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Bearsden Festival 2022: Our Story

Summer 2022 was the Year of Stories. Thanks to funding from Museums and Galleries Scotland, we were delighted to take part in this national celebration. The local story that we chose to tell was all about the Bearsden Shark. This 330 million year old internationally important fossil was discovered in the Manse Burn 40 years ago in 1982. Here is how we told the story!

The Bearsden Shark Show

We commissioned Scottish theatre maker Hannah Justad to work with actor and storyteller Raymond Wilson and cellist and improvisor Simone Seales to create our show.

 

They created a combination of live action, poetry, storytelling and music to tell the tale of a pair of time travelling fossil hunters who discover the Bearsden Shark.

 

The show toured to all 9 local primary schools, 2 care homes, and a sheltered housing complex and was seen by nearly 1600 local people over 16 performances.   

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A Summer of Filmmaking

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Working with Felix Gilfedder of the Glasgow Mobile Film School, we devised four filmmaking strands to engage with all ages in the community. 

Family Animation Day

After a fun morning learning about animating, the family teams created their own unique films starring the Bearsden Shark.

The Weekend Film Challenge

Five teams of young people aged 15-21 took on the challenge of creating their own unique short films, tackling the whole process from writing through to editing. The genres ranged from Sci Fi to silent film and comedy to horror. 

Each team undertook a crash course on filmmaking before hitting the streets of Bearsden cameras in hand.

'Pushed for Space' (6mins 30)

By Max McGregor, Eilidh Robinson, Archie Nelson, Joseph McIntosh and Harry Paul.

'The Adventures of John Blue' (2 mins 40)

By Ivan Ip, Sophia Ip, Harleen Chow, Harman Chow. Edited by Craig Durning. Voice over by Melvyn Lu.

'Open Me!' (5 mins 45)

By Anna MacKay, Lincoln, Lynette Lu, MJ Patrick, Lewis Fitzpatrick and Ottavia Platt.

'You're Nothing to me but an Egg'

(7 mins)

By Harvey McDowall, Calum Henderson, Angus Henderson, Taylor Murdoch and Amy Tucker.

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Behind the Scenes on 'Pushed for Space'.

Sharksden Documentary

Prize winning young filmmaker Max McGregor was commissioned to create a short documentary all about the Bearsden Shark. Made possible through help and support from the Dr Neil Clark and the Hunterian Museum as well as Neil Buchanan, Alan McBride and Nan Lawless of the Bearsden Shark Group. Actors Daniel Kerr, James Ruskin and Allan Cowan generously volunteered their expertise to bring the story to life. 

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'An Account of Raining Fish' (2 mins)

by Rev Andrew Sym and read by Eliese Fleck

'Bearsden Shops' (4 mins)

Alfred Dallman

'Memories of the Clydebank Blitz' (5 mins)

William Mackinlay

'Flowers, Ice-skating, Eggs and Bunkbeds' (3 mins 30)

Joyce Deans

'Coal, Sand and the Bearsden Shark' (2 mins)

Sally Mudge

Bearsden Memories

Felix Gilfedder interviewed some older local people who shared some of their stories. These included everything from ice hockey matches on frozen lochs, to air raids over Bearsden during the Clydebank Blitz.

23rd of July 2022

29th - 31st of July 2022

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'Closed on Mondays' (2 mins 40)

A short film by Amy, Rowen, Darius and Taishi Cheskin featuring the adventures of the Bearsden Shark itself!

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Fossil Hunters Walk

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Amateur fossil hunter and Mugdock ranger Alan McBride led shark hunters young and old on short walks to the site of the discovery of the Bearsden Shark.

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The Festival Weekend

9th - 11th September 2022

Celebration of Edwin Morgan Evening

Hosted by Pip Osmond Williams of the Edwin Morgan Trust, we celebrated the life and work of Scotland's first Makar. 

The evening featured performances of his work by Raymond Wilson, Hannah Justad and musician Simone Seales, the story of his remarkable life and anecdotes from his biographer, James McGonigal. The audience were also treated to a performance of the Bearsden Shark show and the work of young poets from local schools who had been inspired by Edwin Morgan's poem, The Bearsden Shark. 

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The Bearsden Shark Exhibition