After months of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, last week MSc Publishing students finally got to hold our finished product in our hands. Yes, The Glorious Thing returned from printers Bell & Bain based in Glasgow and we couldn’t be more pleased with the end product!
With heaps of cardboard boxes in the workrooms, we set to work on packaging them up ready for distribution to launch guests, the Edward Clark Trust, and of course the books associated charities: Scottish Veterans Residencies and Poppy Scotland.
We donated 200 books to each of these charities – they are both based in Edinburgh where the book is based and are both strongly connected with war, the focus of the story. All future sales of the book will go towards Poppy Scotland.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon I visited the Scottish Veterans Residencies (or SVR) based at the bottom of the Canongate. A building I had walked passed hundreds of times and never once noticed what magnificent work was carried out inside. The residences offer spectacular accommodation to ex-servicemen and women. Upon arrival I met Susie Hamilton, who is the fundraising and marketing manager for SVR and was given a tour of the grounds. I was absolutely amazed at the exceptional quality of life and beautifully kept gardens which made for a nice setting to take photographs.
The following Monday I visited Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Canonmills. Presently the factory employs 36 mostly disabled ex-servicemen. Production is confined to poppies and wreaths for Poppy Scotland, wreaths for the general public and a picture framing service. Every year the men produce around 5 million handmade poppies along with 10,000 wreaths, thousands of wreath centre badges and more! After introducing myself and telling the men about the project I was given a tour of the factory.
I couldn’t help but be utterly amazed at how much these ex-servicemen do and how well they all get along. With two huge snooker tables, walls of personal materials and an adorable factory dog, it was clear this was so much more than just a workplace for these men. All of the ex-servicemen were extremely welcoming and even let me have a go at making my own poppy from scratch!
I would like to thank both the Scottish Veterans Residencies and Poppy Scotland for their help and generosity and I hope The Glorious Thing books help out for both fantastic charities.