DOZENS of Glenrothes youngsters have been honoured for their artistic talents at the Scottish Parliament, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Pupils from around 15 schools and their teachers enjoyed an official reception given by town MSP Tricia Marwick.
As Presiding Officer, she had already arranged for 19 model hippos decorated by the children to spend a month on show at the Edinburgh assembly.
Last Wednesday, many of those who had helped create the colourful designs on the hippos to mark the 40th anniversary of the twinning link with Boblingen, Germany got the chance to see them in their new setting.
The hippos – fibre-glass models of the iconic stone ones which adorn parts of Glenrothes – appeared in a summer parade through the Kingdom Centre, which had organised the event in tandem with sponsors Lomond Homes.
Shoppers were asked to vote for their favourite design and Collydean Primary won the resulting contest, along with a £500 prize and one year’s sponsorship of the hippo enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.
Head teacher, Sheila Cummings, said: “We are a big school and children from the nursery right up to primary seven took part and the ideas and designs have been absolutely phenomenal.”
Mrs Marwick told the children: “All of the MSPs have been so impressed.
“I can’t even begin to tell you which is the favourite, because everyone has their own favourite. Everyone has done a fantastic job.
“We are very proud of our artworks in Glenrothes. We have some magnificent examples of public art.”
Pointing out that Glenrothes had won the best large town award at Britain in Bloom the previous weekend, she added: “Sometimes people think new towns are a bit soulless, but Glenrothes is a town with a soul and a heart.”
Mrs Marwick praised all those who had taken part in the project, including the sponsors, Glenrothes Twin-Town Association and, particularly Anna Bluman of the Kingdom Centre, adding: “Most of all we want to thank all of the young people and every single school in Glenrothes for the hard work they have done.”
Glenrothes Area Committee chairwoman, Fiona Grant, produced postcards featuring a picture of one of the hippos, marking their ‘holidays’ at the parliament, which the children who attended the reception could send back to their friends who weren’t there to tell them what had happened and she also revealed that the models will soon be returned to their original white condition for next year’s contest.
“You are very special people and very skilled artists and I hope that this will help you all get through any difficult times,” she added.