On the 8th October 2023 Allan Dorans MP submitted an Early Day Motion to the UK Parliament noting, recognising and celebrating the incredible achievements of the Musical Celebration of the Coalfields project delivered in partnership with The Cumnock Tryst and CCLP team . This is such a proud moment for the amazing, talented communities and young people living and working in East Ayrshire. Well done everyone!
On Saturday 30th September the CCLP team attended the Life In The Lost Villages celebration event at Dalmellington Community Centre. The afternoon was organised by Yvonne McFadden and Arthur McIvor from the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde. We were joined by members of the community and their families who had contributed their personal testimonies to the project. The afternoon was capped off with live performances from Seán Gray and Rab Wilson with songs and poetry inspired by life on the old miners rows. We are now working with East Ayrshire Leisure Trust to hold an exhibition at The Baird Institute in Cumnock next year and launch a book all about the project and its findings.
More photos can be found on our CCLP Facebook page Facebook
You will find our November newsletter in our Resources section. This issue has news on the following projects:
Coalfield Place Names
Life in the Lost Villages
Doon Valley Railway
Lugar Heritage Centre
A Musical Celebration of Coalfield s Heritage
Ploughing up our Past
Coalfields for Pollinators
North Kyle Master Plan
Cumnock History Group has secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to research farms in Cumnock and its neighbouring parishes of Auchinleck, New Cumnock and Ochiltree with the support of the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership. Our aim is to preserve our farming heritage by collecting all the information we can about our farms. You can see our progress on the Ploughing Up Our Past blog. Join in the conversation in the Ploughing Up Our Past Facebook group too.
What we are looking for are photographs showing farms and farming life. They can be recent or old, colour or black and white. All that is required is that the farming subject must be in our study area -Auchinleck, New Cumnock, Ochiltree, and Old CumnockJust tell us· Your name and address. Who the people are in your picture (if any)· If children are in a recent photo, you must have their parents’ permission· The name of the farm and parish it is in· Approximate date of photograph· Farm implements names, models etc· Breeds of animals, their names, personalities etc
There will be PRIZES!!! Please send your farm pics to [email protected] by 8th January 2021 with “competition” as the subject matter.
All photographs submitted may be included the final project and all will be shared online. By entering it is assumed you agree to this. Photos will be judged by an independent adjudicator after the closing date and the prizes will be delivered.
Congratulations to our Board member Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere on securing £1.9m from the South of Scotland Enterprise agency. The 5-year funding agreement will see the Biosphere growing its core team and activities across SW Scotland significantly. Key priorities over the next five years will focus on how they can support and integrate the sustainability agenda into all our lives, benefitting communities, businesses, landowners, land managers and individuals Congratulations to our Board member Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere on securing £1.9m from the South of Scotland Enterprise agency. The 5-year funding agreement will see the Biosphere growing its core team and activities across SW Scotland significantly. Key priorities over the next five years will focus on how they can support and integrate the sustainability agenda into all our lives, benefitting communities, businesses, landowners, land managers and individuals.
They are now recruiting for a permanent full time finance and office manager. To find out more visit:
We have now published our first newsletter and you can download it from our resources section on the website. Find out about some of the exciting projects that are underway and if you are interested in volunteering then please do fill in our online form and we will link you up with the relevant project.
As part of the Musical Celebration of the Coalfields project The Cumnock Tryst have arranged FREE online workshops chaired by Sir James MacMillan.
Colin Prior Wednesday 23 September 2020 at 7.30pm This tutorial will look at ideal lighting conditions, seasonal opportunities and at some examples to change perceptions of familiar landscapes forever.
Alexander McCall Smith Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 7.30pm This tutorial will look at how to describe through words, what it is that makes us human – our character traits, ambitions, and our context, and explore language to paint a picture of a local historical figure for instance, or even a family member.
Michael Symmons Roberts Wednesday 21 October 2020 at 7.30pm This session will encourage you to explore their history in relation to your present and future, and look at the influence of the coal mines.
Pete Stollery Tuesday 10 November 2020, 7.30pm This interactive workshop is designed to get you to listen to, rather than just to hear, the sounds around you and to think about what those sounds might mean in an increasingly visual world. Headphones or earbuds recommended.
Chris Packham Tuesday 1 December 2020 at 7.30pm This session to inspire you to look at their environment in new ways; talk about the sounds you might record; the animal and plant life you could photograph or film; and answer any questions you might have.
To sign up please visit http://www.thecumnocktryst.com/online-workshops Priority will be given to people from Cumnock and the Doon Valley.”
We are now recruiting for 2 Project Officers to help deliver the CCLP over the next 5 years.
One post is full time (35 hrs per week) and one is part time (21 hrs over 3 days). Go to http://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/east-ayrshire-council/ to apply.
The CCLP has now secured £67,904 from the Organisational Support Fund run by Historic Environment Scotland. The funding will support 2 exciting projects which will capture and celebrate the heritage of the CCLP area: Coalfield Place Names and Life in the Lost Villages. And they will offer lots of opportunities for our communities to get involved.
Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said: “We are delighted to support Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership as part of their projects to explore and celebrate the heritage of the local area. By engaging the local community and former residents to find out what life was like in the historic Row Villages, CCLP will be able to record and document the intangible history of these remarkable places.”
The Coalfield Place Names project will be led by Glasgow University. The names of our towns, villages and landscape features are a window through which we can better understand our past. This project will harness local interest in the subject of place names, to create a coherent volume of work that aligns with national activities in this field and acts as best practice guidance on the subject.
The Life in the Lost Village, an Oral History project, will be led by Strathclyde University. The ‘Row Villages’ in the East Ayrshire coalfields are a remarkable and distinctive man-made feature in the landscape. When they were built they played a vital role but could not survive the exhaustion of the mineral resources they were built to exploit. However, traces of these row villages remain and they are of real importance not only to the Cumnock and Doon Valley area, but to the industrial history and heritage of Scotland as a whole.
This oral history project aims to capture the history of life in the Row Villages and the impact of deindustrialisation by exploring in depth the so called lost villages of Lethanhill, Burnfoot and Benquhat in the Doon Valley and Commondyke and Darnconner in the Lugar Valley. We want to hear from any former residents of these villages or their families. Or perhaps you just have stories to tell or memories to share about what these villages were like. Former residents of Glenbuck will also be interviewed as part of the project.
“I look forward as a CCLP partner to working on this exciting academic/community alliance and to delivering a major community oral history programme providing capacity-building training, recording, researching and preserving the memories of those in the East Ayrshire ‘lost villages’” said Professor Arthur McIvor, Director of the Scottish Oral History Project at Strathclyde University.
Councillor Roberts, Cabinet member of Economy and Infrastructure said ‘The confirmation of grant funding from Historic Environment Scotland is another really exciting announcement for the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership. The coalfields have a rich and fascinating heritage; it is so important that we record and retain this heritage so it is not lost for future generations. These two projects will help to make sure that this does not happen and I would encourage all residents and communities who are interested in the projects to get in touch with the CCLP team.’
If you are interested in taking part in these projects then please visit our website and use the volunteer form to sign up. We want to capture the memories and stories from local people and also want to hear from anyone who would be interested in learning about and gaining new skills in researching and recording local history.