History has a new future

The opening of the outdoor classroom.
The opening of the outdoor classroom.

A NEW and unique classroom was used by pupils of East Wemyss Primary School for the first time last week.

On Thursday afternoon the whole school made the short journey down to West Wemyss and the site of the old Victoria Pit, which has been transformed over the past year into an outdoor learning location.

Situated just along from the village’s harbour, the area has been cleared of debris, and seating has been created, by volunteers from the West Wemyss Arts and Culture Group with the help of offenders from the Community Payback scheme.

The purpose of the outdoor classroom is for local children to learn about the history of the village, whether it be about the pits and fishing industries or life in general, in a hands on inspiring atmosphere. By escaping the conventional setting, they can truly capture the essence of what the Wemyss was like in days gone by.

And the pupils managed to do just that, as along with some juice and crisps, they were helped to look into the past by local storyteller Cathleen Stokes who spoke about her life as a young girl in the village.

Two mosaics, one of a swan and the other of the pit watchman’s ‘buckie’ , have also been painstakingly created, to create an inspiring atmosphere.

Thanking those involved throughout the project, Blair Denwette, of the group, added: “This project has been a huge success. What we now have is a beautiful space for learning, as well as a place where groups or individuals can sit a while in meditation and reflection, in an ambience that is second to none.”

Ruth Crighton, Community Payback project officer, said: “Initially we took it on as a garden clearance project.

“In addition to doing ground clearance work, we have also laid chips, edged the area, and made and installed benches.”