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Pebble towers to be recorded in social history project

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Wednesday 03 June 2020

A project has been launched to give the pebble towers lining the coast of Guernsey a permanent place in the island's social history.

The towers, built by people during their two hours exercise while in lockdown, represent the spirit of GuernseyTogether which captures the island's approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture and the Guernsey Arts Commission are working in partnership to create a photographic and video record of the towers so they can be seen and remembered in the future.

But they need people's help to build the collection of photos and videos.

While the collection is put together, Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services have agreed to pause their removal of any towers where there is a concern over their height or stability.  The Committee and the Commission wishes to thank them for their understanding and co-operation.

Russ Fossey, Head of Arts Development at the Arts Commission, said:

"We have been going out to take pictures of the pebble towers around the island. Some had already started to return to the sea naturally, but that was part of the story as well. The towers are something islanders started and built though, and so we need their help in documenting them. If anyone has any pictures they can share with us of the pebble stacks, then please send them in via social media. On top of that, if anyone helped build some of the towers, we would really like to interview them for the collection."

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

"The pebble towers, large or small, have become symbolic of the way the people of Guernsey have faced the difficult challenges of the past few months.  We did not want memories of the towers to be lost.  They are part of our social history and in the future they will have special meaning for lots of people.  We are delighted to be working with the Arts Commission to get an extensive record of the towers in all their shapes and sizes and in as many locations as possible.  The people of Guernsey spontaneously and creatively built these towers and we are hoping they can now help us record them by sending us their pictures."

If you can help with images or videos you have taken of the towers, please post them on social media using the #PebbleTowers.

If you helped build some of the towers, you can contact the Arts Commission by emailing russ.fossey@gov.gg, or you can send a recording of yourself explaining how and why you built the tower to the same address.

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