The idea for Blackburn’s Community Mural came from our first unique Primary 7 joint school’s conference in May 2009. When asked what their likes and dislikes were about Blackburn and what we could all do to make the village a better place to live the primary 7 pupils said that they would like to make Blackburn a brighter place to live. The original suggestion was to paint the houses and the flats bright colours, when it was explained that this would cost a lot of money that we did not have the children were happy to reach the compromise of seeking funding for a Community Mural that would be displayed in several locations.
The funding was secured from the Community Centre’s Management Committee, our 4 Ward Councillors, Blackburn Community Council and Community Action – Blackburn and the work began under the supervision of artist Scott Gilbert.
The mural has a total of 15 boards that depict our history from the origins of Blackburn with Blackburn House, through the dark days of our local industry, the things that the children dislike as they consider them to be dull and concludes with the bright things that the children like while looking to the future and the upgrade work of King George V Park.
The boards were divided into five sections which were completed by Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Blackburn Primary, Murrayfield Primary, the Youth Club and Blackburn Youth Team 1.
The boards were unveiled at an event hosted by Blackburn Youth Team 1 on 12 November 2010 within the Mill Shopping Centre. Team 1 provided information on the background behind the development of the boards and then introduced PC Paul Emery to perform the unveiling ceremony. The mural was on display within the Mill Centre from 12 to 22 November and thereafter the relevant sections were returned to the community centre and the schools to be displayed there. The final section of the mural, depicting the future, will be permanently displayed in the Mill Centre.
Community Action – Blackburn would also like to thank Blackburn Connected and the Community Centre for storage of the boards during the progress of the work, B.L.E.S. Training for making and providing the stands for the boards and Jimmy Graham and his colleagues at Sibbald Training for transporting the boards around the various venues to ensure the work could be completed.