The Edinburgh Reporter January 2019

The first 2019 issue of the monthly local newspaper all about Edinburgh

The first 2019 issue of the monthly local newspaper all about Edinburgh


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January 2019

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter


What lies ahead in 2019?


Doddie Weir



Queen’s Hall



Edinburgh Printmakers


New lighting on Queensferry Crossing | Photo Ian Georgeson

2019 IS the year when we are

expecting to exit from the EU as

it stands when we go to press.

But the politics of Brexit has

been very up and down in recent

weeks, so who can predict the

road ahead?

As we know the Prime Minister

withdrew the meaningful vote

due to take place on 11 December,

leading to a vote of confidence

from within the Conservative

party. A decision of the

European Court of Justice may

offer the option to revoke Article

50 and stop Brexit. Three of

our Edinburgh politicians were

involved in bringing that action.

The following week the Labour

Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn

lodged a motion of no confidence

in the Prime Minister. The SNP

and all other parties save the

Conservatives lodged a cross

party amendment to that asking

for it to be altered to a vote of no

confidence in the UK Government.

Such is the level of drama

in Westminster it is an impossible

task to know whether this

year will really bring the end of

our EU membership or not.





2 NEWS The Edinburgh Reporter






PAYMENTS of the Best Start

Grant Pregnancy and Baby

Payment which supports low

income families have begun.

In December First Minister

Nicola Sturgeon met some of the

first parents and babies to benefit

from the payment which offers

low income parents or carers

£600 on the birth of their first

child and £300 for any subsequent


Following its launch last

month, the first payments have

been made, with Social Security

Scotland receiving more than

4,000 claims on the first day

alone. That is around the same

number of UK Government Sure

Start Maternity Grants, which

Best Start Grant replaces, for the

whole of 2017-18 in Scotland.

The First Minister said: “The

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

will help give children the best

possible start in life, and demonstrates

our commitment to

making Scotland the best place

for a child to grow up.

“At this time of year we know

many families on low incomes

feel particularly stretched so I’m

pleased we are starting to get this

extra money into people’s pockets

this week. By expanding the

eligibility and making it easier to

apply we are delivering substantive

improvements on the DWP

system. Importantly, we place no

cap on the number of children it

will support.

The response we have had

with claims is absolutely

exceptional and reflects the

difference we can make with

our new social security powers

including increasing the financial

support parents are eligible for

and removing the UK’s previous

one child limit to support more

children. It was lovely to meet

parents and children who are

benefitting from the grant and

find out the difference it can

make to families.”

Connie Rumsby, a 25-year-old

mother of three from Glasgow

whose baby is six months old,

said: “The Best Start Grant will

make life a lot easier. My other

children are four and five so

there are lots of things I will

need to buy again. I got the baby

box which is great, but having

£300 extra to my buy my son

something when he’s a wee bit

bigger is a real help.”

Raising money for Brain Tumour Research

Gordon Shaw’s comic book at the Edinburgh Comic Festival

GORDON SHAW has found a fun

way to deal with cancer. He is a

graphic artist and has produced

four books now to raise funds for

Brain Tumour Research.

You can now buy his newest

book dedicated to his tumour that

he has christened Rick (from the

word turmeric.…). He hopes it will

give readers a better understanding

of cancer and the effect on


Gordon (38) from Leith was

diagnosed six years ago with a

low grade brain tumour and a

prognosis of surviving between

10 and 15 years. After that his

diagnosis changed and the

tumour became high grade with

consequences for his life expectancy.

To help Brain Tumour Research

he has produced comic books to

raise funds. His latest is called

Bitter Sweet. 5% of all proceeds

will go to Brain Tumour Research.

Gordon said: “Having a brain

tumour has changed the way I

live my life. When I am in my

happy head, I often think I might

not see too many more of these

times, so I try to recognise good

Help wildlife this winter

A male Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

eating seed from a bird feeder.

| photo Lorne Gill/SNH

WINTER can be a challenging

season for wildlife with harsh

weather, low temperatures and

much less food around.

Scottish Natural Heritage’s

Biodiversity Manager Debbie

Bassett shares the range of ways

to give nature a helping hand this


Be a lazy gardener. Leaving

some areas overgrown or filled

with leaves and twigs gives

insects, frogs, toads and small

animals a quiet and cosy place to

hide during the colder months.

Use your food scraps. Keep a

food scraps tub by your cooker -

any bits suitable to feed birds and

other wildlife can go straight into

it. Bruised or overly-soft fruit that

may otherwise go to waste – or in

the compost bin – can also be left

out for badgers, foxes and birds.

Cut it in half and leave it on the

grass or spike it on a tree branch.

The blackbirds will love you for it.

Most people are aware white

bread is a no-no for ducks –

polluting the water and making

them ill. But healthy snacks

including corn – tinned, frozen,

dried or fresh – lettuce and other

greens cut into pieces will make

you popular at your local duck

pond this winter.

Garden ponds can be a great

water source for passing wildlife

but, when temperatures drop, ice

can be tricky. A prolonged freeze

can mean problems for fish and

hibernating frogs and newts.

Gently crack the ice to make a

hole or float a ball in the water to

help stop it freezing.

Debbie said: “Our winter wildlife

loves lazy gardeners at this time

of year, and these quick and easy

tips are great ways you can help

our animals and birds.

“Putting out extra food can

help birds and mammals up

their energy reserves when food

sources are scarce and get them

through the winter.

“Winter is a great time to get

out into nature and even though

these tips help our wildlife, they

are also fun too!”


moments when I am in them

and thank people who are there

sharing them with me.

“Planning events in the future

with friends, however, is hard

because I don’t know whether I

will still be here.

“I have also suffered badly at

times with anxiety to the extent

that I can’t even get out of bed and

even if, in my head, I tell myself

not to waste valuable time and

to get up and have a shower, just

doing it seems impossible.

“I started creating comic books

after reading a book by Joe Sacco

and then asking friends and

family to give me their thoughts

on cancer. My intention was to

help them come to terms with

my diagnosis, as well as being

something cathartic for me.

The current edition focuses

on an inner dialogue where

sometimes I am talking to sick

me. It highlights some of the

common side effects for cancer

patients, including fatigue and

guilt – for putting friends and

family through a very heartwrenching

experience. I know

I will end up putting people

through this all over again when

my tumour re-grows.”

Joe Woollcott, community

fundraising manager at Brain

Tumour Research, said: “For too

WITH a new year always comes

new year resolutions. So this

2019, start the year right and a

positive attitude.

Exercise is a great way to

boost your mental and physical

health. To help you start strong

in January and continue as

you mean to go on, Edinburgh

Leisure is hosting a free fitness

and pool taster event at the Royal

Commonwealth Pool on 5 January

2019 to promote some of its new

and established fitness classes.

From Aquadash to Bodycombat

to swim technique to Zumba,

most of the classes will have you

Gordon Shaw who has now

authored four comic books about

dealing with cancer

long brain tumours have been

a neglected cancer. We thank

Gordon for generously donating

proceeds from his comic book

sales to the charity. Together

we will find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research

funds dedicated UK Research

Centres of Excellence where

scientists are focused on

improving outcomes for

patients and, ultimately, finding

a cure. Historically, just 1% of

the national spend on cancer

research has been allocated to

brain tumours and the charity

is lobbying the government and

the larger cancer charities to

increase this.

Price £10


Start Strong this

New Year

Start strong this New Year with Edinburgh Leisure’s

taster event on 5 January.

working up a sweat and challenging

your body in a good way.

There will also be a series of

Groupfit gym classes, which offer

high intensity, interval training,

lasting 15 - 30 minutes, giving you

a quick, effective workout, in a

short time.

The event is open to both

members and non-members.

Classes are bookable now, by

calling 0131 667 7211, by calling

into the reception at the Royal

Commonwealth Pool, Dalkeith

Road, EH16 5BB or booking direct

on the Edinburgh Leisure website.


Editor: Phyllis Stephen


07791 406 498

We write about news relating to

Edinburgh and the immediate area.

We welcome contributions to our

website and newspaper.

Social Media




@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter NEWS 3

New gallery and restaurant on Calton HIll

home on top of one of Edinburgh's

seven hills.

She told me that Collective is

the name of an arts organisation

which is very much about

supporting artists, and artists

working with communities to

create art.

She explained : ”There are

several buildings here, but it is

not just about looking at the art, it

is about experiencing the whole

site. What we like to say about

this site and Collective is that it

is a new kind of city observatory

which chimes so much about

a new way of looking at things,

which as you know all art can

Anne Bonnar Chair of Collective which hopes to attract 150,000 visitors to

help achieve. The City Observatory

itself is a Playfair building

the top of Calton Hill. | Photo 2018 TheEdinburghReporter

View of the new restaurant on Calton Hill | Photo Tom Nolan

and it was the first observatory

before Blackford Hill. Here we

by Phyllis Stephen

"People come up this hill for the are looking down at the docks

purpose of exploring and seeing in Leith where mariners set the

VISITORS and residents alike so we are looking for them to time. This is where the ball drops

will be enchanted by the new art come and explore the art by before the one o'clock gun goes

space on top of Calton Hill. stumbling across it, viewing it off - all of these things relating

It is an accessible area,

as part of your overall cultural to orientation for Leith and the

perhaps by taxi which would experience of Edinburgh."

wider world.

drop you at the top of the

Anne is Chair of Collective. She "The City Observatory had the

hill, and there is a purposebuilt

exhibition space with a with cultural leaders and organi-

some telescopes which the public

is an arts professional who works first telescopes, and we still have

panoramic viewing terrace and sations to help them achieve their can access. This building is now

a destination restaurant.


open for the public to access

Collective will expect to attract Previously she led the transformation

of Edinburgh's Traverse building was in a complete state

for the first time. For years this

around 150,000 visitors each

year. There have already been Theatre from a membership club of disrepair. The Astronomical

smaller temporary units there in a back alley to a fully public Society of Edinburgh tried their

with art in them, and these theatre in a new home.

best to maintain it but it was too

alone welcomed 50,000 visitors. I met with Anne in November at much for a voluntary group, so it

Anne Bonnar explained

the opening of the new Collective has been in the Common Good of

the reason for this. She said : Gallery which has its brand new

New art centre will have changing exhibitions throughout the year

Edinburgh Council."

Consultation on George Street and

First New Town Design Project

THIS council consultation

remains open until 25 January

2019. The council want your ideas

on what to do to improve the area

right in the city centre, focussing

on the area between Princes

Street and Queen Street and

Charlotte Square to St Andrew


The council wants to create a

world class place to enhance the

area’s World Heritage status. It

is also keen to enhance pedestrian

spaces making it a safer

space, and say that prioritising

active travel and access for those

who are disabled will help that.

They consider public parking on

George Street to be of the lowest

importance and want to create

an adaptable street design which

can be used for events in future.

One of the forward thinking

suggestions is that power and

water are installed now at points

which will be designated event


The council also want to

improve the First New Town

and help it to be a place where

businesses can thrive.

Some of the ways the council

believes this can be done is by

minimising street furniture

(although they will introduce

public seating at carefully

considered locations) and getting

Greater New Town Hanover Street Junction visual

Greater New Town birds

eye view visual

rid of central parking on George

Street to reduce the dominance of


Drop in sessions were held in

November to show off the draft

designs to the public, and when

this consultation closes the

results will be considered by

council officers who will report to

the Transport and Environment

Committee in Spring 2019.The

project is a key element of the

wider City Centre Transformation

project and aims to design a

vibrant street environment that

is safe for all users – one which

improves its use for pedestrians

while prioritising active travel

and accessibility for all.


TV Festival

CHANNEL 4 Deputy Director of

Programmes and Head of Popular

Factual, Kelly Webb-Lamb, has

been appointed as the Advisory

Chair of the Edinburgh Television

Festival which will run from 21-23

August 2019.

Alongside Festival Director,

Lisa Campbell, Webb-Lamb will

spearhead a team of cross-genre,

industry executives to help curate

the 2019 programme and lead

the Advisory Committee. Her

festival theme centres around the

fundamental question of ‘What is

TV for?’ as the industry strives to

remain relevant in a fast-evolving


Ms Webb-Lamb said : “Once

upon a time I used to avoid

Edinburgh... as it felt at times

like an exclusive week full of

telly people from London navelgazing...

but in the last few years

the Festival has evolved and I am

excited to be able to be part of

that evolution. In what promises

to be a momentous year for

the industry and as we race to

keep up with the way viewers

watch content, I’m really looking

forward to interrogating and

questioning what and who we’re

all doing this for. I’m pleased to

be working with Lisa Campbell

and Graham Stuart and the

advisory team to make sure next

year’s Festival is both dynamic

and different.”

4 NEWS The Edinburgh Reporter

The Core opens in


Openreach meet local politicians

Drew Gowland and Murray Grant who established the MGA Foundation and

who have now set up The Core in Stockbridge | Photo Neil Hanna

THERE is a new space in

Stockbridge designed to help

performers in Edinburgh start

their careers off on the right foot.

This is a drop in café in the

style of an airport lounge and it is

now ready to welcome you if you

just fancy a coffee or would-be

performers who can go in and get

career advice if they need it.

It is a theatre-themed shop,

resource and meeting place for

local dancers, actors and performers.

Go in, have a coffee and

be assured that the profits are

going to the MGA Foundation to

help young performers pay their

tuition fees.

Half term holiday clubs

BE an early bird and book by 31

January 2019 to receive a 10%

discount on weekly Holiday Club

places at Edinburgh Leisure for

the February 2019 half term.

Enrol your kids in the biggest

club in town for reliable and fun

holiday activities. Edinburgh

Leisure’s Holiday Clubs run

Monday to Friday from 9am to

5pm during the main school

holidays – with early drop

off from 8am and late pick up

until 6pm – perfect for working


Kids in P1 to P7 can look forward

to games, the opportunity to

try different sports, arts, crafts,

drama, challenges and educational

activities such as learning

about healthy food.

Holiday Clubs cost £145 a week

per child but for those who book

early, will cost just £130.50. Daily

bookings are also available at £35

per day but the discount does not


Holiday Clubs can be booked

directly with each centre or by

telephoning the individual venue

and take place at Craiglockhart

Leisure and Tennis Centre,

Drumbrae Leisure Centre and the

Royal Commonwealth Pool.


TWO Labour politicians met with

engineers from Openreach to see

for themselves what the next

generation of broadband technology

looks like.

They went to Liberton to meet

local residents who are among

the first in the city benefit from

the more reliable ultrafast

Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP)


Edinburgh is the first city in

Scotland to benefit from the

full fibre technology which

Openreach are rolling out.

Edinburgh South MP Mr Murray

said: “Good connectivity is vital

for a strong local economy, so

it’s been great to hear about the

progress that’s being made and

what that means for constituents.

The fact that Edinburgh is one

of the first places in the UK to

by David Bol Local Democracy


THE city council’s locality

committees have been labelled “a

nonsense” after it emerged they

don’t even have the authority to

put up new signposts.

A call to put up welcome signs

in Craiglockhart has been kicked

into the long grass after the South

West Locality Committee heard

fears that backing the campaign

could open the floodgates for

communities wanting to put up

the notices.

Green Cllr Gavin Corbett tabled

at motion at the south west

locality committee asking for

support for the ability to put up

welcome signs in Craiglockhart.

Cllr Corbett said: “The

community council has wanted

for some time to put some signs

up – it’s going to raise some funds

itself. I thought it would be pretty

straightforward if it meets the


“Unfortunately the feedback is

that we cannot do that because

it’s not a village, it’s a suburb.

It should be a reasonable thing

for a locality to be able to put up

some welcome signs. We are just

asking to support the idea that

a community council should be

Ian Murray MP watches engineer Steven Melville at work

benefit from Openreach investment

in full-fibre will help make

sure that our historic city remains

at the forefront of technology.”

Edinburgh Southern MSP

Mr Johnson added: “It was

particularly interesting to hear

about the huge difference a full

fibre connection will make to

residents’ broadband speed,

reliability and capacity.

“It was also useful to hear about

developments at Openreach’s

training centre in Livingston

where a new fibre school will be

launched next year. Engineering

is a vital part of Scotland’s

economy and skills learned there

will benefit the nation.”

Jim Wylie, Openreach’s

fibre operations manager for

Edinburgh, said: “We know good

broadband is really important to

local people and we’re delighted

to be building our first fibre city

here in Edinburgh.

“Ian and Daniel share

our ambition to make sure

everybody in Scotland has

access to a quality broadband

service. We appreciate that they

were able to make time to come

and learn about the challenges

and realities of delivering

digital technology. For example,

a specific issue in Edinburgh

is getting access to put new

equipment on telephone poles,

which are often sited in people’s

back gardens!

”Only Openreach has the

commitment, experience,

skills and large local workforce

needed to deliver an open,

digital network for all of

Scotland that’s fit for the future.”

Locality committees branded a nonsense

able to welcome people to its


He added: “I know one of the

fears is somehow we can open

the floodgates. I don’t see there’s

a question of community councils

snaking down the road. Even

if there is a question of people

wanting signs, how bad can that


“We should be encouraging

people to put up signs. I do think

it would reflect slightly poorly on

this committee if we cannot.”

Cllr Corbett gained cross-party

support for his motion – but

officers spoke out against the


Locality manager Mike Avery

said: “My only concern is that

we may run the risk of setting

a city-wide precedent that

maybe out of the remit of this


South west locality convener,

Cllr Denis Dixon, supported

the idea – and agreed to take

the issue up with the council’s

executive transport committee.

He said: “We are all in agreement

that we support this motion and

we would like these signs in


“It’s generally a good idea. The

problem we have is that it maybe

out of our remit. We need to

source and find out exactly who

may approve this. What I propose

to do is take this discussion up

with the convener of transport

and environment and pinpoint

the person who would make that


But councillors criticised the

committee’s lack of power with

SNP Cllr David Key labelling the

situation “a nonsense”.

He added: “There are branded

signs all over Gorgie-Dalry. We are

asking for two signposts in one of

our villages or suburbs.

“I agree that if we cannot make a

decision on two signposts at this

committee, what is the point in

this committee?”

Conservative Cllr Phil Doggart

added: “I thought the whole

purpose of locality committees

was we could take a decision

that affects the locality. This is

a very straightforward low cost

minimal impact but good for the


“It seems we are being

hamstrung and it seems very

bizarre we have to go back to

another committee. It really

brings into question the whole

question of locality committees if

we are not able to take a minimal

impact decision – what’s the


@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghre- NEWS 5

Doddie Weir receives the

Edinburgh Award

Doddie Weir was the 12th recipient of The Edinburgh Award. Here he

poses with the Loving Cup given to him by the Lord Provost.

SCOTTISH rugby legend George

“Doddie” Weir was presented

with the prestigious Edinburgh

Award 2018 at the end of


Surrounded by friends, family

and familiar faces from professional

rugby, Doddie inspected

a set of his handprints outside

the City Chambers before

being presented with an

engraved Loving Cup from

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost


The award celebrates the

difference he has made to

the city, to sport and to Motor

Neurone Disease awareness and


Doddie becomes the

12th person to receive the

city’s biggest annual accolade,

following in the footsteps of last

year’s recipient Timothy O’Shea

(2017) and fellow sporting heroes

Ken Buchanan (2015), George Kerr

(2010) and Sir Chris Hoy (2009).

The Rt Hon Lord Provost Frank

Ross, said: “Doddie is not only

an inspiring sportsman but a

real champion of MND research,

helping to raise awareness

through his own Foundation

and provide much-needed funds

towards finding a cure for this


“He is Edinburgh’s gentle giant,

as well-respected and loved by

citizens as much as his peers

and rugby fans. Doddie really has

made an outstanding contribution

to sport, to charity and to the

Charity closes

Capital. The Edinburgh Award is

the city’s way of recognising all

that he has achieved.”

The Edinburgh-born 48 year-old

began his professional rugby

career at Melrose RFC, before

going on to become one of the

most successful and well-loved

members of Scotland’s National

Team and for the Newcastle


After announcing in 2017 that

he had been diagnosed with

Motor Neurone Disease, Doddie

continues to raise thousands of

pounds to help research causes

and cures for MND through

his charitable foundation, My

Name’5 Doddie.

Doddie commented: "I am

hugely honoured and humbled

to receive the prestigious

Edinburgh Award, especially

when I see the names of those

who have received it before me.

Edinburgh has been good to

me - it's where I was born, I was

educated at Stewart's Melville

College and began my rugby

career here, and of course I

have a special connection with


"The support I have received

from all over the world since I

shared my diagnosis has been

incredible and it has helped

drive the work of our Foundation

forward as we try to raise

awareness around Motor

Neurone Disease and help find a

cure for this devastating disease.

"Edinburgh has been at

the forefront of this support,

along with the Borders, and I

highly appreciate the efforts of

everyone. I am determined that

together, we will make a difference.

"I would like to thank the Lord

Provost for this honour and for

adding my enormous paw prints

to the others already there at the

City Chambers.”

Wellbeing in the West End

this January

Calm on Canning Street will be one of the West End venues

THIS January the first Wellbeing

Festival will take place in the

West End.

Between 11 and 13 January you

can join in the fun with wellbeing

classes, workshops and talks all

designed to help you nurture and

nourish yourself. You can also

support the local businesses who

are putting on the activities, and

help raise funds for the Joshua

Nolan Foundation and the Rock

Trust at the same time.

The events on Saturday will

take place at the Arthur Conan

Doyle Centre on Palmerston

Place where there will be many

businesses taking stands to

exhibit what they can do to help

you with your health and fitness

this year. Other events will take

place at Calm on Canning St

A ticket for the weekend will

cost £20 and gives you access to

all activities over the three days.

The Rock Trust is a charity

that works in Edinburgh and

the Lothians with homeless and

socially excluded young people

between the ages of 16 and 25


The Joshua Nolan Foundation

believes it is possible to prevent

every suicide. The Charity offers

support, training and advice to

people living in Scotland of all

ages and gender identity, who

may identify as being ‘at risk’

or affected by suicide. JNF aim

to make a difference by offering

support, education and awareness

Book on Eventbrite


lodged a motion in The Scottish

Parliament to note the closure

of one of Edinburgh's most

important charities, Comas.

She said : "The closure of Comas

is a real disappointment.

The charity performed groundbreaking

work in providing both

opportunities and a safe haven

for Edinburgh’s recovering


“Serenity was much more than

a café, and its absence leaves a

gaping hole in vital community


“I would like to personally thank

the staff, board, volunteers and

customers for their commitment

over the years.”

We told you about their difficulties

earlier in the year when they

had to move the Serenity Café to

new premises on the Pleasance.

Since then their financial

problems have increased and the

board decided to close the charity

down making all staff redundant.

Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron also

brought the plight of the charity

to the attention of councillors

when she lodged a motion at full

council in November. She pointed

out the important work the

charity had provided to the city

for over a decade and thanked

them for providing a safe space

for those in recovery.

Ms Dugdale's motion read :

That the Parliament notes

with disappointment and regret

that Edinburgh’s Serenity Cafe

has had to close its doors for

the final time; recognises the

groundbreaking work of Comas

in providing both opportunities

and a safe haven for Edinburgh’s

recovering community while

also providing a meeting space

for organisations and groups

seeking to influence and engage

with the Parliament; remembers

that Comas was much more than

a cafe, running hugely innovative

projects such as an income

maximisation programme in the

Dumbiedykes estate, which is an

area of significant poverty and

disadvantage close to the Parliament;

considers that there is a

gaping hole in services available

to the recovering community that

are compounded by an extremely

challenging funding environment

for all charities and social

enterprises, and thanks the staff,

board, volunteers and customers

for their commitment over the


6 NEWS The Edinburgh Reporter

Judging begins for the

James Tait Black Prizes

More bike stations

for 2019

Just Eat sponsor the city bike hire scheme

JUST EAT cycles continue to roll out new bike stations with the newest

at Dalry Road Lidl, Dalry Road Co-op, Marchmont Crescent, Warrender

Park Road, Whitehouse Loan, Meadow Place, Colinton Road, Morningside

Road, Thirlestane Road, Causewayside, Simon Square, Inverleith

Row, South Trinity Road, East London Street, Macdonald Road, Leith

Walk, Gibson Terrace and Dundee Terrace.

Postgraduate students June Laurenson and Vivek Santayana launched the judging process.

| Photo Neil Hanna

THE oldest book awards are approaching an important milestone.

The annual James Tait Black Prizes – presented by the University since 1919 – have recognised many

landmark works and continue to encourage great new writing.

More than 500 new books are now at the University of Edinburgh for judging in the centenary awards of

Britain’s longest-running literary prizes.

Postgraduate students June Laurenson and Vivek Santayana launched the judging process and

distributed books to 25 student readers who will assess each entry.

Just Eat Cycles are an easy way to get around

It’s time for Turner

J. M. W. TURNER (1775-1851) Venice from the Laguna, 1840

Watercolour and gouache and pencil, with scraping out on paper 22.1 x 32 cm

Scottish National Gallery, Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900

A DRAMATIC depiction of Robert

Stevenson’s engineering marvel,

the Bell Rock Lighthouse, by

Britain’s most celebrated artist

Joseph Mallord William Turner

(1775-1851), will shine its light on

the National Galleries of Scotland

(NGS)’s seasonal exhibition

Turner in January, which opens

at the Scottish National Gallery on

New Year’s Day.

In 2019, this much-loved annual

exhibition is supported by players

of People’s Postcode Lottery for

the seventh year.

In a tradition that stretches

back more than a century, every

January the National Galleries

of Scotland (NGS) displays an

outstanding collection of Turner’s

radiant watercolours, bequeathed

in 1900 by one of the greatest

connoisseurs of his work, Henry

Vaughan (1809-1899).

Conscious that limited exposure

would preserve the brilliant

colour and exceptional condition

of the works, Vaughan stipulated

in his will that his Turners should

only ever be shown during the

first month of the year, when

daylight in Edinburgh is at its


The display runs throughout

January, providing a thoughtful

counterpoint to the more

energetic celebrations of

Hogmanay, and a welcome

injection of light and colour

during the darkest time of the


@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter NEWS 7

News in Brief

Community Project Funding from

SP Energy Networks

EDINBURGH’S most ambitious sustainable energy projects, Saughton

Park and Basil Spence Canongate Housing Energy Efficiency & Conservation

Project, have been awarded over £800,000 funding from SP

Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund to help develop a pioneering

micro-hydro electric scheme and a vital community hub powered by

sustainable energy.

The Saughton Park project, led by The City of Edinburgh Council with

funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has received over £480,000

funding for its ground-breaking development which will include

a micro-hydro facility to power ground heating pumps creating a

sustainable energy source for the development’s community buildings,

park lighting, the new Winter Gardens glasshouse and electric vehicle

charging points for visitors.

Edinburgh’s World Heritage Trust has also received over £330,000 in

funding to help renovate the Basil Spence Canongate Housing Energy

Efficiency & Conservation Project, a ground-breaking development that

will become a vital community hub powered by sustainable energy.

The project will develop an innovative approach to energy efficiency

and help local residents and businesses situated in historic buildings

adopt sustainable energy measures in a bid to help the city become

more energy efficient.

The £20million Green Economy Fund, established earlier this year

by the electricity network operator SP Energy Networks, supports the

ambitious green targets of the Scottish Government to boost local

economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a

better future, quicker.

Fossil Fuel Divestment

AT the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland. an

announcement was made that 1,000 organisations around the world,

with a collective wealth of over $7 trillion, have made commitments to

divest from fossil fuel companies. was made

11 of the total come from Scotland, where universities and churches

have pledged to phase out their investments in fossil fuels in response

to climate change.

Ric Lander, Divestment Campaigner for Friends of the Earth said:

"Divesting from fossil fuels is a practical way for investors to show

their commitment on climate change by withdrawing from the worst

offenders. It's also a powerful statement to the world, that we do not

want oil, gas and coal companies and the pollution they create in our


"This is a major milestone for the movement for a just transition to

a zero carbon, sustainable future for everyone. Behind almost every

one of these commitments is a group of committed people fighting

for climate action and they should be proud of their achievements.

They’ve persuaded, protested and brought the inarguable evidence of

their case to decision makers and won them over."

“In Scotland, Glasgow was the University in Europe to divest and

they were joined by the University this January after almost 5 years

of campaigning by students, staff and alumni. Pressure is increasing

on Council-run Pension Funds to take action on their own fossil fuel


Brightening up the

winter nights

NEW lighting has suddenly

appeared on the Queensferry

Crossing. And you will see on our

front page how lovely it is!

A Transport Scotland

spokesman said: “Architectural

lighting is being tested on the

Queensferry Crossing and will be

fine-tuned in the coming weeks.

The architectural lighting system

is not for operational purposes

and as such is not a high priority

area of work for the contractor

Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors


“Once the system is fully operational

it will include uplighting

for each of the Queensferry

The newest bridge over the Forth has just been illuminated | Photo Ian Georgeson

Crossing’s main towers and strip

lighting along the deck edge of

the bridge. We intend to publicise

when the system is fully operational.

Thorn Lighting has undertaken

the work to illuminate the bridge

working together with national

M&E specialist SES Engineering

Services (SES), on the £1.35 billion


A selection of Thorn luminaires

has been chosen to illuminate

the imposing structure, creating

a striking stream of light that

stretches across the Forth


The lighting scheme was

developed to enhance the

strong aesthetics of the

bridge and ensure excellent

energy efficiency. The lighting

technologies and luminaires

were carefully selected to fulfil

various specific functions,

utilising lenses and precise

focusing to maximise effectiveness

and minimise stray light

and glare.

As LED lights are used the

installation actively supports

the Scottish Government’s

pledge to lower carbon

emissions, reduce lighting

pollution and limit the impact

on the rural landscape.

Edinburgh is China Ready

AS Edinburgh gets ‘China Ready, The Hub has launched its translated

menu in Mandarin for Chinese guests.

The new translated menu comes after a new direct air route between

Scotland and China was launched in June 2018, linking Edinburgh

Airport with Beijing. The menu also follows announcements that

Edinburgh is set to stage its first Chinese New Year in February 2019,

in a way to promote the Scottish capital as one of “Europe’s premiere

China-friendly destinations”.

The translated menu is ensuring an accommodating and accessible

welcome for Chinese visitors, whether they visit over the festive

season, during the build up to Chinese New Year in February, or

beyond. All of The Hub’s menus, including the drinks menu and the

children’s menu, have been translated into Mandarin.

Anna Kincaid, The Hub’s Café Manager said: “The friendly faces in our

Cafe Hub come from all over world, so we especially love welcoming

visitors throughout the year who travelled across the globe to be in

Edinburgh. By translating our menu into Mandarin, it makes it easier

for our Chinese guests to order at our Cafe Hub and feel more at home.

“Guests from outside of Scotland are always keen to try our Hubmade

food and our Scottish favourites from the menu, whether it’s a dish of

our traditional haggis with neeps and tatties, or selecting a tipple from

our extensive whisky menu. We’re hoping this is the first translated

menu of many!”

The Hub is home to the Edinburgh International Festival.

8 NEWS The Edinburgh Reporter

Petitions lodged to have cobbles replaced

Kiltwalk raises £5 million

Neil Gordon has petitioned the council to ask for the setts to be covered with tarmac

by Phyllis Stephen

NEIL GORDON who lives on East

London Street has raised not one,

but two petitions with the council.

One asks the council to repave

the cobblestones on East London

Street which Mr Gordon points

out are a tripping hazard for

pedestrians and could cause

cyclists to slip.

He also points out that this

would create a longer stopping

distance for vehicles. The other

petition asks the council to repave

the central part of the road with

tarmac and use cobbles in parking

bays as they do on London Street.

We met Mr Gordon on the street

to talk to him about why he has

lodged the petitions and what he

hopes to achieve.

"The noise in the early mornings

from the buses which come

along here is keeping me awake.

I wondered why we could not

have a tarmac arrangement as

elsewhere on London Street so

that the road becomes quieter

for the residents, the school, the

mosque which are all on this


When I started looking beyond

Greens hit out

GREEN councillors have hit out at

the provisional budget settlement

for Edinburgh which leaves the

city facing a £39m budget hole for


The city council had already

been bracing itself for a £28m

budget gap next year, but with

a larger than expected drop

in government funding next

year that has now soared to an

estimated £39m.

Green finance spokesperson

Cllr Gavin Corbett said : ”I can't

recall a bleaker financial outlook

in my seven years of working

on budgets. Successive years of

government failure to grasp the

nettle of council funding reform

are now coming home to roost

and the losers are people who

depend on vital public services

like social care, schools and

community facilities. It's just

terrible news."

He added: "The budget settlement

is still in draft. It will have

to change an awful lot between

now and February to be credible.”

local residents it seemed there

were other reasons to repair the

road which is very run down in

places. In some places there is

about an inch of tarmac over

cobbles which is a very short

term repair. It lasts about two

years and then gets 'kicked up'

very quickly. The result is very

unattractive and harder to repair

in the long term. My solution to

the noise and the traffic would be

to tarmac the centre of the road

and keep cobbles in the parking

bays which would be a compromise


"There are those who enjoy

cobbles and we are still in a

conservation zone on this road."

There are no bus stops on the

road but there are about 60 buses

which use the road in the early

morning according to Mr Gordon.

They are distributing from the

nearby depot to the start of their


We asked Lothian what they

thought but they declined to

comment on this occasion.

Mr Gordon also pointed out

that Avis Car Rental which has

an office on the street gets cars

delivered here too meaning that

there is a lot of HGV traffic on the


He acknowledges that repairs

to setts are expensive and

hopes that the council could be

persuaded to treat the road a bit

more functionally by putting

tarmac in the centre which

would be more easily and quickly


Claire Miller, Green councillor

for the City Centre Ward,

said: “East London Street really

needs attention, the road surface

is in a poor state.

"I’ve been in touch with Lothian

Buses in the past about using

alternative routes to and from the

depot, but sadly there are still a

number of buses travelling along

East London Street. It would be

great to see the roads repaired

and maintained to a good

standard here.“

Both petitions are open until 14

January 2019 for you to show your

support. Any petition has to have

at least 200 supporters before it

will be considered by the council,

or if it is deemed a local issue it

might be considered with only 50


The Clooneys are coming

GEORGE and Amal Clooney are to

collect an award for their charity

work at a ceremony in Edinburgh

next year.

The actor and film-maker is to

return to Scotland's capital on

March 14 along with his wife,

to attend the People's Postcode

Lottery Charity Gala.They will be

honoured for their international

humanitarian work through the

Clooney Foundation for Justice.

They will follow the likes of Sir

David Attenborough, Dame Emma

Thompson and the Prince of

Wales, who have previously been

honoured by the charity.

In a statement, the Clooneys

said: "We are thrilled to be

attending the People's Postcode

Lottery Charity Gala in Edinburgh.

"It is a perfect setting to

highlight the urgent need to

protect millions of the world's

most vulnerable people from

human rights abuses."

Hundreds of people turned

out to welcome Clooney when

he visited Social Bite and the

headquarters of the People's

Postcode Lottery in Edinburgh in

November 2015.

The Ocean's Eleven star and his

human rights lawyer wife will

be interviewed by broadcaster

Natasha Kaplinsky during the


Players of People's Postcode

Lottery have already raised £1.3

million for his human rights

charity, Not On Our Watch, which

Clooney founded along with

fellow Hollywood stars including

Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

Clara Govier, managing director

of the People's Postcode Lottery,

said: "We are thrilled that George

and Amal Clooney will be joining

us in Edinburgh for the gala,

which promises to be one of the

highlights of the charity calendar.

"Our players support thousands

of charities and good causes

and the event provides us with

an important opportunity to

celebrate the vital work they do

in communities throughout Great

Britain and around the world."

Alex McLeish, Lucy Hunter and Sir Tom Hunter with a big cheque!

SIR TOM HUNTER was joined by

Scotland football team manager

Alex McLeish to announce that

those who took part in this year’s

Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalks

raised a record-breaking £5

million for Scottish charities.

With over 20,000 walkers taking

part across all four events, a huge

42% increase on 2017’s 14,000

walkers, this year was the biggest

Kiltwalk ever.

Walkers raised an incredible

£3.6 million for 1156 amazing

charities, with a further 40%,

£1.4 million, added by Sir Tom

Hunter and The Hunter Foundation.

Alongside Sir Tom and Alex

at the cheque handover was

four-year-old Lucy Hunter from

Uddingston, who was born

with heart problems but is now

flourishing thanks to support

from Glasgow Children’s Hospital


@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter BUSINESS NEWS 9

New partner

at Thorntons

Ken Thomson Partner of

Thorntons, Andrew Kirkhope and

Colin Graham, Chairman.

THORNTONS is expanding its

senior team with the appointment

of Andrew Kirkhope.

A specialist in residential

conveyancing and estate agency,

Mr Kirkhope has over 30 years

experience with 25 of those

spent at Shield & Kyd, which was

merged with Lindsays in 2012.

Andrew joined Thorntons just

before Christmas. He said: “I am

delighted to be joining Thorntons

who have a very well-established

name and a reputation of being a

forward-thinking organisation.”

Colin Graham, Chairman at

Thorntons, said: “We are very

happy to have Andrew join our

team in Edinburgh. He has a

solid understanding of the needs

of clients and will make an

excellent addition to our conveyancing

and estate agency offering

in Edinburgh.”

Born in Glasgow, Andrew is

a graduate of the University of

Glasgow. He lives in Edinburgh.

Heroes win new


Chris Gillan CEO of Heroes vodka is delighted with their new deal.

THE world’s first not-for-profit

vodka, Heroes Vodka has secured

a nationwide distribution deal

with leading drinks supplier,

Enotria and Coe.

The deal will see the company

expand into the on-trade market

in England and Wales in a move

set to significantly boost sales.

Heroes Vodka has already

secured distribution in Scotland

and is stocked in premises across

the country including the 5-star

Sheraton Grand and Heart of

Midlothian Football Club.

All profits from Heroes Vodka

go towards supporting Britain’s

military community. A minimum

20% of profits are donated to

charity partners – The Royal

Navy and Royal Marine Charity,

ABF The Soldiers Charity and

The RAF Benevolent Fund. All

other profits are used to provide

employment and training opportunities

for injured veterans and

military spouses.

Heroes Drinks Company founder

and military veteran Chris Gillan

said “Customers are choosing

Heroes Vodka because we offer

a premium British spirit at a fair

price that raises funds for a cause

close to many people’s hearts.

Securing this deal is a landmark

step for our company and will

help us to change the lives of

even more injured veterans”

The first stockist from the listing

is restaurant chain Gaucho.

Charity cycle team

A TEAM from the Edinburgh office of Gallagher, the insurance broker and risk management specialist

based on George Street, raised over £4,500 for charity, So Precious.

The team cycled 150 miles to raise funds, and a walking team also undertook a step challenge walking

905 miles in 14 days. This is the distance between all of the Gallagher offices in the region. So Precious

supports neonatal, maternity and paediatric services in the Forth Valley where the firm has its head office.

Legal firm expands

we have had a healthy level of

interest in the vacant space and

this has resulted in securing a

fantastic letting result returning

the building to 100% occupancy.

Exchange Plaza is undoubtedly

once of the most admired

buildings in Edinburgh, and

this has been backed up by the

strength of occupier interest in

the office accommodation.

The building’s full-height sevenstorey

atrium has also been

Burness Paull are leasing another

floor in this building doubling

their floor space.

ONE of Scotland's largest legal

firms has expanded its Edinburgh

office as it continues to grow.

Burness Paull, based on the

third floor of Exchange Plaza in

Edinburgh has leased the 16,676

sq ft second floor beneath its

current premises, taking its total

floor space in the building to

33,353 sq ft.

The deal means the Grade

A office building on Lothian

Road, which is also home to

Cairn Energy plc, Artemis Fund

Managers, Leeds Building

Society and Brewdog is now fully


Burness Paull international

instructions have grown by 30%

over the past 12 months, and they

have taken on 106 staff across the

firm in response to the rise.. The

firm now employs more than 530

people in Scotland, including 68


JLL and Knight Frank acted as

joint letting agents for the building’s

owner, The Lister Property

Partnership, who recently refurbished

the building installing new

air conditioning, metal suspended

ceilings and LED lighting.

Cameron Stott, Director at JLL,

said: “When Clydesdale Bank

vacated Exchange Plaza, there

was over a third of the building

vacant. However, due to the

quality of refurbishment delivered

by the landlord and the prestige

and prominence of the building,

THE first speaker for the ECC

Awards 2019 has been named as

Kevin Mathers, Country Sales

Director at Google UK.

Google's mission is

to organise the world’s information

and make it universally

accessible and useful. The

organisation understands that

economic mobility lies at the

foundation of every productive

society. In addition to offering

transformed with the provision of

new soft furniture and informal

meeting areas.

Neil Gordon, Partner at Eric

Young & Co, acted for Burness

Paull. He added: “My client’s

established home in Edinburgh

is Exchange Plaza, and when the

opportunity came to expand in

the building it was too good an

opportunity to miss. With the

works undertaken by the landlord

and the quality of the proposed

refurbishment they were

delighted to commit to the longer

term in the building.

Toby Withal from joint lettings

agents Knight Frank, said:

“Exchange Plaza is one of the

capital’s most prestigious office

buildings and commands a high

profile at the centre of central

Edinburgh where many corporate

and tech occupiers are based.”

Lothian Road offers plentiful

amenities and has been further

enhanced by new eateries and

bars including Beer Kitchen,

Byron Burger, Bread Meats Bread

and Pret a Manger.

Suites at Exchange Plaza also

come with shower facilities, cycle

racks and car parking spaces.

Commenting on the decision

Tamar Tammes, managing

partner at Burness Paull, said:

“We are committed to growing

the firm sustainably and attracting

the very best talent to serve

clients. With that comes the

need to create a modern, flexible

environment for our people, and

the expansion of our footprint

at Exchange Plaza meets these

requirements perfectly.”

Edinburgh Chamber Awards 2019

products such as Search, Maps

and YouTube, which help millions

of businesses and individuals

get discovered online, Google

is working to ensure that more

people have the skills they need

to succeed in a digital world.

Tickets to the ECC Awards

cost £150 + VAT per person, or

£1,200 + VAT for a table of ten. To

book, email the team awards@


Andrea is new sales director


named as new Director of Sales at

Waldorf Astoria EdinburghThe


Andrea originally joined the

team in 2015, based in London

as a Sales Manager focused on

building the MICE market for the

hotel, as well as working closely

with the Group’s conference and

events team to convert business

for the iconic five star property

in Edinburgh. Equipped with a

wealth of expertise, gained from

working within the MICE industry

over the past eight years, Andrea

will draw on her skills and

extensive knowledge of luxury

hospitality, as well as experience

working for renowned Venue

Finding and Event Management


10 POLITICS The Edinburgh Reporter

Kezia Dugdale MSP

Ash Denham MSP

Daniel Johnson MSP

Deidre Brock MP

Gordon Macdonald MSP

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Gordon Lindhurst MSP

Looking back at 2018

by Kezia Dugdale MSP

THIS month, thousands of homes

across Edinburgh will have

received a copy of my annual

report through letterboxes.

This report outlines just some

of the work my office and I have

undertaken over the past year

both in Parliament and across the


In Parliament, I’ve challenged

the Scottish Government on the

social care crisis affecting the

city, the negative impact of shortterm

lets on residents, demanded

improvements to temporary

accommodation as well as the

fast-tracking of benefits, now the

Scottish Parliament has greater

control over our welfare system,

to name just a few issues I took on

last year.

In the region over the past 12

months, I conducted 36 advice

surgeries across the city and

have plans to hold even more

again this year. You can find my

annual report in full on-line at my

website for more information.

I wish you a happy and healthy


Autism experience must

be better

by Daniel Johnson MSP

IT’S not often I read a report and

I have an emotional reaction, but

I would challenge anyone to read

the report on autistic children’s

experience of the school system

in Scotland, co-authored by

Children in Scotland, the National

Autistic Society Scotland and

Scottish Autism, and not feel


It’s why I brought forward a

members’ debate in parliament

on the issue. That report said that

13% of parents of autistic children

had had their child formally

excluded in the last two years;

28% said that their child had been

placed on a part-time timetable;

34% of parents said that their

child had been sent home without

formal exclusion - that is simply

not right and it’s unlawful.

These awful figures and the

number of teachers specialising

in learning support are linked.

In 2017 it sat at 2,835 a drop of

152 since 2016, and the lowest

number of these teachers since


Simply put, The Scottish

Government needs to do much,

much better.

Babies get the best start

by Gordon Macdonald MSP

ENSURING babies are provided

for when born, and prepared for

their first day at nursery and

primary school is a commitment

that I am delighted to see

the Scottish Government

delivering on.

The Scottish Government’s new

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and

Baby Payment, which supports

low income families, delivered

the first payments of this benefit

just before Christmas 2018. This

grant will help give children the

best possible start in life, and

builds on our efforts to make

Scotland the best place for a child

to grow up.

The Best Start Grant forms

part of a programme of Scottish

Government measures targeted

at children’s early years with

the aim of tackling inequality,

supporting parents, improving

health outcomes and raising

attainment. And, crucially, there

will be no cap placed on the

number of children that this grant

will support.

Around this time of year many

families on low incomes feel

stretched so I’m very pleased that

this extra money is getting into

people’s pockets so quickly.

The Pay More Get Less Budget

by Gordon Lindhurst MSP

AS we go to print, analysts and

MSPs alike are busy poring

over the latest budget from the

Scottish Government.

It makes for grim reading for

local authorities like Edinburgh

Council who are yet again

faced with a cut to funding.

That’s estimated at a further

£319 million across the country

according to the Parliament’s

independent research service.

Despite the SNP’s budget from

Westminster rising by £521

million for 2019/20.

What that means is even more

pressure on the public services

we depend on. From schools, to

waste collection, to the maintenance

of our roads.

Meanwhile, anyone in Scotland

earning over £26,990 will be

paying more in tax than our

counterparts down south.

And people like senior teachers,

nurses or police officers will be

paying thousands of pounds more

in tax than those doing the same

job in other parts of the UK.

It’s the pay more, get less budget.

Shambolic Brexit

by Ash Denham MSP

THE Brexit process has been

utterly shambolic and Scotland

didn't even vote for it.

The Scottish Government's voice

has been consistently ignored

throughout the negotiations and

substantial powers are being

stolen for no other reason than a

Westminster power grab. Whilst

the other parties have shown

nothing but serial incompetence

and pettiness, the SNP continue

to show unity and consistency.

As long as Scotland remains a

part of the UK, we're set to leave

the EU and will have to live

with the consequences. Locked

into a union of chaos in which

by Deidre Brock MP

BY January I’m usually

scunnered with dark nights and

desperate for the warmth and

optimism of Spring. This year,

however, 29 March 2019 seems a

bit too close for comfort, as this is

the date when the unwanted beast

of Brexit descends upon Scotland.

It’s been casting its shadow for

so long that it’s hard to believe

the UK Government still stands

so ill-prepared for what’s to come

- they cannot even agree a plan

amongst themselves let alone get

anyone else behind it.

Things aren’t helped by Labour,

the so-called official opposition

having an utterly incomprehensible

position themselves.

Shamefully, Labour have enabled

this shambles - they are acting

as the midwives of a disastrous

Brexit and should be held

equally culpable.

decisions are made for us, not by

us, governed not by the national

interest, but by Westminster, led

by a party severely fractured by

internal fighting.

Scotland has its own distinct

political needs, and independence

is the only way to secure them.

Independence will allow Scotland

to re-join the EU to continue

enjoying all of the benefits that

EU membership brings without

Tory rule. Despite all of the

promises made in 2014, staying

in the UK has led to nothing but

political chaos and economic

uncertainty. Scotland deserves

better, we must find the confidence

to believe that and move

forward towards independence.

Heading for Brexit in 2019

by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

IN January and February the

Scottish Parliament will conclude

its consideration of the age

of criminal responsibility in

Scotland. The Bill will lift the

age at which children are held

responsible for their actions from

8 to 12.

The UN originally specified the

minimum acceptable age as 12 in

2007 and we’re finally catching

up. With this change we will

equal the 4 most socially

conservative countries in Europe,

and I don’t think that’s good

enough. Both the UN and the

Council of Europe have intervened

on the debate, saying

Scotland should go further than

Since day one the Scottish

Government and SNP have been

making a powerful case to keep

Scotland in the EU, reflecting the

clear vote and the best interests

of this country, or to remain in the

single market and customs union

as an absolute minimum.

In no circumstances can I

support a deal that will tear

Scotland out of the single market,

remove the rights of our citizens,

destroy the economy, threaten our

public services and make us all


A re-run of the EU referendum

can be justified on the basis of the

questionable conduct that taints

the first result alone - the dark

money, the breaking of electoral

law and the untruths that were

told. Failing that, I support a

‘people’s vote’ on the deal, giving

other parts of the UK a chance to

change their minds now we see

what a bùrach it has become.

Government must go

further on age of criminal


12 and the UN is even set to lift

its minimum to 14 in February.

The Government’s Bill will be

out of date before its ink is even


If we are truly to make Scotland

the best place to grow up, we need

to do more than try to meet the

de minimis standard of international

expectation. Lifting the

age to 14 or 16 as the majority

of countries in Europe do, does

not mean we don’t address and

sanction harmful behaviour. It

just means that we don’t impose

a life long criminal record that

means we can stop moments in

time defining young lives until

the end of their days and harming

attempts at reform and


Local Politicians have their say

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter WHAT’S ON 11

What’s on in January

Theatre | Art | Music | Shows | Festivals


QH@40 will take place throughout

the year - a series of adventures

in music with curated performances

in four strands (jazz, folk,

pop/indie and experimental) in

partnership with guest curators.

The first of these to be

announced is Jazz, curated by

Tommy Smith and supported by

Creative Scotland. For the first

time in many years, Tommy

will be showcasing one of his

most acclaimed pieces Beasts

of Scotland on 18 April with his

Sextet, narration by Tam Dean

Burn and support from Square


On 13 June he reunites with

pianist Brian Kellock and Gaelic

singer Kathleen MacInnes,

with support from the Fergus

McCreadie Trio. Details of other

events in the jazz and other

strands will be announced in early


Evan Henderson, Chief

Executive of The Queen’s Hall

said : “We’re really pleased that

Creative Scotland understands

what we are trying to achieve by

introducing these new strands

to our programme, as we embark

on the journey that will take The

Queen’s Hall into the next stage of

its life. We’re committed to developing

ambitious events which

push the boundaries of music

genres, partnering with musicians

and artists who are the best in

their field who wouldn’t be able to

take artistic risks without Creative

Scotland’s support.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at

Creative Scotland, commented:

“Next year The Queen’s Hall will be

in a great position to look back on

everything it has achieved across

the 40 years but also to look

ahead to a dynamic new position

at the heart of Edinburgh’s live

music scene. Alongside the major

refurbishment of the building,

the anniversary programme

has the potential to open up

this much loved venue to new

audiences. Creative Scotland is

delighted to support an artistic

vision that will breathe life into

and broaden horizons of the

capital’s music calendar.”

Southside of the Tracks:

40 years of traditional music at

The Queen’s Hall, Sat 12 Jan

Curated by Scotland’s foremost

fiddle player, John McCusker

and featuring a stellar line-up

of singer-songwriters, including

Roddy Woomble (Idlewild),

Kathleen MacInnes, Heidi

Talbot, Phil Cunningham, Rachel

Sermanni, Adam Holmes, Daoiri

Farrell and more. Supported by

Ettrick Trust.

Christian Zacharias

Thu 24 Jan Acclaimed pianist

performs in support of the East

Neuk Festival Endowment Fund.

The Queen’s Hall at 40

IN 2019 it will be 40 years since

the Queen's Hall became one

of Edinburgh's favourite music


Since then many musicians

and other acts have graced the

stage there and entertained


Dr Nigel Griffiths Chair of the

Board explained at a media

launch in early November that

the hall has now emerged from

the scaffolding which shrouded

almost £1 million of works to the

exterior. Now they will turn their

attention to inside where a new

sound system will be installed.

The full programme is now on

the Queen's Hall website and we

have included the listing below.

Events begin on 12 January

when John McCusker introduces

a house bank including

names like James Mackintosh,

Ian Carr, Ewen Vernal, Michael

McGoldrick and Louis Abbott

(Admiral Fallow) with special

guests, so far, Roddy Woomble

(Idlewild), Kathleen MacInnes,

Phil Cunningham, Adam

Holmes, Daoiri Farrell, Heidi

4 Jan 7.30pm

Making a Murderer Join Laura

Nirider and Steven Drizin at this

In Conversation event as they

discuss confessions, interrogation

tactics and the wrongful

conviction of Brendan Dassey.

13 Jan 1.00pm

Nation - Norway with Lesley

Riddoch. Presented by The

Edinburgh Yes Hub. Riddoch

crowdfunded cash to travel to

three Nordic countries in 2018.

She made films about Scotland’s

closest neighbours and Norway

is the third. Q&A with Lesley


17 Jan 7.30pm

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Mozart Horn Concerto No 4 - The

genius that is Mozart.

18 Jan 7.00pm

Neil and Liam Finn. Neil is

former frontman of Crowded

Talbot and Rachel Sermanni.

More guests are to be announced.

The Queen’s Hall is a registered

charity(SC012294) with

limited funding from The City of

Edinburgh Council, and relies on

donations from private individuals,

trusts, foundations and

corporate sponsors to boost ticket

and bar income. This allows them

to bring world-class musicians

to the hall and carry out a yearround

programme of community

and engagement work.

As part of this work is

Homecoming 2: The Return of

Mackay’s Memoirs on 4 March.

In 1999, Martyn Bennett was

commissioned to write a special

piece of music commemorating

the centenary of Broughton

High School to be performed by

students at The City of Edinburgh

Music School (CEMS). The piece

was performed at the opening

of The Scottish Parliament and

a recording of it was completed

the day Martyn died. Four of

the original musicians Maeve

Gilchrist (clarsach), Ben Duncan

(pipes), Adam Clifford (percussion)

and Dave Lloyd (beats and

loops) return to perform the

piece in this very special concert

with CEMS Chamber Orchestra.

For jazz fans there will be

the BBC Big Band on 30 March

with Claire Martin OBE. The

programme will include

standards made famous the

female jazz legends like Ella

Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday.

On 6 July 2019 there will be

a commemorative concert

when multi-award-winning

Scottish pianist Steven

Osborne will perform with one

of the world’s finest cellists

Alban Gerhardt, presenting a

programme of Schumann,

Brahms, De falla, Debussy and


Blue Rose Code announced

the return of his fabulously

successful Fringe show This is

Caledonian Soul on 19 August

2019 when he will play cult,

iconic and classic Scots song

with his own emphasis and

style. There will be accompaniment

from a 14 piece band and

some very special guests.

House and a recent addition to

Fleetwood Mac. Here he joins his

son - they have just released an

album Lightsleeper.

21 Jan 7.45pm

Arod Quartet Young French

string quartet nominated by the

European Concert Halls Organisation

as Rising Stars for 2018-19.

24 Jan 7.30pm

Christian Zacharias will play

Schubert, Bach and Mozart,

composers he has performed all

his life.

25 Jan 8.00pm

Ramin Karimboo - From Now

On. The star of the West End and

Broadway will bring songs from

musical theatre to the hall.

26 Jan 7.00pm

ICCA UK Semi-Final Varsity

Vocals International Championship

of A Cappella showcasing

university singing.

31 Jan 7.30

The Queen’s Hall Scottish

Chamber Orchestra Berlioz Les

Nuits d’Eté sung by Carolyn


At the King’s Theatre

23-26 January 2019

The life-affirming musical

drama returns to Scottish and

Irish stages in 2019. Based on the

true story of seven teenagers from

Drumchapel, whose lives changed

forever in 2005 when their school

friend and her asylum-seeking

family were forcibly taken from

their home to be deported. The

self-titled ‘Glasgow Girls’ took

a stand to fight for her rights,

and ultimately the rights of all

children of asylum seekers.

They inspired a whole

community to unite behind

its residents, and later in 2010,

inspired theatre maker Cora

Bissett to turn their incredible

story into a musical. The awardwinning

show has played across

the UK to sold out audiences, who

relate to the Glasgow Girls mantra

of ‘heartily welcoming all cultures

to their country’.

Get your




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The Edinburgh Reporter

Theatre | Art | Music | Shows | Festivals

At the cinema

in January

by Adam Zawadzki

This month there will be a

selection of awards season

nominees at the cinema.

Olivia Colman (Broadchurch)

received the Volpi Cup for Best

Actress at the 75th Venice International

Film Festival in August

for her performance as Anne,

Queen of Great Britain in ‘The

Favourite’, directed by Yorgos

Lanthimos, which also won the

Grand Jury Prize.

Colman and Lanthimos, along

with Rachel Weisz (The Constant

Gardener) and Emma Stone

(La La Land) have also all been

nominated for Golden Globes

while the film is in contention for

Best Motion Picture – Musical or

Comedy. Depicting the backstage

politics of 18th century monarchy

and released on New Year’s Day,

it has already won 10 British

Independent Film Awards and

received 14 Critics Choice Awards

nominations this month.

Also nominated at the Golden

Globes in January is John C.

Reilly (Chicago) for ‘Stan & Ollie’

as Oliver Hardy, released on 11

January; Timothée Chalamet

(Call Me By Your Name) for

‘Beautiful Boy’ as Nicholas “Nic”

Sheff, opening on 18 January; and

Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) for

‘Destroyer’ as Erin Bell, released

on 25 January.

Despite being largely absent

from awards recognition so far

but by no means less artistically

promising is ‘The Front Runner’,

with Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)

as Gary Hart, opening on

11 January along with ‘Welcome

to Marwen’, with Steve Carell

(Foxcatcher) as Mark Hogancamp,

on the same day; ‘Colette’, with

Keira Knightley (Atonement) as

the eponymous character, to open

on 25 January; and ‘Mary Queen

of Scots’, with Saorse Ronan

(Brooklyn) in the title role and

Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) as Queen

Elizabeth I, to be released on 18

January. Robbie has, however,

been nominated for her supporting

role at the Screen Actors Guild


Watch this space for film reviews

Social Media





by Phyllis Stephen

EDINBURGH Printmakers will

soon have a new building in

Spring 2019. The former North

British Rubber Company HQ

has been transformed into a

state of the art centre for the

arts charity.

It was originally due to open

this year, but believe us - when

you see it, it will be worth

waiting for.

Now there are three sets of

lovely new gates installed

on Dundee Street to shield

the glass doors and make

the building secure. The 2.5

metre high bi-folding gates

were designed by artist Rachel

Duckhouse who worked with

Sculpture and Design Ltd

At Edinburgh Folk Club

9 Jan 2019 8.00pm Ragged

Glory This well-known, local

band simply enjoys entertaining.

Formed some years back

when they all met as members

of Nitten Folk Club and got

together to perform for a charity

concert only to discover that the

band worked for them and their

audience. From a-cappella to

traditional, contemporary and

self-penned material, their shows

all over Scotland have thrilled

with their harmonies, range of

songs and good humour. Over the

past year they toured as part of

the WW1 commemorative show

Far, Far From Ypres culminating

in a concert at the Usher Hall,

Edinburgh on Armistice Sunday

2018. This was named the Event

of the Year at the Trad Awards in

Perth in December. Audiences at

a Ragged Glory gig always leave

with happy memories, a smile on

their face, a song in their head

and, of course, a new awful joke

for their repertoire!

16 Jan Singers' Nights are

relaxed, informal and easy-going

evenings of music-making and

Artist Rachel Duckhouse designed the gates drawing on the building’s history

At the factory gates

based in Glasgow who made and

installed them.

The inspiration for the design

came from the history of the

building. Rachel explained :

"The brief was all about looking

at the heritage of this amazing

building which used to be part of

the massive North British Rubber

Company site. So there was a

whole bunch of factory workers

here making things out of rubber.

I went to the archive and there's

a whole load of amazing bits and

pieces in the archive including

blueprints of the way all the

machinery was laid out on the

factory floor, illustrations and

product catalogues - a whole

bunch of stuff!

"The most amazing thing that I

realised quite early on was there

listening, where musicians

of any age and level of ability

are welcome. You will hear all

standards at a Singers' Night! All

reasonable interpretations of the

term "folk music" are enjoyed.

Most of the regular attenders are

straight-down-the-line folkies

(traditional and otherwise - we

count blues as "folk" and have no

prejudices about written songs!)

but we welcome country, acoustic

jazz, durable pop/rock songs and

anything that is vaguely rootsbased

or is likely to enter the

tradition. Performers get in real

cheap and will be given a voucher

for a drink.

23 Jan Burns Supper Edinburgh

FC's Burns’ Supper has been

a popular feature of the club's

annual programme since they

began in 1973. Then, in the

basement of 23 George Square,

they managed to bang out haggis,

neeps and tatties for about 60

or so folk accompanied by Tam

O'Shanter (with thunder effects),

an immortal Immortal Memory

by the late Hamish Henderson

which ran to nearly 90 minutes

(and no notes!), Holy Willie's

were these lovely illustrations

of the factory workers working

next to these big machines

called calenders. The calender

is a machine that has these

beautiful big rollers that

compress the raw rubber and

send it through, turning it into

sheets. As soon as I saw that I

thought ah that is like a print

workshop! Printmakers use

presses which are these rollers

which you send your paper

through the blanket to create

your print whether it's relief

printing or etching. So when I

made that connection between

the rollers, the production of

the old rubber factory and the

rollers and presses of the printmakers

I realised that was my

motif for my design.”

Prayer, the late Ian Cruickshank

'piping' in the haggis on

his moothie ... and so on. Great

entertainment. This year as usual

there'll be haggis, neeps and

tatties and the Immortal Memory

given by their resident compere

Dave Francis. This promises to

be a most entertaining evening.

23 Jan 2019 Brooks Williams

At the crossroads of blues and

American roots music you’ll find

Brooks Williams. "Setting new

standards and a fresh direction for

the blues", says Blues In Britain,

"and creating a beautiful fusion

(Keys And Chords). Just when you

think he cant sing a blues-ier note,

he sings it. Just when you think

he can't strum a deeper groove,

he strums it." From Statesboro,

Georgia, USA Brooks worked his

apprenticeship in the small bars

and coffeehouses of New York and

Boston, following in the footsteps

of famous names before him

many of whom he gigged with

as his career unfolded. This gig

marks Brooks EFC debut and it

sounds by all reports as if it’ll be a


All tickets on efc1973.com

Contemporary Botanical

Art Exhibition

Sunflowers by Margaret Walty

shows the detail in a botanical


by members of the Scottish

Society of Botanical Artists with

sculptures by Ellen McCann 19

January – 27 February 2019 at

the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club,

Waterston House, Aberlady EH32

0PY Open daily, 10am to 4pm.

The SOC presents an exhibition

of contemporary botanical art,

bringing together paintings by

members of the Scottish Society

of Botanical Artists (SSBA),

alongside sculptures by Ellen


Botanical painting has a long

and important history. It was used

to record the nature of plants for

scientific and medicinal purposes

and continues to support scientific

research as

botanical illustration.

While also steeped in the

accurate observation of nature,

Botanical Art differs from scientific

botanical illustration by

placing more emphasis on the

aesthetic value of the plant. The

work in this exhibition, while

always botanically correct, falls

in this second category where

detailed observation generates in

the artist, and the viewer, a reflection

on the beauty of nature.

The Scottish Society of

Botanical Artists, founded in 2014,

provides a forum for botanical

artists from all over Scotland to

meet, share expertise, exhibit

work and generally promote

interest in botanical art. A crosssection

of its membership is

represented in the exhibition.

Ellen McCann’s sculptures

complement the exhibition by

offering a very personal response

to the subject. Ellen takes her

inspiration from the growth

patterns of plants to create sculptures

that distill the essence of

the natural form using ceramics

and metal. She lives and works in


Getting there: The SOC is

situated at Waterston House, in

Aberlady, East Lothian, just off the

A198. From Edinburgh, take the

first left after the Aberlady sign.

The East Coast Buses 124, X24 and

X5 stop almost at the door.

Waterston House is fully

accessible and houses a resource

centre for bird-watching

including a shop, the largest

ornithological reference library

in Scotland and an art gallery

dedicated to wildlife art. The

centre is open to all (members

and non-members) free of charge.

Don’t miss our monthly What’s on Section

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter



Theatre | Art | Music | Shows | Festivals

Museum of the Moon at Lakes Alive,UK | Photo Luke Jerram

BURNS&BEYOND - something new this January

BURNS&BEYOND runs from

22 - 27 January offering

something for everybody

including dancing, music,

theatre, comedy, a family

activity along Rose Street and

a not-so-traditional Burns

Supper, in an exciting and

vibrant programme of events

across the New and Old Towns.

The flagship Burns&Beyond

Culture Trail will take place

on 26 January, reminiscent

of the hugely successful New

Year’s Day event Scot:Lands,

where audiences will embark

on a cultural journey, discovering

hidden performances on

a trail leading them to eight

landmark buildings and secret

spaces spread across the city

centre. Venues such as St

Giles’ Cathedral, Freemason’s

Hall, and Assembly Roxy will

be transformed, providing

surprises throughout the night,

as audiences will only find

out who is performing in each

venue when they get there.

At Lucky Middlemiss’s Tavern

audiences will discover Lau

fiddler and composer Aidan

O’Rourke and a stellar cast

of artists and musicians

(including piper Brighde

Chaimbeul and singer Alasdair

Roberts) recreating the atmosphere

and the unstructured

conviviality of an Edinburgh

Old Town tavern at the time

of Scotland’s Enlightenment,

where the claret and ale flowed

along with progressive discussion

and apposite music.

This will be both an uproarious

and thought-provoking

assembly of song, poetry,

dance and rollicking tunes.

The Lost Map’s Howlin’ Fling!

curated by Pictish Trail, will

present a recreation of Eigg’s

legendary Ceilidh Hall and a feast

of Hebridean music and Highland

hospitality. Edinburgh art collective

Neu! Reekie! presents an

ebullient evening of live music

and poetry, their annual twist

on Burns is always one of their

most eagerly anticipated happenings.

Expect the unexpected: the

sinister, sanguine and surreal.

Alongside some of the top names

in the Scottish music and poetry

scenes, there will be a dark,

erotic, explosive performance

of Tam o’ Shanter performed

by Kevin Williamson with the

musicians and dancers of the

Kixx Collective.

The centrepiece of

Burns&Beyond is Museum of the

Moon which measures seven

metres in diameter and features

incredibly detailed NASA imagery

of the lunar surface. Museum

of the Moon will be free to visit

during daylight hours from

Tuesday 22 January to Saturday

26 January, but really comes into

its own during the dark evening

hours when the full majesty

of the artwork can be enjoyed

accompanied by a specially

commissioned musical score.

Each evening, in collaboration

with St. Giles’ Cathedral,

Burns&Beyond will host a

unique special event around

Museum of the Moon including

a ‘Moon Lecture’ by Dr William

Taylor from the Royal Observatory

Edinburgh on Tuesday 22

January, an intimate acoustic

show and Burns Songs by

critically acclaimed Folk-Noir

balladeer Rachel Sermanni on

Wednesday 23 January and the

multi-award winning songwriter

and legendary Idlewild

frontman Roddy Woomble on

Friday 25 January. A special

moonlight performance by

St Giles’ Cathedral Choir on

Thursday 24 January promises

to provide a haunting and unique

performance, with a ‘Moon

by Candlelight’ evening and a

specially commissioned soundscape

for piano and electronics

composed by Napier University’s

Dr John Hails entitled Claire de

Lune, completing the weeklong

programme. Tickets for all

special events and performances

include Museum of the Moon


A special viewing of Museum

of the Moon at St Giles’ Cathedral

will be accompanied by

Disarming Reverberations, a live

performance from the awardwinning

composer Martin Green

(Lau), bringing together the heartbreaking

sounds of the Dublin

cappella quartet Landless with

the rich sound of Alba Brass and

electronic manipulation to create

a sonic world that is both entirely

contemporary and immediately

at home in the historic building.

The List Hot 100 presents

The Red Rose Club, a night

of electronic music featuring

some of Scotland’s finest female

DJ’s featuring Nightwave with

special guests, Sofay and Ribeka.

Edinburgh’s legendary comedy

promoters Gilded Balloon

presents a line-up of top Scottish

comedy including Glasgow’s Gary

Meikle, alongside Jay Lafferty,

Rosco McClelland, Billy Kirkland

and Susan Riddle and other

surprises on the night.

Audiences will also enjoy a

crash course Speed Whisky

Tasting, participate in Scotland

vs The World, a silent disco DJ

battle in a secret outdoor space

with Silent Adventures. The

Culture Trail has been co-curated

with Unique Events founder

and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

originator Pete Irvine, who has

been at the heart of Scottish

culture and events for over 40

years. The Culture Trail runs

from 6.30pm until 10.45pm on

26 January. Tickets cost £25.00

(incl. booking fee) and give

holders the opportunity to visit

all eight venues. Ticket buyers

will be sent their secret starting

location closer to the event.

Red, Red Rose Street returns as

an integral part of Burns&Beyond

with a Rabbie Ramble running

the length of Rose Street and a

programme of musical performances

in a number of the pubs

and restaurants. In collaboration

with Gilded Balloon, a

week of entertainment and

performance comes to the Rose

Theatre including the return

of Captivate with their sell-out

musical performance of Rabbie

and, new for 2019, The Ghosting of

Rabbie Burns featuring the great

songs and poems of our National

Bard. Gilded Balloon also

present the Burns Night Comedy

Club on 25 January.

Scotland’s street orchestra

Nevis Ensemble’s vision is music

for everyone, everywhere, and

on 25th and 26th January the

collective will be popping up in

locations and venues throughout

Edinburgh city centre including

scheduled stops at schools and

community centres.

On 26 January a Free Family

Ceilidh, featuring renowned

Edinburgh performers the Kilter

Ceilidh Band, brings together

all the traditional dances for a

family audience and the Major

Minor Music Club offers parents

and children the opportunity to

enjoy great music together. This

performance of the Major Minor

Music Club will feature Pictish

Trail in a special family-friendly



Tickets for Museum of the

Moon @ St Giles’ Cathedral:

Tuesday 22 January – Sunday

27 January Daylight Hours –

free entry

Tuesday 22 January 6.00pm

– 7.00pm Moon Lecture £10.00

(incl booking fee)

Wednesday 23 January

6.00pm – 7.00pm – Rachel

Sermanni £15.00 (incl booking


Thursday 24 January 6.00pm

– 7.00pm - St Giles’ Cathedral

Choir £10.00 (incl booking fee)

Friday 25 January 6.00pm

– 7.00pm – Roddy Woomble

£20.00 (incl booking fee)

Tuesday 22 January – Sunday

27 January timed entry from

7.15pm – 9.30pm (event closes

10.00pm) £6.50 (incl booking


Ticket Prices for


Burns Supper £45 (incl

Booking Fee)

Family Ceilidh FREE

Major Minor Music Club Adult

£10 (incl Booking Fee) Child £5

(incl Booking Fee)

Burns&Beyond Culture Trail

£25 (incl Booking Fee)

Don’t miss our monthly What’s on Section

14 WHAT’S ON The Edinburgh Reporter

Theatre | Art | Music | Shows | Festivals

The Giant Lanterns of China

continue to entertain visitors at

the Zoo


until 17 Feb 2019

Tickets for The Giant Lanterns

of China are priced from £9.50

for children and £18 for adults

and advanced online booking

discounts are available. Tickets

are available at edinburghzoo.org.


At Craigmillar Castle

Visit Edinburgh’s other castle

three miles from the city centre

and dating back to the late 14th

century, In medieval times it was

a mile outside the old city walls,

close enough to the country’s

political heart while serving as an

ideal rural retreat. Mary Queen

of Scots fled there after Rizzio

was murdered, and there that the

plot was devised to murder her

husband Lord Darnley. Perhaps

it is not so well known that you

can have your wedding here. One

of the best-preserved medieval

castles in Scotland it has been

used for a number of film and TV

productions. In Outlaw King it

features as The Bruce’s castle and

village. It's open all year round

except 25-26 December and 1-2


At St Andrew’s & St

George’s West Church

George St

26 Jan 7.30pm

The Georgian Concert Society

London Haydn Quartet -

Catherine Manson, Michael

Gurevich, violins; John Crockatt,

viola and Jonathan Manson, cello

Viennese Programme Tickets £20

(£18) Students £5.00 - Queen’s Hall

Box Office - 0131 668 2019

4 Feb 6.30pm Architectural

Heritage Society of Scotland

Winter Lecture Series. Dermot

Patterson Rules of Engagement :

New Relevance/New Life

At St Cuthbert’s Parish


King’s Stables Road 27 Jan


Beethoven: Symphony No 1 in C


Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No

1 soloist: Charles Mutter

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an

Exhibition Russian music is

always very popular and this

programme promises to be no

exception! Charles Mutter, leader

of the BBC Concert Orchestra,

makes a welcome return in

Shostakovich's brooding violin

concerto, and "Pictures at an

Exhibition" is undoubtedly

Mussorgky's most celebrated


Ian McKellen On Stage | Photo Oliver Rosser Feast Creative

Sir Ian McKellen comes back to

Edinburgh International Festival

SIR IAN MCKELLEN will return

to the International Festival

with a new production that

celebrates his 80th birthday.

Ian McKellen On Stage will

play at Assembly Hall from

22-25 August 2019, recalling

seminal moments from his

life and career. Sir Ian will

share anecdotes and perform

extracts from his best-loved

roles, from Tolkien’s Gandalf

to the many Shakespearean

characters he made his own.

This will be the 50th

anniversary of his landmark

appearance at the EIF when he

played Marlowe’s Edward II in

repertoire and Richard II at the

Assembly Hall. His 1969 performances

dominated the festival

At the Usher Hall

12 Feb 2019 Peter Andre #Celebrating

25 years Tickets 0131 228 1155

and Ticketmaster.

27 April 2019 The Goonies One

of the most celebrated family

films ever, The Goonies, will be

screened for the very first time

in Europe across a trio of UK

dates, with its classic score being

performed live to picture by a full

orchestra. Tickets from Ticketmaster.

At the Corn Exchange

15 - 17 Feb 2019 Capital Sci Fi Con

You could be a volunteer at the

event which mixes pop culture,

movies and comics. The event

has raised £187,000 for CHAS. Volunteer

now for the event which

will be held at The Edinburgh

Corn Exchange


that year and established Sir Ian

as one of the UK’s leading actors.

Ian McKellen said: ‘I’m celebrating

my 80th birthday by touring

a new solo show to theatres I

know well and a few that I don’t.

The evening starts with Gandalf

and will probably end with an

invitation to act with me on

stage. In-between there will be

anecdotes and acting. I open at

my local arts centre in January

and end up by August in Orkney.

“Live theatre has always been

thrilling to me, as an actor and

in the audience. Growing up in

Lancashire, I was grateful to those

companies who toured beyond

London and I’ve always enjoyed

repaying that debt by touring up

and down the country myself,

Botanics Bootcamp

Get into shape this New Year at

the Botanics Bootcamp breakfast

event with Sodexo.

This will be a high intensity

eight-week course right in the

heart of the Royal Botanic Garden


Get ready every Saturday during

January and February for the

60 minute action packed fitness


Jamie McDonough is the

personal trainer who will lead the

course which has been designed

to use up as many calories as

possible after the festive season.

Tailored to suit all abilities and

fitness levels, the full body

workouts will include a number of

exercises, such as kettlebells, core

training, battle rope challenges

and more.

You will be welcomed with a

freshly-made drink, giving you a

with the National Theatre,

Royal Shakespeare Company,

Prospect Theatre, the Actors’

Company, as well as with

commercial productions. Sean

Mathias, the director and I have

worked together for stage and

screen, many happy times.

“At the Edinburgh International

Festival in 1969 I

played Edward II and Richard

II together at the Assembly

Hall. My return is a chance to

remember the old days and

reprise Shakespeare and others.

Profits will benefit equipment

and refurbishment for

Leith Academy Drama Studio,

and will go towards a bursary

to an Edinburgh young person

going to study performance.”

burst of energy before the class

and afterwards fitness enthusiasts

will be invited to relax and

recover with a healthy breakfast

in the Gateway Restaurant, while

enjoying views of the Garden.

If you work best in a group with

others spurring you on or would

prefer to partner up with a friend

for added motivation, then this

could be the ideal Christmas gift

to get 2019 started on the right

track. The classes will take place

between 8.45-9.45am and tickets

for the Botanics Bootcamp are

available to purchase for just £15

per person, per session or £25

for two people, per session from


Fraser Sharp, General Manager

for Sodexo at the Royal Botanic

Garden Edinburgh, said; “When

the New Year rolls around people

often make resolutions to get fit

and start exercising, but don’t

know where to start. The Botanics

Bootcamp offers the perfect

opportunity to not only improve

your fitness and lose weight, but

to do so in the beautiful surrounds

of the Botanics.

“Our chefs have been busy

devising the ultimate postworkout

breakfast full of

nutrients, which will be served

in the Gateway to allow participants

the chance to relax and get

to know one another. With each

exercise tailored to the individual,

and led by a friendly and experienced

personal trainer, let 2019 be

the year you stick to your fitness


At The City Art Centre

19 Jan 2.00pm

Join Neil McDade to discuss the

success of Spectacular Scotland,

one of Scotland's biggest photography

platforms with a large

social media following. He will

discuss his favourite images

and which photographers have

inspired him.

Until 10 Feb 2019

Edwin G Lucas : An Individual Eye

One of the most unique Scottish

painters of the 20th century. Born

in Edinburgh he was influenced

by Surrealism and developed an

imaginative style that set him

apart from his contemporaries.

A fashion show on

9 and 10 Feb

will be staged by the Fashion

and Textile Design students at

Edinburgh College. The work of

Edwin G Lucas has offered perfect

inspiration for them to show off

their own creativity. They will

create garments and accessories

inspired by the exhibition. This is

free and will be a drop-in event at

2.00pm each day.

Until 17 Mar 2019

Robert Blomfield : Edinburgh

Street Photography Blomfield

practised street photography

across the UK but began here

in Edinburgh where he was a

medical student. He had a healthy

disrespect for authority which

allowed him to get close to many


Until 12 May 2019

In Focus : Scottish Photography.

This shows off some of the City

Art Centre's photographic collections

from the 19th century to

present day. Work by Hill and Adamson

the 19th century pioneers

is included.

Until 17 Mar 2019

Another Country examines

present day immigration to

Scotland bringing together work

from eleven leading artists from

different ethnic and cultural

backgrounds. The aim is to

encourage discussion.

At the Writers Museum until

12 May 2019

Storyworlds : Paper Sculptures by

Edinburgh Young Artists celebrates

Scotland's Year of Young

People in 2018. The sculptures

inspired by Scottish literature

were created by pupils at secondary

schools in the city.

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter



Theatre | Art | Music | Shows | Festivals

Chitra Ramaswamy – Emma

Pollock – Daniel Warren –

Custom House, Leith

Guardian columnist and author,

Chitra writes a comment piece

about her childhood in London,

holidaying in Spain, moving to

Edinburgh as an adult, discussing

her identity as a second-generation

immigrant in the UK and in


Daniel Warren will work with

archive and live action footage

to tell Chitra’s story; the film will

have an accompanying track

composed and performed by

Emma Pollock.

Kapka Kassabova – Bright Side

Studios – Pippa Murphy - The

Scottish Monument, Calton Hill

Bulgarian born, Highland based

travel writer Kapka writes about

the origins of Europa, touching

on deep time, mythology and

legend. She explores how Europe

is more permanent and enduring

than detailed political ideas that

dominate our everyday world.

Founded by Susanna Murphy

and Cristina Spiteri, Bright Side

Studios is creating images from

Kapka’s writing which come

into focus before dissolving into

nothing. Pippa Murphy brings

together a soundtrack which

fuses her music with found

audio inspired by ancient Greek,

Mesopotamian and Gaelic female


Louise Welsh – Emlyn Firth –

Tech Cube, Summerhall

Glasgow-based author of

short stories and psychological

thrillers, Louise has developed

a poetic statement about our

shared origins and culture,

accompanied by a series of words

translated between Scots and

European mainland languages

which demonstrate that though

our dialects are different we can

still be understood.

Emlyn Firth will use a

typographic approach to

illustrate Louise’s work, playing

with themes of language and


William Dalrymple – RJ Mc-

Connell – Double Take Projections

– Tron Kirk

One of the world’s leading

historical writers, William

considers the Scots’ historical

relationship with mainland

Europe, highlighting significant

archeological discoveries both

at home and further afield to

demonstrate the deep and long

bonds that connect us.

Composer RJ McConnell is

creating a jigsaw of musical

voices reflecting the different

places and eras Dalrymple covers

in his writing, while Double Take

Projections is bringing William’s

story to life through animation

Message from the Skies

Stef Smith – MJ McCarthy

– Eleanor Meredith – Bongo

Club, Cowgate

Stef is one of Scotland’s most

exciting young playwrighting

talents, here she writes a poetic

letter that charts the decline of

a relationship, an emotion-laden

narrative where celebration and

excess collide.

MJ McCarthy’s sweeping

ambient score and Eleanor

Meredith’s saturated watercolours

come together to bring Stef’s

letter to life.

Message from the Skies is free to attend, and each piece can be

enjoyed individually. It runs from dusk till 10pm nightly from

1 January until 25 January 2019 and is developed in partnership with

Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh UNESCO City of

Literature and supported by Creative Scotland through the Scottish

Government’s Festivals EXPO Fund.

Message from the Skies will light up the city in January.





Returning after its debut last

year Message from the Skies

will light up the city centre in

January when things go a bit

flat after Hogmanay. The idea

is that ten Scottish or Scotland

based writers, artists, designers

or musicians will write a love

letter to Europe.

The words will then be

projected onto buildings in the

centre of the city which was

the first UNESCO City of Literature.

There is a definite political

message with this as it may be

the year that the UK leaves the


Message from the Skies is a

free event presented as part of

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 19 which

leads with a passionate celebration

of Scotland’s shared cultural,

historic and social connections

with Europe.

This year there will be six

writers across six sites –

Leith Library, Bongo Club in

the Cowgate, The National

Monument of Scotland on Calton

Hill, Tech Cube at Summerhall,

Leith Custom House

on the Shore and Tron Kirk

in Hunter Square. Working

with Suzy Glass, each writer

is collaborating with visual

artists, projection artists and

composers – a total of 16

creatives - to bring their letters

to life and writ them large on

the walls of Edinburgh.

Each writer has written a

letter marking Scotland’s

shared historic, social and

cultural connections with this

family of nations in a creative

response to the context of our


William Letford – James

Houston – Leith Library

Scottish poet Billy writes a

lyrical letter full of nostalgia and

humour to a past love with whom

he explored Italy as a younger


Billy's piece will be brought

to life by James Houston, who

is developing a typographical

approach that responds to the

rhythm and pace of Billy's writing.

Don’t miss our monthly What’s on Section

16 PROPERTY The Edinburgh Reporter

Holyrood increase LBTT

rate for second home

Buyer demand strong in

East central Scotland

The draft budget introduced by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

aims to increase tax on a second home.

DEREK MACKAY, Scottish Finance

Secretary, announced his draft

Budget in December in which he

proposed amendments to Land

and Building Transaction Tax

(LBTT), including a 1% increase to

the Additional Dwelling Supplement.

The Additional Dwelling Supplement

was introduced in 2016

and applies to anyone purchasing

a second home. Mackay has

proposed raising the Additional

Dwelling Supplement from 3% to

4%, which would be payable in

addition to the Land and Building

Transaction Tax (LBTT) rate for

the property purchased.

Mackay implied this change

is to help first time buyers and

to assist others move up the

property ladder, by deterring

those purchasing properties to

rent out, either as long term or

holiday lets.

Nicky Lloyd, Head of ESPC

Lettings, said: “While landlords

in Edinburgh are unlikely to

be happy about the rise in the

Additional Dwelling Supplement,

at the moment most landlords

simply budget for the relevant

LBTT amount and 3% surcharge,

and I expect this to continue if

this Budget proposal is approved.

I doubt that this change will deter

landlords in Edinburgh, so it is

unlikely to free up more properties

for first time buyers.”

First time buyers are facing

challenges to purchase their

first property, particularly in

Edinburgh, where there is great

demand for one and two bedroom

properties in traditionally popular

first time buyer areas such as

Leith and Dalry. This has resulted

in rising average selling prices

and flats frequently sold for over

their Home Report valuation,

making it difficult for first time

buyers to get on the property


Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said:

“In east central Scotland and

other parts of the country, it

can be challenging for first time

buyers to get on the property

ladder. However, this small

amendment to LBTT is unlikely to

benefit first time buyers significantly,

as it doesn’t appear likely

to deter buy-to-let investors,

particularly in areas such as

Edinburgh, where rental and

holiday let properties are in high


“Rather than small amendments,

it would be beneficial to

have a wide-ranging review of

LBTT as it currently stands. The

high tax that sellers require to pay

for new properties can discourage

people from putting their home

up for sale. In turn, this restricts

the availability of properties on

the market. The supply of homes

hasn’t been keeping up with the

demand in east central Scotland

which has been driving up house

prices, which negatively affects

first time buyers in particular, and

it is important those considering

selling their home aren’t discouraged

by LBTT.”

The increase in the Additional

Dwelling Supplement will come

into force from 25 January 2019,

if it is approved by MSPs. It will

not apply if a house buyer entered

into a property transaction prior

to the Budget announcement on

12 December 2018.

SELLER confidence and buyer

demand stay strong in east

central Scotland property

market between September and

November 2018, there was a

significant year on year increase

in the number of homes coming

to market in east central Scotland,

with the volume of insertions up

14.1% compared to last year.

Within Edinburgh, the number

of homes coming to market

increased by 5.5% during this

period. This continued trend of an

increase in the number of homes

coming to market is a positive

sign for buyers, and indicates the

continued confidence of sellers,

despite the uncertainty of Brexit.

The number of properties sold

during this period increased by

1.4% annually. This increase is the

positive result of an increasing

number of homes being brought

to market in recent months.

The average selling price in

east central Scotland rose to

£246,142 during this period, a 5.3%

increase on last year. Within the

capital, the average selling price

was £268,175 which was a 5.7%

increase compared to last year.

In Edinburgh, two bedroom flats

Typical Edinburgh tenements

in the coastal districts of Portobello

and Joppa saw the biggest

year on year increase in average

selling prices, rising by 22.5% to

£254,442. Two bedroom flats in

Trinity, Newhaven and Inverleith

also rose by 18.7% to £258,898.

The average selling price of

three bedroom houses in Liberton

and Gilmerton dropped by 11.3% to


One bedroom flats in Leith

Walk, Easter Road, Pilrig and

Bonnington and two bedroom

flats in New Town and West End

were the quickest to sell, with a

median selling time of 13 days.

One bedroom flats in Polwarth,

Shandon and Tollcross achieved

the highest average percentage

over Home Report valuation at

111.9%, followed by one bedroom

flats in Dalry, Gorgie, Slateford

and Chesser which achieved

109.8% of their valuation on


The top selling property type

from September to November

2018 was two bedroom flats in

Leith, followed by three bedroom

houses in Dunfermline and two

bedroom flats in Newington.

Leith Walk Police Box

Flexible & affordable space. We support entrepreneurs,

creatives, charities and campaigners. What’s your great idea?

Tell us at www.leithwalkpolicebox.com

January 2019 pop ups

• 26 January 2019 – 2.00-5.00pm - Invisible Edinburgh walking

tours are led by guides who have experienced homelessness.

Every last Saturday of the month Invisible Edinburgh Street Barber,

Socks for the Streets & QMU podiatry department provide

services for those experiencing homelessness. Tea and coffee.

• 27 January 2019 11.30-14.30 - Lazy Lettuce – vegan burgers that

even carnivores will love. Take the Veganuary challenge meat


• Every Saturday morning from 5 January 2019 – 10.30-13.00

Edinburgh Tool Library – pay what you can to join & borrow tools.

Check out our Art

outside the box art

panels - on display until

February 2019.

Buyer demand remained strong at the end of last year

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter 17

18 PEOPLE The Edinburgh Reporter

Meeting Jess

Kershaw of The

Song Space

Jess likes singing but teaching

most of all!

THE Song Space is a brand new

and exciting extracurricular vocal

academy offering one to one

singing lessons to children and

young adults aged between 5-18


The Song Space specialises in

pop, rock and musical theatre and

has future plans to include choirs

and singing workshops.

What support have you received

from the Prince’s Trust - how has

that changed things for you?

I completed a year-long course

in Business Enterprise with the

Trust, where I had to complete

a business plan and then

present it to a panel of wellrespected

business mentor

volunteers who work for the trust.

I was then granted a small loan

to help cover my costs to pay

for advertising and equipment I

needed to start the process of The

Song Space.

Where did you study and what

did you study? I know your

website says you are a vocal

coach - what does that mean?

I describe myself as a

vocal coach and singing teacher.

My job is to teach technique and

all the relevant music skills,

however, it is also to help build

students confidence and to

support and encourage them to

perform live and further their

career in singing whatever path

they choose. I studied at Leeds

College of Music gaining a BA in

Popular Music Studies back

in 2012.

Edinburgh Airport’s tribute to the pilots’ pilot

Edinburgh University Air Squadron Association members (among others) celebrate the finished sculpture

of Winkle Brown at Powderhall Bronze – back row (from left): Dr Neil Beattie, Mike Lynch, Gordon

Campion, foundry MD Brian Hammond, sculptor David Annand, Dr Stewart Slater, and John Grant. Seated

are the association's chairman Dr Hamish MacLeod and treasurer Dr Murray Carmichael.

| Photo Mike Harper

by Rick Wilson

PASSING passengers can't help

noticing the pilot who seems to

have flown out of another age at

Edinburgh Airport.

They need only look behind

the lifesize figure in wartime

flying gear to see who he is and

why he is there, frozen into a

bronze statue. He is, or was,

Captain Eric “Winkle” Melrose

Brown from Edinburgh who

became Britain's best ever test

pilot and the most decorated

flyer in Royal Navy history. He

died aged 97 at his home in

Surrey in 2016.

Those passers-by will read

on the plinth only the subject's

name and the many letters

behind it – CBE, DSC, AFC,

MA Hon, FRAeS, RN – before

learning, from pictures and

texts on a nearby display board,

the full extent of his legendary

airborne accomplishments... in

other words, why he is there.

Erected opposite the

EDINBURGH entrance sign at

the Plaza arrivals concourse,

the heroic portrayal of Captain

Brown is by Fife-based sculptor

David Annand, creator of the

celebrated Robert Fergusson

statue outside Edinburgh's

Canongate Kirk.

Winkle Brown's Edinburgh

connection was rekindled when,

as a guest on Desert Island

Discs in 2015, he recalled to

fellow Scot Kirsty Young that

he had been launched into the

air by Edinburgh University's

Turnhouse based air unit.

Listening in, current members

of that unit's successor group,

the Edinburgh University Air

Squadron Association, were

moved to bring him into their

newer fold as an honorary

member – an offer happily

accepted when they invited him

to lunch at a Gatwick airport


“When he died soon after that

we felt we had to initiate a lasting

memorial at a place that would

mean something to him,” says

association treasurer Dr Murray

Carmichael, “and that was the

airport of course.”

The airport's enthusiastic

agreement was quickly secured,

money was raised from various

charitable sources involved

in aviation, the sculptor duly

commissioned and – a few

months after his successful

pursuit of a “very elusive” good

likeness – some of the group

gathered to see the work being

finished at Powderhall Bronze


Their souvenir picture, with

most of them looming over

the life-size effigy of Brown,

explained to some extent how

the pilot got his now-famous


“Being only five feet four inches

tall, his height was remarked on

by an officer when he was joining

the Royal Navy,” says Dr Carmichael.

The officer likened him

to a periwinkle – and the name

stuck, in part anyway.But he

had reason to be grateful for his

height on at least four occasions

– as he wriggled out of plane

wrecks when other pilots didn't.”

Leith-born Eric Melrose Brown,

the son of a balloon observer and

pilot, was initially educated at

the Royal High School, then went

on to Edinburgh University to

study modern languages – with

the accent on German – before

joining the university's air unit.

From there, it was a natural

hop into the Royal Navy's

volunteer reserves as a Fleet

Air Arm pilot and a career that

would make record-breaking


He is in the Guinness Book of

Records for having flown more

aircraft types (487) than any

other pilot and holds the world

record for most aircraft-carrier

take-offs and landings (over

2,000) including “firsts” with

twin-engined, rotary-winged

and jet-powered planes.

A key influencer in the design

of an entire generation of

aircraft, Winkle Brown flew

every major and most minor

combat aircraft before and

after the Second World War

– including gliders, bombers,

airliners, flying boats, helicopters

and all the early jets

– becoming a heroic pioneer of

jet technology.

His mastery of flight, combined

with his German language skills,

proved invaluable when, at the

war's end, Churchill wanted

to know as much as possible

about the enemy’s technological

weapons. The celebrated test

pilot was sent to interview

leading Nazis such as Hermann

Goering, test their advanced

aircraft, and fly them back to


In that context, he even

flew the suicidally dangerous

Messerschmitt Me163B-1a

Komet rocket-powered fighter

(with which he was reunited

in September 2015 at the

National Museum of Flight

in East Fortune) and by his

own admission, when he

first climbed into its cockpit

“I wondered if I was going to


So how did he survive,

especially considering that

he also flew several stints as

a fighter pilot in the wartime

defence of Britain? “A fighter

pilot has to have a swivel neck,”

he wrote in his autobiography

Wings on My Sleeve.

In that book, Bill Humble, chief

test pilot for Hawker Aircraft,

said of Captain Brown: “In an

era of outstanding test pilots,

Winkle was simply the best.”


with us!

Editor: Phyllis Stephen



07791 406 498

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter FOOD & PUZZLES 19







NOW and again you come across

a lovely business, that grows and

thrives so deservedly.

From rebirthing the Montreal

bagel in Portobello, Larah Bross,

made the transition from stand

up comedienne to baker extraordinaire.

With further offspring on Leith

Walk and in the West End, it

seems that Edinburgh can't

get enough of Mama’s bagels.

Montreal, the original home

of bagels, bakes a style that’s

crisper and sweeter than their

NYC doughy counterpart. The

deliciousness of these, quite

literally, holey treats is matched

with aplomb by the beyond

belief fillings at Bross Bagels.

Sumptuous, generous and using

the best quality ingredients, they

range from a satisfying breakfast

to decadent lunch. I only hope

they open a licensed bagel shop

so I can do bagels and beer for



186 Portobello High St

105 Leith walk

19 Queensferry St

LARAH, stand up comedy to bagel

queen, how did that happen?

I'm still trying to figure that out


My whole life I’ve been discovering

new passions and talents

that I honestly had no idea I was

capable of but being the bagel

lady came out of nowhere - I

feel like it’s my new superhero

character and I’m just trying to

save the world by filling holes

wherever I go!

When did you make your first


Ever? In my house six weeks

before we opened the Portobello

shop. This quickly made me

realise that I would be needing

some help and luckily found the

organic community Breadshare

bakery to produce our Montreal

bagel recipe.

What are your own favourite

fillings for a sweet treat, a chronic

hangover and a healthy choice?

Skippy peanut butter on a

wholemeal bagel

The Good Night Club Turkey



1 Women getting married cause

terrible debris (6)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5 Hide on ship as two-way trip is

planned (8)

9 Re-infect horribly and send mad


9 10

10 In a snail I accept that this

relates to part of the small

intestine (5)

11 Expert due in, in order to


explain where the money went



13 Requests help in certain tasks


13 14 15

14 Insinuation might end union


deal (8)

17 Irish cot turns out to be ancient

17 18

and important (8)

18 Part of yucca neatly described


as a stem (4)

20 Mum - I win game and as a

20 21

result earn the lowest rate of

salary (7, 4)

22 23 Wrap a belt round this piece of

furniture (5)

23 24

24 Its mural depicts consideration

for others (8)

25 Stressed importance of dance

etc (8)

25 26

26 Trading place found in

Denmark, etc. (6)

Juliet just loves Bross Bagels and admires its owner Larah Bross

(bacon, turkey, smoked applewood

cheese, slaw & Mama Bross’ rock

sauce) on a Chipotle & Cheddar


Vegan chilli cream cheese,

hot smoked salmon, smashed

avocado & posh pickles from

the best pickle guy in town (aye


Your bagel holes always seem

such cheery places, how do you

keep your staff motivated?

We love our staff and do our best

to make sure that everyone has

a great time at work. Pump the

tunes, encourage chit chat to our

bagel lovers & of course stocking

their freezer with any leftover

bagels - all seems to be doing the


Any new filings planned for


We did a haggis bagel for Burns

Night last year and it went down

a storm so will definitely be

bringing that back. Also watch

out for a pastrami special with

pickle fries coming soon!

Tell me about your favourite

things to do in Edinburgh?

Any spare time that I get these

days is spent with my two girls,

my Scottish man and our massive

goldendoodle so as a family we

like going for walks and ice cream

along the prom in Porty where we

live or Silverknowes with a token

stop at the boardwalk beach club

or Dalkeith Country Park and a

cheeky wee shop at the Restoration

Yard and hitting all of the

markets on the weekend.

When Marc and I get time to

ourselves we enjoy seeing our

mates doing comedy around

town (the stand & monkey barrel)

pizza & Brooklyn brewery beers

at Civernos, cocktails & wings at

Nightcap, treating ourselves at

the Kitchin... basically if there’s

no food involved it doesn’t

warrant a babysitter!

I love Edinburgh- there’s always

a new corner or street that I’ve

never seen before that strikes me

and makes me truly appreciate

what an insanely gorgeous city

we live in!

Crossword Created by David Albury


2 In the opera, remember, this is

hardly common (4)

3 Put in tenders to supply plates

and cutlery (6, 3)

4 Pits us against others doing

physical exercises (3-3)

5 Odd mnemonics can help the

next person in charge (6-2-7)

6 I soon pin down different

judgments (8)

7 In a wadi, Europeans say

'Goodbye' thus (5)

8 Broken car wing led to repair

using electricity and pressure


12 Suffering from lack of focus,

seeing magic at its worst (10)

15 National treasury swops

cheque with Rex (9)

16 Armed but moving to this

rhythm (8)

19 Batman cooked this bird (6)

21 In Reno, blessed are those of

high rank (5)

22 Lies told about isolated piece

of land (4)

Answers to crossword on page 21

by Juliet Lawrence Wilson

TELL me, is there a corner of

Scotland that doesn’t have a

distillery? Perhaps not but that’s

no bad thing.

Imagine my delight to hear

there will be a new distillery

on my Leith doorstep! Paddy

and Ian, the founders of Port of

Leith Distillery have set up their

Lind and Lime Gin production

and sherry importing business

in the heart of industrial Leith

with their incredibly impressive

whisky distillery due to be

completed by October 2020.

Patience is a necessity when

waiting for whisky to be ready

but in the meantime I was

most impressed with their gin,

drawing on Leith’s maritime

heritage and glass production.

The result is a truly beautiful

product with a clean zesty

finish. The Oloroso sherry casks

will be used to mature the


They've thought this through!

Having raised £11 million,

construction of the main distillery

is due to begin soon. One

must hope it doesn’t fall victim

of the Edinburgh curse: at least

100% over budget and five years

behind. Hopefully Ian and Paddy

will take comfort in the fact that

Leith is most definitely not

in Edinburgh.

Ian Stirling and his partner

Paddy at Leith Docks are

making gin

Juliet Lawrence Wilson, Crystal

Chesters and Federica Stefani at

the Port of Leith Distillery

press night

20 EDINBURGH POLITICIANS The Edinburgh Reporter

Tommy Sheppard SNP MP

for Edinburgh East

Ian Murray Labour MP

for Edinburgh South

Ruth Davidson Conservative MSP

for Edinburgh Central

Daniel Johnson Labour MSP

Edinburgh Southern

Ben Macpherson SNP MSP

for Edinburgh North & Leith

Christine Jardine LibDem MP

for Edinburgh West

Jeremy Balfour Conservative MSP


Kezia Dugdale Labour MSP

for Lothians

Alison Johnstone Green MSP


Andy Wightman Green MSP

for Lothians

Deidre Brock SNP MP

for Edinburgh North and Leith

Miles Briggs Conservative MSP


Ash Denham SNP MSP

for Edinburgh Eastern

Gordon Lindhurst Conservative

MSP for Lothians

Joanna Cherry SNP MP

for Edinburgh South West

Alex Cole-Hamilton LibDem MSP

for Edinburgh Western

Neil Findlay Labour MSP

for Lothian

Gordon Macdonald SNP MSP

for Edinburgh Pentlands

News in Numbers


Days from

1 January to 29 March when the UK

may be leaving the EU



Of Edinburgh in 2017


Number of

Edinburgh residents per square


@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter READER’S PHOTO 21

Reader’s Photo

This month our reader’s photo is by R M Atkinson It shows a view from the roof of St Giles’ Cathedral towards Tron Kirk and Arthur’s Seat

on a cloudless November afternoon.

The Cathedral currently offers guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays up a spiral staircase to a walkway on the roof for magnificent

views of the city.

The Edinburgh

Reporter stockists

Our stockists :

Murrayfield Sunset

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All Farmers Autocare outlets

across the city 194 Queensferry

Road, 225 St John's Road, 34

Hillhouse Road, 111 Piersfield

Place, 19c Strathearn Road and

108B Market Street Musselburgh,


22 Queen St EH2 1JX

Broughton Place Hair & Beauty

2a Broughton Pl EH1 3RX

Café Lowdown

40 George St EH2 2LE

Candersons Sweet Shop

102 Leith Walk EH6 5DT

Close Gallery

4B Howe St EH3 6TD

The Doo’cot

731-733 Ferry Rd EH4 2UA

ESPC Showroom

107 George St EH2 3ES

Friends of Starbank Park

Laverockbank Rd EH5 3BZ

Grassmarket Community Project

86 Candlemaker Row EH1 2QA


94 Hanover St EH2 1DB and

Holyrood Rd

The Hideout Cafe

40-42 Queen Charlotte St EH6 6AT

Leith Walk Police Box Pop Up

Croall Pl EH7 4LT


34 William St EH3 7LJ

Scottish Arts Club

24 Rutland Sq EH1 2BW

St Bride’s Community Centre

10 Orwell Terrace EH11 2DZ


1 Summerhall EH9 1PL

The Queen's Hall

Clerk St EH8 9JG

The Royal Scots Club

29-31 Abercromby Pl EH3 6QE

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Crossword Answers


1 Brides, 5 Stowaway, 9 Frenetic,

10 Iliac, 11 Expenditure, 13 Asks,

14 Innuendo, 17 Historic, 18 Cane,

20 Minimum wage, 23 Table,

24 Altruism, 25 Accented,

26 Market.


2 Rare, 3 Dinner set, 4 Sit-ups,

5 Second-in-command,

6 Opinions, 7 Adieu,

8 Arcwelding,12 Astigmatic,

15 Exchequer, 16 Drumbeat,

19 Bantam, 21 Noble, 22 Isle.


with us!

The Edinburgh Sketcher can be commissioned to create ink and watercolour sketches of your favourite view

or location around Edinburgh. Have a personal painting of your house or special place in the city, drawn just

for you.

Drop Mark an email at contact@edinburghsketcher.com to see more examples like this one and to discuss

details about your personal artwork.

22 SPORT The Edinburgh Reporter

Football fixtures in January

by Mike Smith

Edinburgh City will be out of the starting gate on 5 January

| Photo Mark A Brown

THE Ladbrokes Premiership may

be taking a mini winter break for

part of January but there’s still

plenty of action for Edinburgh

football fans. Here’s a list of

fixtures in the first month of 2019

for Edinburgh's senior clubs:


Sunday 20th - Livingston (H)

William Hill Scottish Cup -

Kick-off 2.30pm

Wednesday 23rd – Dundee (H)

Ladbrokes Premiership – Kick-off


Saturday 26th – St. Johnstone (H)

Ladbrokes Premiership – Kick-off



Saturday 19th - Elgin City (H)

William Hill Scottish Cup -

Kick-off 3.00pm

Wednesday 23rd – Motherwell (A)

Ladbrokes Premiership – Kick-off


Sunday 27th – St. Mirren (A)

Ladbrokes Premiership – Kick-off


Edinburgh City

Saturday 5th - Stirling Albion (H)

Ladbrokes League Two - Kick-off


Saturday 12th – Queens Park (A)

Ladbrokes League Two – Kick-off


Saturday 19th – Annan Athletic

(H) Ladbrokes League Two –

Kick-off 3.00pm

Saturday 26th – Elgin City (A)

Ladbrokes League Two - Kick-off


The Spartans

Saturday 5th - Whitehill Welfare

(A) Scottish Lowland League -

Kick-off 2.00pm

Saturday 12th – BSC Glasgow

(A) Scottish Lowland League –

Kick-off 3.00pm

Saturday 26th – Edinburgh

University (A) Scottish Lowland

League – Kick-off 3.00pm

Civil Service Strollers

Saturday 5th - BSC Glasgow

(A) Scottish Lowland League -

Kick-off 3.00pm

Saturday 12th – Whitehill Welfare

(H) Scottish Lowland League –

Kick-off 2.00pm

Saturday 26th – Vale of Leithen

(A) Scottish Lowland League –

Kick-off 2.00pm

Edinburgh University

Saturday 5th - University of

Stirling (A) Scottish Lowland

League - Kick-off 3.00pm

Saturday 12th - East Stirlingshire

(H) Scottish Lowland League -

Kick-off 3.00pm

Saturday 26th - Spartans (A)

Scottish Lowland League -

Kick-off 3.00pm

Top five refereeing injustices

Leigh Griffiths was involved in

one of the top five refereeing


by John Hislop

FOLLOWING almost weekly

criticism of Scotland's referees,

John Hislop looks back at five

decisions, some going back over

50 years, that still infuriate Hibs'

fans. These are only the top five -

there is a top ten online!

5 - On 10 January 1968, Hibs

met Leeds United in the Inter

Cities Fairs Cup. Leeds held a

1-0 lead from the first leg but an

early Colin Stein goal levelled the

scoring. Hibs dominated throughout

but in the 87th minute, referee

Clive Thomas who loved to be

the centre of attention controversially

awarded the Englishmen

an indirect free-kick when Hibs'

keeper Willie Wilson carried the

ball for five steps. A four step rule

had recently been introduced but

Wilson was clearly impeded by a

Leeds player whilst trying to clear

the ball. Jack Charlton headed the

equaliser from the free-kick and

Hibs were eliminated.

4 - On 18 October 1975, Hibs

faced Celtic at Parkhead in

the newly formed Premier

League. The pair were great rivals

and had for the previous three

years been Scotland's top two

teams, facing each other in four

national cup finals with Hibs

winning three. Both sides were

challenging for top spot and

Des Bremner gave Hibs the lead

in the 26th minute. Joe Harper

added a second with 12-minutes

remaining sparking yet another

pitch invasion by the home

fans. A fog had descended over

Parkhead and referee Bobby

Davidson decided to abandon the

game although by the time the

Hibs fans reached London road

the fog had cleared. The replay

ended 1-1 and Celtic won the title.

3 - On 10 March 2013 during

an Edinburgh derby at Easter

Road, Leigh Griffiths (pictured)

struck one of the finest free-kicks

ever seen at the stadium. From

35-yards he curled a sensational

strike over the wall. The

ball struck the underside of the

crossbar and clearly bounced two

yards over the line. The only three

people who did not see the 'goal'

were referee Euan Norris and his

two linesmen. Even from 75-yards

away in the Easter Road pressbox,

it was clearly a goal. The

game ended 0-0.

2 - On 12 May 1979 Hibs faced

Rangers in the final of the

Scottish Cup. With the game

goalless and time running out,

Hibs were denied victory when

referee Brian McGinlay ignored a

stonewall penalty in the dying

minutes of the game. Hibs' young

striker Colin Campbell knocked

the ball past rangers keeper Peter

McCloy but the aptly nicknamed

'Girvin Lighthouse' clattered

him with an ungainly 'kung fu'

kick. The youngster admirably

tried to stay on his feet but was

unable to get to the ball before it

was cleared and the game which

Hibs dominated ended 0-0 as

did the replay. Rangers won the

third game 3-2 and Hibs had to

wait another 37 years before the

trophy found its way to Easter


1 - On 13 May 2016, arguably the

worst decision in the history of

Scottish football resigned Hibs to

an extra season in the Championship.

The first leg of the 2016

Play-Off semi final ended in a 2-2

draw between Hibs and Falkirk

although the home supporters left

the ground infuriated at having

been denied a clear penalty kick

following a handball by. After

going a goal down in the second

leg, James Keating was brought

down in the act of shooting from

close range by David McCracken.

Referee Craig Thomson had no

alternative but to award a penalty

but to the amazement of everyone

inside the ground as well as

journalists, former players and

former referees he not only failed

to show McCracken the obligatory

red card but he didn't even show

him a yellow.

The law was quite clear yet

Thomson for some reason that

has never been explained decided

to ignore the rules. Hibs were

defeated 3-2 on the night but the

injustice was quickly forgotten

a few days later when 'Sir' David

Gray headed the winner in injury

time to bring the Scottish Cup

back to Leith for the first time

since 1902.

Rugby fixtures in January

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by John Preece

Edinburgh Rugby's Hamish Watson on the end of a short pass from Sale Shark's Byron McGuigan

5 Jan 7:35pm

Edinburgh Rugby v Southern

Kings, BT Murrayfield.

12 Jan 2:00pm

Edinburgh Academicals v

Hawick, Raeburn Place.

Currie Chieftains v Heriots,

Malleny Park.


Watsonians v Glasgow Hawks,


18 Jan 7:45pm

Edinburgh Rugby v Montpellier

HR, BT Murrayfield.

19 Jan 2:00pm

Stewarts' Melville v GHK, Inverleith.

| Photo John Preece


Boroughmuir v Stirling County,


Watsonians v Currie Chieftains,


26 Jan

Edinburgh Academicals v

Watsonians, Raeburn Place.

Heriots v Boroughmuir,


@EdinReporter /EdinReporter /edinburghreporter SPORT 23

Rugby - Autumn Test

Top officer in public

apology over Murrayfield

planning row

Edinburgh Rugby were given the green light for a new stadium despite


Scotland played Argentina at Murrayfield on a very dreich November day in front of a full house.

It was not the most exciting of matches but Scotland won 14-9 when Sanchez eventually scored (he had

had many chances!) With the rain falling steadily, the match kicked off with the usual BT Murrayfield wall

of noise, which ramped up a degree when Greig Laidlaw kicked Scotland into an early lead with a penalty

for 3-0.

A few minutes later, Argentina had the chance to equalise when a ruck infringement drew the referee’s

attention, but the, ever reliable Nicolas Sanchez pulled the easy kick wide, thus setting the bench mark for

the visitor’s kicking record by the final whistle.

Above Scotland's Finn Russell slides round the outside of Argentina's defence | Photo John Preece

East Lothian Council

Racecourse row resurfaces

by Marie Sharp Local Democracy


EAST Lothian Council has been

accused of taking up to £300,000

out of Musselburgh Racecourse’s

funds to cover the legal costs of

finding a new operator.

Ray Green, a director of Lothian

Racing Syndicate (LRS), described

the legal costs as “excessive” as

he criticised the local authority

for delays in progressing the

future of the course .

The council is currently

preparing to put the future

operation of the course out to

tender but the process has fallen

behind its original timescale.

At a meeting of Musselburgh

Racing Associated Committee

(MRAC) in December, Mr Green

said that the LRS, which has

jointly run the course with

the council for more than

two decades, was extremely

concerned about the delays and

legal costs incurred.

And he said the LRS had asked

the racecourse auditors to look at

the decision to take the

money from its funds.

He said: “I believe that the costs

being incurred are excessive.”

MRAC replaced the Musselburgh

Joint Racing Committee, which

oversaw the management of the

course, earlier this year after

relations between the LRS and

elected councillors who made up

the group deteriorated.

The British Horseracing

Authority was so concerned

by the situation it called for

an independent review of the

governance of the course threatening

to withdraw its licence to

race unless action was taken.

Following the review East

Lothian Council set up MRAC

with four elected councillors and

two racing experts, currently LRS

members on it and agreed to put

the operation of the course out to

tender to a third party.

However tensions between the

two parties rose to the surface at

the recent MRAC meeting as it

was confirmed that the original

plan to have a new operator in

place by July 2019 has now put

back to October 2019.

Mr Green challenged the cost

of the legal bills asking why no

discussions about who should

foot the cost had been held prior

to funds being taken from the


However the council’s legal

adviser Carlo Grilli pointed out

that it was the LRS who “asked”

for the external legal team

involved to be appointed.

MRAC meetings have been held

in public in a move to make the

running of the racecourse, which

is on common good land and

leased to operators by the local

authority, more transparent than

it had been in the past.

However six of the ten items on

the agenda were held in private,

including a report from course

general manager Bill Farnsworth

which was expected to update the

committee on the ongoing BHA

inquiry into the deaths of four

horses during one race day at the

start of December.

The council said the items were

held in private as they contained



by David Bol Local Democracy


A council director has been forced

to apologise following a row over

the process that gave Edinburgh

Rugby’s new stadium the green


The city council’s chief planning

officer was asked to carry out

an investigation over the ‘Mini

Murrayfield’ proposals being

determined by officers rather

than councillors, after concerns

were raised by planning convener

Cllr Neil Gardiner.

In September, planning officers

approved Edinburgh Rugby’s

plans for a 7,800-seater stadium

after a letter from Murrayfield

ice rink was incorrectly not

classed as an objection. Usually,

any application that receives at

least seven objections is brought

before councillors for determination

– but the omission left the

application with just six objections.

The plans were also not

classed as being of “considerable

public interest”.

Chief planning officer David

Leslie said: “The case officer did

make reference to the proposals

being modest in scale, compared

to the existing main stadium.

This is not something that the

officer at the time considered to

be of considerable public interest.

The representation from

Murrayfield ice rink both

supports the growth and

retention of Edinburgh Rugby

and raises an objection to the

intensification of use of the site.

On balance, my view is that letter

could have been treated as a

representation but the judgement

of officers did not amount to

unreasonable exercise of their

planning judgement.”

He added: “In view of the wider

interest of sporting venues and

with the benefit of hindsight, it

would have been advisable in my

view for a team manager to have

been consulted about whether or

not it was appropriate to delegate

the decision. It’s not unreasonable

that they took that view but they

didn’t seek a second opinion.

“It’s not considered that officers

acted unreasonably in exercising

their planning judgement but it

would have been advisable that

the application had been referred

by them to committee and they

could have sought a second

opinion in doing that.”

The council’s executive Director

of Place, Paul Lawrence, has

written to objectors to apologise

for the oversight and has publicly

apologised to the council’s

planning committee.

He said: “The reason that I wrote

a letter of apology to the objectors

to the application was to make

clear that there was a process

which we believe would have

been more robust.

“We will be ensuring that our

procedures are improved in

the future to ensure that such

judgements are improved and

that there is stronger senior

management oversight of the

decision-making process. I regret

the position this has put you as

a committee in and I am sorry to

you for that.”

Cllr John McLellan labelled

the row a “pretty extraordinary

episode” and said Edinburgh

Rugby and the SRU were

“absolutely gob-smacked” the

decision was taken without being

scrutinised by councillors.

He added: “The expectation

of the applicant was that there

would be a hearing. When it didn’t

have one, they couldn’t understand

why. I think that’s probably

as damning an indictment of the

process as any.

“Whilst I accept the report and I

accept the recommendations and

the apology to the objectors, it

doesn’t particularly assuage them

that the ice rink in particular

believes the report is a whitewash.

There’s page after page

of problems that it raises. It

still absolutely confuses me how

anybody thought it had been

dealt with and did not need to be

discussed by the committee for

something as important as this.”

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