A CALL has been made for ‘Tommy’ silhouettes to be kept up in a Borders town throughout the year.

Peebles Community Council chairman Les Turnbull made the suggestion at this month’s meeting.

He said the two soldier cut-outs should be a permanent fixture beside the War Memorial at the Quadrangle.

Mr Turnbull said: “I know there have been some conversations about this previously but when I was at the Remembrance service the two silhouettes looked quite poignant and it was a fitting place for them.

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“The question that I was asked by more than one person was why can’t the Tommys have a permanent home in the Quadrangle?

“And to be honest, I thought it was a perfectly good question and I can’t see any reason why not.”

Tweeddale councillor Heather Anderson replied: “There was a discussion about this last year and the sense was that the Tommys had more impact when they were part of the Remembrance service so it was better they were there for a period around the Remembrance service time.

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“The point was also made that the Quadrangle isn’t just the War Memorial, it is a public space.

“It was agreed last year that they would be kept and brought out at the right time to have the maximum impact. They do look really powerful.”

The trustees of the Chambers Institute are among those who believe the silhouettes have greater impact when brought out solely for the Remembrance service.

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But Mr Turnbull said the people he spoke with were strongly of the view that the silhouettes should remain all year round.

“I have been asked quite powerfully to ask whether this is a decision that could be re-visited by the trustees because the people that I spoke to were strongly of the view that they should find a permanent home there.

“I take your point about the Quadrangle being more than just the War Memorial.

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"However, it is a significant War Memorial, and perhaps this is something we need to consult more widely with the people of the town to find out what they want.”

Mr Turnbull also called for the gates of the Quadrangle to be reopened to the public.

The courtyard houses the Chambers Institution, War Memorial, Tweeddale Museum and Gallery, and the town’s library.

But access has been closed off since the coronavirus outbreak.

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Mr Turnbull said: “Even through COVID I can’t see any reason why the Quadrangle cannot be opened, because people have a responsibility if they’re in there to make sure they maintain social distancing.”

Community councillor Julie Shearer suggested that the cost of a caretaker opening and closing them might be the issue.

But Mr Turnbull feels it is an important public space and should be kept open during daylight hours.

Tweeddale councillor Ms Anderson agreed and said she would raise the matter with Live Borders.