AN UNUSUAL project uniting local history, culture and communities is inviting Glaswegians to take a stroll down memory lane this month.

Artists and residents have teamed up to create a range of artworks on heritage trails to the north of the city.

Over the next couple of weeks, free guided walks will take place in a number of areas, including Bishopbriggs and Milngavie.

It’s part of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust’s Trails and Tales programme, which encourages locals to explore the history of their area through outdoor arts and heritage routes.

One of the artists involved, Macedonian-born Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, explained: “My work is a response to the site of Kilmardinny and its history and link with Calico printing. It took me into EDLC’s archives to look at patterns and samples, and allowed me to work with some amazing local volunteers and Trails and Tales supporters, training them in the craft of gold leaf gilding in the making of the work.”

She adds: “Being directed to the heritage of the area through the research and consultation work that had already been undertaken by the Trails and Tales team was a huge help. It meant artists already had stories and ideas they could respond to.”

Visual artist Toby Paterson, designer Simon Whatley and gardener Dug Macleod worked together for one of the projects.

Toby said: “The way the trails have been developed and then punctuated by these artworks is a really interesting approach to a large-scale commissioning of public works.

“It’s incredibly ambitious of EDLC and the local authority to do this. It turns the area into a sculpture park, effectively, when you’re looking at 30 or 40 public works of art - all coming out at more or less the same time, all underpinned by a lot of community engagement and educational work.”

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Rachel Mimiec walked with local geologist Paul Bishop and paid tribute to “his gaze and the way he looked at the landscape”.

She added: “He could tell me that in this area there were many limestone kilns, now overgrown and reclaimed by nature. While walking we collected waste from a kiln which looked like a lump of old concrete.”

With the help of Glasgow University, the limestone was broken down into a powder which was used in developing one of the glazes for Rachel’s artwork.

Fiona Dean, who supported the project over several years, added: “All of the commissioned works are being sited, which is fantastic, but it’s important to see the works in a context of a long period of engagement and research between a team of artists and wide-ranging communities and groups across East Dunbartonshire.

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“Thousands of local people of all ages have been involved in arts and heritage as audiences, participants, advisors, supporters and critics, and that was what really informed the artists’ commissions and helped ensure there was a mass of material for them to tap into for their own research.”

Free maps are being printed to allow people to enjoy journeys into the past at their own convenience and the forthcoming guided walks, led by project co-ordinator Jen Binnie, take place today (November 19), November 22, 26 and 29. Find out more at