Crossings now at Dancebase

The Crossings exhibition is now on at Dancebase until December. You can view original objects from our Leith collections alongside items loaned by Historic Environment Scotland and films of dance pieces interpreting the heritage of Leith.



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Singing in the playground

This week the Museums Alive volunteers met after their summer break. We were very fortunate to have a special training event arranged by Connecting Scotland’s Sounds with the inspiring Ewan McVicar.


Ewan is an expert on Scottish playground songs (amongst many other things!) He is also incredibly knowledgeable about using sounds and songs in sessions and he has inspired us to try this out in our activities.

Thank you to Amy McDonald at the National Library of Scotland for all her help with the session.

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Write at the Museum

Exciting news from our colleagues at the Museum of Childhood!

Stories of Childhood


We’re starting an exciting new writing group at the Museum of Childhood. It will be a small group of up to ten writers. All levels of experience welcome, and types of writing.
Our galleries might inspire new pieces of poetry, prose or memoir, or perhaps give new energy to works in progress.

Enjoy exclusive access while the museum is closed to the public, and write among the wonderful displays. Discuss your work over a cup of tea with the friendly group and get advice from the experienced tutor.

To start, we are offering a four week course over the Autumn and Winter with professional writer Regi Claire, for £80.

Tuesday afternoons, 2.30-4.30pm.

25 October 2016, 22 November 2016, 10 January 2017, 7 February 2017

Get in touch if you have questions or to book your place.

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Last day of summer holiday activities

Today is the final day of the outreach summer holiday programme. I will be running traditional games activities at Balerno Library at 11am and Currie Library at 2pm.


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The Burry Man and the Ferry Fair

It is the Ferry Fair weekend and the Burry Man is in South Queensferry today. The Burry Man walks around Queensferry covered in burrs (the spiky seed cases of the burdock plant). His route is available here.

You can find out more about the tradition on the Edinburgh Museums & Galleries website.

This is my photograph from 2013.


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Pirates, parrots, cats, dogs and peacocks

Last week I ran two sessions at West Pilton Neighbourhood Project.

The first session was pirate themed- inspired by Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (one of the writers represented in the Writers’s Museum). We made treasure maps and parrots.

The second session looked at animals in art and sculpture- inspired by the City Art Centre’s collections and Greyfriars Bobby.

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Crossings exhibition and launch

Yesterday we finished installing Crossings, a new exhibition exploring the heritage of Leith. The exhibition is on display in Leith Library until 19 September. It will then move on to be displayed at Dancebase from 23 September-9 December.

DSC_0652Crossings was a project developed by Dancebase in partnership with Edinburgh Museums & Galleries and Historic Environment Scotland. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The exhibition consists of a trio of dance films which have been created by a diverse range of groups from Edinburgh in response to the vibrant heritage of Leith. They are on show alongside the museum collections which inspired the dances.


Edinburgh Tales from Upward Mobility, Unusual Suspects from Dance Base and Edinburgh Young Carers Project learned about the heritage of Leith through visits to the Museum Collections Centre, the City Art Centre and Trinity House (Historic Environment Scotland). The groups then worked with dance artists Luke Pell, Beverley Grant and Allan Irvine; filmmakers Maciej Czajka and Pedro Vaz Simões; and sound artist Barney Strachan to create new dance films which explore the history of Leith and its people.


The project launched at the City Art Centre on Tuesday. The event showcased the dance films alongside live dance performances and a display of the objects.



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