Tapestry already inspiring artistic efforts by Borders youngsters

Galashiels Academy pupils Katie Loughran, Llana Millar, Rowan Wymss, Amy Montgomery, Layla Whitson and Erin Stoddart with their tapestry welcome panel entry.
Galashiels Academy pupils Katie Loughran, Llana Millar, Rowan Wymss, Amy Montgomery, Layla Whitson and Erin Stoddart with their tapestry welcome panel entry.

It’s still two years until the Great Tapestry of Scotland arrives in Galashiels, but it’s already inspiring Borders youngsters to produce artworks of their own.

Children across the Borders have been coming up with ideas for a welcome panel at the new £6.7m visitor destination being built in the town centre to house the tapestry.

Edenside Primary pupils Chloe Patterson, Niamh Bennett, Emily Carsane and Callum Woodcock with their entry.

Edenside Primary pupils Chloe Patterson, Niamh Bennett, Emily Carsane and Callum Woodcock with their entry.

Construction of the centre is due to begin in October, and it is expected to open in 2020.

Scottish Borders Council asked schools to suggest themes to be incorporated into a welcome sign being produced by artist Andrew Crummy and historian Alistair Moffat.

A panel of judges including Mr Crummy, Mr Moffat and Susie Finlayson, one of more than 1,000 stitchers involved in producing the tapestry, plus representatives of Live Borders and the council, has now shortlisted six designs to be consulted.

The commended entries were those submitted by Edenside Primary in Kelso, Sprouston Primary, Galashiels Academy, St Mary’s School in Melrose, Glendinning Primary in Galashiels and a joint effort by Heriot and Fountainhall’s primaries.

Pupils from St Mary's School in Melrose with their welcome sign.

Pupils from St Mary's School in Melrose with their welcome sign.

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine, the council’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “This event was an example of how the tapestry can inspire young people to think about the fantastic culture, art, heritage and history we have in the Borders.”

“The finalists all worked incredibly hard to produce some brilliant designs which will give Andrew Crummy plenty to work with to create a striking new welcome panel for the visitor centre.”

“The Great Tapestry of Scotland is an integral element of the new national visitor destination being built in Galashiels, which will create fantastic educational facilities for schools in the Scottish Borders.

Mr Crummy said: “All the entries were fantastic in different ways.

Pupils of Heriot and Fountainhall primaries with their joint effort.

Pupils of Heriot and Fountainhall primaries with their joint effort.

“The ethos of the Great Tapestry of Scotland is helping each other, and it is clear that is what the pupils did as part of their designs.

“It is also great to see pupils learn more about the area they live in through this project. It is clear they are proud of the Scottish Borders.

“This was a really exciting project, and I think the pupils have opened up a fantastic treasure box of ideas.”

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Live Borders, the trust that will run the visitor centre, in Channel Street and High Street, added: “We very much enjoyed being part of the judging process, and it was fantastic to see so much creativity from schools across the region. It will be brilliant to see their designs come to fruition.

Glendinning Primary pupils with judging panel members.

Glendinning Primary pupils with judging panel members.

“Education will be an important and central part of the Great Tapestry of Scotland offering, so it’s great to see schools involved at this early stage in the project.”

Want to find out more about the progress being made on the tapestry visitor centre? See here ...

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Sprouston Primary pupils Elsa Dalziel and Fraser Banks with their entry.

Sprouston Primary pupils Elsa Dalziel and Fraser Banks with their entry.