Supported by NEWHAVEN HERITAGE CENTRE which is recognised as a Scottish registered charity No. SC044837
N E W H A V E N – o n - F O R T H
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Could Newhaven have a Pageant for the Present Day?
Here is where we currently are.
We have to have a theme that reflects our past and keys into present day world concerns We chose the sea for a number of reasons.
The sea is under threat. Plunder and pollution by mankind is making it an increasingly hostile place for the life that lives in or depends on it. People have to live in balance with the sea and the focus of the event will be on helping us to restore that balance. This needs us to look and learn about what is happening to our environment and to get people to work together to improve it. This can only happen if the ordinary people become extraordinary and fight for a better environment.
They have to become informed and organised — to come together as groups who respect and like each other.
The seeds of this process have already been sown by the “Forth Shoreline Project”. In our event we aim to help the different communities and groups flourish by giving them the information they will need and helping them develop ways of working that will succeed. And we want to make it fun
Below is the skeleton of our proposal. We’re calling it the “the Road to the Sea”. This reflects the fact that next year Victoria Primary will be going “offshore” to a new building in the Western Harbour. What we envisage is that the different communities we will link together will choose their own priorities among activities to improve the environment for sea or shore. Each will take responsibility for making their chosen projects happen.
Presently, we are aiming to have the event run around the last week in June 2020. We envisage our “Road to the Sea” running along the coast from Wardie Bay to the open space in front of the lighthouse at the end of the West Pier. It will be marked out by six way stations along the route — each with a different focus and each complementing the others. All of them will routinely undertake practical measures and activities to improve the local environment and be staffed by a team of suitably trained volunteers.
The way stations will be:-
The Graveyard and Fishmarket Square — this is the physical centre of old Newhaven.
The Police Box and the “Market”
Given the key role the school has played over the years in the life of the village, we would hope to have
Victoria Primary School
Western Harbour Drive
This next way station will be an iconic one. On a suitable green space, we will erect a life size model of a Leedsichthys — (around sixteen and a half metres long and 2 metres high) — our “big fish”.
We are choosing this long extinct fish to reflect the present perils confronting the sea. This was the biggest ever bony fish which swum around our ancient oceans. The model would be built and decorated under supervision by the bairns. It would have one side covered by panels on which suitable images and messages will be designed that promoted the cherishing of our local environment. On the other side, open work nets would reveal the amount of litter collected locally at the other Way Stations.
Its key functions will be to remind us of the vulnerability of our environment, how much we pollute it and also act as a source of re-usable plastic. Apparently it is possible to make synthetic oyster beds from recycled plastic bottles. We are hoping to promote a project to re-introduce oysters to the Forth. The slogan would be “a bed for every oyster”,
Our terminal way station would be the green space at the far end of Western Harbour Drive where we plan to organise a conventional “fiesta” type festival. This would the final destination of the “conventional” Pageant which would be a procession on the final Saturday starting from Fishmarket Square and walking along the route of the Breakwater. There we would have a variety of open air events with the focus on FUN.
The first necessary steps are to find out who would like to be part of the Festival, share the outline with them and ask for their views. Please let us know if you would like to take part, what you think we should be doing, and what you would like to do by contacting:
above: THE SCHOOL’S CENTENARY PAGEANT HELD IN 1944. TIME FOR A NEW PAGEANT?