Verdant Works Indian Summer Family Day #dundeewestend

Raw jute fibre was first imported into Britain in 1791 by the East India Company which traded in Bengal.    
Tomorrow, Saturday 19th August, the links between India and the Indian subcontinent and Dundee will be celebrated again with this family-friendly afternoon of colour, music, food and dance, celebrating Dundee’s international community.
12 noon to 4pm : Drop in crafts
1pm to 3pm  : Face-painting
1pm : Bollywood performance and workshop
2pm : Traditional storytelling
3pm : A taste of India snacks
3.30pm : Sitar music
All activities included in the regular Verdant Works museum admission.

Event today at Verdant Works #dundeewestend

From Sheena Wellington :
1.20pm to 1.50pm  – The Wighton Singers – Verdant Works, West Henderson’s Wynd
Join us for the last of the special fortnightly summer programme of lunchtime concerts in the High Mill, covering a wide range of music genres. 
The Wighton Singers describe themselves as “a group of friends who love to sing together” and they meet on Tuesday afternoons at the Wighton Heritage Centre.  Their repertoire is mainly Scottish traditional but they might provide a surprise or two!
Concert, £2 includes tea/coffee, no booking required. Children, free.

Wednesday meetings …

A very busy day yesterday with numerous meetings, including :
* Attending two tenants’ meetings organised by Home Scotland at Blackness Court and Sinderins Court for the residents there and at Pennycook Court,   The meetings were to review the revised warden/support arrangements that were introduced last year and get tenants’ feedback.    The meetings were a good opportunity for all the tenants who attended to raise any issues or concerns, not just about support issues but also on other matters, such as repairs.
* A meeting with two senior Police Scotland officers to discuss the proposed loss of the 999 and 101 calls Dundee response centre, with the resultant loss of local knowledge in call handling, which I view as a detrimental step.    We had a useful exchange of views and information on the matter and I will be raising the issue at the council’s Policy & Resources Committee next Monday.
* A meeting of the Harris Academy Parent Council, which took place at Menzieshill High School.   This was followed by a joint meeting with the Menzieshill High School Parent Council – an excellent initiative, given that that the two school communities come together later this year.     It was a very positive meeting and planning for the future is well in hand and very reassuring.
* The formal opening of the High Mill at Verdant Works took place.  It was a very well-attended event and the restoration of the High Mill is simply superb – I would thoroughly recommend a visit.    Sir Neil Cossons, the eminent historian and leading authority on the industrial heritage, performed the official opening.    I had the opportunity to speak with Sir Neil, who is very pleasant and interesting.     A few photos from the opening of the High Mill :
Large turnout for the High Mill formal opening
Part of the High Mill restoration
Sir Neil Cossons performs the official opening
The beautifully restored Boulton and Watt steam engine

Mary Slessor: Mill Girl to Magistrate

Thanks to generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, an exhibition is currently taking place in the city about Mary Slessor, a centrepiece of the centenary commemorations of her life and work.
The exhibition is at Verdant Works @ Scotland’s Jute Museum and is free to visit.
The main exhibition is already open and runs until 1st November.    
For more details about Verdant Works, please call 309060.
The centenary exhibition tells the story of Mary Slessor’s journey from Dundee mill girl to missionary and later magistrate in Calabar.    It celebrates her work to improve the lives of the local tribes, in particular the women and children and her ongoing legacy.
You can read more about the exhibition here.

West Henderson’s Wynd and Miln Street

Verdant WorksI have, in recent months, raised with the City Council, the need to improve the road situation near to Verdant Works.

My own view is that there is merit in creating a safer pedestrian entrance to Verdant Works by stopping up West Henderson’s Wynd outside Verdant Works.

The advantages of this are obvious – a safe entrance area for this important visitor attraction (whose visitor numbers are going to continue to increase with the new facility opening at the High Mill), a better meeting point in the event of evacuation of the building due to a fire alarm – and there are other adjacent streets for through traffic so no adverse impact on traffic movements.

I was recently updated by the City Council as follows :

“Just to update you on West Henderson’s Wynd/Miln Street you will be aware that West Henderson’s Wynd, north side of Verdant Works entrance for approximately 25m and a section of Miln Street is currently closed for building operations.

At the previous meeting with Verdant Works management this closure was discussed and it was agreed that this temporary closure would be a good trial for any permanent stopping up section or one way proposals.

As previously advised as part of the development works at Verdant Works they were considering alternative entrance arrangements including people with disabilities and would submit these proposals to Dundee City Council for permission.

Please be assured we will continue communications with Verdant Works following submission of their proposals.”

High Mill Open Gallery Project

Yesterday, I had a productive meeting with Mark Munsie, Operations Director and Gill Poulter, Heritage & Exhibitions Director, both of the Dundee Heritage Trust, regarding the High Mill Open Gallery Project.
I had previously met Mark back in September 2013 soon after the announcement of the Heritage Lottery Fund being allocated £1.48 million to the project and it was good to learn of the good progress that has been made with the project, with the restoration work on time and on budget.
The High Mill Open gallery will open to the public in late summer 2015 and will be a fantastic new facility in the city.
The photo below shows the external scaffold of High Mill at present :