The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Rainbow Slides mural is saved!

We are thrilled to report that the Charles Anderson mural created for the Provosts’s Pool at Rainbow Slides Leisure Centre in Stirling has been saved from the threat of demolition and relocated.

The giant panel, previously on the outside wall of the leisure centre, is a rare example of an in-situ concrete artwork of the early 1970s. It depicts larger than life size abstract figures of swimmers and divers. The mural was saved in a ninth hour rescue by the construction company originally responsible for the centre, Ogilvie Construction, and has been re-erected at their headquarters building in the Glasgow Road in full view of the public highway. The relocation was celebrated with an opening ceremony last Friday.

As you can see from the photographs, it was a major operation to cut and move the panels with only 3 days leeway before the site was cleared. Charles Anderson says that great care was taken in the process, commenting

“I was astonished… to see how precisely and accurately the work had been done. The joints were barely noticeable – even to my practiced eye.”

This is a fantastic precedent for the relocation of such murals, showing that carefully re-siting is a viable option in many cases. Indeed, this is the third of Charles Anderson’s major works to be re-located in recent years.

The Twentieth Century Society campaigned to save this piece of public art, raising concerns with Stirling Council, Historic Scotland and in the media, suggesting that the mural be found a new home within Stirling. It is therefore very gratifying for us to see this come to fruition.

We are confident that the Rainbow Slides mural will attract lots of attention in its new home and that many more people will have the opportunity to appreciate this fantastic piece of art.

Clare Price