Unveiled: Huge sculpture designed by East Lothian primary pupils

A five-tonne steel sculpture inspired by postcard drawings by children has been officially unveiled outside a new primary school.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 2:40 pm

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The 17-metre wide work of art is designed to capture the architecture and style of Haddington town centre after it featured again and again in youngsters’ drawings.

And some of the pupils whose postcards inspired the work went along to the school to see it for the first time.

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It's art, not a giant climbing frame at Letham Mains.

The steel sculpture creates a 3-D skyline of the market town’s buildings which include an 18th century town hall and church dating back to the 15th century.

Funded by a consortium of developers who are building housing at the Letham Mains site on the outskirts of Haddington, and overseen by Cala, the artwork forms a gateway at a new Civic Square in front of the new Letham Mains Primary School.

The school, which opened with just a few pupils earlier this year is preparing to welcome 72 pupils and 21 nursery children when it opens this week for the new term.

Edinburgh steelwork firm Ratho Byres were commissioned to create the work which is 6.5 metres high.

The huge sculpture is based on designs drawn by pupils.

Pete Hill, an artist blacksmith with the company, said they took inspiration from postcards drawn by local schoolchildren describing what Haddington meant to them.

He said: “A lot of the postcards featured town centre buildings so we incorporated that reflecting the old town in the new town ,”

The steel structure took 800 hours to create and had to be brought on site over two days in pieces before being lifted into position with cranes.

School head teacher Bruce Murray said he was delighted local children had been involved in the design of the work.

The sculpture is designed to mirror the skyline of Haddington

He said: “It is so nice to have the children’s ideas reflected and it frames the school nicely.

“It was trying to get something that reflects the new community as part of the town and having that connection.”

East Lothian Provost John McMillan visited the artwork to see it first hand this week and chatted to some of those involved.

He said: “I think it really fits in and it is great that the ideas came mainly from the children.

“It is important to create a sense of place and neighbourhood and I think this really does that.”

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