Fresh Tales from the Town for Tomorrow

A residency project which formed the backbone of ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld challenged pupils at four local primary schools to invent new tales of the town which can stand alongside the ‘official’ and too often negative story embedded in the public imagination. After sessions with theatre maker Ishbel McFarlane and weekly meetings with childrens’ author Mike Nicholson, the results are more imaginative, …

Reflecting on ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld

Our weekend Festival in the New Town of Cumbernauld came to a close on Sunday with an impassioned, energetic and galvanising debate on the past, present and future of the town in which local residents had a chance to share their views with panellists Diane Watters, Kirkland Ciccone, Adam Kaasa and chairperson Richard Holloway. Topics covered ranged from the necessity …

Chris Leslie: A Disappearing City?

Award-winning Glaswegian photographer and filmmaker Chris Leslie embarked on a project to document the changing face of Glasgow in 2014, capturing a city in the throes of another transformation, like that which led to the creation of the Scottish New Towns 70 years ago – but what might this mean for the city’s people? Here he shares an outline of …

Boundless Talents

Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend! Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, …

David Bishop: Dredd Dystopias

David Bishop is a writer of novels, screenplays, graphic novels and non-fiction. A former editor of British science fiction anthology 2000AD, he is the co-writer of that comic’s unfiltered history, Thrill-Power Overload: 2000AD – The First Forty Years. He teaches on the genre-focused Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University, including the world’s first postgraduate module on writing the scripts …

Diane Watters: New Town, My Town

Diane M Watters is an architectural historian. A specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century architecture and conservation in Scotland, she has recently authored St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross: Birth Death and Renewal (HES, 2016), and co-authored a guide to Cumbernauld (with Miles Glendinning) as part of Buildings of Scotland architectural guidebook series to Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (Yale University Press, 2016). She …

Festival Programme Unveiled

Last week we launched the programme for a new Festival, ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld, which takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May 2017. Writers, artists, musicians and poets including Liz Lochhead, Denise Mina, Jenny Colgan and Graeme Macrae Burnet will join audiences in celebrating science fiction, crime writing, poetry, football and the stories of Cumbernauld’s residents. The programme for ReimagiNation: …

Moving Pictures, Hidden Clocks

Daniel Gray continues his exploration of life in Cumbernauld past, present and future. Here, he finds out what signs and symbols hold meaning for local residents, and gets an insight into what they feel is lacked and what is loved in the town. Beyond the plastic cones is the clock. It came from St Enoch Station, following the many Glasgow …

Fresh Plans

Ishbel McFarlane has performed her new interactive theatre experience with groups of young and old residents of Cumbernauld. Here, she shares some insights in to the towns each group built during the show and highlights the issues, debates and common interests which came to light during each session. Crudville. Supercity. Clintown. Jefflandia. Knewtown. Pitsville. Shaun Junior. Paxtoun. Jjam. Dragon City. These are some of the names that were selected …

Stories Under the Surface

Mike Nicholson has been working with pupils in Kildrum, Carbrain, St Mary’s and St Margaret of Scotland Primary Schools in Cumbernauld. Here he shares his initial reactions to the sessions with the kids and teases what stories might emerge from the sessions. Four schools visited, eight sessions completed and the first stages of the ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld schools’ writing project are …

Green Coloured Pencils

Writer and historian Daniel Gray is working with CACE Older People Active Lives service users as part of our ReimagiNation creative residency. Below he shares some thoughts on the town from his first visit to the town. Those who first drew what would become Cumbernauld did so with plenty of green pencils. For each house, a garden; for each towerblock, …

ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld

This week we formally announced our next major Booked! project — ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld. You may have read our previous posts introducing Mike Nicholson, Daniel Gray and Ishbel McFarlane, who are leading creative residency sessions with pupils and pensioners in the town already. Find out more about the project as a whole in a news piece published on edbookfest.co.uk by following …

Cumbernauld: Meet Ishbel McFarlane

Ahead of a series of special workshops with the young and old of Cumbernauld, we asked our three resident artists to introduce themselves and share their thoughts on how they’d approach the questions they’ll bring to local people. Theatre maker Ishbel McFarlane’s new performance/game Plan invites audiences to construct a town in much the same way as New Town planners …

Cumbernauld: Meet Daniel Gray

Ahead of a series of special workshops with the young and old of Cumbernauld, we asked our three resident artists to introduce themselves and share their thoughts on how they’d approach the questions they’ll bring to local people. Writer and historian Daniel Gray is working with service users at Cumbernauld Action Care for the Elderly to gather stories of the …

Cumbernauld: Meet Mike Nicholson

I’m Mike Nicholson, an Edinburgh-based children’s author who enjoys writing for others to read, as well as working with others to create their own stories. It took me a while to get into writing. I had worked in a few jobs with different charities before I twigged that what I really love is playing around with words and forming stories; …

What’s it called?

The New Town of Cumbernauld began coming to life 60 years ago next year. Located on the north eastern outskirts of a then overcrowded post-war Glasgow, the developers brought ideas of modernity to an extant village with roots stretching back to the Romans. Theirs was a vision of utopia, of a community created from scratch in a town purpose built …