Online’ service – tel: 07809 320432 or email: kenneth.sharkey@edinburgh.gov.uk

How Dazzle designs lit up Easter

We ran Dazzle workshops over the Easter holidays in libraries across the city to see what interesting and varied patterns people would come up with for their empty ship outline.

More than 150 people took part over the holidays in events at Central, Moredun, Muirhouse, Oxgangs, Fountainbridge, Wester Hailes, Sighthill, Stockbridge, Granto, Ratho and Sighthill.   As you can see from our pictures there were a variety of techniques and approaches used by people of all ages!

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The resource was really intuitive with children of all ages quickly understanding how the resource works with some people returning to libraries to have another go, improving, refining and redrafting their patterns!

Many people liked colouring-in their patterns but there were interesting experiments with collage, fantastic detailed pencil illustration and bright, vibrant painting.

Feedback said the events were “a bit different” “really interesting” “worked great as a joining-in activity” “would like to see more events for families doing a project together” and “Very welcoming staff. I liked the idea of the project. It would be great if the project was promoted in schools.”

Staff at Granton thought that having examples of different techniques was a useful way to inspire people and create varied outcomes and a member of staff at Wester Hailes used his experience as a draughtsman to design a 3D template based on the initial outline.

Wester Hailes 3d

The events were our first attempt to do some work on Dazzles with a view to doing more work with schools this term, the forthcoming commemoration for the Battle of Jutland and the unveiling of Ciara Phillips’ Dazzle Ship and close partnership with Edinburgh Art Festival supporting exciting creative activities in libraries over the summer holiday.

Huge thanks to Ellis McKenzie for designing the outline and Out of the Blueprint for RISO printing the beautiful templates, and massive thanks to all the staff in libraries who took made it possible for so many people to Dazzle up their Easter break!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Dazzle or using the resource in your school, library or after-school club contact Colm Linnane on colm.linnane@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131-242 8121.

Dazzle the Library this Easter!

During the First World War, the artist Norman Wilkinson was stationed on minesweepers in the Mediterranean. He came up with a clever idea to confuse and misguide U-Boat crews who wanted to sink ships.

© Imperial War Museum (Art IWM PST 4624)

© Imperial War Museum (Art IWM PST 4624)

Using striking patterns and clashing colour schemes, Dazzle camouflage was put on thousands of ships, many of them stationed at Leith. The Dazzle Unit, stationed at the Royal Academy of the Arts, was composed mostly of women who were students at the RA and who produced designs on paper and onto models.

This Easter, Edinburgh Libraries want to see your Dazzle ideas. Why not come along and try out your ideas on one of our specially designed templates!

We will have events in Central Library, Fountainbridge, Balgreen, Muirhouse, Granton, Sighthill, Wester Hailes, Stockbridge, Ratho and South Queensferry.

Keep an eye on local library Facebook pages and our events calendar for details of what’s happening, there’s something for everyone so get involved!

This is the start of an experiment about doing more with art and design in Edinburgh Libraries.

How could we make Dazzle bigger and better? How could we scale up your designs? What would you like to do once you’ve created your pattern, selected your technique, where will your Dazzle lead you?

Dazzle the Forth has been made possible by partnership between Edinburgh Libraries and City of Edinburgh Council Arts and Creative Learning. The partnership aims to sustain work undertaken on the Heritage Lottery funded Project Kitbag which encouraged young people to respond creatively to the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War using objects and documents from the period as a stimulus.

The template has been designed by local designer Ellis McKenzie and printed using the RISO print studio at Out of the Blueprint, sustaining work Edinburgh Libraries have been doing with #artcore.

For more details about Dazzle in Edinburgh Libraries contact Colm Linnane, Service Development Leader, Edinburgh City Libraries. colm.linnane@edinburgh.gov.uk