‘I am prickly and hidden in the tree I fell from’. ‘I wake you up and give you a kick. I am hidden under a piece of wood’. Can you guess what these descriptions are referring to? They are just two of the inventive and cryptic clues that members of Polbeth Harwood Parish Church Sunday Club came up with in a workshop that we (artists Minty Donald and Nick Millar) held on a crisp and sunny late November morning. The Sunday Club were enthusiastic participants in the ‘treasure hunt’ game that we had devised for the workshop. We hoped that the game would encourage the Club’s members to explore the area around the historic Limefield Falls in Polbeth, to pay attention to some of the ‘natural’ or ‘manmade’ features that they might not have noticed before, and to think about some of the ‘out-of-place’ objects (like litter) that we found in this environment. Two groups of children and adults carefully hid objects that we’d collected in nooks and crannies and then wrote clues to their whereabouts. The groups swapped clues and set about trying to find the hidden objects. Once they’d all been located, we returned to the warmth of the Church Hall and placed them on a map of Polbeth, discussing where they came from, how they might have got there, and whether we felt they ‘belonged’ there, or not. We talked about how the area might change over time and what things people valued or wanted to alter.
Earlier in the morning we spoke to the congregations of Polbeth Harwood Parish Church and West Calder Church, on the invitation of minister, Nanda Groenewald. We told the two congregations about our year-long project with Forth Rivers Trust, called ‘Our’ Falls, which hinges around the construction of a new fish pass and viewing platform at Limefield Falls, Polbeth. We invited people who live or lived in Polbeth to take part. You can contact us via the ‘Our Falls’ facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Our-Falls-333488090881301/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And by the way, the answers were rose hips and a paper coffee cup!