Crawford Bridge brightened up as artists, students join forces

Alex Gadomski, 4, enjoys the revamped Crawford Bridge. Picture: Toby Williams
Alex Gadomski, 4, enjoys the revamped Crawford Bridge. Picture: Toby Williams
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SCHOOL pupils have brightened up a forgotten railway bridge in the Capital as part of a crackdown on vandals.

Artists teamed up with youngsters from Lorne Street Primary to create more than 90 paintings which were covered with an anti-graffiti coating.

Fraser Gray with his work on the railway bridge. Picture: Toby Williams

Fraser Gray with his work on the railway bridge. Picture: Toby Williams

These have now been attached to Crawford Bridge, which links Albion Terrace to Bothwell Street next to Easter Road stadium.

Some of the designs celebrate industrial sites which contributed to the local area’s social and economic development.

Organisers of the project said it was aimed at deterring taggers and improving the crossing’s appearance.

Local businesses also helped by paying for all of the art materials used.

Artist Richie Collins with his work. Picture: Toby Williams

Artist Richie Collins with his work. Picture: Toby Williams

Those involved in the scheme, which was unveiled officially at the end of last week, said it had offered new insights into the surrounding area.

Artist Ritchie Collins said: “As I was painting, people were telling me about the history of the area and family members that used to work in the old factories I was painting.

“I got put right on a few things too. It was a real history lesson for me and amazing to feel the connection between my artwork, the community and a hidden past.”

The work was supported by staff from the city council’s community safety team, who said that more than £3000 was being spent every year on removing spray paint from Crawford Bridge.

Councillor Cammy Day, community safety leader, said: “Our community safety team came up with the idea 
following complaints that the bridge was being vandalised
by graffiti taggers, and removing it was becoming very costly.

“So much work has gone into transforming the bridge in what has been a real community effort.”

He added: “Thanks to everyone who was involved, they should be proud of their efforts.”

Among local firms celebrated at the bridge are Henry Robb Shipbuilders – the last yard to trade on the Forth at Leith.

The firm established a reputation for making small to medium-sized vessels, particularly coasters, tugs, dredgers and other specialised boats which would have been difficult to build.

In the Second World War, it manufactured a large number of warships for the Royal Navy.

These included the Basset-class anti-submarine and minesweeping trawler, which played a key role in the conflict.

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com