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Shining Lives

Shining Lives was a spectacular sound and light projection event at New Lanark World Heritage Site enjoyed by an estimated 4,000 visitors on 21 & 22 October 2017. With the stunning 230 year old buildings acting as the display surface, historic images & video footage from New Lanark and the surrounding area were brought to life on a grand scale, augmented by a soundtrack, lighting and living history which echo the life of the mills and the workers. Through this innovative event, the tangible and intangible heritage of New Lanark was combined to capture imaginations and provide a unique interpretation of this famous site.

Shining Lives - Photo by VisitScotland

The grand score for Shining Lives was taken from a composition of sheet music from the New Lanark Trust archives. The title of the score is ‘Mr. Owen’s Great Endeavour’ by Michael Hurd, making reference to New Lanark Mills’ most famous Mill Manager, Robert Owen. During his time at New Lanark from 1800-1825, Robert Owen introduced a number of social, educational and workplace reforms – making a significantly positive impact to the lives of the Millworkers under his care.

As well as archive imagery, Shining Lives features new footage of volunteer costumed interpreters from the local area enacting a female Millworker in the various stages of her life. The Millworker is shown recalling a moving poem, also found in the New Lanark archive. The title of the poem is ‘New Lanark Mills’ and the author is William Bruce, no date is available on the poem documentation. The volunteer costumed interpreters also attended both evenings of Shining Lives to interact with the many visitors. 

Shining Lives Volunteers

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Part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event Programme

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 will begin on 1 January 2017 and end on 31 December 2017. Further information on the year is available here. Keep up with the year on social media using #HHA2017.

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  New Lanark Trust is a Scottish Charity No.SC008552.

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