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70 voices heard in East Kilbride

Published Monday, 26 June 2017

Chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Councillor David Watson (front, centre) with staff and volunteers involved in the 70 Voices project

There were no calls for silence at East Kilbride Central Library when the 70 Voices project got together.

The 35 older East Kilbride residents along with 35 children were taking part in the oral history project. The interviews were being recorded to create a unique archive to illustrate how different generations look on life in Scotland’s first new town.

In addition to the oral history artist Kim Simpson is creating a gallery of images of the participants with an exhibition of the work to date unveiled in East Kilbride Central Library as part of the event.

And for the first time the library’s 3D scanning and printing technology was used to create a “Gallery of Masks” - an artist’s impressions of all the participants.

The innovative partnership project is being funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council and delivered by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Libraries to provide this uniquely live project with library staff and volunteers continuing to recruit groups and individuals to take part. Those already involved include the East Kilbride Heritage Group, primary schools, library members, local residents and Scouts.

Councillor David Watson, the Chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC), said: “East Kilbride has come a long way since it’s foundation as a new town in 1947 and in that time a rich, diverse and unique culture of both people and place has developed.

“Traditionally 70 years, or three score and ten, is a lifetime so bringing the town’s most senior and youngest generations together in this project is a fitting way to celebrate the anniversary and create a valuable archive for generations to come.”  

And the General Manager of SLLC Gerry Campbell added: “I congratulate all the staff and volunteers who have put so much into this project and I am sure they will continue to do so as it goes forward. Our libraries play a central role in many communities across South Lanarkshire and it is fitting that East Kilbride Central Library and the team based there have been able to take such a pivotal role in this important celebration of the town’s heritage and future.”

And the event also saw a presentation to the winners of a Creative Writing project. Pupils at Heathery Knowe Primary School were asked to put pen to paper to record their thoughts on living in East Kilbride to help mark the 70th anniversary. The winners were:

  • 1st prize Matthew Norman
  • 2nd prize Ben Robertson
  • 3rd prize Molly Ross