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Holyrood Palace

I liked the audio guide:

  1. Good instructions
  2. Good descriptions
  3. More detail (hsitory or description) optional
  4. Guide to many rooms inside and to grounds and Abby
  5. Instructions to ask wardens for more information (which I did)
  6. The words were friendly and helpful
  7. Many rooms on view
  8. Seats available in many rooms
  9. There was a warden in every room

Not so good:

  1. Finding the entrance and ticket office
  2. The “on” and “off” buttons of the audio guide were close together in the middle of the hand set.  I pressed the wrong button and had to ask a warden for help. (information at beginning not too clear!)
  3. The last flight of stairs before the exit were of dark stone and required care.
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I enjoyed:

  1. Hearing the names, dates and histories of the buildings
  2. Hearing the descriptions of the decorations on them
  3. Catching glimpses of old lanes and yards as we went past
  4. Speculating on the painted advertisements above the shops
  5. Appreciating the open space beside the river
  6. Sitting in the sun hearing about the old church
  7. Seeing inside the old converted warehouse at Fran’s studio

I have often been told to look up, but I now need a good description of what can be seen.  And historical facts add to my enjoyment.

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Craft Trail Feedback

FIRST I HAVE TO SAY IT WAS GREAT TO GET AN INSIGHT TO LEITH DOCKS, IT BROUGHT MEMORIES BACK FOR ME.  THE TOUR FOR ME, WAS  VERY INTERESTING AND WELL DESCRIBED, ESPECIALLY THE ARCHITECTURAL STUFF ON THE WALLS, WHICH WE PROBABLY WOULD NOT NOTICE IF IT HAD NOT BEN POINTED OUT TO US. 
FRANCIS REALLY INSPIRED ME WITH HER TALK, HER FEELINGS AND HER MOTIVATION. 
IT MADE A VERY GOOD CONTRAST TO THE MUSEUM TOUR.  I WAS ALSO IMPRESSED WITH THE WORK SHE IS DOING IN HER WORKSHOP, IT WAS GREAT TO SEE THINGS FROM BEGINNING TO END, INSTEAD OF HALF WAY THROUGH. 
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HARD WORK YOU PUT INTO THESE THINGS FOR US, I DO APPRECIATE IT.

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I enjoyed learning:

Her description of the new entrance hall and how every museum now had to have a cafe and gift shop!

How the Main Hall had been decorated to emply the iron work and to return it to the space for promenading, as it was designed for when it was first built.  (I thought it had been ceared for larger _ and receptions!)

Why the Hawthornden Court was wedge shaped, how the use of steel for construction enabled the construction of almost unsupported stairs and even walls.  And specifically about the 10cm gap in the low wall!

The unusual construction of the spiral staircase.  I had not  noticed how different it was.

How, on the Terrace special frames were made for views eg Arturs Seat.  And also that the plants in the roof garden were all native Scottish plants.  Also that modern buildings should have roof gardens!

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edited interview with a participant following the Old Town Poetry tour:

this led to a more general discussion about using websites with screen reading software:

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2nd August

 

A poetry trail of the Old Town starting at Scottish Poetry Library and ending at the Scottish Parliament via Canongate Kirk and Dunbar’s Close.  Ken Cockburn read poems chosen to provide a sense of each place we visited and Juliana Capes provided descriptions to orientate us as we traveleed along the Royal Mile.  A very wet day made listening and gathering as a group difficult and we hurried past one planned stop.

Poems read were:

Edinburgh Volte-Face by Christine De Luca at Scottish Poetry Libray

Auld Reekie by Robert Ferguson outside Canongate Kirk

Embro to the Ploy by Robert Garioch at Robert Ferguson’s grave

The Flower Garden by Brecht in Dunbar’s Close Garden

Untitled 45/365 by Angus Reid at Veteran’s Garden (missed this stop)

Open the Doors by Edwin Morgan at the Scottish Parliament

In most cased Juliana described the setting, Ken read the poem then Juliana provided some more information before we set off to the next stop.  In Dunbar’s Close Garden, we started with the poem:

Like many of the stops, the information presented generated a lot of interest in finding out more, especially about the history of the area.

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At the first meeting we also listened to two examples of writing by Stewart Conn from the Stories in Stone project. These were not written for visually impaired listeners although people enjoyed listening to them and enjoyed the two voices, it was felt there was not enough information.

It seems a key difference from verbal descritpion is that although Conn’s work was descriptive, it didn’t place the listener is a particular location; it wasn’t described from one view point.

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