The Inverclyde area in the west of Scotland – the birthplace of inventor James Watt – is staging a series of events to celebrate his legacy in 2019.
The year marks the 200th anniversary of Watt’s death and the 250th anniversary of his patent to use a separate condenser to radically improve the steam engine.
Friday, January 18 will see the official launch of the James Watt virtual walk (previously highlighted on this website). There will also be screenings of two films about the engineer – one modern movie created by pupils at Kilmacolm Primary School and students from the local West College Scotland (see below); and another from 1959, taken from the archives of the National Library of Scotland.
The events will take place outside at the Cowan’s Corner of the Municipal Buildings site in Greenock town centre – close to Watt’s birthplace on Friday afternoon. (Watt was born in William Street, Greenock, on January 19, 1736.)
Inverclyde Council says a number of other events will also take place in 2019 – including the summer re-launch of the refurbished McLean Museum and Art Gallery and Watt Library.
Other Inverclyde activities planned for 2019 include:
- “When Art Tells a Tale” – a creative arts project being rolled out through some schools and selected community groups from early February to end of April, with the potential for art to be displayed in the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock in August. This project will feature artwork, design and music and will be led by Anne McKay, visual artist and Yvonne Lyon, musician.
- There will also be storytelling throughout Inverclyde’s libraries in February 2019. “Watt It’s All About” will engage children in a short story about Watt and his life.
- In April, schoolchildren will be asked to build Watt’s workshop in Lego. The plan will be house the resulting pieces in the Watt Institution.
- Inverclyde is also planning to theme its contribution to the Doors Open Days festival in September with a Watt theme.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s Convener for Education & Communities, said: “James Watt was born in Greenock and his influence is recognised across the UK and throughout the world.”