THREE North Berwick community groups teamed up to produce an art installation ahead of Remembrance Day.

pARTicipate, an arts group based in the town, joined North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) and North Berwick Rotary Club to make the installation and a cairn of remembrance.

It is the third installation created by pARTicipate to mark remembrance; its first, in 2018, marked the centenary of the First World War and another, in 2019, used paintings of poppies and doves to mark absent friends.

This year’s installation was created by members of the community and can be seen for the rest of the month in the Telephone Exchange public arts space on Westgate.

Current coronavirus restrictions made planning the new artwork a challenge but Hilary Smith, chair of the local area partnership, facilitated a virtual discussion between NBCC chair Judy Lockhart, Bass Rock Community Group volunteer and North Berwick Rotary Club member Richard Rogers, and pARTicipate co-ordinator Geraldine Prince.

New Rotary group the Bass Rock Community Group developed the idea of a remembrance cairn and Richard contacted the local area partnership after the community council decided a painted pebble cairn was unsuitable for the war memorial gardens.

Richard said: “National concerns about gatherings of large groups meant that the usual armistice parade and wreath-laying could not take place, so we looked at alternative ways for the community to show their respect.Hilary Smith reminded me that pARTicipate had created a memory cairn last year as a feature in North Berwick’s ‘compassionate communities’ activities.

“It offered an opportunity to pool our creative resources at this challenging time. We are particularly keen to get children and young people to add a pebble painted with the name of someone they wish to remember and place it on the cairn.”

Geraldine added: “Due to the pandemic restrictions, we were unable to organise any arts workshops this year but, happily, I had kept the poppies and the doves that were made for last year’s installation.

“Volunteer Hope Johnston used her creative skills to repair, restore or remake poppies from the 2019 installation, meticulously repainting the individual poppy leaves.

“With input from volunteer Gary Watson, we assembled a simple but, we hope, dignified collage representation of a poppy wreath with falling poppies to each side.

“It enables the old telephone kiosks to play their part in offering a moment of reflection at a time when our horizons are temporarily very limited.

“It was rewarding to be able to re-use, or recycle, last year’s poppies so that, in these exceptional times, the community’s creative talents are still represented.

“Although we could involve only three volunteers this year due to social distancing, in fact there are many hands at work in this installation to complement the cairn.”

Judy said: “I was happy to support both the Rotary Bass Rock Community Group and pARTicipate by contributing to the design and also enabling NBCC to co-operate with other groups in paying our respects.”

And now residents are being encouraged to paint a poppy, or the name of someone they would like to remember, onto a pebble and lay it at the display’s cairn of remembrance at the arts space, which previously was home to public telephone cabins.