ARTISTS in Musselburgh are helping to raise funds for armed forces veterans in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday.

Members of Musselburgh Art Club are supporting a fundraising appeal launched by army veteran and Tesco delivery driver William Morrison, who is Tesco’s area organiser for the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Mr Morrison, who lives in the Goosegreen area of Musselburgh, was left “speechless” when the art club offered to donate about 16 paintings on a poppy theme for sale or raffle in aid of the appeal this year.

He had seen work by the artists on display at the Hollies Hub, where the Musselburgh & District Veterans’ Group, of which he is a member, meets.

East Lothian Courier: A poppy painted by Pam StrachanA poppy painted by Pam Strachan

He said: “During one of our Monday morning veterans’ get-togethers, I was looking at the artwork display within the Hollies.

“I approached Musselburgh Art Club as, last year, my wife Caroline did a couple of sketches to make my display look nice. This then led to people asking if they were for sale or [available for] a donation.”

Mr Morrison, who is deputy standard bearer for Legion Scotland, paid tribute to the art club, saying: “Never did I expect to meet such a fantastic, talented group that was prepared to support a national charity.

“After a couple of visits to meet the artists themselves, they presented me with the paintings.

“Trying to take it all in left me speechless. How do you thank these people for their kindness?”

Some of the paintings will be on sale at Poppyscotland displays at the Tesco store in Musselburgh from October 22 for three weeks.

East Lothian Courier: Lucia Main's painting for the appeal in the lead up to RemembranceLucia Main's painting for the appeal in the lead up to Remembrance

Others can be won in a raffle at the supermarket, its petrol station and also Lanterne Rouge coffee shop in Gifford, which supplied Mr Morrison with food and drink during his cycle round East Lothian – the same distance from John O’Groats to Lands End – in aid of the appeal in 2021.

Pam Strachan, of Musselburgh Art Club, said that the artists were “delighted” to supply the paintings.

She said: “Personally, I feel it’s a privilege to help the armed forces veterans.

“My grandfather drove a horse-drawn ambulance in the First World War. He fought at Ypres and the Somme.

“He was known as Lucky Stan as he survived with only mustard gas poisoning.

“I always think of him on Remembrance Sunday.”

She added: “Club members have really enjoyed this project – it has been gaining momentum as members have taken up the challenge. It’s fascinating to see such a variety on a theme.”

In the past two years, Mr Morrison, along with Tesco in Musselburgh and support from other veterans, has raised about £18,000 to support armed forces veterans.