New mural to celebrate Edinburgh’s vital wartime cycling messengers

The mural has been designed and painted by Kieran Goram, along with local volunteers and pupils from Craigmount & Tynecastle High Schools.
The mural has been designed and painted by Kieran Goram, along with local volunteers and pupils from Craigmount & Tynecastle High Schools.
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They were the forgotten heroes who put their lives in danger to save others, cycling between bombsites and the members of the civic defence force.

Now, 80 years on since the beginning of the Second World War, these messenger youths will be commemorated in a mural at Edinburgh’s Roseburn Park.

The artwork will celebrate the volunteers who worked both in the Armoury, the base of the Capital’s civic defence force, and the steel-helmeted messengers who sped through the city relaying paper messages from the bombsites to the headquarters.

Painted by Zap Graffiti Arts with help from local people, the mural will be unveiled by the Lord Provost, Frank Ross, tomorrow at 2pm.

The Friends of Roseburn Park (FoRP), a charity which improves and promotes the park, developed the artwork over the last six months, inspired by a short passenger film called The Message Must get Through which illustrated the teamwork of the messenger youths.

The mural has been painted on the side of the Armoury building which houses the charity, Roseburn Primary School football team, the Murrayfield DAFs cricket club and the Edinburgh Wanderers rugby club and already sports on one wall a mural celebrating the diverse users of the park.

The building, which never housed any weapons, is one of the last remaining examples of a Second World War civil defence building and was recently awarded Grade B listed building status.

Lord Provost Frank Ross is expected to describe the mural on Sunday as “beautiful” and elegant.

He states: “The commemorative mural is a beautiful, elegant and powerful statement which visually reflects the practical impact of conflict, tragedy and loss of life upon our communities, and the commitments of active citizens to do something to help their communities.

“The artwork will add to the Capital’s existing strong portfolio of other public artworks and commemorations.

“As we now live in a city which strives for mutual respect, tolerance, equality and peace, the striking images on the walls of such a rare and surviving building, should be inscribed on our conscience, helping us to prevent such tragedy and devastation in the future.”

The unveiling of the mural will coincide with FoRP’s annual bake-off where locals compete to make the prettiest and tastiest cakes, usually attended by a couple of hundred people.

The new mural was also funded through a council grant from the Local Event Fund with FoRP involving local residents in its designing the mural through screenings and workshops.

The mural will be officially unveiled at the park tomorrow by Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross