The Polwarth Pontoon was officially opened on Saturday 16th June 2018 as part of the Edinburgh Canal Festival and Raft Race when over 100 people from the community gathered to celebrate this exciting development.
This opening launches our FLOAT THE BOAT fund to raise sufficient money to purchase a narrowboat. The narrowboat will be the mobile basis of a project nurturing wholeness and wellbeing from our unique canal-side location. The project will engage young people in the natural and cultural aspects of the Union Canal while developing skills both practical and personal. Working with families and across generations the narrowboat will become a welcoming space and promote community cohesion. For the Story So Far click on the above image and share this exciting project with your friends.
The pontoon work is still ongoing but we hope to have everything completed for the Canal Festival in June when we will have our usual afternoon tea. More news of this to follow later. The canal garden sign was missing for a few weeks after being battered by storms. Bernd has restored it to its former glory and erected it on the posts once more. Also he mended the noticeboard facing the canal so notices about different activities can be advertised to those who come down the steps, across the patio path to sit on our decking.
Snow photos from March.
Work is ongoing on the ramp. Scottish Canals are working in the freezing weather and in the sunshine some days to complete the work. 2018 will be a great year for the canalside garden. Access canalside will be possible when all the safety measures have been introduced.
39 people joined us to sing out Christmas Carols over the Union Canal. We then enjoyed a cup of hot soup and festive nibbles. Just over £70 was raised for Embrace the Middle East. Thanks to everyone who joined us.
Our friends from Scottish Canals continue to work away in the cold and rain to work on the pontoon. The ramp is being prepared so there will be access to the pontoon in the new year. The garden is not looking its best at this time but we know 2018 will be a great time as opportunities open up as the canalside garden moves on with the Float the Boat initiative. If you join the Music and Movies night in the sanctuary this Friday, 15 December you will have a great time, with donations being taken for Float the Boat. Have a great Christmas season and we will see you in the gardens in 2018.
THE ORIGINAL WAR HORSE AT POLWARTH CHURCH 6.45PM – THE SILENT FILM ‘A COUPLE OF DOWN AND OUTS’ WAS SHOWN THURSDAY 30 NOVEMBER. A FANTASTIC SPECTACULAR FILM WAS ENJOYED BY 35 PEOPLE. Thank you to Yvonne and Alistair McEwen of Scotland’s War who gave us the opportunity to show this film and to the BFI who sent us the DVD – a fitting tribute as part of the WW1 commemorations. Yvonne will be helping us in the new year prepare a garden to the left of the decking and behind the pontoon to honour medical personnel who moved wounded soldiers by barge through Flanders and France in WW1. Watch that space!
November News Update
Keep watching for more photographs.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS LED BY ALISTAIR AND YVONNE MCEWEN OF SCOTLANDS WAR AND EVENT CLOSES 8.30 PM
Our hero, Corporal Daniel Creath, DCM, ex-Royal Horse Artillery, has come home from the first world war to find himself homeless, workless, unwanted, in fact thoroughly down and out in all respects. After four years of service enduring the horrors of the battlefields of the Somme and Flanders, his one remaining memento of the war is the faded ribbon of the bravery award he had earned. The citation had reported how he struggled to get his horse drawn heavy artillery pieces through the mud and under fire to save a desperate situation overwhelming his infantry colleagues.
Danny, in his search for work in docklands, sees a number of war-worn horses being driven through the dock gates to be shipped abroad for slaughter. Recognising one of the weary animals was from the pair he had handled in terrible battle conditions for so long, he rushes out of the crowd, jumps on his old horsed bare back and races off, unfortunately knocking down a policeman in the process.
Later, we find Danny tired, dejected and hungry, sheltering in what appears to be a deserted stable yard. Searching for food for himself and feed for his animal, he is surprised by the completely calm voice of a young girl, enquiring what exactly he thought he was doing there. But, taking pity, she gives him the first square meal he has had for days. While Danny wolfs it down, Molly finds feed for his horse and then listens to the story he blurts out – the impulsive horse stealing episode with the assault of a police officer adding to the seriousness of his offence. Molly is not only concerned by the constant bad luck endured by this brave ex-soldier since the war, she has also noticed the grubby medal ribbon on his tattered coat.
It will be no surprise that a charming little love story develops between the two young people. It soon emerges that the felled policeman is actually Molly’s own father, Police Sergeant Roake, a kindly man who nevertheless recognises that the recipient of his daughter’s benevolence is, in fact, the horse thief who knocked him to the ground. But, he, too, is sympathetic to the plight of the soldier, having also observed the faded bravery symbol he is wearing.
Now… watch on as the story of this 94-year old GB Samuelson film unfolds, benefiting from digital projection.
Sir Sydney Samuelson’s notes:
I first saw a (non-restored) version of my father’s film at a silent film festive at Pordenone, Italy, some years ago, soon after it had been found in a set of rusty 35mm film cans. Having been ‘lost’ for about 80 years, the film copy was in poor condition due to chemical deterioration of the celluloid based images. What we are seeing now is the result of a caring, skillful and altogether brilliant restoration by the BFI Archive experts in Berkhampstead. Our family congratulations and appreciation go to them happily, enthusiastically and thankfully.
Danny Creath, DCM is played by Captain REX DAVIS MC, a courageous infantry officer who served with valour throughout the First World War. He was himself awarded the Military Cross for ‘Consistent bravery when overcoming dangerous situations.’
Molly Roake is played by EDNA BEST. After making A Couple of Down and Outs, she acted in other Samuelson films and then Hollywood called. The last UK film she appeared in was South Riding (1938) with Sir Ralph Richardson and Ann Todd.
The screenplay came about after my father read a short story in Strand Magazine. Believing it had the making of a movie, he asked a member of’ Worton Hall Studio staff to develop it to feature film length and to create the appropriate production values. WALTER SUMMERS subsequently was given his newly written script as his own first assignment as Director. He had served as a Lieutenant in the 12th battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, also winning the Military Cross. He became renowned for his direction of battle scenes
Our next event before Christmas is the Carols by the Canal on Sunday 17 December at 4pm. We will sing carols from the Bethlehem Carols Sheet chosen by yourselves. A cup of soup will be served at the end to warm you on your way home.
SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER
What a morning we had serving at least 70 breakfasts to those who joined us for our second anniversary celebration of the opening of the canalside garden. The weather did not allow us to eat outside but that did not stop the fun. Thanks to all the helpers who made the event such a successful. Also thanks to W. T. Dunbar & Sons and Scotmid who donated food to be served and others who gave us other breakfast items. Special thanks also to the Guides and their leaders who joined us and had a stall, raising £28.50 for our funds and eating breakfast with us. In total we raised £420 for Float the Boat. Every pound raised helps move us forward to our goal of buying a narrowboat to be moored at the bottom of our canalside garden to be used by the church and the community.
JOIN THE FUN ON SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 10AM – 12NOON AT THE 2ND BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST CELEBRATIONS FOR THE CANALSIDE GARDEN. TELL YOUR FRIENDS.
Scottish Canals are starting work very soon clearing the plants in front of our canalside garden in readiness for putting in a floating pontoon which can accommodate three boats. One will be our community narrowboat and the other two for visiting boats. So very soon we can launch our FLOAT THE BOAT project. Come along to the Birthday Breakfast and find out more. We will have breakfast outside weather permitting; if not we are in the Drennan Hall.
The Friends of the Polwarth Canal Garden Blog can now be found on these pages. Thank you to all our supporters who help us.
Saturday 17 June saw a great Coffee Afternoon at the church gardens as part of the Canal Festival, raising £480 for the Float the Boat project. This was followed by the fantastic news that permission has been granted by Historic Scotland for Scottish Canals to make a pontoon at our canalside garden where there will be three moorings – one for the church narrowboat (the Float the Boat project) and two for visiting boats. This will not be for residential moorings which was originally planned and there will be no water or electricity at the site. Watch this space for the date for the start of this work: all very exciting as the second phase of our work goes into action. This added to the Polwarth Canal Shed makes for exciting times. If you visit Polwarth Church website www.polwarth.org.uk you will find pictures and information about the coffee afternoon and details of the canalside garden and Polwarth Canal Shed in an article on the Church of Scotland website
The Tranquillity Garden is benefitting from the rain we are having and this saves volunteers from using the water bucket and watering cans to keep the plants vibrant. If you haven’t visited recently, please do so. We remember our friend Ray Howie and his gardening veteran friends at this time, especially as tomorrow celebrates Armed Forces Day. Without Ray’s inspiration we would not have this garden for you to enjoy. We wish Ray improved health. We thank the Polwarth Canal Shed for their help with weeding and watering in the Tranquillity Garden, the church gardens and the canalside garden.
Great news for our Tranquillity Garden which remained bare of flowers – it has been planted up due to the generosity of members of Polwarth Church congregation who provided the money and members of the Canal Shed who helped clear the beds and others who planted. The rain eventually came so now the beds are well watered.
Somme 100 Rose planted by Ray Howie Remembrance Sunday NOVEMBER 2016
10th September 2016 we celebrated a year of The Polwarth Canal Garden being opened.
Thank you to all our gardeners.
Summer 2015 getting The Polwarth Canal Garden reading for opening in September.
The Polwarth Canal Garden was opened September 2015, with thanks to the Armed Forces Community Covenant our main sponsors and everyone else who helped this dream become a reality.