Re:Imagination gives Cumbernauld a chance to shine

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Re:Imagination, the offshoot of the Edinburgh Book Festival commemorating the founding of Cumbernauld New Town, took place last weekend.

The festival encompassed many different events, from reading groups to lectures and interactive theatre experiences.

Visitors travelled from all around Scotland to take part, and also for the opportunity to visit parts of the Town Centre normally sealed off from the public such as its infamous top floor flats.

There was a lot for children toom including The Big Book Bonanza fearyrubf Macastory and a penael of writers,

Author and Edinburgh Napier University lecturer David Bishop, a former editor of long-running British anthology comic 2000 AD, spoke about classic Judge Dredd story America in collaboration with local business Castle Comics.

Mr Bishop said: “I was invited to this because of my prior involvement in the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The theme of dystopia vs utopia was interesting and I also wanted to come and see Cumbernauld, not least because I’m a big fan of Gregory’s Girl.

“With its strange, angular architecture and the initial concept of it being a place where people would live, work and shop, the town centre is very much likle a real world megablock.”

Former Scots Makar or national poet Liz Lochhead, who used to teach art at Cumbernauld High School, gave two presentations, on her own work and that of the late Edwin Morgan, her friend and predecessor as Makar.

Novelist Jenny Colgan was another noted writer invited to give a presentation, on the science fiction classic A Wrinkle In Time, and crime writer Denise Mina spoke about her latest novel on William Watt and Scotland’s first convicted serial killer Peter Manuel.

Also on Saturday , members of CACE Older People Active Lives and children from four local primary schools presented Overspilling: Cumbernauld Stories, recounting tales of the early days of the New Town and what it is like to grow up in today’s Cumbernauld.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP attended this event. She said: “It was a great idea to hold this event in Cumbernauld. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece hearing the stories of people who live here.

“It is also great to see Cumbernauld have its time to shine, I am delighted that Cumbernauld has had this opportunity.”

Many other events also took place during the course of the festival, such as the interactive town planning experiment/game Plan, which tasked participants with founding a new town in a post-war scenario, and Kirkland Ciccone hosted Cumbernauld Unbound! a cabaret evening on Saturday and the debate Still the Town for Tomorrow? on Sunday.