The Big Book of Falkland is very big - it even takes two people to lift it!
Between its wooden covers lie over forty pages of thick Somerset paper with carefully-composed recordings of stories, people and places that make Falkland special.
The Book was the brainchild of the Falkland Stewards, an umbrella group of organisations promoting community heritage and sustainability in the Falkland Burgh and beyond.
Their idea was for Falkland to produce its very own "Book of Kells"; creating a collection of handmade pages celebrating Falkland, its people, and its landscape.
A very successful pilot event was run in May 2006 at the Stable Block on Falkland Estate which generated enough community interest to encourage the Falkland Stewards to apply for funding to create the book.
A grant was obtained from Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All in 2007, and local art and interpretation partnership Jan Hendry and Alan Ford were recruited as Creative Co-ordinators to facilitate the project.
In May 2007 a well attended open meeting was held to launch the Big Book project. Following this the book was then promoted at the Falkland Festival and The Big Tent. The Big Painting was an exciting ‘ice-breaker' project which then took on a life of its own.
There are now three complete Big Painting canvasses, representing 108 unique small paintings inspired by Falkland. Created by artists ranging in age from two to over seventy-two; the titles given to each painting are as enjoyable as the images themselves. To see all the paintings go to the Big Painting Page.
The co-ordinators of the project were very pleased to have the chance to showcase to a wider audience than usual the work of some of the highly skilled crafts-people of Falkland. The beautiful Big Book cover and stand was made by Dave McKeen, of Hollytree Woodcrafts, whose workshop is on the Falkland Estate.
More than 200 people have been involved in The Big Book so far, generously contributing their research, reminiscences, photographs, artwork, writing and music. But there are many stories still to be told and added to the book in the future.
The Big Book always generates a lot of interest when it has been exhibited in the Burgh of Falkland at Falkland Parish Church, the Town Hall, or at the Palace. At the moment it is kept at The Falkland Centre for Stewardship's offices at The Stables, Falkland Estate. If your organisation is interested in displaying The Big Book then please contact Marilyn Workman (see below for contact details)
This book was created to be used, and it can be borrowed for events and meetings by arrangement. Some day it may also have its own space where it can be leafed through and appreciated. Until then, you can flick through the pages of The Big Book in cyber-space!
Smart Community Fife, along with everyone else involved in this project hope that sharing Falkland's Big Book on-line will give creative inspiration and encouragement to other communities. We hope others will embark on similar life-affirming projects throughout Fife, Scotland and the world.
Many thanks for the support from Fife Council‘s Culture Fund, Falkland's War Memorial Fund, Leader in Fife, Falkland Centre for Stewardship and the Big Lottery Fund.