Pupils dig deep into their heritage in Woodburn

Cameron Miller and Leeann McLauclan, along with their art and design teacher Shaun Gordon and Margot Russell, Secretary of the BRWYP.
Cameron Miller and Leeann McLauclan, along with their art and design teacher Shaun Gordon and Margot Russell, Secretary of the BRWYP.

Two high school pupils dug into their heritage when designing the new fence at the Midlothian Advice and Resource Centre in Dalkeith.

When the Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project was successful in obtaining £5000 funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to create fencing at the centre on Woodburn Road, the youth project launched a competition at Dalkeith High School to find a design for the fence.

S2 pupils Cameron Miller and Leeann McLachlan’s designs based on the area’s mining heritage were both chosen, with a miners helmet, lamp and pick axe incorporated into the fencing which was built by Halston Engineering Ltd.

Margot Russell, secretary of the Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project, is delighted with the finished design and believes it can help restore pride in the local community.

She said: “I think the fence kind of finishes the centre off.

“I think the fact that we are trying to build a bit of pride in Woodburn and things like this, that are designed by local young people, are often respected better by young people.

“Their designs were based on the significant history and importance mining has had within the community of Woodburn. They enjoyed the design process and were delighted to contribute something tangible for the local community.

“When the two kids came to look at the finished article they had their families with them. It was lovely that their parents and grandparents were there supporting and encouraging them.

“Their families were very proud, and they themselves were very proud also.

“I think the design is great. It’s keeping the mining connection in Woodburn, and given that the funding came from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust it’s quite fitting that the design is about that link.”

Mrs Russell explained that during the competition process she met with Shaun Gordon, an art and design teacher from Dalkeith High School, to have a chat about ideas. Shaun then submitted a couple of the pupils’s designs which the committee decided to amalgamate and chose both as the winner. The drawings were then sent to Halston Engineering, who turned the pupils’ designs into reality.