Energise lights up Galashiels for Remembrance Day

In November, Energise Galashiels launched a themed projection display of poppies at the Fountain/Cornmill Court. The light display was a stunning and poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by many, and commemorated Remembrance Day in front of the town’s beautiful war memorial.

A video of the poppies was shown on our I Love Gala Facebook page as a prelude to Energise’s ambitious plans for the 2016 festive season. It helped attract over 27,000 views during the month of November 2016. The Salmon Inn, one of the project’s key sponsors, had over 9,000 views of the video with many hundreds of lovely comments left on their own Facebook page.

The project was commissioned and sponsored by Energise Galashiels Trust for the community and we would like to thank all those involved in delivering this artwork, including our talented projection artist Mettje Hunniman, the Salmon Inn, the Auld Mill Inn and Scottish Borders Council for all their support.

Please view the wonderful poppy effects here

Introducing “Visit Galashiels”

After a wonderful day celebrating the return of the Flying Scotsman, we want to take this opportunity to share our most recent project; Visit Galashiels.

We are going to present all the fantastic things you can do in Gala, in one clear voice. We are working with the Galashiels Chamber of Trade to create a Shoppers Map, supported by the local Council. We will be promoting local events and festivals to wider audiences, in the hope that we can really start to capitalise on the value that the train line has added.

We live in a very special part of the world and this is our opportunity to showcase the best that Galashiels has to offer. Whether it’s businesses, charities, a new local band, community groups, or even a knitting club, we want to help everyone come together for the good of our town. We’ve demonstrated that we can put on an event through the Gala Fawkes night raising over £7,000, or today’s celebrations that filled our streets, shops and pubs; we have seen what can happen when our community comes together.

VisitGalashiels.com will be live soon, but please sign up for our mailing list to find out more.

Visit Galashiels

Flying Scotsman comes to town!

On 15th May 2016, Galashiels turned out in strength to welcome the arrival of the iconic locomotive the Flying Scotsman, making its return to the town down the Waverley Line for the first time in over half a century.

There were a few hiccups with a potential cancellation on Friday evening but by late Saturday the visit had been confirmed and Galashiels was “full steam ahead” for a great day out.

The train pulled in at midday and a number of passengers alighted to be met by a harmonised Galashiels Pipe and Silver band playing the beautiful melody “Highland Cathedral.” The town was looking superb in brilliant sunshine, with the blossom trees and vibrant flower beds in Bank Street Gardens setting the scene.

A range of events were organised by an integrated local community team including Galashiels Community Council, Energise Galashiels, Rotary and Galashiels Chamber of Trade. Attractions included: Model railway exhibition, dancers, live music, market stalls, bouncy castles, face painting, shop-front art exhibitions, stilt-walker and community choir. Many local shops, pubs and restaurants opened and there was truly something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the highlights was the live mural painting event by Scottish artist Chris Rutterford. Chris who paints across Scotland stated: “I’ve hosted a number of these live events and this (Sunday) has to have been the busiest day yet. Even when I’ve painted on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival, I haven’t had such an amazing response. It has been a great day and I look forward to returning to Galashiels over the next few weeks to hang the finished mural on its permanent home on Douglas Bridge”.

We all know what a wonderful place the Scottish Borders is to live and were thrilled to be able to present Galashiels’ best face to the world.

Take a look at some of the images from this fantastic event. Click on the link below.



Inaugural Flying Scotsman visit commemorated with New Gateway Mural for Galashiels

Celebrating the arrival on 15th May of the iconic locomotive the Flying Scotsman to Galashiels following its exciting return to the tracks, renowned Scottish muralist Christopher Rutterford, will be onsite capturing the scene in a unique, vibrant and dynamic mural which will become a welcoming permanent threshold gateway to the town from the new railway station.

Featuring an atmospheric image of the Flying Scotsman, the mural will initially arrive during a live onsite painting event over the weekend of the 13th, 14th and 15th May when the iconic Flying Scotsman pulls into town. The planned mural will comprise of a vibrant and fun Victorian period crowd scene made up of participants from the Galashiels and Borders community.

Chris specialises in epic large scale crowd murals often with a historic theme. He has a number of murals displayed all round Scotland including a centrepiece at the Bannockburn Heritage Museum and a prominent Edinburgh city centre Mural factory. This however is his first Borders project. Residents and visiting enthusiasts will be added to this brand new artwork for a modest financial contribution to fund the cost of the production, finishing and final display of the mural when it is planned, subject to all required approvals, to be mounted on the gable end of Douglas Bridge, adjoining the brand new Grapevine restaurant and café. The hope being that this mural will both embrace the heritage and history of the town and help write a brand new story for Galashiels.

Commenting on the project, artist Chris Rutterford said: “It was a real honour to be asked to support the ongoing improvements to Galashiels’ town centre. So far I’ve been helping by displaying my artwork within Galashiels’ Douglas Bridge shopfronts. I am convinced this new project can help in the town’s journey towards regeneration. The crowd murals that have become my speciality are full of humour and vitality. I just can’t make them up, for the project to succeed I am really relying on the energy and enthusiasm of the town and their desire to take part and pose for a fun photo so I can paint them in.

Artist Chris Rutterford at Bannockburn Bannockburn Mural

The new station really marks a momentous phase in the development of Galashiels and this visit by the Flying Scotsman seems like the perfect occasion to launch an artwork that will hopefully help this whole area to take off. This really is a once off opportunity for Galashiels residents to take their place in history.’’

Following the departure of the train, the mural will be removed to the artist’s permanent factory in Edinburgh’s Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile not far from Waverley for completion. Galashiels residents will just have a short hop on the train to visit and see progress as Chris paints in the portraits of all the participants. The plan is for the mural to return to be hung permanently in Galashiels later in the year.

Galashiels will host a number of events around the visit of the Flying Scotsman on the 15th May, including live music and dancers, craft markets, bouncy castles, film footage and model train exhibitions with extra buses running between Galashiels and Tweedbank to optimise visitor access between the train and the town.


Chris Rutterford has completed a number of large scale crowd artworks which have graced high profile public spaces such as Bannockburn, Edinburgh’s Grassmaket and the Tron Kirk itself. His epic projects commemorating significant events bring history to life in his uniquely creative, humorous and expressive style.

He has a track history of conceiving and delivering on these projects.

The development of his Bannockburn mural can be viewed on https://vimeo.com/95327671. Contact Chris: www.chrisrutterford.com or 07880774674 for further comment.