Porty Street Fest 2018

The Porty Light Box this Christmas season is helping to promote the Porty Street Fest.  This Thursday 6th December between 6:30pm and 8:30pm get yourselves along to one of the many local shops and support local businesses.    Music, lights, entertainment, Santa and his sleigh, raffle with great prizes, wonderful shopping deals, delicious food and seasonal fun for all the family.  Buy some Christmas gifts, eat a fish supper and even get a haircut. 

Local businesses are for life and not just for Christmas!  Make sure you visit all the FABULOUS businesses in Porty all year round!


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The (First) Porty Light Box Advent Calendar

This new installation is by local Portobello resident Anna Reid Jones: With contributions from Stewart Kennedy, Gudrun Reid, Emma Rochford, Eilidh Scott, Mary Jones & Jasmine Donahaye.

Why? It’s really very simple. I love advent calendars. Card ones, virtual ones, ones with little boxes to fill with treats and sweets. And one day I noticed that Porty Light Box had 24 windows. What better than a giant advent calendar for Portobello.

I had ideas of reflecting the acts of kindness and good deeds that have been shown in the facebook group Porty People, but that excludes a whole section of the community who don’t subscribe to all things internet.

Then I thought of different traditions, cultures, religions … but they would be someone else’s story and this felt a little more personal.

Someone thoughtfully put a metal sign at the end of one the groynes on the beach, with the simple instruction … Be Nice. It got me thinking.

There were a number of virtual calendars doing the rounds last year with suggestions of kind things to do. 

So I’ve created a sort of Be Kind Advent Calendar and illustrated it with old photos from family and friends, some original images that I created just for this project and some snapshots I’ve taken over the years.

As a little extra, I thought some people may like to try and work out where all the house numbers are. They are all within Portobello and Joppa.


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Shifting Sands

The theme for Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) in 2017 was reclaim. This offered an ideal platform for people who experience a range of mental health difficulties to reclaim the right to have a voice and express their ideas on the issues that affect them.
The installation that was produced was created to express how stigma impacts on the lives of those who are already coping with health issues and to encourage a greater understanding of how stigma can add to the burden for people living with these conditions.
Mental health stigma quote:
“It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.”
Ruby Wax
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Repaint and Art Walk Porty

At the end of the summer the phone box was given a clean and a fresh coat of paint.  Many thanks to Peter Ross and Tim Warren for helping with the painting.  We also took the opportunity to remove the plastic glass panels that had replaced broken panes and Mark Smith Glazing in Portobello kindly installed the  replacement glass.

All in time for an installation by Rosy Naylor, founder of Art Walk Porty.  I know this has been and gone but I just haven’t had time to write a post until now.  For the record, here is a photo of the freshly painted phone box and the ‘Verges’ installation by Rosy.

‘Verges’ was a 2-part work at Porty Light Box and Seafield Verge, about walking cities’ edges in Kassel & Munster, Germany as well as around Portobello & Leith, involving imagery and planting, all by Rosy Naylor.  www.rosynaylor.com

Verges Art Walk Porty 2017

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Quality Street winner!

Apologies for the delay in posting this, but on 31st January at the Portobello Community Council meeting, a winner was selected out of the correct entries received.

Here’s a photo of the winner Lisa Anderson (on the right) receiving her chocolates from my daughter who is looking like she didn’t want to let go.

The winning answer was “C” – approx 62,948 Quality Street sweets would fit in the phone box ( about 3 boxes needed to consumed by the Wheatley household for “research purposes”).

A huge thank you to all who took part, entered and also donated to the Porty Light Box.     A total of £173 was raised and we will get cracking on re-painting the phone box in the Spring or early Summer (excuse the pun).


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Quality Street


Portobello High Street is a quality street. The Porty Light Box is part of that, and it now needs to be repainted and spruced up.

So to raise funds we’re running a wee competition. Correctly guess the number of Quality Street that the phonebox would hold, donate £2 and you could win a box of Quality Street and other goodies!

To enter the competition, choose one answer from the following and either pop in to Friday Street, Velvet Easel or Cove, where they will help you, or else click the PayPal button below (be sure to add your answer when prompted in the “Enter Answer here” box)

Choose from:

Answer A: 92,346
Answer B: 72,998
Answer C: 62,948

The winner will be drawn by Geoff Lynn at the Portobello Community Council meeting on January 30th. Good luck and thank you!


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Tracing Time : Mapping Futures


The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (SMHAFF) is an annual event to help raise awareness and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health issues. The festival is one of the largest social justice events in the world and, in its tenth year has become one of Scotland’s most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature..

This year’s installation, ‘Tracing Time : Mapping Futures’ was created by a group of students who attended Outlook’s adult education program during the summer. The art workshops were run at the Wash House in Portobello and explored ideas on this theme.

The final three panels built around a tree (…tree of life, family tree etc) have incorporated ideas relating to the ‘Past’, ‘Present’ & ‘Future.’ The past can trouble some people whilst for others it can create a positive connection to the land or places visited when growing up.

The other two panels are a comment on the current economic situation which for many creates greater insecurity and stress and for the final panel, a look into the future, where the discussions focused on the kind of services the group felt were important for good positive mental health & wellbeing.

We recommend an evening visit to see the full potential of this installation.

Outlook wishes to thank all participants involved in creating the ideas and panels for this installation as well as the Outlook tutor who supported those who were involved.

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Porty Art Walk – Creative Consequences : Jon Davey and Jen Russell

This month as part of the Porty Art Walk the light box is hosting “Creative Consequences” a joint installation by Jon Davey and Jen Russell.

Jon Davey and Jen Russell met briefly at a flat party in Glasgow in 1987 and a week or so later met again in Edinburgh when they talked at length about art and poetry. The two have not met in person since that day in 1987, nearly 30 years ago, but have corresponded sporadically over the years, never completely losing touch.

This work is a small selection from a much larger body of work that Jon and Jen have produced during the past year. Each week Jen would send Jon a poem and he would send her a photograph, creating two creative ‘strands’, each poem inspiring a photograph, each photograph inspiring a poem.

Jon Davey is a freelance photographer, now living in Portobello. Although his professional work mostly consists of conferences and events, his personal work is frequently more local and personal.

Jen Russell was born and raised in Cambuslang in Glasgow and now lives in Buckinghamshire. She works as a copywriter. She has written books for children and teenagers under the pen names Jenny Smith and J L Smith.

Hamiltons Sweets

There were succulent sherbets
Liquorice treats
And caramel toffees
At Hamilton’s Sweets

Chocolate Fondants
Turkish Delight
Wine gums and rainbow drops
Glistening bright

White mice and jelly tots
Strawberry laces
Catherine wheel lollies
As big as our faces

Sugared almonds, marshmallows
Flying saucers and bubblegum
Creamy vanilla

Now the windows are boarded
The shop has closed down
Empty shelves, dusty sweet jars
Shutters rusted dark brown

Poor old Mr Hamilton
No longer sells sweeties
Now that most of the town
Has Type 2 diabetes

Hamiltons Sweets photo by Jon Davey

Hamiltons Sweets photo by Jon Davey © 2016


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Fostering + Adoption

St. Andrews Children’s Society is a voluntary Fostering and Adoption Agency, based in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. We have been placing children with families for over 90 years.
If you are interested in adoption, please contact us on: info@standrews-children.org.uk Have a look at our website and face book page for more information.

We hope you enjoy some of the pictures children connected to our agency, have drawn/painted about being in their family, or just simply enjoying life.


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For International Women’s Day Wifie members have collectively produced this installation as a means to help raise awareness of the on-going situation surrounding trafficking. Women and children across the world are exploited and suffer at the hands of others, where they are trafficked into servitude and exploitation, a form of modern day slavery.  Trafficking isn’t only going on in other places it happens here in Scotland and Edinburgh and we believe that our government and politicians must work to end this now.

Further information about Wifie and this photographic project will be made available on the Wifie website http://www.wifie.org.uk/ over the coming weeks.
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