Fun Fiddle 2023

Fun Fiddle started 20 years ago in 2003 as a small informal group. Started off by musician Jenny Gardner, Gica Loening joined her a year later, and over the years Fun Fiddle become a strongly entrenched fiddle community with hundreds of players of all ages and stages joining its ranks. Alongside weekly classes, and one to one lessons for children and adults, Fun Fiddle has collaborated over the years with street bands, choirs, drummers, played for community ceilidhs and refugee events, contributing a vibrant energy to the East Edinburgh locality.

In 2017 we were nominated for Hands Up for Trad Community Project of the Year.

This year Fun Fiddlers are shaping up a mega ceilidh band, to play for our 20th anniversary on 5th February @Portywashhouse. Here’s to the next twenty years!

Quotes from fiddlers and tutors:

I had never played till I was nearly 50 and first attended fun fiddle when it started! I think it’s been wonderful; fantastic teaching in groups and playing with others. I have made lots of lovely friendships and have, and continue to have, great fun playing with everyone! We are so lucky to have fun fiddle on our doorstep! Come and join us in the wash house!

I started Fun Fiddle five years ago and that was after my fiddle lay dormant in an attic for half a century ! Just can’t believe how soon I was able to join in with tunes. I was encouraged to play in my first ceilidh, well armed with a couple of tunes and lots of open strings. I have learnt so much since my first days at Fun Fiddle because of amazingly talented teachers and being in a group of the loveliest, most welcoming fellow fiddlers, young and older ! So come and join us and you’ll soon be totally amazed at how quickly you learn but most of by all the fun you’ll have and all the friends you will make! Fantastic to have this in our community at the Wash House here in Portobello.

It has been fantastic to be welcomed into this fiddle community as a new tutor. Brilliant to get to work with a group of people who are passionate about music and who are active in making great times happen! Thank you for having me on board as part of your big fiddle family!

Find us on Facebook and

This installation has seven short samples of fiddle tunes. Press the button to play. It switches off after 930pm

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Porty Food Map:The Traders Stories

Portobello Central is a group looking to repen Portobello Town Hall. Jo Turbitt, a Friend of the group had an idea to create a recipe book which would highlight the food shops of Portobello High Street which had sustained her through the pandemic (see her Instagram account @thelighthousekeeperslunch).

The book seemed an ideal way to celebrate the richness of food shops and community in Portobello and at the same time to create something people would want to buy as a fund-raiser for the Town Hall.

A core team formed and local photographer, Jon Davey (also a Portobello Central Trustee) said he’d take the photos. The interviews and recipes started to come in. Jon went round the shops, cafes and restaurants taking portraits which you can now see installed in the Porty Light Box.

Portobello Central will be taking pre-orders for the book – Porty Food Map: The Traders’ Stories – on their website and the books should arrive towards the end of March for distribution.

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In Focus for a Better Future

WIFIE (Women In Focus In Edinburgh)

In Focus for a Better Future has been created to coincide with the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26. Following the 2015 Paris Agreement, this conference is probably the most important one to date and one where all nations need to move towards a greener more resilient future for us all.

This installation created by WIFIE members explores some of the issues and delights of our planet through the cardinal points and their associated elements. It also refers to the position of the Porty Lightbox, which is roughly on a North South axis.

Although there are various interpretations relating to the cardinal points and their connection to the elements, we selected those associated with ‘Pagan Sacred Directions’. This placed North & Earth together, South & Fire, East & Air and West & Water.

WIFIE is a women’s collective and a space for women to engage in and enjoy being creative through photography.  It also aims to raise awareness of the issues that members feel are important and there is nothing more important than raising our voices in support of a better future for the planet and the generations to come.

If you want to find out more about WIFIE and see other projects we have done please have a look at our website.

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Art Walk Porty 2021

Last weekend Art Walk Porty 2021 started. In preparation the phone box was cleaned, the glass polished and the outside given a coat of paint.

The installation this year is slightly unusual. It’s called PORT and whilst the installation itself is a series of maps, it really is a placeholder for something very different.

Four artists, Henna Asikainen, Louise Barrington, Elspeth Penfold, Stephanie Whitelaw


A synchronised walk taking place across four UK coastlines at the same time (Tankerton, Kent; Stromness, Orkney; Holy Island, Northumberland; and Portobello).

The walk in Portobello guided by Stephanie Whitelaw will be an invitation to touch, breathe, & play with the sea during low tide, whilst considering the other locations and our changing climates.

The walk will explore the shoreline towards Musselburgh, walking at a slow and engaged pace.

Porty Light Box exhibits mappings that thread together the four coastline locations.

Full details about the four locations and the artist-led walks available via

Walk: Sat 11th Sept, starting 10.30am Meet at Porty Light Box, Bellfield St Portobello

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Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021.

The most recent installation in the phone box was part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival which was held in May.

Once again MECOPP Gypsy/Traveller Carers Project were delighted to be involved in the Festival. This year’s artwork is an installation of poetry, collage, drawing and photography in the Porty Light Box in Portobello Edinburgh. Contributors this year include Katrina Stewart, Sharon MacKenzie and Lacey Morrison.

If you haven’t already had an opportunity to do so, please stop for a minute and have a look at the drawings and read the poetry.

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has a wide ranging programme of events, both online and in the physical world, to see other entries from this years festival please go to

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A Celebration of Christmas

So as 2020 draws to a close, the final installation this year in the Porty Light Box is a Celebration of Christmas.

The local churches have been thinking about ways to celebrate Advent and Christmas in the community this year when it is most likely that the usual Christmas Eve services won’t be possible as we have known them in the past.

Currently, some Churches can only hold between 25-35 people at a time with social distancing, so Christmas Eve services will look quite different for many.  

This Celebration of Christmas is a collaboration between the churches of Portobello – the Baptist Church, St. Mark’s Scottish Episcopal church, St. John’s Roman Catholic church, and Portobello & Joppa church.  

The display includes photos of Advent and Christmas from previous years, and it is hoped to remind people in the community of that which many have experienced in normal circumstances and thus help to mark and celebrate this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and God’s blessing to you all – of all faiths and none. 

All churches have services throughout the Christmas period. See their websites for more information:

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Fired Earth

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Small enough to hold in one hand, strong enough to hold up a building. Durable enough to last many lifetimes, cheap enough to be available to all. The brick is a lesson in simplicity and efficiency. It also shows us … Continue reading

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Upon that night, when fairies light,
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is ta’en,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the Cove,to stray an’ rove,
Amang the rocks and streams
To sport that night

Robert Burns, 1785.

See here for the full poem:


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World Cerebral Palsy Day 6th October


World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated in 74 countries and this year the whole world will be lit green for the event.  From Australia to Poland, Germany to the United Kingdom, people with cerebral palsy, their friends and families have mobilised to turn their towns green on Sunday October 6.

Although it is the most common physical disability in childhood, cerebral palsy does not get the attention it deserves. With courage and determination, we can raise cerebral palsy to the forefront in 2019.

Tonight in Portobello, the Porty Light Box will be set to green to show our support.

For more information about Cerebal Palsy and to show support please visit

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Portobello Book Festival 2019

Today is the final day for this years Portobello Book Festival.   Hopefully some of you will have been able to enjoy the amazing variety of events on offer.

Portobello Book Festival 2019

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