Poignant artwork comes back ‘home’ to Gorebridge

.''LtoR David Paterson, Matthew Paterson (son) & David's  mother Mary
.''LtoR David Paterson, Matthew Paterson (son) & David's mother Mary

An artist’s work in memory of his great grandfather killed in World War One has ‘come home’ as part of a tour of Midlothian’s libraries.

Amateur artist David Paterson from Mayfield created a five foot tall davy lamp in tribute to John McGuff, a miner from Arniston. The piece, made completely with recycled materials, has 105 poppies cascading from it, to represent the 105 people, including his relative, remembered on the Gorebridge War Memorial.

The tribute piece is currently on display at Gorebridge Library, just yards from Mr McGuff’s Engine Square home. It’s creator David Paterson is delighted with his work, although it remains untitled.

He said: “It hasn’t get a name, I would just call it ‘the miner’s lamp’.

“It’s made completely from recycled material. Car parts, a bit of down pipe, parts of an extractor fan, roof slates.

“All the work I make is made from recycled waste. But when it is put together it’s hard to recognise.

“I’m particularly proud of it. John grew up in Engine Square, just next to the library where it is currently on display. It was great to produce something in memory of a family member. It’s not a piece of work for sale or anything.

“And, there is a poppy for each person on the war memorial, 103 men and two women, so 105 poppies.

“I believe it’s an important piece of work, very poignant.”

David hopes to have the piece placed in a permanent spot before the Remembrance events this year.

He said: “It was used for the Spring exhibition at DAME this year. From that, Dalkeith Library suggested it went on a tour of the Midlothian libraries. It’s still to go to Lasswade, Penicuik, Newtongrange and Loanhead, spending two weeks at each one.

“I have got an idea roughly where it’s going, it’s still to be confirmed.

“The intention is to have it permanently placed before November 11.

“My mum seems to have taken quite a shine to it. It’s very important to her.

“She has been over to Le Harve to visit the grave, a couple of years ago.”

David’s mum Mary Flynn said of her grandfather John: “He left a family of five sons who all went on to work in the pits. Hence the connection with the davy lamp.

“It’s great that the piece is now ‘home’ in Gorebridge.

“It’s quite an impressive piece of work, with a really poignant story behind it.”