Deep Roots was Kilmarnock's major Homecoming Scotland 2014 event, delivered by East Ayrshire Leisure Trust featuring exhibitions, spectacular outdoor performances and much more – all revealing the hidden secrets of Dean Castle and Country Park.
Geraldine developed and led a creative learning project with all forty two primary seven classes at schools across East Ayrshire, making shields and flags to bring to the finale event in Dean Castle Country Park. The workshops explored the medieval history of Dean Castle and The Boyd Family, aspects of heraldry and battle armour design, and about visual communication through graphic design. Medieval shields were adorned with individually designed and painted heraldry graphic designs, made by each child to represent an aspect of their family history or the place where they come from.
The children had produced written stories, information and archive materials at an earlier session with heritage specialists, most of which had come from conversations and exchanges with family members at home, and translated these into their shield designs in their school colours.
The stories from children in schools across all areas of East Ayrshire has been a fascinating insight into the specific and unique characteristics of different places and communities across the region. The stories from the children reflect local identity through family history and place heritage.
Some examples of stories
A grandmother who was the 1st female bus driver in Kilmarnock.
A great great grandfather in Auchinleck who was a Cherokee Indian
A boy who lives in an old blacksmiths cottage called Benson Smiddy between Cumnock and New Cumnock
A grandfather stonemason who helped to build the Burns Memorial in Mauchline.
A charming family story about a grandfather’s teatime ritual about how many sugars he takes in his tea from a girl in Cumnock.
A girl who is of the 5th generation of beef farmers in a family in Patna
A grandmother who worked at Saxone shoe company in Kilmarnock
Mining family stories from Drongan
A Great Grandfather who survived the war but was killed in a pit disasterin Auckinleck as a young man where the Barony A frame industrial monument is.
A boy whose great great grandfather had a street named after him in Cumnock.
A boy from Auckinleck whose Polish great grandfather escaped from a German POW camp, and changed his name after surviving WW2
A great Grandfather who as an eighteen year old French Sailor was torpedoed by the British and survived , who then travelled to Britain and joined the SAS, and was awarded several Military Honors including the Croix de Guerre.
A great granny in Dalmellington, who worked at Prestwick Airport when it was still a Military Airport, and ‘pushed wooden model planes around on a giant map’.
A Great-Granny who was only around five foot tall but was an anti-aircraft gunner.
A boy who misses his beloved late Grandfather, but is reminded of him whenever he walks the dogs.
A girl for whom a peace sign means simply being at peace in her own home.
A Jewish man who fled persecution in Nazi Germany and had to change his name.
A granny who is one girl’s favourite person and they like watching telly and drinking tea together.
A boy who is hugely proud of his Mum, as she is a strong person, and a professional Carer.