ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld - Sharing Stories

Last week Edinburgh International Book Festival celebrated 60 years of Cumbernauld alongside creative partner CultureNL. The three-day Festival, entitled ReimagiNation, included the culmination of creative residencies with both the younger and the older residents of the town by author Mike Nicholson and people’s historian Daniel Gray. ReimagiNation brought together all these stories alongside authors, poets, storytellers, illustrators, theatre-maker Ishbel McFarlane and local author Kirkland Ciccone who is now musing on writing a new crime series set in the town. 
 
Programme Director Janet Smyth said, “The Edinburgh International Book Festival’s ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld was all about partnerships.  Partnerships with writers, illustrators, Culture NL, local organisations and, importantly, the residents of the town themselves. Since beginning ReimagiNation back in February we have heard stories from some of the original residents as well as local children and they have two things in common – a pride in Cumbernauld and a strong sense of community. 
 
“We are very much looking forward to the bringing Cumbernauld stories to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August before we head onwards to the other four Scottish New Towns all with support from the Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.”
 
Across the weekend Architectural historians Diane Watters and Miles Glendinning introduced visitors and residents to the history and buildings of Cumbernauld in a series of popular walking tours. Crime writers Denise Mina and Graeme Macrae Burnet, poet Liz Lochhead and authors David F Ross and David Keenan were just a few of the writers speaking at the Festival.  Further activities and events took place in a variety of unusual and interesting places including empty shop units in Teviot Walk in the Town Centre, the Library & Museum, the New Town Hall and the Penthouse Flats at the top of the Town Centre.  
 
Jillian Ferrie, Chief Executive of CultureNL, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and deliver this exciting programme, which people of all ages to enjoyed. The entire community of Cumbernauld embraced the event to make it an overwhelming success.”
 
The series of ReimagiNation festivals organised by Edinburgh International Book Festival are about sharing stories, memories, passions and fears in Scotland’s five New Towns – Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Irvine, Glenrothes and Livingston.  The ReimagiNation: East Kilbride and ReimagiNation: Irvine Festivals will take place in August 2017 and the full programmes will be announced in June.  Reports from ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld, and details of the other Festivals can be found at https://booked.edbookfest.co.uk/
 
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded £725,000 to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and I am delighted that, thanks to the support from players, audiences from across Scotland have access to the Book Festival outwith its Edinburgh home.” 
 
ReimagiNation marks 70 years since the Scottish New Towns Act, designed to help to shape a Scotland for the future in the wake of the Second World War.  ReimagiNation is part of Booked!, the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the road around Scotland throughout the year, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and in Cumbernauld is produced in partnership with Culture NL.
 
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