LOVED ones who have died were remembered in a poignant ceremony last week.

To Absent Friends, a Scotland-wide festival to celebrate the lives and memories of those who have passed away, was marked in East Ayrshire.

The fourth staging of the annual event took place between November 1 and 7 with stories, celebrations and acts of reminiscence taking place.

Annie Brown from the Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire arranged a get together in Kilmarnock, which was voted a success by those taking part.

Music and songs were mixed with tales of fond memories while sparklers were lit as people shared thoughts of those important to them who have died.

Ms Brown said: “We were not sure how the evening would go, so it was important to create the correct atmosphere.

“Many thanks to Karen and her friendly team at Blowmore Music and More Coffee Shop in College Wynd, Kilmarnock for opening up and keeping everyone topped up with refreshments.

“Karen said it was a pleasure to be able to help. Thanks also to Jane McCurragh who gave an interesting insight into her work as a soul midwife, who said that events like this are needed especially in this area.”

Visit for more details of how you can get involved or call 0131 272 2735.