Doors Open Days 2020

Out of the Blue is taking part in the Cockburn Association’s 2020 Virtual Doors Open Days. We’ve produced the short video below to show you around some of the key features of the arts centre, from its military history to some of the work going on today:

For further reading on The Out of the Blue Drill Hall, and the charity itself, Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust, please visit the following pages on our website;

Gretna rail disaster (Gretna 100)

On the 22nd May 1915, at Quintinshill near Gretna, the worst train disaster in British railway history left over 200 men from the 1/7th Royal Scots dead. This ‘Leith Battalion’ trained at the Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street which later became the focus point for families looking for information after the disaster.

Working with Out of the Blue in this same building 100 years later, a group of community actors from Active Inquiry and Strange Town Young Company researched and devised a piece of promenade theatre, Persevere, which guided the audience around the Drill Hall enabling them to catch glimpses of stories of Leithers 100 years ago saying goodbye to sons and brothers, hearing the news of the crash and coping with the aftermath.

In addition, a group of community researchers worked with Citizen Curator and artist Jan-Bee Brown to research and curate an exhibition, Seven of the 7th, exploring the disaster through the story of seven soldiers who were involved. This exhibition also included The Tree of Life, produced in partnership with Pilmeny Youth Centre and artist Heather Scott, in which pupils from Leith Academy researched and helped to make a glass dog-tag for each of the 216 soldiers who died.

Out of the Blue Drill Hall based film maker Ray Bird’s brilliant documentary film of the Gretna 100 project  powerfully illustrates how a participatory arts project can have a long lasting impact for participants and audience alike.

You can learn more about the Gretna 100 project at

Abbeymount Studios

Out of the Blue Abbeymount Studios are also taking part in Virtual Doors Open Days. Learn more about the artists located there at