Monkeying around on film

Senior Phase pupils from Saltersgate School in Dalkeith, who made an animated film re-telling a story from Dalkeith's past when 85 years ago, monkeys escaped from the circus. They are photographed with the actual artwork used to create the animation 22/1/18
Senior Phase pupils from Saltersgate School in Dalkeith, who made an animated film re-telling a story from Dalkeith's past when 85 years ago, monkeys escaped from the circus. They are photographed with the actual artwork used to create the animation 22/1/18
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Saltersgate pupils have put together a short film about the fascinating story of when circus monkeys escaped in Dalkeith 85 years ago.

In 1933 monkeys from a circus at Ironmills Park escaped and went exploring in Dalkeith. Some took up residence there, with the town still on the lookout for their welfare after the circus was long gone.

Ten pupils at Saltersgate were involved in the two-year project to re-tell the tale, working with Dalkeith Heritage Society and Midlothian Learning Technology Team.

The project involved a collaboration with Melville Housing’s heritage officer Fiona Maher. Using newspaper articles provided by Fiona as a starting point, the pupils created drawings and images to illustrate the story and create a short piece of animation.

Teacher Amy Collop said: “We are so happy with it. We are going to put it in for a competition.

“The pupils loved doing it, especially the animation. The programme we use is really simple for them to use. And the technical support made it very smooth and easy.

“A highlight for myself and pupils was interviewing and chatting to Lachlan and Margaret. The pupils were totally absorbed in hearing about their experiences of growing up in the 1930s and 40s. We recorded an interview with Lachlan, he is a great character. And Margaret brought us the amazing photo (above) of one of the escaped monkeys.

“I think linking up with the community is amazing. It’s very important to make these connections.”

Watch the pupils’ video here.