The Edinburgh Reporter January 2021


All the news you need to begin this New Year

January 2021

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter

Let's hope in 2021 . . .

Turner Prize winning artist

Martin Creed's work Everthing

Is Going To Be Alright at the

Scottish National Gallery of

Modern Art in Belford Road has

proved a huge attraction since it

was installed in 2008.

The blue neon statement,

which sits atop the neoclassical

William Burn designed building,

is something we all wish for in

the weeks and months ahead as

Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out.

Two-year-old gallery visitor

Thomas is too young to

understand the devastating

impact we have all suffered

to varying degrees during the

coronavirus pandemic. But

hopefully he has his finger on the

pulse of what lies ahead.

PHOTO: Phyllis Stephen


OR CALL 0131 557 5098





The Edinburgh Reporter


Happy New Year. I would have

hoped to wish you that with

more anticipation of a better

year ahead, but our hopes of that

were somewhat dashed when

Scotland was put into Level Four

restrictions on Boxing Day.

Now, although we have at least

one of what could be several

vaccines, our civic and economic

freedoms are again curtailed.

But this new year may yet herald

better times before it ends. We just

have to depend on the scientists

to get us through.

We have the prospect of the

Scottish Parliamentary Election

in May. Quite what campaigning

and hustings will look like, we shall

have to wait and see, but there

have not yet been any suggestions

of it being cancelled or postponed.

From next month we will be

profiling the candidates for all the

Edinburgh constituencies.

There are still some events this

month - all virtual of course. Read

pages 18 and 19 to fill your dance

card. Our centre pages on 12 and

13 are filled with Postcards from

2020, some of the many photos

taken last year, very few of which

involved large groups of people.

One of the only occasions for that

type of shot was at the Black Lives

Matter protests in the summer.

Now Cliff Hague of Cockburn

Association writes about what is

happening about that in Edinburgh


We asked civic leaders for a word

or two on what they thought 2021

might look like, and you can read

their views from Page 4 onwards.

All of this and I have not

mentioned Brexit once. With all

the last minute brinksmanship

it is difficult to predict what will

happen. We lived outside the

EU before however, perhaps in

pre-avocado days. On Page 17

Juliet Lawrence Wilson writes

about food and Oleg from

Independent Wine has chosen five

wines to tempt you with. Since

most of us will be staying at home

for the foreseeable future, we can

only turn to food and drink for

solace and a glimpse of brighter

times ahead.

For those who do not have

that luxury, then please try to

help the charities doing such

good work. Lewis Maclachlan of

Empty Kitchens Full Hearts was

recognised by the Prime Minister

with a Point of Light award. Little

wonder, as he and his colleagues

are delivering 900 day packs each

day - those include breakfast lunch

and dinner.

Phyllis Stephen Editor

Dronealdson's College

This photo is an aerial shot of the former Donaldson's College by

Thomas Haywood who is a qualified drone photographer. He uses a DJI

Inspire 2 with X5S camera. It is a composite photo as he could not get

the whole building in one shot due to restrictions on flying above 400 ft.

Thomas said: "There are so few places in the city centre to use a drone

safely and legally so I grabbed this opportunity. I obtained clearance

from the landowner and from Edinburgh Airport ATC." He said that wind,

sunshine and patience are also needed. ISO 100 F4.5 1/250

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The NSPCC is looking for young

people in Scotland to join a new

group that gives them the chance

to shape and influence the charity’s

work, and ensure they are at the

heart of our decision making.

We are launching the Young

People’s Board for Change, and want

to recruit 15 members aged between

13 and 16, from across the country.

The Board members will use the

platform to raise awareness of what

matters most to them, take action

and make change happen. They

will also have a big role internally

advising staff and trustees.

The young people will take part in

new experiences and opportunities,

meet other young people, as

well as develop confidence and

learn life-long new skills, such as

campaigning and public speaking.

Over a two-year period, members

will take part in residentials,

meetings and workshops, and

campaign to share their views and


We want as many young people

as possible to have the chance to

apply, so we are encouraging parents

and carers to speak to their children

about this exciting opportunity, and

teachers and other professionals to

share details with their students and

through their networks.

At the NSPCC, we are committed

to ensuring that young people are

empowered and that their opinions

are listened to. It’s vital that we put

children and young people first and

embed their views into everything we

do in our fight for every childhood.

Readers can find out more at, or

for an informal chat please contact

The deadline for completed

applications is 11 January and

interviews will be held between 18 –

21 January.

Yours etc

Carla Malseed

Local Campaigns Manager for

NSPCC Scotland

Plans afoot

There is a further consultation

on the plans for New Town North

in the former RBS building at the

foot of Dundas Street. This runs

until 12 January.

It will show the amendments

which the developer has made to

their plans which include:

• moving the office building

further away from Fettes Row

• reducing massing on the top

floor of the northern residential

blocks to improve the view from

Dundonald Street

• increasing the use of natural

stone in the office building facing

Fettes Row and the building on

Eyre Place, along with some of

the hard landscape paving on the

main route through to the King

George V Park

• design refinement to some

areas of the elevations on Dundas

Street and Eyre Place.

This development will create a

mix of new homes, offices and

public amenities on the 5.9 acre

site. So far there have already

been over 4,000 people visiting the

website where the plans are on


Development of Edinburgh's

Literature House is moving

apace. This will be sited at John

Knox House and the Scottish

Storytelling Centre on the Royal

Mile. RIAS Consultancy ran

a competition and Edinburgh

UNESCO City of Literature Trust

has appointed Stirling Prize

winning architectural firm,

Witherford Watson Mann, to lead

the next phase of development.

They will partner up with Groves

Raines Architects Studios who

have a record in conservation

and reuse of historic buildings

in Edinburgh, and Studio MB, an

interpretive design agency.

Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan,

Culture and Communities Vice

Convener, said: “We welcome the

appointment of Witherford Watson

Mann to lead the next step in

this ambitious project to create

a Literature House for Scotland

- a place to discover Edinburgh’s

literary heritage and contemporary

creativity, and learn more about

our capital’s incredible storytellers,

and writers. I look forward to

seeing the project begin and the

benefits it will bring for literature

and a literary quarter in the city.”

Getting the news out

The Edinburgh Reporter is

usually distributed through

a network of city cafés and


If you have had your car in any

branch of Farmer Autocare then

you will have received a free copy

of our latest paper during your

visit. Some of the places where we

For daily


In 2020 our online

readers more than


Sign up on our website

for daily newsletters

to keep up to date with

the news.






usually distribute a supply remain

closed, including most libraries.

If you can, then please subscribe

to have your copy delivered to you

each month.

It helps us to cover the

overheads of bringing the news to

you in print and online.

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.




@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter NEWS 3

Doubts over future of neighbourhood

centre - funding may run out in 2021

Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre

treasurer, Eddie Thorn, has

warned that unless there is future

financial support from The City

of Edinburgh Council, the centre

could be forced to close after


The stark warning was published

in the centre's annual report that

also confirmed the centre ran up

a £40,000 deficit up to 31 March


On a positive note, it was

reported there had been an

increase in the number of people

using the centre last year and that

it has secured three year’s funding

from Children In Need, understood

to be £30,000, to continue to

support the youth and children’s

work at the centre.

In his report, Mr Thorn wrote:

“The ongoing position is under

constant review but without

material financial support it will

simply not be possible to sustain

all existing activities going


“Against this background the

trustees, being mindful of legal

responsibilities, may be forced into

taking difficult decisions regarding

the future of the Centre and the

employment of our staff.

“There are adequate funds to

£eith Chooses project funding

The participatory budgeting

project in Leith, £eith Chooses,

has around £50,000 to hand out

to organisations and bodies in the


This money is provided

from Edinburgh City Council's

Community Grants fund, and

locals can become more involved

in the way the public funding is

spent as a result of the application

and voting process.

Applications closed on 11

December and these are now

being validated ahead of a

shortlist being compiled.

The shortlisted applicants, who

may be awarded up to £5,000, are

showcased on the £eith Chooses

website. There will then be a week

of voting from 25 to 31 January


Eligible groups have to have

a constitution and a bank

account to qualify. They were

all invited to put forward a good

idea for a six month community

project on themes related to

challenging food poverty in Leith

Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre

see the Centre operating as at

present through to the end of the

current financial year but unless

there is the required level of

funding in place after 31 March

2021 then there may be no option

other than close the Centre with

the loss of the facility to the local


The centre, which celebrated its

25th birthday last month, provides

weekly classes and groups for

older people and children.

In line with Government advice,

or reducing isolation and ensuring


The voting will take place on the

council's Consultation Hub.

The Steering Group behind the

budgetary process are mindful

of the fact that not everyone can

access the online vote, but it is

thought to be the best option

during the pandemic restrictions.

They conducted a survey in

September to decide whether or

not locals wished to proceed with

an online version of the event.

Usually on the day when locals

can cast their vote there is a grand

meeting of those on the shortlist

and a bit of lobbying goes on as

you pass each of their stalls. It is

a real community day with a lot of

fun alongside the main business.

While that will not be possible the

money is still there to be divided


When the results are announced,

the funding will be paid over to

the successful projects in early


the centre closed at the start

of the pandemic and has only

recently started to allow young

people to return, however, not all

staff were placed on furlough.

Local independent councillor,

Gavin Barrie, said: “If the

outcomes of the Edinburgh

Poverty Commision are to be

implemented, then Drylaw

Neighbourhood Centre may well

have a pivotal role to play going

forward and the Council needs to

consider supporting it with the

Stafford Centre minds your health

By Stephen Rafferty

Among the many sad sights in

Edinburgh during the pandemic

has been the locked doors of the

Stafford Centre, one of the city’s

busiest mental health resources.

Run by charity Support in Mind

Scotland, the Broughton Street

building had to close in mid-March

when the Covid-19 crisis unfolded,

and the crucial support provided

to hundreds of people affected

by mental ill health switched

overnight from face-to-face to a

remote model via phone, text and


It has been a truly herculean

effort by staff and the people

who access the centre to adapt

and stay connected during the

initial lockdown and the waves of

restrictions that have followed,

but they have shown great spirit

in adversity and look forward to

better times in 2021.

The worry is that demand is

going to soar when we emerge

from the pandemic, with experts

predicting a mental health

epidemic as people struggle to

cope with issues such as isolation,

anxiety, family pressures and

financial hardship.

Whereas the accepted statistic

before Covid-19 was that 1 in 4 of

us will experience a mental health

problem in our lifetime, it is now

anyone’s guess how severely that

figure will be impacted as a result

of the challenges we face now and

future in mind.”

Fellow Inverleith councillor,

Liberal Democrat, Hal Osler, said:

“The Drylaw Neighbourhood

Centre provides vital services to

the local community - and has

done so for many years.

“Put simply, the Council needs

more funding so that these cuts

can be stopped and centres like

Drylaw are funded properly.”

Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre

was approached for comment.

in the immediate future.

“We want to stay positive, but

we are worried that there will be

a huge influx of people seeking

support,” admits Michele Mason,

Support in Mind Scotland’s Area

Manager for Edinburgh.

“We know how difficult this past

year has been from the people

we are directly supporting, and

we know there are going to many

more who need help with their

mental health.”

The positive she is referring to

is the news that SiMS has been

awarded a contract as part of the

Thrive initiative – the city’s new

collaborative approach to mental

health services, introduced by the

Edinburgh Health and Social Care


“The timing is wonderful,” she

Stafford Centre support worker Karen has

a socially distanced chat with David

Balerno green

belt brouhaha

by Nigel Duncan

Campaigners have urged Balerno

residents to step-up their protest

by writing to local councillors,

MSP and their MP to express their

opposition to plans to build 350

houses on Green Belt land.

The proposed development

by Rapleys at Ravelrig recently

received over 500 objections and

included one from Edinburgh

Pentlands MSP Gordon


Balerno Green Belt (BGB) have

also have now set up a petition on

38 Degrees so locals can register

their disquiet. Leader Mike Martin

said: "We are now encouraging

local people to write to their local

councillors, MSPs and the local


"This is to raise awareness

of what many feel is the wrong

housing in the wrong place,

resulting in the destruction

of productive agricultural

land, degradation of the rural

environment and putting

additional strain on local

infrastructure, particularly in terms

of the traffic congestion on the

Lanark Road. BGB supporters will

also be encouraged to write to the

councillors who sit on the planning

committee expressing their views

before they meet to consider the

Ravelrig proposals."

explains. “We have an initial

five-year contract, which will give

us the opportunity and security to

embed some of the fantastic work

we do at the Stafford Centre and

in the community, not only in 2021

which we already know will be

difficult, but also in the future."

The Stafford Centre

have managed to provide

compassionate mental health

support to almost 150 people each

week throughout the pandemic,

including veterans, typically

through regular calls, group Zoom

calls, and peer support.

Opening the doors again will

allow the Centre to fulfil its true



Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian Region

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@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter POLITICS 5

Vibrant culture makes Edinburgh unique

by Culture Convener Cllr Donald


I think it would be an

understatement to say 2020 had

been extremely tough for the

culture sector.

As we look ahead to 2021 we

will be doing all we cannot just to

survive but to come back better

than ever.

Our vibrant cultural heritage and

Light at end of education tunnel

by Education, Children and

Families Convener Cllr Ian Perry

and Vice Convener Cllr Alison


The ongoing pandemic is having

a devastating impact on us all and

2021 will still provide challenges

for our education system and

young people but there is light at

the end of the tunnel.

We pay tribute to our dedicated

teaching staff and young people

who are showing amazing

resilience in these challenging

Prioritising city spending

by Cllr Rob Munn and Cllr

Joan Griffiths, MBE, Finance and

Resources Convener and Vice


Our main focus for 2021 is to

take the carefully considered

decisions about where to prioritise

spending for the Council over the

next three years and setting a

balanced budget that protects our

most vulnerable citizens and helps

our communities to recover from

the pandemic. At the same time,

we want to continue to deliver high

festivals offering is at the heart of

what makes Edinburgh unique and

we are committed to supporting

the sector’s return and future. The

return of live audiences next year

will be crucial to this recovery.

The cultural sector makes a

huge contribution to our economy

and the quality of life of our


We have made a start though

with the City Art Centre reopening

times. Even though there will be

no exams this year our school

staff will ensure pupils get the

best teaching possible for their

assessments. Our Edinburgh

Learns plan will position education

as the lever for a fairer, healthier

and greener future. The support

for our vulnerable young people,

especially our Looked After

Children, will continue to be a


Our plans to create the very best

learning environment for young

quality services for Edinburgh.

Our budget process is, as ever,

informed by direct feedback

from the people of Edinburgh

on which services they want to

see prioritised and we’re very

grateful to the 2000+ people

who responded to our budget

engagement survey before


This feedback is invaluable,

especially given the exceptionally

challenging year 2020 was and the

impact that Covid-19 has had and

in September and we very much

look forward to the reopening

our other Museums and Galleries

as well as opening our doors for

performances at the Usher Hall.

So, in 2021, I’ll continue to fight

for what I believe in: that it is the

city’s duty to continue to nurture

Edinburgh’s creative heart.

Not just for the huge

contributions to our economy but

also to the lives of our citizens.

people continue with a £500m

planned investment over the

next 10 years for an ambitious

new school building programme,

- Frogston Primary, Victoria

Primary and St Crispin’s opening

in 2021 and the new Castlebrae

Community Campus in 2022.

The investment includes new

nurseries with more Forest

Kindergartens opening soon and

we’ll meet the government’s target

of 1140 hours of funded early

learning and childcare by August.

Proposals for a safer Bonfire Night

Proposals to introduce

regulations to restrict both the

sale of fireworks, and the times

when they can be set off by the

general public, will be introduced

for The Scottish Parliament to

consider in the new year.

Community Safety Minister, Ash

Denham, announced the proposals

responding to recommendations

of an independent review group.

Secondary legislation will be

laid in Parliament in January

which, if approved by MSPs, will

place limits on both the volume

and the time of day for consumer

firework sales, as well when they

may be set off – in time for next

November’s bonfire night season.

The planned changes will apply

to individuals who are buying

or using fireworks for private

displays, and will not apply to

displays that are organised by

professional firework organisers or


Ms Denham said: “I am fully

committed to bringing about

positive change in the relationship

Scotland has with fireworks.

More than 16,400 people across

Scotland responded to the

consultation last year.

"This highlighted that fireworks

can be good for communities

when they are used at the right

time, in right place and used


“However, it is clear there is

strong support for changing how

will continue to have for us all.

It’s crucial we understand how

people’s lives have been affected

by the impact of the pandemic on

our services as we work to steer

the Capital towards a sustainable


Finally, the Council’s core

priorities of addressing poverty

and inequality, improving

sustainability and tackling climate

change, as well as enhancing

wellbeing, based on what people

told us was most important to

them, will remain at the heart of

our budget setting for 2021 and


fireworks are sold and used in

Scotland, and the Review Group

set out clear recommendations

on what change is needed going


"I hope the actions I have

outlined reassure people that their

voices have been heard and that

legislation will be progressed as

swiftly as possible to implement

positive change.

“I fully agree with the Group that

it will be important to understand

the impact of these changes as

they are implemented in practice,

including on our emergency

services, on businesses, on our

communities as well as in relation

to firework related injuries.”


OR CALL 0131 557 5098


Travelling into 2021

Transport and Environment Vice

Convener Cllr Karen Doran looked

back on last year.

She said: “The events of 2020

have had an unparalleled impact

on so many aspects of our lives.

How we move around our city has

of course been greatly affected.

“During lockdown, roads

emptied and travel by bike, foot

and wheels surged. Our Spaces for

People measures saw people take

up cycling or walking where they

might previously have driven, and

we want to keep this momentum


“In 2021, development of major

plans, including the draft City

Mobility Plan and Edinburgh

City Centre Transformation, will

Leading from the front

by Council Leader Adam McVey

and Depute Leader Cammy Day

Our first and most pressing task

in 2021 is to continue to steer

Edinburgh through and – hopefully

sooner rather than later - out of

the global Covid-19 pandemic.

There’s no doubt these past nine

months have been unbelievably

challenging for all of us, and

especially so for anyone who’s

sadly lost a loved one during the


As we work with organisations

and communities right across the

city to help Edinburgh navigate

whatever comes next, we’re clear

that "back to normal" won’t be

good enough – we need to build

back better, following the key

revolutionise the way we interact

with the city.

Construction will begin on

schemes like City Centre West to

East Link and design will continue

on several exciting projects to

improve cycling and pedestrian


“We’ll move closer to introducing

a Low Emissions Zone and Electric

Vehicle charging network while

Trams to Newhaven will begin

to take shape, alongside our

excellent existing bus and tram


“I know we’re on the right

track for a sustainable, inclusive,

carbon-neutral future for

Edinburgh, and 2021 will help get

us there."

Building affordable homes

Councillors Kate Campbell

and Mandy Watt, Convener

and Vice Convener for Housing,

Homelessness and Fair Work

concnetrate on homes and the


They said: “In 2021, we will

build more good quality, energy

efficient, affordable homes. They’ll

be good places to live, within

strong communities. Our new and

existing tenants will get the best

service possible from us as their

landlord; and we’ll make sure our

tenants, especially those who may

be struggling with the impacts

of Covid-19, get the support they


“We’ll continue work to improve

temporary accommodation,

reach out to our most vulnerable

citizens, prevent homelessness

whenever possible and make sure

people are able to access the right

support when and where they

need it.

“We want to help our economy

to build back better and stronger,

putting fair work and sustainability

at the heart of our strategy to

rebuild. We’ll do that by supporting

businesses and, with a view to

the long term, we’ll work towards

building a wellbeing economy

based on good jobs, job security

and career progression.

“We’ll begin by expanding our

existing Edinburgh Guarantee offer

so that people of all ages who

might face barriers to employment

as a result of Covid-19 are

supported to find work, learn new

skills and gain confidence and

we’re calling on employers and

education providers to support us.”

principles of the Edinburgh 2050

City Vision to achieve a thriving,

welcoming, pioneering and fair

Capital for now and for future


Our work will be guided and

shaped by our core priorities of

tackling poverty and inequality,

boosting sustainability and

promoting wellbeing.

We’ll push on with implementing

our 10-year End Poverty in

Edinburgh plan as well as our Net

Zero 2030 ambitions.

2021 is going to be a major and

defining year for this incredible

city and we’re determined to do

Edinburgh proud.




by Cliff Hague of the Cockburn


The coming year will see our

city address the legacy of its

connections with slavery and

colonialism. This "hidden history"

came to the fore in 2020 with

the Black Lives Matter protests

following the killing of George

Floyd while in police custody in


The calls for action in opposition

to racism reached far beyond

America, including Edinburgh. Our

council has set up the Edinburgh

Slavery and Colonialism Legacy

Review Group. I have accepted

the invitation to be a member.

Our remit is to consider and make

recommendations on Edinburgh’s

slavery and colonialism legacy

in the civic realm. We are tasked

to focus on any features within

the council boundary which

commemorate those with close

links to slavery and colonialism,

including, but not limited to, public

statues and monuments, street or

building names.

The Group will work to deliver

recommendations about how that

legacy should be addressed, both

The Edinburgh Reporter

Looking again at slavery links

Mural of Frederick Douglass Photo Martin P McAdam

The Scottish Government

overspent its 2019/20 budget by

nearly £700 million responding to

the Covid-19 pandemic.

Net spending for the year across

the consolidated accounts was

£39,385 million - £669 million

more than budget.

Two large business support

schemes agreed in March that

cost £912 million.

But the pandemic delayed

publication of its medium-term

financial strategy to January 2021,

squeezing the time for scrutiny

by MSPs ahead of the 2021/22

budget. Responding to Covid-19

and EU withdrawal has also placed

considerable strain on staff across

the organisation.

Government loans of £3.5

million to Prestwick Airport and £9

million to Burntisland Fabrications

Ltd were written down in the

2019/20 financial year.

This follows a trend of loans and

guarantees for private companies

deteriorating in value, including

£45 million previously provided to

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd.

Stephen Boyle, Auditor General

for Scotland, said: "Covid-19

in the short-term and long-term.

In looking at Edinburgh’s public

realm through this lens, we need

to find ways to connect the past

to the cause of racial justice

today for all our citizens. I hope

that a basis can be laid for future

generations in this diverse city

to share understanding of our

intertwined histories.

We cannot pretend that

Edinburgh developed in isolation

from the Atlantic slave trade

and the period of Empire that

followed, events which still have

consequences today. The starting

point is the databases that have

been compiled from the list of

persons who were compensated

for the loss of their slaves at the

time of abolition.

Abolitionists also need to be

recognised, for example the

legendary Frederick Douglass who

escaped from slavery in Maryland

and inspired many by his oratory

when he visited Edinburgh. Truth

and reconciliation need to guide

our work. It will not be easy, and

coronavirus adds to the hurdles

to be overcome. The work of the

Review Group needs to enrich

understanding of Edinburgh’s

history for all who live here or visit

our great city.

Govt spending needs more clarity

is understandably having a

significant effect on the Scottish

Government's finances.

"It's now more important than

ever that the next financial

strategy has clear links between

spending plans and what that

money is expected to achieve,

as Scotland contends with the

pandemic's ongoing impact.

"The Scottish Government

also needs to clearly outline its

plans for future investment in

private companies to increase

transparency and value for money."

Food growing strategy - public's comments invited

Citizens in Edinburgh are being

encouraged to have their say on

the Council’s first food growing


The strategy aims to encourage

people to get more involved

in local food production,

promote local and sustainable

consumption and help improve

issues such as biodiversity, health,

food security and address poverty

in the capital.Supported by Edible

Edinburgh, the Growing Locally

consultation is looking for people’s

views on food growing, from

growing in gardens and allotments

or as part of a community growing


The consultation is looking

to find out: Ways in which the

purchase of local and sustainable

food could be increased, to

help to reduce the city’s carbon

emissions as well as supporting

the Edinburgh’s green recovery

from Covid-19.

How could local food growing

help to reduce food poverty and

improve health and wellbeing.

How the Council and others in

the city can help support people

to become more involved in local


Edible Edinburgh chair, Councillor

George Gordon, said: "The Growing

Locally strategy aims to reduce

carbon emissions, support local

food growing businesses, increase

land availability for food growing,

reduce inequalities and increase

awareness and choice around

healthy and sustainable food.

"We are calling for citizens to

contribute to the consultation

as to how they feel local food

growing can help respond to these

challenges, as well as help create

a vibrant and thriving sustainable

food economy in Edinburgh for


Brenda Black, Director of

Edinburgh Community Food and

member of Edible Edinburgh

said: "The Growing Locally

strategy aims to help promote

better food relationships within

our communities by connecting

people through well-being, through

encouraging local growing and

consumption of healthy and

sustainable food.

"This consultation provides the

opportunity to hear your views

on how we can help tackle these

issues together as a city."

The draft food growing strategy

was first approved for consultation

by Council Committee in February

2020, but the online consultation

was delayed due to the outbreak

of Covid-19.

The consultation runs until 18

January and will be supported

with online events published on

the Edible Edinburgh website.

Hope for 2021

Jeremy Balfour Lothians MSP

writes: "As we step into 2021

there is a sense of cautious hope

spreading throughout the nation.

Hope that vaccines will work.

Hope that cases will fall. Hope that

this strange way of life will finally

end. I share in this hope, however,

it is not my only hope for 2021.

Despite 1 in 5 Scots having

some form of disability, for the

last five years I have been the only

MSP in Holyrood with a physical

disability. I find it frustrating that a

country priding itself on inclusivity

fails to have representation

for one of the biggest minority

groups. Looking ahead I see an

opportunity to change this.

In 2021 we vote in the Scottish

Election choosing representatives

for the next five years. It is my

hope that we will be able to look

around and see people with all

kinds of disabilities taking seats

on every side of the chamber,

and that Holyrood will lead the

way, showing what true disability

inclusion looks like.I hope that

young people with a disability can

look to Holyrood and be inspired

as they see people just like them

speaking up and having their

voice heard. I hope that this year

the tide will change for disability


Free parking

at hospitals

The Health Secretary Jeane

Freeman confirmed that car

parking will continue to be free for

staff, visitors and patients at three

hospitals in Scotland including the

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh until

the end of March 2021.

At the beginning of the

Covid-19 pandemic, The Scottish

Government began paying the car

park providers, enabling them to

lift charges at the three Scottish

PFI hospitals.

The initial three month

suspension was announced by

Ms Freeman in March. It was then

extended until January 2021 and

now there is an agreement in place

until March 2021.

Ms Freeman said: “I am glad that

we are able to continue providing

this support to our hardworking

NHS staff and to patients and their

visitors. I know from the letters

I receive that free car parking is

particularly appreciated by staff

who are working day and night to

care for their patients during this


“It is down to their extraordinary

efforts that the NHS remains

open. The staff of the NHS should

not experience any unnecessary

difficulties whilst they continue to

go above and beyond during the

Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Scottish Government is

continuing to work on a long term

solution to the issue of car parking


Parking at Glasgow Royal

Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital in

Dundee is also free.

St Vincent Bar

gets Covid-19

rules warning

The St Vincent Bar in

Stockbridge was issued with a

written warning by the Licensing


The board spent almost two

hours considering an application

by Police Scotland to review the

licence under which St Vincent Bar

Scotland Limited sells alcohol.

There were 17 complaints from

13 separate sources since June

this year all concerned with the

behaviour of people outside the

bar. It was acknowledged that

some of the crowd of up to 60

at one point who congregated

outside or on the steps of St

Stephen's Church, apparently

flouting Covid-19 restrictions, may

not have all been customers.

Some people on the church steps

had bags from supermarkets and

at least one person seen by the

police brought their own chair. The

board agreed that not everyone

was a customer.

One of the company directors,

Christopher Grierson, is also a

personal licence holder. He was

present at the virtual meeting to

answer questions along with his

solicitor Alistair MacDonald.

Convener, Cllr Norman Work,

said at the end of the meeting to

Mr Grierson: "You may think you

have got off lightly here, but we

do take these seriously. If you do

come back again then I hope you

realise that we are giving you the

opportunity to show that you can

work on this. I hope that you take

what you have heard from the

board as a serious matter."

Cllr Howie asked if complaints

aligned with the opening hours of

the bar, and the police confirmed

that they did. His was a lone

voice appearing to take a sterner

approach to the review.

Mr McDonald pointed out that

nothing in the review related to

anything illegal. He said that his

clients had complied with any

police guidance and that there

were no significant recent issues.

He stated that since a meeting of

the bar owners with the Licensing

Standard Officers and police in

mid-November the bar employs

a member of staff whose job it

is to move people on outside. He

also said the bar is willing to look

at alternative drinks containers if


Chris Grierson offered to reroute

the queue north of the bar down

towards St Stephen Street which

he thought might help get round

this issue. There are chalk marks

and notices all round the bar and

in the street, telling those who

are buying drinks to move on. Mr

Grierson said that they now have

a member of staff outside at all

times during opening hours and

generally most people asked do

move on.

He also said that they do not

serve people again if they have not

moved on when previously asked.

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter NEWS 7

Revised plans for £5 million Filmhouse take shape

Revised proposlas for a new

Filmhouse in Festival Square have

been revealed.

Now the plans - shaped and

formed by online consultation -

have been lodged with The City of

Edinburgh Council.

The £4.8 million building is

intended as a centre for Filmhouse

and The Edinburgh International

Film Festival.

Ken Hay, CEO of the Centre

for the Moving Image, which

incorporates both of these bodies

said the plans represented a lot of

effort over the years.

Rather than use the former

church building on Lothian Road

there has been talk for decades

of moving. Mr Hay said in a video

produced by Filmhouse CInema

Festival Square

Better Broughton just want

things to be - well, better, and

better in Broughton Street.

This is the main road leading

north from Picardy Place

roundabout towards the London

Street roundabout.

The group is not advocating on

behalf of cyclists, or pedestrians

or businesses - as what they

would like to see put in place

would actually benefit everyone.

The main aim of this, as yet

loosely constituted group,

is to create less space for

vehicles, more space for active

travel, including more room for

pedestrians - and they recommend

an uphill segregated cycle lane.

A segregated lane is included

the council's plans for Broughton

Street under Spaces for People

measures, but these are not

likely to be introduced under the

Covid-19 emergency measures

until January. Better Broughton

have already participated in the

democratic process behind the

new measures by submitting a

written deputation to the council's

Transport Committee.

They say on their website: "The

full potential of Broughton Street

is undermined by the fact that it is

frequently congested, and unsafe

for all road users. Footpaths are

too narrow, provision for cyclists

in non-existent, traffic frequently

speeds, pollution is often present,

and pedestrian crossing facilities

across the street, and the entrance

to side streets, are poor. We want

to see a street with safe crossing

that it was recognised quickly that

the building was not going to be

appropriate for the long term. He

said: "Simple things like disability

access stopped being a nice thing

to have and became absolutely

critical to have. Adapting the

190-year-old Georgian church with

its various add-on buildings to be

fully accessible was just one of

the issues."

The new Filmhouse will also

have spaces for community

engagement and learning, talent

and skills development, film

programming and audience

engagement, innovation and

enterprise, and networking to

benefit both Edinburgh and

Scotland's film industry.

The revised plan includes a

reduction in height with improved

access arrangements inside, and

detailed proposals for managing

the public space in what is

regarded as the Festival Square.

All the five auditoria (with double

the number of seats) will be on

one level underneath the Square.

There will be a rooftop terrace

and public viewpoint, a larger café

bar and separate restaurant, and

state of the art cinemas.

Asked about the impact of

Covid-19 on the Filmhouse project,

Mr Hay said that hopefully we will

get over the impact of Covid-19

points, where people can meet

and talk, and stay longer in local

shops and cafes, restaurants and

bars. Some comments at a recent

public meeting question whether

a segregated cycle lane would

prevent other infrastructure being

introduced later.

So this is a movement which is

just beginning and by no means

offering all the answers at once.

Discussion ensued around

whether Broughton might be the

ideal 15 minute neighbourhood,

with pointers to the Scottish Place

Standard and the Edinburgh Street


Architect David Jamieson has

produced lovely illustrative plans

to show what could be possible

if the traffic lanes were reduced,

and founder member, Piotr Mazur,

suggested introducing parklets,

particularly at the wide junction

with Broughton Place and Barony

Street about half way down,

making it a place to linger rather

than simply a place to pass

through. A parklet is something

like a bench usually made of wood

and often incorporating a bit of


The council's interactive map

(edinburghspacesforpeople. shows in the

pop-out legend what people have

already said they would like to

see in their area. One of the other

points discussed was to introduce

measures to promote local

business - something like Totally

Locally which has had great

success elsewhere, beginning

and that the new Filmhouse will

take about five years to complete.

But he is also confident that

people will return to cinemas. He

said: "Nothing beats sitting in a

big dark space with a bunch of

strangers watching a film you

have no idea about. It plays out

in front of you in that communal

experience of enjoyment, fear or

Innovative new Filmhouse building

Better Broughton gets busy with improvement plans

in the north of England. It was

hoped that by promoting local

shopping, it would encourage

people to walk to the shops and

build relationships with the traders

in the street. There is a wide

range of shops here from Daniel

at Something Fishy to Crombies

Butchers on the opposite side of

the street. Then there is Joey D

and of course Fred Berkmiller who

runs the L'Escargot Edinburgh.

Former Labour councillor and

MP, Mark Lazarowicz, is a founding

member of the group. He chaired

the meeting which he concluded

by saying: "We all recognise you

cannot have everything, but we

think that what we need is ways

of looking at some moves in the


"So an uphill cycle lane would be

an advantage and we could then

look at the longer term aims for

the street. We just want to make

it better for active travel, cyclists

and pedestrians.

"We have spoken to local

businesses, and we don't think we

should just wait until something

happens. We want to be proactive.

"If you make a street better

for people to use with more

sustainable forms of travel then

you benefit local shops as well. It

is all a long term objective, but we

want to start doing things now,

and we will be discussing this with

the local community council.”

Keep an eye on this group which

could be going places

terror, excitement or dismay."

Author Irvine Welsh added his

support to the new project.

He said: “Edinburgh can’t remain

bereft of cultural ambition.

"A custom built Filmhouse would

put the city on a par with some of

the great cinema capitals of the


"It would be a marvellous

resource for our community and

provide a fitting home for the

world’s oldest international film


"Why settle for being an also ran

when you can be one of the very


Ready, steady, go for new plans?

The owners of Stead's Place on

Leith Walk, Drum Property Group,

have submitted a new planning


The plans for the 2.9 acre site

include 146 apartments to the rear,

replacing the industrial units there

which would be demolished, and

refurbishment of the sandstone

building to the front. This would

become spaces for commercial

occupation, as it already is.

When Drum began the planning

process, it brought the commercial

leases of most of the occupiers

to an end. Only the Leith Depot

remains in place, but others such

as the Bed Shop and the Indian

Restaurant, Punjabi Junction, have

long since moved on. The majority

of the homes in the new scheme

would be build-for-rent and 36 are

earmarked for affordable housing

in line with planning requirements.

The buildings will be four and

five storeys high with what Drum

describe as significant green

space and access routes through

the site.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing

Director of Drum, said: “This new

planning application represents

a culmination of more than

three-and-a-half years of intense

planning, consultation and hard

work since Drum first purchased

the site in 2017.

"Our proposals will now bring an

added dimension to Leith Walk

and the wider area, transforming

what is currently an inhospitable

industrial site by creating an

attractive, open and accessible

homes-led community for

residents and visitors alike.

"This provides a comfortable

living environment, away from the

busy Leith Walk and linked through

accessible and landscaped

walkways and cycle routes to

Pilrig Park and the rest of the city.

“By retaining and refurbishing

the red sandstone buildings

facing on to Leith Walk, we are

also contributing to the wider

regeneration of the local area,

providing investment to create

an attractive and distinctive

destination and focal point which

is needed now, more than ever.

"We are pleased that our designs

have been well-received by the

local community throughout

an extensive and positive

consultation programme, and

now look forward to progressing

the application with the City of

Edinburgh Council.

“Our revised proposals will

maintain the red sandstone

building whilst incorporating

sympathetic design for the

residential quarter to the rear of

the site, creating a much-improved

access linking Leith Walk with

Pilrig Park.

"This will continue the traditions

of vibrancy and independence

which makes Leith Walk such an

exciting destination in which to

live, work and visit.”

This follows the earlier

application in 2018/19 which

was rejected by the council

and on appeal by the Scottish

Government Reporter.



by June Peebles CEO of

Edinburgh Leisure

Last year was one many of us

weren’t sad to see the back of.

Covid-19 stopped everyone in

their tracks – introducing so many

changes and uncertainty into all

our lives.

We watched lockdown have a

huge impact on people's health

and wellbeing. While some people

were more active than ever, using

their daily exercise allowance to

get outside and walk, run, cycle or

do a spot of wild swimming, many

others struggled.

For people who already faced

barriers to being active, such

as those with long term health

conditions, unpaid carers, and

families living on low incomes,

lockdown resulted in a sharp

decline in their physical and

mental health.

Edinburgh Leisure is a charity

on a mission to help everyone in

The Edinburgh Reporter

Staying active in the community

Happy 2021

June Peebles

Edinburgh lead healthier, happier

and more active lives. We are

passionate about the positive

impact physical activity has,

which is why we are proud that

our Active Communities (AC)

programme supports over 10,000

people affected by disabilities,

health conditions, poverty and

inequalities to be active each year.

We know that the people that

AC supports were amongst those

hardest hit by lockdown, with a

sudden loss of routine, an abrupt

end to the support networks

they relied on and increased

social isolation exacerbating the

problems they already faced.

Edinburgh Leisure has been

working hard to ensure our AC

projects remain safe and we have

been delighted to start welcoming

participants back since the end of

last October.

We are currently supporting

people with a combination of

in-person and virtual activities.

We have adapted programmes so

that when Edinburgh was placed

in the Scottish Government Level

3 and we were unable to deliver

adult group sessions indoors, we

moved some activities outdoors,

pre-recorded sessions for people

to try at home and will shortly

be launching a live streaming

service so that people can work

out alongside their instructor and

group in real time.

One project that recently

re-started is Active Mums, which

supports mums and their families

affected by poverty to get active.

They have swapped indoor

sessions at Leith Victoria Swim

Centre for outdoor sessions at

nearby Pilrig Park.

One mum, Laura, said: “I’m loving

being part of the Active Mums

group. The instructors have been

so creative, finding ways for us to

exercise together outside. Not only

are the sessions fun, but we feel

like a community of friends who

are there for one another.”

Although a vaccine has arrived

and brings some element of hope,

winter still lingers and so does the


If there is one thing that we have

learnt in 2020, there has never

been a more important time for

us to look after our health and

wellbeing. As well as improving

our physical health, it can improve

our mood, boost our energy levels,

reduce stress and help us to

switch off.

With our venues and services

reopened and our AC programme

having re-started, we are looking

forward to supporting everyone

affected by lockdown to rebuild

after a challenging year and work

towards a healthier, happier and

more active 2021.

Mural honours Leith character Arthur

If you have been down Leith Walk

recently you may have missed

the lovely new mural on the side

of Casa Amiga. Stop and have

a look at artist Shona Hardie’s

painting of Arthur Williams which

is both a tribute to the local man

as well as a fundraiser for charity,


It is painted on the side wall of

the café - where else but on Arthur


Arthur (83) is well known in

Leith and distinctive with his long

dreadlocks. He was homeless, and

slept rough in the area for over 20

years. Finally, after much trying,

his family obtained guardianship

for him and he has lived in a care

home since 2013, where he is

well fed and looked after and he

continues to thrive.

His family wanted to give

something back to recognise the

years of tolerance, kindness and

generosity from locals which kept

Arthur safe and alive all those

years. They decided upon the

mural which will honour him and

give some cheer to the community.

Ben Macpherson, MSP for

Edinburgh Northern and Leith,

said: “This stunning mural is a

really uplifting tribute to Arthur,

who I know is doing well in his new

home. The widespread positive

response that the painting has

received already is testament to

how much Arthur is loved by the

community in Leith and beyond.

It’s also testament to Shona

Hardie’s magnificent artwork.

What’s more, the generous

donations that are being made to

the family’s fundraising campaign,

for Streetwork, emphasise that

people want to help those in need

where they can, like local people

in Leith supported Arthur over the

years, and our shared commitment

and determination to tackle and

prevent homelessness.”

Jan Williamson, Assistant

Exercise helps us to lead a healthier lifestyle

Director for Streetwork, said,

“We are so grateful to Arthur

and his family for arranging this

mural for the community of Leith,

and for raising awareness of

homelessness and mental health.

The team at Streetwork were

honoured to know Arthur and to

have been part of his remarkable

story, he is a real gentleman and a

true Leith legend and this mural is

a fitting tribute to him.”

As part of Trams to Newhaven,

there is a project to liven up utility

boxes on Leith Walk. The box

below the mural will have text with

information for those who are

homeless or need help with mental

health issues.

You can donate to Streetwork

which is part of the Simon

Community Scotland. As little

as £1 pays for someone to have

a warm drink in a safe place off

the street, and £5 pays for a hot

shower and access to laundry.


By Cllr Cammy Day

Depute Leader of The City of

Edinburgh Council

Edinburgh Labour group along

with our MSPs Daniel Johnson and

Sarah Boyack have championed

the investment for a new Liberton

High School and Wester Hailes

Education Centre.

Along with my colleague

councillors, Lezley Marion

Cameron and Ricky Henderson, we

are excited to see this now being

realised. The Scottish Government

confirmed its support for some

of the schools investment. We

have plans in the administration

to invest £500 million in schools

as part of an inclusive net

zero carbon city. This means

community lifelong learning

and sports hubs where public

services are co-located, links

to active travel networks, green

infrastructure and strategic public

transport networks.

There are also new school

investments such as Castlebrae

Community High School, South

Queensferry and our ambitious

plans for a new Trinity Academy

in my own ward. We must keep

pressing the government to

fully fund our growing city, and

particularly our need for modern,

efficient, state of the art schools

and learning hubs for the next

generation to learn.

Wishing you all the best and a

Happy New Year for 2021.

Network Rail

fined £135,000

The Office of Rail and Road

(ORR), Scotland's Crown Office

and the Procurator Fiscal have

all prosecuted Network Rail over

a safety failure relating to the

railway fencing near Musselburgh.

The company was fined £135,000

for failing to maintain and improve

the fencing.

A 13 year-old boy was left with

serious injuries after entering

via a gap in the fence on the

railway track near Queen Margaret

University. He climbed on the

roof of a tank wagon on a freight

train stopped at signals and came

close to the overhead electricity

cable. He made contact with the

25,000 volt cable which caused an

electric shock and serious burns.

HM Chief Inspector of Railways,

Ian Prosser, said: "Network Rail

has done a lot of work to limit the

number of trespass issues on the

railway and raise awareness of the

potential life-threatening dangers

that can follow. But on this

occasion it failed to maintain an

adequate boundary to stop people

getting onto the railway track and

preventing an incident like this


"The railway is an extremely

dangerous environment and I

would urge parents to talk to their

children about its hazards and

remind them to stay away from the


Get on and go




By Laura Vida

Have you seen the Crow in

Heels? If not, you’ll find her

partying by the cycle path near

Warriston Cemetery, along with

her noisy set.

Her creator, Helen Miles, began

making graffiti mosaics back in

2017, not long after arriving in

Edinburgh. For almost half of the

previous 30 years, she had been

honing her skills in Greece.

"I get up ludicrously early to

install my graffiti mosaics and

take Farook (my dog) with me. He

sits in the grass looking serious

while I get on with preparing the

surface, spreading the adhesive

and installing the mosaic. The first

few times I did it I was petrified.

Every siren was a speeding police

car sending a squad to arrest me.

"When I was installing ‘Why Me?’

on Calton Hill, I heard the sound of

heavy footsteps pounding towards

me and thought my time was

up. I turned, heart racing, as the

steps neared me and sensing the

discomfiture of the young man –

an off-duty police officer perhaps

The Edinburgh Reporter

Edinburgh mosaicist doesn't crow about her work

Stiletto style causes a flap on Warriston cycle path

– who stood before me."

Helen is careful about where she

installs her mosaics - she favours

areas where there is already

graffiti. An epiphany came when

she realised that the council was

actually sending people to clean

graffiti off one of her mosaics.

Here was recognition indeed!

It took a long time for Helen to

find a studio large enough for all

her materials and tools. In the

meantime, she had an urge to

create - she wanted to make her

presence felt. What’s more, she

had "a deep and almost desperate

need to introduce the world to


"Mosaics aren’t talked about in

the History of Art canon because

they were made collectively, there

was no one named creator. People

just don’t get them. Perhaps

because they don’t come across

mosaics very often. They think

you can just knock one up with a

broken plate."

Helen spent a year with a master

craftsman in Thessaloniki, Greece,

before continuing her training

in Athens. She said: "I became

obsessed with Roman mosaics,

which have extraordinary designs.

I used to think one didn’t really

need to do more than that but now

I’m much more adventurous."

Known for her more traditional,

Conan Doyle Centre celebrates

by Professor Lance Butler

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Centre is ten years old.

The building in which it is

housed, a majestic stone giant

in the West End, is a lot older

than that, but the decision to

convert it into a place for spiritual

exploration was taken on the

snowy evening of December 17th

2010 by Ann Treherne.

Since then it has increased its

offerings and reach. Ann has now

bowed out as Chair of Trustees

and has handed over to me.

The Trust’s remit is to explore

and present to the public a range

of "Mind-Body-Spirit" ideas and

practices and the Centre offers

meditation, mediumship, yoga,

astrology, crystal healing and the


As a retired academic, I am

particularly focussed on the

intellectual possibilities of this

field, and want to bring these

to wider attention, to show

the scientific and materialist

Professor Lance Butler, The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

mainstream that they have

nothing to fear.

The only problem for ordinary

science is that it is in danger of

missing out on a better view of the

cosmos by ignoring the existence

of energies and dimensions

beyond what is taught as normal

in the 21st century. To this end

the number of lectures given by

leading thinkers in this broader

field has been quadrupled and our

"Tuesday Talk" series on Zoom is


We hope to return to in-theflesh

events and talks and once

again to welcome the people

of Edinburgh into our lovely

and peaceful building. The

world seems to be shifting in

a more spiritual direction. The

self-reflection occasioned by the

Covid crisis, the new realisation

that we are doomed if we do

not learn to respect our planet,

the developments in science

which finally, a century late, is

forced to admit the reality of the

"impossible" facts revealed by

Quantum Physics, all indicate that

the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

may be a small example of how

humanity can go forward to a less

destructive and selfish future.

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


25 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh,

EH12 5AP



Tel: 0131 625 0700

Edinburgh's hidden mosaicist Helen Miles

classical technique, Helen

explained: ‘If you look at the crow,

the way the tiles are laid is very

classical. There are rules about

how the tesserae (materials)are

arranged: the spaces are just

Brexit goose is cooked

by Juliet Lawrence Wilson

We find ourselves not only in the

middle of another lockdown but

Brexit too. Are the supermarket

shelves empty I wonder?

If you’re anti Brexit you might

also find yourself the socially

aware type who also disapproves

of unseasonal eating, so I’m here

to offer you some silver linings.

In all honesty who needs to be

eating strawberries in January?

Imagine a world, we may now be

living in, where asparagus is on

the menu for only three weeks of

the year. To me this would be a joy.

Seasonal eating would not only

reduce unnecessary food miles

but give us something to look

forward to and appreciate.

It might also be worth noting

that seasonal eating is probably

a healthy way to go. Have all year

round salad leaves made us any

thinner? In the days when the local

weather dictated what was on the

table, people ate lighter food in the

spring and summer, and heavier

vegetables over the autumn and

winter months. Subsequently far

fewer people were fat.

Whether were still chomping

on watercress in February or not,

learning more about seasonal

food might be a good New Year


Leith’s Seasonal Cookery Bible is

a worthy tome with just about all

you need to know. I’m also fond of

Allegra McEvedy’s Colouring The

as important as the tesserae

themselves. You don’t want to

create rivers or lines in the gaps.

If you do, the eye will fall on them.

It’s easy for a mosaic to get fussy

and distracting."

Seasons, as her recipes are fun

and quirky.

As we all know, good animal

husbandry is both the carnivores

comfort and excuse - so I’m typing

with one hand and self flagellating

with the other. In the past I’ve not

only eaten foie gras but cooked

it for many others and even

published a recipe with it. Oh dear.

I had been assured that the poor

force fed geese didn’t mind it one

little bit, however upon visiting a

foie gras farm some years ago I

discovered they very much did.

It’s illegal to manufacture foie

gras in the UK but up until now it

has been an EU imposed law to

allow the import of it. With it being

a new dawn, so to speak, it might

be the time to get the placards and

poster paints out for this one.

Flagging up Brexit issues

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter NEWS 11

The Edinburgh Reporter Best Of . . .

The Bay Tree Company

Situated in Bruntsfield The Bay

Tree Company is an independent,

specialist card and gift store

with unique and exclusive card

ranges. Supporting independent

artists. Shop online and collect is




Whether you want to re-design a

room in your home or just want to

dip a toe into the world of interior

design, our courses will help

you gain skills and confidence

in tackling any interior design


Ardgowan Distillery

Winner of the silver medal Scottish

Whisky Awards 2020. Enjoy

the award-winning Clydebuilt

Coppersmith this January. A

wonderful first fill Sherry cask

blended malt.

Free shipping and free nosing


Gallery TEN

Do you need something new for

your walls? Pop in and browse the

extensive collection of original

prints. Plus, amazing glass from

international artists. Or purchase


5 William Street EH3 7NG

Art & Craft Collective

A unique gallery and gift shop experience

in Edinburgh's Southside

- literally a cornucopia of all media.

Buy handmade art and craft from

independent artists online. Owner

Linsay says: "If we don’t have it,

we can probably find it for you."

0131 639 9123

The Hideout Café

A cosy hideout in Edinburgh

serving speciality coffee, tea,

treats and brunch. Iced lattes and

other goodies to sort you out.

Open daily

0131 552 5289

40-42 Queen Charlotte St EH6 6AT

Edinburgh Photography Workshop

Learn how to use your camera in

Edinburgh’s Old Town with awardwinning

photographer Rich Dyson.

In just four hours you’ll gain the

skills and confidence to take better

pictures. Book now to enjoy a fun




Independent Wine Company

A specialist importer of boutique

fine wines from Italy.

Carefully hand-picked awardwinning

wines of premium quality

sourced direct from the winemakers.

Oleg and Elvira visit every

vineyard personally. Online deliveries


Leith Walk Police Box

Very reasonable rates allows start

ups to use this small pop up space

as the first rung on the ladder.

From food to political parties and

all manner of things in between.

Have a look at their pop up garden

while you are there.

Croall Place EH7 4LT hello@

The Velvet Easel

Winter exhibition until 28 February.

Social distancing and sanitiser in

place here but appointments also

offered outside gallery hours for

individual viewing.

07835 813 689 Open Thursday

to Saturday 10-5pm and Sunday


Craig Banks Tailoring

Bespoke tailoring for men. Craig's

focus is on making the highest

quality personally tailored attire

that others will aspire to. His

pyjamas and dressing gowns will

make your video calls so stylish!

45 Thistle Street EH2 1DY

0131 226 7775

Something Fishy

Independent fishmonger Daniel

providing quality fresh and cured

fish. At the beginning of lockdown

there was some question over

availability - but this wee shop has

kept going. Use Schop to have

your fish delivered. From mid-Jan.

16a Broughton Street EH1 3RH

0131 556 7614


This is an easy, convenient and

eco-friendly alternative to a supermarket

shop. Working in partnership

with independent retailers,

Tim at Schop offers to deliver a

huge range of great quality food

and drink straight to your door

saving you a journey.

Paper Tiger

The shop in the West End celebrates

its 40th birthday this

year. An amazing diverse range of

cards, stationery, gifts supporting

local makers, manufacturers and

illustrators. Everything also available

online or for click and collect.

0131 226 2390

Home And Co

Property Management with integrity.

Home and Co look after your property

just as if it were their own.

They help you create homes for

great tenants in Edinburgh.

Contact Solii Brodie


Dads Rock

A fabulous charity which provides

support for dads, and support for

families. They help men understand

the important role they play

in their children's upbringing. They

do this with activities like Dads in

the Wood - when they take dads

and children outside to play.

Love Your Business

Love Your Business networking

club, which is relaxed, informal

and good fun, is now online on the

last Thursday of the month with a

host of inspiring speakers sharing

their entrepreneurial journey’s and

invaluable business tips. and

Facebook @howtolyb

The Eric Liddell Centre

An Edinburgh based care charity

and community hub, providing

key support to vulnerable people

across the city for 40 years.

They have continued to provide

alternative support services to all

clients while the centre is closed.

Newspaper subscription

Subscribe today to have your

very own copy of The Edinburgh

Reporter delivered by Royal Mail to

your front door.

Pay either monthly or annually and

support local independent news.

Broughton Place Hair and Beauty

Friendly boutique city salon.

Owner and stylist Juliet is always

happy to discuss your needs

and deliver a highly professional

service. They specialise in long

hair and tape in hair extensions.

0131 556 4478

2a Broughton Place EH1 3RX



The Edinburgh Reporter

Every photograph tells a story

For all of us, 2020 was a year

we want to forget and confine

to history as soon as time and a

Covid-19 vaccine allows.

But there were some bright spots

dotted along the way and The

Edinburgh Reporter was on hand

to report and record the ups and

downs of life in our capital city.

This postcard pictorial captures

some of those moments,

stretching from My Light Shines

On, a spectacular light and laser

show put on by the Edinburgh

International Festival. No less

inspiring was mural artist Chris

Rutterford's project to breathe life

and colour into Colinton Tunnel,

while the Royal Botanic Garden

and Calton Hill proved welcome

break out options for those of us

needing some green space during

months of lockdown.

The Red Arrows honoured us

with a capital flypast, but strangely

one of the biggest attractions

for locals was the opportunity to

visit and photograph deserted

city centre streets which would

normally be overrun by tourists.

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter FEATURE 13



The Edinburgh Reporter

MyTOT will be the first place to

look for second hand goods

MyTOT is the site for parents

looking to sell or buy good second

hand children's items.

Everyone knows how expensive

it can be kitting out your kids, so

this new app - born in Edinburgh

and quietly launched just a couple

of weeks ago - is aimed at making

the most of past purchases, and

making it easy to pick up some

new things, usually at a bit of a


This could be a good way of

decluttering and if you buy here

then you are contributing to the

circular economy rather than

buying new. MyTOT is all about

sustainability. It is free and easy

to register on the app which is

available on Google Play and

on the App Store. There are no

transaction fees or listing fees

for the moment, and the app has

been launched ahead of plan in a

determined effort to help parents

out in 2021.

Edinburgh-based MyTOT wants

to be the first choice for parents

looking for quality second hand

children's goods, and founder

Kirsten Bell explained that she

recognises the pandemic could

mean that at least some of the

High Street has to move online.

MyTOT is a "parent-powered

marketplace where you can buy

and sell quality second hand,

unused and unique children's

goods". There are various

categories of goods for sale -

Kirsten Bell, founder of myTOT

everything you need for the young

people in your life, from clothes

to toys. One of their aims is to

save parents valuable time when

searching for items they need.

It is very quick to list items, add

photos and add them to your own

'shop', allowing you to recover

some of your investment in bigger

items like prams and car seats,

and reduce waste by selling the

items your child no longer needs

rather than adding them to landfill.

We spotted a Frog tadpole bike

suitable for a toddler, which has

never been used, bundles of

books, buggies and clothes of all

shapes and sizes. All items are

listed with a photo by the seller

and the payment through PayPal

offers you protection just in case

anything goes wrong.

As well as pre-loved goods there

are handmade items, an area

which Kirsten wants to develop

even more, allowing local crafters

a place to show off their wares

without leaving home.

As well as a buying and selling

platform, the app will connect

parents, retailers and charities

who sign up. There are already

some really useful parenting tips

on the Facebook page.

The company has partnered up

with the charity Cash for Kids,

and has already donated to the

charity which responds to children

with life limiting illness, or other

support needs or indeed who are

living in poverty in Edinburgh and

the Lothians.

Items are delivered by Parcel2Go

which claims to be the cheapest

parcel delivery in the UK. There

are plenty of guidelines for sellers

and, perhaps more importantly

for buyers, about preparing goods

for delivery by cleaning and

disinfecting them.

And there are rules for

posting any items on the site

to protect buyers. The app has

been developed with advanced

technology to protect any users

against trolling and data breaches.

Kirsten Bell is the co-founder

of myTOT and concentrates on

marketing, business development

and communications. She is an

experienced graphic designer and

marketer, with direct experience

in advertising and marketing

in the retail sector. Kirsten was

the lead graphic designer and

head of marketing for Arbuthnott

Investment & Lettings prior to

founding myTOT.

After studying visual

communications and graphic

design at college, Kirsten then

graduated with a degree in

public relations, marketing and

events management, and she

was recently shortlisted for

the Business Women Scotland,

Start-up Business of the year


Barber of New Wave-rley

L-R Kyle Ross and Ryan Crighton

by Stephen Rafferty

An award-winning Aberdeen

barber has signed a 10-year lease

on a 1,118 sq ft unit within the

New Waverley development, near

the Royal Mile.

Sovereign Grooming – home of

Kyle Ross, winner of Best Barber

UK – will create 20 new jobs in the

Capital and at another new outlet

due to open in Glasgow in the


The expansion is a result of

securing a six-figure funding

package from a group of investors

led by MB Martin & Partners Ltd,

which specialises in helping highpotential

early stage companies


Sovereign Grooming offers luxury

hair and beard services alongside

a unique blend of male-focussed

waxing, massage and facial treatments.

Kyle Ross, who launched

Sovereign marketing expert Ryan

Crighton, has won a catalogue of

industry awards since opening on

Aberdeen’s Union Street in 2016,

and has been named among the

UK’s elite barbers by GQ Magazine.

Commenting on the funding

package, which is made up of

both equity investment and a debt

facility brokered by MB Martin &

Partners Ltd, Kyle said: “We are delighted

to get this deal completed

and access the capital required

to expand our business into two

more cities.

“We offer a very different salon

experience for men, bringing

together top barbers and male

image experts to offer a complete

grooming experience.”

Ryan Crighton, who was a

journalist for 10 years before

moving into marketing, added: “We

are excited about the business

experience and pedigree which

our investors bring to the table.

As we execute our business plan

in a rapidly changing business

environment, it is reassuring to be

working alongside partners who

have been over the course before."

MB Martin & Partners Ltd

Chief Executive, Moray Martin,

has joined Sovereign’s board as

chairman under the deal and will

support the business founders

through the growth phase.

Mr Martin said: “I am delighted

that we have been able to coordinate

and provide financial

support to Sovereign. We recognise

the ability, experience and

commitment of the founding team

and their complementary skill-sets

make this an attractive business

to invest in.”

Mr Ross and Mr Crighton remain

the largest shareholders in the

business, retaining 80% of the

firm’s equity shares between them.

An employee share scheme has

also been carved out as part of the

deal, which over time will see 10%

of the business owned by loyal

and strategically important staff.

Anderson Strathern acted on

behalf of the investors in the deal,

while Aberdein Considine advised

Sovereign Grooming on both the

investment and commercial lease.

The business and its founders

also received tax support from

Anderson Anderson & Brown.

Ritchie Whyte, a Partner in

Aberdein Considine’s Corporate

& Business Advisory team, said:

“It’s great to get this deal over the

line and to see confidence in a

high street business during this

unprecedented time. Sovereign

has rebounded strongly to secure

this backing, which will kick-start

an exciting new chapter for the


Look out for bikes

Cyclists can be hard to see in the dark

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter BUSINESS 15

Le Petit Café - a little touch of Paris

Owners of Le Petit Café Mathias and Marion Briard

by Phyllis Stephen

Mathias and Marion Briard were

our models for the front cover of

our December edition.

I visited them at their café with

some copies of the December

paper which they are now sending

to family back in France.

The Briards came to Scotland

on holiday and fell in love with the

country. They had thought of opening

a café in Perth where they liked

the countryside, but decided it

was a better move to come to the

capital where there was more of

a buzz and a ready-made French


Mathias has worked in the

restaurant business for over a

decade, owning a restaurant in

Normandy. They decided to open

a café in Scotland and live here.

Now Le Petit Café is open Monday

to Sunday 9am to 6pm offering

delicious freshly squeezed orange

House builder CALA has reported

high demand for the houses at its

Waterfront Plaza Development

in Leith. The homes are based

on a reinvention of Edinburgh’s

colonies and it appears that the

expansion of the tram route to Newhaven

is having a positive impact

on sales.

juice, coffee roasted in Kinross by

Unorthodox Coffee and macarons

from La Macaronnerie.

The lovely surroundings with a

chic décor and chandeliers are

only surpassed by the specialities

on their menu which change

monthly. Their main offering is the

French pizza - the galette - which

is a pancake with savoury toppings.

And they can also step in to

fill the gap left by any ski holidays

this year by serving you the sweet

crêpes you might otherwise miss.

After the success of the TV

series, they offered the "Emily in

Paris" breakfast for a while - and

struck gold as it was not only

popular with their customers,

but it also came to the notice of

the show's actors and costume

designer through Instagram. Don't

worry - they plan to bring it back

and there will be special celebrations

in February too for Valentine's


Leith homes on track

All 21 colony apartments were

sold in less than six months,

though there are still some townhouses

and apartments available

with all sizes from one to four bedrooms

on offer. Buyers have said

that the appeal of having a tram at

Ocean Terminal is a major factor.

The trams extension has put Waterfront Plaza on track

With a staff of three in the

kitchen plus themselves and a

waitress at weekends, they pride

themselves on recruiting the right

people and also training. All those

who work in Le Petit Café are

multi-skilled, and Mathias is just

as likely to prepare an omelette for

you in the kitchen as well as greet

you at front of house.

Marion studied communications

and worked in a perfumier

before the couple came to live

in Scotland. She now runs the

social media accounts where the

little piece of La Belle France is

fast coming to the attention of

Edinburgh foodies. If you become

a customer you are likely to go

back - and to encourage you to do

so there is a loyalty card scheme.

Their prices are determinedly

affordable, and the location next

to the Edinburgh International

Conference Centre is right in the

centre of the capital's business

district. And as a throwback to her

involvement in perfume the café

has its own scent - with a hint of

coffee. Ask to try it when you visit

the Morrison Street shop.

While some people may not wish

to go out, there is always Deliveroo

who will deliver the crêpes,

including gluten free varieties,

but you will be entranced by the

sophisticated atmosphere which

the couple has created.

And if you are out walking your

dog then feel free to take Fido in

for a drink of water and a treat.

This café is dog friendly too. Très


Lesley Coyle, Senior Sales Consultant

with CALA Homes (East)

based on location at Waterfront

Plaza, said: “Having the tram close

by is a big deal for buyers here and

it is referenced regularly during

early visits.

“I’ve no doubt it is playing a role

in our strong sales here. While

the pandemic has impacted our

behaviours greatly, we have buyers

who work near the airport, or need

to use the airport regularly.

“To many, they feel they can

now realistically consider Leith,

whereas before they’d have stuck

closer to their work.

“Many more are simply excited at

the evolution of this part of town,

something symbolised by the tram

extension – or having another

option that allows them to go

somewhere without the car.”

Bocca Bona want pizza the action

Chris Moonie (left) and Davide Scuccato

by Stephen Rafferty

A business partnership founded

on pasta and pupils had led to

the opening of a new pizzeria in


Chris Moonie and Davide Scuccato

both run successful Leith

businesses, but suffered the double

whammy of disruption caused

by the Edinburgh trams extension

and the coronavirus pandemic.

Davide’s La Riva restaurant in Assembly

Street provided hundreds

of lunches each week to pupils attending

Chris’s Mackenzie School

of English in nearby Constitution

Street.The arrangement was a

winner with teenage students from

Italy, Spain and Austria who made

up the bulk on the international

roll call at the successful language

and cultural school.

Following a major refurbishment

and investment, 2020 was

expected to be the school’s best

year with £2.5 million in revenue

forecast, but when Covid-19 struck

business disappeared as anxious

students remained at home in


The economic fall-out of coronavirus

had a knock on effect on La

Riva, which was already dealing

with vastly reduced footfall due

to the ongoing tram extension

construction. But the two neighbouring

entrepreneurs decided to

combine their business and hospitality

skills to open Bocca Bono

pizzeria in Balerno’s Main Street,

filling a gap in the market.

The literal translation of Bocca

Bona is “good mouth” and it refers

to someone who enjoys good food

and appreciates quality produce.

Since it opened last month business

has been brisk and customers

are enjoying Davide’s pizza

making skills, honed in the Veneto

region of northern Italy from where

he originates.

Chris said: “La Riva had been

badly impacted by the trams

project which has been a real challenge

for many Leith businesses

and the pandemic was the topping

on the pizza which Davide could

have done without. My international

school was set up to enjoy our

most successful year in business

but that all came to a grinding halt

when the full consequences of

Covid-19 started to hit home.

“We have a good working relationship

and decided to combine

my business and marketing skills

with Davide’s food and hospitality

expertise. Our market research

showed Edinburgh is saturated

with pizzerias but there is nothing

in the Balerno area, and certainly

nothing remotely like Bocca Bona,

where each week we ship in the

highest quality fresh ingredients

direct from Italy.

“The initial signs are promising

and customers seem to appreciate

the care and effort that we put in

to sourcing traditional and authentic

ingredients. We hope that once

Bocca Bona is established that we

will open further outlets.”

Chris still hopes that in time he

will be able to reopen the language

school which was founded

in 2008. In addition to providing

English tutoring, the Mackenzie

School introduces students to

Scottish culture through visits to

leading historical and educational


Meantime, he will launch Wee

Mack’s nursery in the same building,

catering for young children

aged from six months to preschool.

There are four large play

zones with access to an 80 sq

m play area and space available

for 70 children across four age


Wee Mack’s was created during

the Covid-19 pandemic and

therefore the nursery has been designed

to follow new government

guidelines regarding distancing,

infection control and hygiene in an

early learning setting.

Use lights at night

Make sure you'’’re visible in the dark



The Edinburgh Reporter

Edinburgh Collected

Howie Pearson added this image to Edinburgh Collected. He said: “This was taken on the morning of the 20th of January 2018 when walking up the Pentland Hills.

“I had recently been to Lapland and I'd never believed Edinburgh could be like that."

Edinburgh Collected is a community archive of Edinburgh memories. Everyone can browse, or you can sign up to upload your own memories, save your favourite memories in a scrapbook.

The archive is managed and maintained by Edinburgh Libraries, part of The City of Edinburgh Council. All the material added will expand the City’s digital heritage collections, adding to the

material held in the Central Library, already the most extensive collection about Edinburgh in existence..

Crossword by David Albury Answers on page 20


1. Unbolt stands, reducing them to basic

components (4,3,5)

9. Central area of Pinner, for example? (5)

10. Eyelet can be destroyed by this

flammable gas (9)

11. How a drink can represent something

one has created (9)

12. Bits of cacti tangled up with giant (5)

13. Reduction of pain, for example, if reel is

fixed in place (6)

15. Changing climates affect this climber (8)

18. Programme where people talk about

what cosh to use? (4,4)

19. All together inside frozen block (2,4)

22. Put forward for sale as part of fertility rite (5)

24. I can still pick out a minute amount (9)

26. Dash north in response to this symbolic

message (9)

27. Fixing pin in part of drive-through

service area (5)

28. Tanners knife used by Shelley's doctor? (12)

1 2 3 4 5 6


1. Therein lies confusion, not one thing nor

another (7)

2. Nonet returned to this joint (5)

3. Resin rail built into flying craft (9)

4. Member of the clergy found inside a

consecrated building (6)

5. Excessive measures to ensure Orville

receives his knighthood (8)

6. Secret meeting place might test a holy man (5)

7. Compel Attlee to become an abstainer (8)

8. Sent in to play this game? (6)

14. Regal fop jumping over another in

this game (8)

16. A smart man can be turned into a

weapon-bearing soldier (3-2-4)

17. Helmsman shows way to coax wins (8)

18. Confusing echo, so select this one (6)

20. Can't she show the way to punish? (7)

21. Bride I play golf with scores one under par (6)

23. Armature turns in either direction (5)

25. Raised barrier in the middle of sleeves (5)

7 8

9 10

11 12

13 14 15 16


18 19 20


22 23 24 25

26 27


Chamomile comes home with you

A little home spa is good for you

by Elaine Darling

As a lover of facials and the

benefits to be gained from regular

treatments, my skin is definitely

showing signs of the coronavirus


As it is mandatory to wear a face

mask when in enclosed spaces I

don’t remember the last time I enjoyed

a CACI or Crystal Clear facial

at Chamomile Sanctuary.

However, the introduction of

Chamomile at Home has certainly

helped fill the void.

It is always exciting to receive a

package straight to your door and

the contents of this sophisticated

box don’t disappoint. Everything is

included for a Medik8 anti-ageing

facial together with a link to an exclusive

video featuring a therapist

explaining each step and how to

use the products. It even includes

a headband, mitt and sponge to

help ensure the total spa experience.

From first to last I paid attention

and followed the instructions

diligently from cleansing and exfoliation

to applying the Ultimate

Recovery Bio-cellulose Mask and

c-tetra. It was one of the most

enjoyable hours I have spent and

my skin definitely feels as though

it has had a special treat.

Chamomile at Home costs £70

(or £90 for two facials for one) and

is delivered directly to your own

front door.

It includes full size Eyes & Lips

Micellar Cleanse and Daily Refresh

Balancing Toner (worth £29)

Simply call the spa reception on

0131-220 1000 or email spa@ Full

details are available

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter FOOD 17

Juliet's Food Diary - Mickel maks a muckle at Eddie's

by Juliet Lawrence Wilson

A happy New Year to you all

- may full be your belly with a

license on your telly.

Apologies to Paulo Nutini,

a performer who looks, to my

untrained medical eye, almost

permanently constipated. If this is

your digestive problem (although

possibly discouraged by the BMA)

kale for dinner then an espresso

and fag in the morning definitely

does the trick. No need to thank

me on your next album credits

Paulo, your ability to sing in an

upright position shall be reward

enough for me.

Last Hogmanay I was at the

Street Party, reporting for this

very publication. I was meeting

strangers who were full of New

Year’s hope, in an endeavour to

combat my own annual turn-ofthe-year

dread. Even a gin bottle

half empty pessimist such as

I could not have foreseen the

2020 that was to come. If anyone

had told me I wouldn’t be able to

simply walk into a pub on a whim,

stride to the bar and order a drink,

I would have told them they were

Lord Mad from the town of Loony

in the region of Bonkersville.

The Italian Job - five wines from the Dolomite Alps

Alto Adige, in the foothills of the

Dolomite Alps, is known for producing

the best Pinot Noir (Pinot

Nero) in Italy.

The denomination is part of the

wider Trentino-Alto Adige region,

which is famous for cool-climate

wines. While aromatic white wines

like Gewürztraminer and Pinot

Grigio are the best-known, the

region's light-bodied and elegant

red wines are also well worth


Oleg Dmitriev of Independent

Wines recommends five of the

best Alto Adige DOC Pinot Noir

wines to try right now.

Pinot Noir – or Pinot Nero in

Italian – accounts for 8.9% of Alto

Adige's vineyard area, covering

494 hectares. Most of it is grown

on terraced slopes halfway up the

foothills, starting at 400m above

sea level. Some truly magnificent

high altitude Pinot Noirs are also

made in the region, produced

from grapes that grow more than

a kilometre above sea level. This

expressive grape is excellent at

showcasing its terroir, and in Alto

Adige the grape is usually grown

on calcareous gravel.

Although Alto Adige is a cool

Eddie's Seafood Market owner Campbell Mickel wears his heart on his sleeve

If they’d told me my drinking

restrictions were because I might

catch or pass on a deadly disease,

I’d have said: “Chance would be a

fine thing.”

What hope have we now? In the

lead up to Christmas eateries

were allowed to open until 6pm

with no alcohol served. I mean,

really? Do people have a couple of

vinos over lunch and start hugging

each other? At my daughter’s

insufferably middle class school,

we’ve had several warnings from

the headteacher over playground

parent embracing and this is just

from adults high on avocado and

home-baked sourdough.

Anyway, some continue to

have hope and ambition: enter

Campbell Mickel, proprietor of a

fancy schmancy catering business

climate region, it also gets a lot

of sunshine – more than 300

days per year, to be precise. The

Pinot Noir vines are grown on the

south-east and south-west facing

slopes of the Adige river valley, an

aspect which gives them plenty of

sun exposure. During the day, the

bright light and warmth help the

sugars and aromas develop inside

the grapes. By night, the cool

mountain winds and high altitude

combine to keep the grapes cool –

so they maintain plenty of acid for

a crisp, juicy flavour.

•Kurtatsch Mazon Pinot Noir

Riserva 2016 – matured inside

a mountain cave, this Pinot Noir

has a distinct mineral flavour. It

tastes like Alpine woodland: wild

strawberry, mint and a hint of forest


•Kurtatsch Glen Pinot Noir

Riserva 2017 – named one of the

ten best Pinot Noirs in Italy by the

“Concorso Pinot Nero”, this highly

complex wine boasts flavours of

hibiscus tea, cranberry, rosemary

and clove.

•K.Martini & Sohn, Paladium Pinot

Noir 2017 – exclusively available

from Independent Wine in the

UK, this award-winning Pinot Noir

that caused him so much stress

he nearly died of a heart attack.

Not to be deterred he then decided

to open Merienda in Stockbridge

and with a restaurant on board

thought about finishing the job

off properly. Sadly, it didn’t work,

so with fearless intrepidation he

decided to go for a new business

opportunity that would see him

rising at three in the morning,

working harder “than when I was

a commis chef in ‘88”, and in cold

and unforgiving temperatures.

Yes, my chum has purchased

the institution that is Eddie’s

Seafood Market in Bruntsfield -

cardiologists at the ready.

In all seriousness, Campbell

thrives on hard work and

optimism. Visiting him in his new

business, I’ve never seen him look

The Italian Dolomites

is gently aged in large second-use

oak barrels. This adds a hint of

spice without overpowering the

natural perfume of the wine.

•Peter Zemmer Pinot Noir Riserva

Vigna Kofl 2017 – another

so healthy and vibrant, from the

nose up at least.

“I was doing home delivery at

Merienda from the beginning of

lock down, and it was going really

well, then everyone started doing

it. Even though I didn’t take a

day off I wanted to be busier and

seeing the queues outside the

good food shops made me think,

its time to find a different way to

be in the food business.”

Everyone was wondering who

would take on an Edinburgh

institution such as Eddie’s, and

Campbell tells me it was both a

long and quick decision.

“I’d been a trade customer for

25 years so knew Eddie, his wife

Sylvia, and the business, really

well. It had been on the market for

five weeks and I just woke up one

UK-exclusive, this Pinot Noir tastes

of rose petals, cloves and dried

strawberry. It comes from a single

vineyard located 1,030 metres

above sea level.

•Peter Zemmer Pinot Noir Rolhüt

morning, went up there and did the

deal that day. Once the legal stuff

had been made formal, I started

working with Eddie right away.

Six weeks later I took over the

business properly. I’m grateful to

Eddie that he’s always on tap for

advice and he still turns up at the

fish market from time to time at

three in the morning!”

While Campbell is a "put the

world to rights" old chap, his wife,

Giselle is the epitomé of a warm

hearted, charming and beautiful

young woman. Despite having

a "proper" job, she couldn’t be

more supportive of her husband’s

various endeavours.

“This business is definitely more

busy and intense than running a

restaurant,” Giselle tells me, “But

for Campbell it’s the same as far

as customer service is concerned.

He’s taken on more staff so there’s

not a queue outside and he looks

to buy and sell seafood from a

chef's point of view.”

“Doesn’t she look great in white

wellie boots?” Campbell teases

her. Giselle rolls her eyes but you

can tell this partnership is a true


“In the beginning of January we’ll

close for a couple of weeks so that

we can do a refurb and make this

shop look like our personalities.”

“Hmm, grumpy then.” Campbell

remarks. Hopeful and can do, I


I’m not alone in wishing them all

the best and can’t wait to see the


Eddies Seafood Market

7 Roseneath Street

0131 229 4207

2018 – captivating flavours of

fresh and dried red fruits characterise

this bright and velvety wine,

crafted at Peter Zemmer's familyowned




There is a new portrait of singer

Horse McDonald hanging in the

heart of the Scottish National

Portrait Gallery (although you will

have to take our word for it until

you can access the gallery possibly

after the middle of the month).

This is an oil painting by artist

Roxana Halls. As part of the

process of sitting for the portrait

Horse sang "Careful" live and a

capella for the artist at her London

studio. It resulted in a portrait

which the artist says depicts a mix

of all the live moments, mannerisms

and movements which she

witnessed while Horse performed,

rather than one specific pose.

Horse McDonald, born in

Newport-on-Tay in Fife, has been

writing and performing for over 30

The Edinburgh Reporter

Portrait gallery mounts Horse painting

years, during which time she has

built up a reputation as an iconic

and unique singer-songwriter.

She is one of Scotland’s most

celebrated performers and has

released nine albums. Q magazine

described her as owning "one of

the finest voices of modern times,

soul and intelligence combined".

She has opened for and toured

with international artists including

Tina Turner, BB King, Bryan Ferry

and Burt Bacharach.

Horse said: "I was incredibly flattered

and grateful to have my portrait

painted by Roxana. We spent

a lot of time talking and sharing

our experiences, finding so much

in common in our work and lives.

The journey which brought us together

and then, in turn, the fates

that continued for the portrait to

then be acquired for the SNPG, is

nothing short of magical.

“I was both shocked and thrilled

when I saw the painting because

not only has it captured the

energy and the passion of the ‘me’

I feel inside, but it is very much a

Roxana Halls' painting. I cannot

find the words to express my pride,

honour and privilege to be on display

amongst our nation’s peers

and generations of dignitaries.

"This is something I could never,

ever have envisaged. I am most

humbled at the thought of children

seeing my portrait in such a setting

and finding inspiration and

courage from it.”

Janey's star Burns

bright at Big Supper

Janey Godley has kept us all

going in 2020 with her comedy

take off videos of the press calls

mainly by the First Minister, but

also occasionally straying

across the border.

Now she will perform

the MC duties at the

digital Big Burns Supper,

welcoming KT Tunstall,

Donovan, Tide Lines,

Dougie Maclean,

Robert Softly Gale,

Skerryvore and Amy


This is promising to be the largest

gathering to honour Rabbie

Burns, and is the tenth outing for

Godley's Burns Night special.

There will be haggis involved

in the form of Le Haggis! the

Dumfries-born Celtic cabaret with

a specially curated set of artistic

collaborations from Le Haggis

acts past and present.

Pupils from primary schools will

take part in a massive community

singalong of Auld Lang Syne in a

version first arranged by Robert

Shields in 2011 when the first Big

Burns Supper was held.

Janey Godley, said: ‘I am

super excited to do this as

it’s the first time I can do

a Burns do in my bare

feet beside a window.’

KT Tunstall, said:

“The 2019 Big Burns

Supper was easily one

of my top Burns Night

celebrations ever! The

energy in the spiegeltent that night

was totally electric and although

for now we can’t party again inperson,

I’m so looking forward to

joining the digital celebrations in

2021 to help mark the festival’s

10th anniversary with a very special

performance from yours truly

just for the occasion.”

FREE on 25 January, 7.00pm to

8.15pm on Facebook and You-


Singer Horse McDonald painted by Roxana Halls

Children's 2021 festival is going ahead

Edinburgh International Children’s

Festival confirmed that it

will definitely go ahead in 2021.

Imaginate, the organisation

which produces the successful

Edinburgh International Children’s

Festival, have confirmed that they

are planning an exciting festival

this year, and that it will go ahead

in one form or another from 25

May – 6 June.

They will also continue to run

their year-round schools programme

and creative development

for artists.

As usual, the Festival will showcase

theatre and dance created

especially for children and young


With Covid-19 restrictions likely

to be still in place, the Festival’s

programme will focus primarily

on Scottish and UK productions,

with a combination of outdoor and

smaller capacity in-venue performances.

Families will also be able to enjoy

a series of pop-up performances

throughout the city over the first

and final weekend of the Festival.

Extra measures will be put in place

to ensure everyone’s safety and

there will also be digital events on

offer for those who would rather

stay at home.

The decision was made to confirm

the programme now in order

to give the selected artists and

companies some assurance about

the future. Freelancers have been

hit particularly hard by Covid and

Imaginate’s support is a welcome


The pandemic has also had

a huge impact on children and

young people who have had no access

to live performances during

this period.

As part of the Festival programme,

Imaginate are commissioning

16 new works which will

involve over 100 freelancers based

in Scotland and making a commitment

to pay them whether their

performance is allowed to happen

or not.

However, digital versions of many

of the events are being developed

to limit the risk of cancelling them.

Festival Director Noel Jordan

said: “Our primary goal is to make

sure our young audiences have access

to high quality performances

in May.

"It would have been tempting to

wait to confirm the programme

until we had more certainty about

restrictions but we feel it is important

to make a commitment to the

artists and companies who rely on

us to platform their work.

"Imaginate’s mission is to help

develop and promote new theatre

and dance for young people and

we are delighted to be able to

support artists based in Scotland

to create new work for the Festival

and to showcase them in May.

"Ultimately, if restrictions prevent

us presenting everything we have

planned, we feel it will have been a

worthwhile investment and we are

confident that this work can still

be presented in the future, at our

Festival or elsewhere.”

Free entertainment on Burns Night

Luck out on Luckenbooth

One of the success stories of

our virtual lives in 2020 was the

Edinburgh International Book Festival

(EIBF) which barely skipped a

page before launching its series of

events online.

On Friday 15 January at 7pm the

EIBF will live stream a brand new

event with authors Jenni Fagan

and Denise Mina, to celebrate the

launch of Fagan's ground-breaking

new novel Luckenbooth. The event

is free – there’s no need to book.

Once in a while, a novel arrives

that changes the way we

see and experience a place that

we think we already know so

well. Edinburgh is a city brimming

with stories - almost every

building whispers history and

holds secrets, stashed away in

the stonework. And Jenni Fagan’s

spectacular third novel Luckenbooth

takes us to the heart of the

city and its people.

Join the critically acclaimed

Edinburgh-based author of The

Panopticon and The Sunlight

Pilgrims in her very first event

about her new book, alongside

another of our favourite authors,

the Glaswegian crime writer and

playwright Denise Mina. Together

they dive into the depths of the

remarkable Luckenbooth, a dazzling

work of history and ambition

that marks a major moment in the

literary life of Edinburgh. Enjoy

an hour of enlightening entertainment,

broadcast live from the EIBF

studio in Edinburgh.

Luckenbooth spans nearly a century

in the tenement at 10 Luckenbooth

Close. It begins in 1910 as

the devil’s daughter rows a coffin

to the shores of Leith, sold by her

father to a rich couple to have their

child. The tragic events that follow

lead to a curse that will plague the

lives of the eclectic collection of

tenement residents. In her novel

told over nine decades and up

and down nine floors, Fagan gifts

readers lessons of history as the

building and its inhabitants bear

witness to the changing world

outside the tenement walls.

@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter WHAT'S ON 19

Explore Our Town Stories online

Our Town Stories is the interactive

website from Edinburgh

Libraries which you can use to

explore Edinburgh’s history.

It is a fantastic resource for

education, researchers and anyone

interested in discovering a little

more about the history of our

beautiful city in a fun and engaging


The website uses images and

historical maps from Edinburgh

Central Library’s heritage collections

to tell bitesize stories about

all aspects of Edinburgh from

1700. The site also includes story

contributions from some partner

Alnwickhill Filter Beds - an Our Town Story

organisations such as Corstorphine

Trust, Edinburgh City Archives,

Edinburgh Zoo, Lothian and

Borders Fire and Rescue Service

and UNESCO City of Literature.

The website was redesigned

during the summer and you can

now enjoy the site on all devices -

computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Audio and video content, more historical

maps and a handy search

function have also been added.

The user-friendly map-based

interface and timeline have been

retained along with the ever-popular

Then & Now images.

Library staff are steadily adding

more stories so that there is

something new to discover each

time you visit. Most recent new

stories include the story of William

Creech, who is perhaps little

known today, but was a significant

member of Edinburgh society

during the Enlightenment and

responsible for publishing Robert

Burns’ poems, the story of how a

clean and safe water supply was

brought to Liberton, and the story

of Portobello, its history, landmark

buildings and notable former


Arusha launch

virtual shop

Arusha Gallery has opened an

online store with a curated selection

of publications, limited edition

prints and art objects.

This is another step in the

Arusha timeline adding to the

programme of events and exhibitions.

Art lovers can buy limited

edition and exclusive items from a

range of the artists represented by

the gallery as well as a number of

contemporary makers and designers.

The online space allows the

gallery to show much more than

they are able to in the physical gallery

on Dundas Street.

They will rotate the featured

artists and the opening exhibition

includes a Charlotte Keates Monograph

which is a way of introducing

the artist and her work. There

will be a solo exhibition of Keates’

work in 2021.

Agnieszka Prendota, Creative

Director at Arusha Gallery, said:

“We are delighted to announce

the launch of the Arusha Gallery

online store and hope that

our customers and clients enjoy

browsing through it as much as

we enjoyed curating it. Home to an

eclectic mix of publications, objet

d’art and limited edition prints, the

store is not simply an extension of

the gallery proper, but rather a new

platform from which we can shine

a spotlight on a further selection

of makers, artists and art forms.”

The Queen's

Hall in 2021

At the Queen’s Hall the lights

have been a little less bright for

months now, but the team are

looking forward to welcoming

some big names in 2021, such as

Peat and Diesel, Suggs, Pictish

Trail and The Robert Cray Band.

Horse will bring her "Best in

Show" to the hall in June and Dr

John Cooper Clarke plans to be

there on 30 May. And there could

be concerts by Steve Harley and

Cockney Rebel, Leo Sayer and

Wishbone Ash for those of you of

a certain vintage.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra

have been filming in the hall to

produce their series of concerts

which you can view on their You-

Tube or Facebook channels.

Proving that they are more than

just a music venue it will host the

postponed Question Time style

debate on Scotland’s future on

6 April with Paul Kavanagh, aka

Wee Ginger Dug, along with Robin

McAlpine, former MSP Colin Fox,

and former MP Michelle Thomson.

There is the usual caveat on the

Queen’s Hall website that some of

the shows planned for early on in

the year may not take place, but

they are very hopeful of a return to

business of some kind after that.

Meantime support the venue

with any advance purchases of

tickets you can manage.



per month




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• With only one round a month, the

membership pays for itself

• Up to 6 courses to play, with

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• Priority booking for members

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The Edinburgh Reporter

Antonine Wall project goes the distance

funding is already secured.

Words and Photos by John


Two artists working on part

of the three year Rediscovering

the Antonine Wall project are

both Edinburgh College of Art


Svetlana Kondakova and Gordon

Simpson of Big Red Blacksmiths.

are involved in the "Antonine

Wall Distance Stones" project.

Their work aims to build better

connections along the length

of the Roman remains of the

Antonine Wall. Archaeological

discoveries here have determined

that the construction of the

Wall involved the erection of

carved stone "Distance Slabs" -

now displayed in the Hunterian

Museum in Glasgow - which

celebrated the achievements of

the Roman Legions responsible

for each section.

In 2017, proposals were

developed for the siting and

interpretation of five replica

Roman Distance Stones across

the length of the wall. The five

stones are situated in each of

the five local authorities that the

Antonine Wall passes through, and

For two of the sites, outline

concepts were developed for

sculptural Roman "heads", in

the form of a legionnaire and an

officer, to be located in prominent

places to raise greater awareness

of the local Roman influence.

In collaboration with Gordon

Simpson the commissioned artist,

Svetlana Kondakova, worked on

the design of a giant weathering

steel sculpture of a Roman

officer’s head to be placed at

Nethercroy, near Kilsyth.

The build started back in

late-February/early March, but

the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop

to much meaningful work, so

installation of the sculpture was

delayed until mid-December.

The six metre tall head in

question is called Silvanus, the

god protector of forests and cattle.

This was suggested and voted

on by locals through an online

naming campaign. He looks to the

North as if contemplating what

might have been.

Work on the Roman head nears completion at Nethercroy, near Kilsyth

Book gives up Edinburgh's secrets

Secret Edinburgh An Unusual

Guide by Hannah Robinson

Review by Martin P McAdam

I have lived in Edinburgh for the

past 12 years and I pride myself on

learning and getting to know many

of the unusual buildings, locations

and statues in the city.

However, having read Secret

Edinburgh An Unusual Guide, it

turns out I am a novice.

This delightful wee book

contains many wonderful

locations, artefacts, buildings and

visual attractions which I was

completely unaware of.

The book is laid out along

geographic locations and covers

guides to Old Town, New Town

North-Leith, South etc. Each

location is accompanied by a

street map and you can build

your own walking tour around the

attractions that you would like to


There is a lot of detail in the

book. Each entry provides you with

a good history of the item and is

accompanied by photographs.

Here comes the dilemma - if you

are visiting the city then which of

these locations do you decide to

visit? Will the fact that you already

have the guide dissuade you from

visiting? I don’t think so – I have

learned a lot from the book and

revisiting some of the attractions

gave me quite a number of new


Well done to Ms Robinson for all

the research.

Buy the book if you live in the city

and want to explore more of it. Buy

the book if you are coming to the

city and want to get off the beaten


Some of the locations are not

normally open to the public and

you may need to book in advance

to get in.

Helpfully, the Unusual Guide

gives website, Facebook and

telephone details where available

as well as bus routes and tram


Current Covid-19 restrictions may

also restrict access and it is worth


Plenty of surprises in new book

Hannah Robinson is an

Edinburgh born author,

screenwriter and director.

Crossword Answers by David Albury

She has written two secret guide

books - one to the secret places

of her home city, and one to the

unusual bars and restaurants of


As a screenwriter she has won

three Hollywood script awards.

Her company Palindromicals

(so called because it's creative

from back to front) specialises in

making animations and promos.

Published by Jonglez Publishing.

Across: 1. Nuts and bolts, 9. Inner, 10. Acetylene, 11. Handiwork,

12. Titan, 13. Relief, 15. Clematis, 18. Chat show, 19. En bloc, 22. Offer,

24. Scintilla, 26. Shorthand, 27. Rivet, 28. Frankenstein.

Down: 1. Neither, 2. Tenon, 3. Airliners, 4. Deacon, 5. Overkill, 6. Tryst,

7. Teetotal, 8. Tennis, 14. Leapfrog, 16. Man-at-arms, 17. Coxswain,

18. Choose, 20. Chasten, 21. Birdie, 23. Rotor, 25. Levee.

Gordon Simpson welding panels together inside the Roman head

Edinburgh Sketcher

Mark, the Edinburgh Sketcher,

has a number of printed items

including mugs, tea towels and

gift cards, which feature his ink

and watercolour sketches of the


They are available together with

mounted prints and originals in

a few independent shops around

Edinburgh and on Etsy. Individual

goods are stocked by many shops

in Edinburgh including Paper

Tiger and Art & Craft Collective.

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discover why Care UK leads the way.

To arrange a virtual tour or one-to-one video chat,

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The Edinburgh Reporter

Where next for Robbie Neilson?

by Duncan Robertson

It may be an understatement but

the last couple of years have been

rocky down Tynecastle way.

From the drawn out "will she,

wont she" sacking of Craig

Levein, dire league form, ultimate

Big character - former coach Craig Levein

By John Hislop

It’s been a disappointing firsthalf

of the SWPL season for

Hibernian Women who currently

sit in fourth place after seven

games but Head Coach Dean

Gibson believes there has been

positives from their performances,

if not the results.

This was always going to be a

difficult league campaign now that

both Rangers and Celtic have the

ability to attract top-class players,

provide top-class coaching and,

crucially, have moved to full-time

professional women's football.

Even Glasgow City, after 13 years

of consecutive titles and unrivalled

success, now face their most

serious challenge: keeping up with

the financial might of the Old Firm.

In addition, Hearts won

promotion to the SWPL last

season after Anne Budge pledged

to provide financial support

and appointed former Northern

Ireland international Andy Kirk

as manager. A narrow defeat to

Rangers thanks to a goal from

former player Chelsea Cornet was

followed by a 3-2 loss away to

Glasgow City. Both games could

have gone either way but Celtic

proved far too strong for Hibs

at Ainslie Park and left with full

points after a comprehensive 6-2


The biggest disappointment

demotion to the Championship

and a major fallout across the


With Championship status likely,

Ann Budge turned to Robbie

Neilson - entrusting him to

bring Hearts roaring back to the

Premiership with his title winning

Hibs Women disappointing start

however came from a 1-0 defeat to

city rivals Hearts at the Oriam after

dominating for the majority of the

90-minutes before losing a last

minute goal from Paige McAllister.

That win provided Hearts with

their only points of the season to

date. The league resumes on 17

Head coach Dean Gibson PHOTO Thomas Brown

track record in maroon as well as,

most recently, with Dundee United.

The appointment was met

with general positivity in Jambo

circles, but not universally. A small,

but vocal, minority expressed

frustration at his appointment.

In their eyes, Neilson’s style of

play is dull and, most importantly,

he struggles, they believe, in big

games. Being cynical, you could

say some will simply never forgive

him for surrendering a 2-0 Scottish

Cup lead to Alan Stubbs’ Hibs in

a season that saw Hearts’ great

rivals bring the trophy back to

Leith for the first time since 1902.

However, is Robbie Neilson

second time around a different

beast? This is a man who has

taken his side to within a couple

of spot kicks of a Scottish

Cup, going toe-to-toe with an

all-conquering Celtic side over

120 minutes – showing true

resilience and character to battle

from 2-0 and 3-2 down. Perhaps

more importantly, his charges

January when Hibs face an away

fixture against Spartans.

Gibson said: “It’s been a difficult

start to the season based on

results. There have been a lot of

positives to take from the games

we have played.”

dispatched Hibs in the semi-final –

a game he evidently had lasered in

on as soon as he regained control

at Tynecastle.

And perhaps that was one of the

crucial pieces here. Was Neilson

fully in control first time round?

Levein was his director of football

– a model Neilson was keen to

replicate, having his wish fulfilled

in December when Joe Savage

was appointed. But was Neilson

as free as he is now in style of

play, tactical decisions and even

team selection and recruitment?

Was Levein, a man with big

character and presence, a factor

in approach either consciously or

by Duncan Robertson

What’s on Robbie Neilson’s

shopping list in the January sales?

With Hearts looking to secure

promotion as soon as possible,

where do the team need to

improve in 2021?

The Jambos’ defence is pretty

strong. They’ve arguably the

best goalkeeper in the land in

Craig Gordon with two full backs,

Michael Smith and Stephen

Kingsley, who’d make their way in

to most starting XI’s in Scotland.

Craig Halkett is starting to

show the consistent form that

suggested he was kicking on to

an international call-up. Who is his

best centre back pairing though?

Berra or Popescu? Will John

Souttar make a return? Manager

Robbie Neilson will be adding a

centre back to his list.

In midfield, Hearts have a solid

sub consciously?

Time will tell and perhaps

the verdict won’t become truly

apparent until Hearts regain their

Premiership status and have to

return to regular jostles against

better opponents.

One thing that does seem true

is Neilson cuts a more vocal and

emotive figure now. He’s on record

talking of his love for Hearts and

what it means to be part of the

club. With bookies making him

favourite to lift a second league

title for Hearts, where does the

story go next for Neilson in


Neilson cuts a more emotive figure PHOTO Ian Jacobs

January sales wish list

for Hearts boss Neilson

middle with, arguably, too many

options. Olly Lee, Andy Halliday,

Peter Haring, Andy Irving and

Jamie Walker. Where do they all

go? After what feels like years

of injuries it’s pleasing for the

Jambos to have genuine selection

issues for the right reasons. It’s on

the flanks that Hearts need some

depth. Josh Ginnelly looks a find

but he’s on loan. Elliot Frear and

Jordan Roberts haven’t quite cut

it yet and an improved Aidy White

feels like he’s always on probation

with the Hearts faithful. Another

for the manager’s list.

Up top, Liam Boyce is making

progress and Steven Naismith is

staying fit. Craig Wighton casts

a peripheral figure again but has

shown promise. The maroon

firepower should be enough for the

Championship but Neilson will be

looking for some more might with

his eyes on bigger prizes.



per month



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• With only one round a month, the membership pays for itself

• Up to 6 courses to play, with minimal winter greens and no mats

• Priority booking for members

Join online today.

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@EdinReporter /EdinReporter edinburghreporter SPORT 23

Kevin Nisbet PHOTO Ian Jacobs

Calculated Hibs gamble pays off

by John Hislop

A few eyebrows were raised

when Hibs spent a reported

£250,000 to bring in Kevin Nisbet

from Dunfermline during the

summer transfer window and

there was criticism from certain

quarters given that his new team

mates had been asked to take a

wage deferral.

There was no doubting his

quality at a lower level having

netted 34 times in 46 games for

Raith and then 23 times in 32

outings for Dunfermline, but it was

seen as a "calculated gamble"

given his lack of experience in the

top flight.

Since then the gamble has paid

off and following an impressive

start to his Easter Road tenure, the

young striker is being quoted for

an international call-up with next

year’s European Championships

on the horizon.

His progress is all the more

impressive when set against

the backdrop of the personal

heartache that his family have had

to endure after his father Thomas

sadly passed away, having

been diagnosed with terminal

liver cancer towards the end of

Scotland’s first lockdown period.

A few days later, Kevin bravely

honoured his dad’s last request for

him to put his sadness to one side

and take his place in the Scottish

Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Leith Walk Police Box Pop up space

Monty who owns the police

box has hosted many pop

ups here since lockdown

restrictions eased.

In January there will be a

few pop ups all weather,

tramworks and Covid-19


Tipico Sicilian confectioners

- nuts, dried fruit, chocolate,

tarrone, brittles and gift boxes

- New Year's Eve as well as

Wednesdays and Fridays in

Kevin explained: “We’d known

about dad’s condition for, maybe,

the last three months, before

I signed for Hibs. Terminal

liver cancer. The words hit

you. Unfortunately, his health

deteriorated in the last week. It all

happened very quickly. We hoped

we’d have had another couple of

weeks with him, but it wasn’t to be.

“I had to leave training quickly on

Tuesday to be at his side. There

are all the obvious precautions

for everyone just now and, like

a lot people, I’ve had to say

goodbye to a loved one in difficult

circumstances. It’s been a tough

time for so many people.

“I’d been visiting him in the

garden for the last wee while,

at his insistence. More than

anyone he was making sure I was

following all the proper protocols.

I’m grateful for that time we had

but it has been hard.

“Dad’s been the driving force

behind how I’ve been playing in the

last few months. Not just because

he’s my hero and I wanted to do it

for him, but because he’s always

believed in me. Ever since I first

kicked a ball.

“In the last few months it hasn’t

been easy in terms of worrying

about him and juggling that with

football, but he was adamant that

I – as best as I could – stayed

single-minded when I was at

training and playing games.

January 11-5ish Card payment


Free food shop (zero waste)

and soup - rescued food and

hot soup Tuesdays 12-2 by

RCK. All welcome. Bring a


Crazy Croissants will be back

in 2021.

Lothian’s Hidden Lockdown

Stories - discover the hidden

stories of lockdown and make

history by recording your own

Anything I do now will be for him.”

By his own admission, Kevin

didn’t fulfil his own potential in

those early days at Partick Thistle

but he has more than made up

for it since with a relentless

commitment to improve.

Thomas played a big part in

Kevin’s decision to sign for Hibs

amid other offers north and south

of the border, including from city

neighbours Hearts.

He added: “Dad was adamant

that I should come here. It was

in my head to do the same, but

he really was set on it. He was

convinced this was the best place

for me to come at this point in

my career. It’s worked out that

way and I like to think I made him


“With the way I’ve started the

season, and the way the team

has been playing, I think it’s

helped keep him going and been a

welcome distraction. Every week

he’s looked forward to the games

and watching me play. He loved to

see me score.

“Darren McGregor has been there

for me. He lost his own dad at a

young age and knows exactly how

I feel and how to juggle that with

football. I have to thank Darren

and the rest of the lads because

they’ve all been great with me. The

same for the gaffer (Jack Ross)

and Potts (John Porter)."

Team mate Darren McGregor was

video diary. Returns Spring



but are you still doing your bit

to help protect the oceans

and marine animals? Small

changes can have a big

effect. LWPBPU asks all pop

ups to think about changes

they can make to their

packaging to cut single use


Churros con chocolate - the

quick to praise the 23-year-old’s

character saying: “I’ve said time

and time again that Nizzy (Kevin

Nisbet) has been nothing short

of a revelation since he’s came

here. He’s such a grounded guy

and has such potential and the

background stuff going on at

the minute shows that he can

still come out here and bash

out a performance like that is

testament to him as a person and

a character.”

Scotland will take part in their

first major tournament for 23-years

next summer and former Hearts

captain Michael Stewart is one of

a growing number who believe that

Kevin should be selected for the

European Championships squad if

he keeps up his current form.

Kevin however is focussed on

adding to his goal tally with Hibs

although he admitted that playing

for Scotland would be a pinnacle

of his career so far.

He added: “It’s encouraging to

know the Scotland manager is

aware of how well the team are

doing. I just have to keep playing

well, scoring goals and hopefully

it will happen for me too but I’ve

always backed my ability that I will

get goals and I’ve proved that in

the last few seasons.

“Of course, I do think that I can

make the step up to challenge

for a Scotland place as I’ve made

a good start to the season and

I’m high in confidence about the


“Playing for your country would

be the pinnacle of anyone’s career

and it’s all good right now but the

priority is to focus on staying in

the Hibs team by continuing to

score goals that can help us win


Hibs’ Head Coach Jack Ross is

in no doubt about his ability to

progress to the international stage

and he believes that he is not far

away. He added: “Kevin has that

ability to score all sorts of goals.

"We’ve seen it countless times.

He has been terrific since he came

to us and his contribution has

been invaluable.

“I have spoken to Scotland coach

Steve Clarke recently with the

inclusion of Ryan (Porteous) and

then Paul McGinn going into the

squad – and he’s well aware of

Kevin’s progress.

“I don’t think he’s far away and

if he continues in the vein of form

he’s in at the moment, then he’ll

force his way in.”

authentic traditional Spanish

snack Saturday 2nd and

Saturday 9th January 2021.

Check social media for


On the fly

by Nigel Duncan

Ben Robertson was concerned

about the lack of competition

fishing. He has one Scotland cap

and a second was denied this year

because of Covid-19.

There are no internationals

scheduled next year so the

Scottish international decided to

organise the inaugural Scottish

Open Fly Fishing Championship.

All heats and final will be fished at

the Lake of Menteith near Stirling

and there will be three heats

featuring 20 boats and 30 boats

for the final.

Anglers can only enter one heat

with a boat draw completed live on

Facebook a week before the heat

and 50 per cent from each heat

go through to the final. The first

two fish caught will be timed and

all fish are counted by your boat

partner. In the event of a tie then

the timing of the first and even the

second fish will decide the winner.

Heat winners will receive £100

cash with the first in the final

receiving £2,000, second £1,000

and third £500.

Whitburn-based Ben said

international fly fishing rules apply

and hooks are either barbless or

debarbed. He said: "Anglers will

record the time of their first and

second fish and score cards must

be signed by the boat partner."

The entry cost is £60 per angler

for a heat and £35 per angler for

the final

Payment must be made through

PayPal to confirm a place and the

PayPal address is scottishopen@

The heat dates are: May 16 (9.30

to 5.30), May 30 (9.30 to 5.30),

June 13 (9.30 to 5.30) with the

final on 12 September (9.30 to


The event is sponsored by

Glasgow-based trout fly tying

company and

Robertson explained: "There has

been no competition fishing this

season because of the world-wide


"Guys want competition angling.

I have one Scotland cap and was

due to get a second this year.

That did not happen and I won't

get one next year as there are no

internationals planned.

"So, I thought, organise one. The

Lake of Menteith is in the centre

of Scotland and easy to get to and

when I approached them they said

they had been thinking of doing

something like that. Money is tight

so we've kept the costs down as

much as we can."

Robertson, who is originally

from Penicuik and fishes with the

Dalkeith-based Black Bull Angling

Club as well as on local waters like

Allandale Tarn near West Calder,

hopes to take the competition

forward after the first year.

He said: "The initial reaction has

been great. I've launched it on

Facebook and we've had a great

deal of interest and we hope to get

more once word-of-mouth and the

media picks up."


when using the tram

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the day and deep cleaned at night









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