Skills for Work students at Forth Valley College have helped to judge a primary school art competition to design a War Memorial and an accompanying emblem for Raploch.
Primary six and seven pupils from Raploch and Our Lady’s Primary Schools were invited to enter their designs and ideas which will eventually lead to a new memorial to be placed in the Village Square outside the Raploch Community Campus to commemorate all those from the local area who have lost their lives in conflict.
Dozens of entries for the competition have been received and have recently been displayed in the reception area of the FVC Stirling Campus. The 10 Skills for Work students – who are all senior pupils at high schools throughout the Stirling area –were tasked with judging the competition and choosing four winners – a P6 and P7 from each school.
These four will then go on to final selection process to choose which one will be selected as the winning design. Those successful will be invited to bring their family along for a meal at the Gallery Training Restaurant and will also be given a complete tour of the Creative Industries Department.
Skye McLean (15) a Skills for Work student from Wallace High School, said: “Given that the artwork is from pupils who are so young, they are all really good and make some good points.”
Classmate Chris Aitken (17) from Balfron High School, said: “What a good idea to hold a competition for primary pupils to be creative about a serious subject. It really gives a good impression of both schools.”
Skaiste Spudulyte (16), also a pupil at Wallace High School added: “I have really been looking forward to judging the artwork and have been very impressed with the entries.”
Jean Porter, Deaconess, St Mark’s Parish Church in Raploch, said: “As part of the Community Heritage Project, we wanted to encourage our young people to see the War Memorial and the stories of the people it will commemorate, as part of their heritage. Also, to learn about the importance of Remembrance for us as a distinct community within Stirling.
“From this, came the idea for a War Memorial Design Competition for local P6 & 7 children including those from Our Lady’s and Raploch Primary Schools. The children were asked to a) design a War Memorial and b) design an emblem for inclusion on the finished War Memorial. The War Memorial Group are indebted to the staff of our local primary schools for their support. Also, to the staff of Forth Valley College Creative Industries department for judging the competition and providing prizes for the winners!
“Raploch is a quickly changing place with many new houses and new people which is good for our community, but we also want to remember and celebrate its past, and in particular, our war heroes.
“In 2019, two local residents discovered not only the names of local men who served their country and were among the fallen of World War II, but also where they had lived in Raploch. This discovery gave the impetus for a project to build a War Memorial in “the Village Square outside the Raploch Community Campus, to commemorate all those from Raploch who have lost their lives in conflict.
“The hope is that, long into the future, there will be a place where the local community can come together on Remembrance Day to remember our heroes; a place to visit alone and individually and quietly pay respect; and sadly, if future conflicts arise and people are lost, the memorial will be to them as well, and provide comfort for their families.
“Alongside the creation of a physical memorial, there will be a Community Heritage Project gathering the stories of those who went to war and never returned, from members of their families, and neighbours. This is in its early stages and already there have been some light bulb moments with some of the school children becoming excited when they have realised that “Oh – I live in the house that he lived in!” Connections are being made between current day and the past. All the names, and the stories and memories we can uncover about our heroes will be recorded in a Memorial book to be kept in the Raploch Community Campus.”
Colin Gunning, Operations Manager in FVC’s Department of Creative Industries, Hospitality and Tourism, who is pictured at the back of the photo with Creative Industries lecturer Lesley McDermott, said: “It has been a pleasure for the College to get involved with this extremely worthwhile project and our Skills for Work students were delighted to help judge the competition with the help of Art and Design Lecturer Ewan John and Lesley McDermott. The standard of design from the primary school pupils has been very high and each and every young person who entered the competition should be very proud of themselves. I am sure that very soon the Raploch Community will also have a memorial to be very proud of too.”