St Augustine’s Primary 6 Pupils Share Story of Monkland Canal

Over the past 2 months pupils from St Augustine’s Primary School in Coatbridge have been working with our Cultural Heritage Officer Lisa and animator Wilma Smith on a project to learn more about the fascinating history of the Monkland Canal.  Here they share, in their own words, what they have done and enjoyed during the project!

First Lisa came into our class and told us the super story of the Monklands Canal. She put out a big blue rope that was the outline of Scotland and we got to dress up as some of the characters from the story of the canal.

The next week Lisa took us to Summerlee.  She showed us loads and we got to go on the Vulcan.








We split into groups to learn about different subjects. The groups were the building of the canal, boats and horses, wildlife and nature, coal mining, Summerlee Iron Works and the closing of the canal.

We also got a visit from Vicki from the National Mining Museum. She told us all about coal mining and we got to look at and touch bits of coal, safety lamps and got to dress up in the uniforms from the National Coal Board. She told us about how the coal was made, it was swamps that squashed down over time and made the coal. She also taught us the gases game so we learned about firedamp, stinkdamp and blackdamp.

Lisa told us that we were going to be writing a guided walk. Everyone was a bit nervous as we had to do it in front of loads of people including our parents and Room 13, even the local press came along. It went really well and the audience enjoyed themselves and all laughed.








The first time we met Wilma, the animator, we sketched out a character then made it out of Plasticine. We also animated our name.

The second week we started fixing up our characters also we talked about what we were going to be animating – the story of the canal.










The third week we started animating the coal mining and the canal. Then we started incorporating different inanimate objects like dinosaurs and pearls.

When the animation was finished we recorded a voice over with Wilma.

We had a film premiere at Summerlee, lots of our parents and the Depute Lord Provost and local councillors came to see it but we hadn’t even seen it yet!

It was amazing! We had such a great time learning all about animation and the canal!










If you want to have a look you can watch our animation below:



Written by Mark, Katie, Aidan, Ava, Stephen on behalf of the Primary 6 class at St Augustine’s Primary School