The Ruglen Ropewalk.

In 2016, following a successful funding application and public vote, Grow 73 secured the top amount of £12k from the Tesco Bags of Help fund to develop a nature/heritage trail in Overtoun Park.

The project kicked off with a series of intergenerational storytelling sessions led by storyteller Amanda Edmiston of Botanic Fabula which brought together children from 8 local primary schools and residents of two local nursing homes to gather and share stories of Rutherglen’s heritage. These were very powerful and emotional experiences for all involved and generated a huge number of interesting stories and tales of Rutherglen’s past.

With the help of our storyteller, Amanda, we selected three key stories upon which the sculptures to be created as part of the trail would be themed around.  These stories focus on the Templeton Carpet Factory, Richmond Laundry and the mythical Pechs of Rutherglen. We were hugely fortunate to secure the talents of world-renowned sculptor and environmental artist, Rob Mulholland, who took these stories of Rutherglen’s heritage and created the wonderful sculptures which have been installed in Overtoun Park. Rob has worked in the area before – his Evolve sculpture is at the gateway to the Cuningar Loop park and his Oatland’s Girl sculpture is located just down the road past Shawfield.

To bring everything together and to accompany the sculptures, Grow 73 commissioned illustrator Rosie Cunningham of Illustration Etc to design and illustrate a map which gives a brief overview of the stories, suggests fun activities to allow interaction with the sculptures and gives an overview of the key features of Overtoun Park.

Following consultation with the Facebook group “Auld Rutherglen” as to an appropriate name for the trail it was decided at this point to call it the Ruglen Ropewalk as rope was a feature of many of the stories highlighted by the storytelling sessions and, in the past, had been part of the fabric of life in Rutherglen due to the presence of the Eastfield Ropery.

This project has taken almost two years from submission of the funding application to the installation of the sculptures and has been a very enjoyable learning experience for all at Grow 73.  A huge thanks to our very dedicated committee, volunteers, partner organisations, the funder Tesco, and to all who have been involved in this project.  We are really hopeful that the Ruglen Ropewalk will help to make our community proud of the beautiful green space that is Overtoun Park and the wonderful heritage of Rutherglen.

Links:

The Ruglen Ropewalk Map – download here.

Grow 73 Nature Trail Blog – more stories

Storyteller – Amanda Edmiston

Illustrator – Rosie Cunningham

Sculptor – Rob Mulholland

Sign painter – Erin Bradley Scott