What things are you happy to have in your local neighbourhood, and that you would like to thrive in the future? And which things would you like to change? These were questions that we (artists Minty Donald and Nick Millar) asked people attending a workshop on 13 July 2019 at Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden. The questions were used to prompt workshop participants to explore Polbeth and to begin to map things that they noticed in their local area. The ‘things’, we reminded them, could be plants, animals, landscape features, objects, or something else. We gave each participant six small flags (three white and three yellow) and asked them to plant the flags beside the things that they wanted to thrive (white flags) and things that they wanted to change (yellow flags). They might be big or small, well known or little known, old or new… We also asked people to give a name to the things that they had mapped. After about forty-five minutes of ‘exploring’ around Polbeth, we all met together back at the Community Garden. Gathered around a large map of the area, on a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon, we had a lively discussion about people’s choices.

The workshop at the Community Garden is part of our year-long project with Forth Rivers Trust, which hinges around the construction of a new fish pass and viewing platform at the historic Limefield Falls, Polbeth. Over the year we are holding a number of workshops and events where we hope to learn about Polbeth – today, in the past, and in the future – from people who live or lived in Polbeth.

If you’d like to take part, tell us a story about Polbeth, take us on a walk of the area, or just contact us, you can visit the ‘Our Falls’ facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Our-Falls-333488090881301/
or send an email to minty.donald@glasgow.ac.uk.