The Edinburgh Reporter May 2021

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Local independent news

Bellissima Empowered Northfield Lift off Edinburgh City

Pasta specialist in

Porty opening

Page 3

Bruntsfield church bought

by community

Page 4

A century of homes

fit for heroes

Page 12

Riga-Edinburgh flights

twice weekly

Page 15

Citizens prepare for

play-off showdown

Page 22

May 2021

EDINBURGH’S FREE LOCAL NEWSPAPER...A CAPITAL READ FROM START TO FINISH

Spring

back to

life

THE FRIENDS of Starbank Park

meet every week in the park on

Laverockbank Road, with its

stunning views across the Forth.

While the gardens are owned by

the council, the group tends the

various beds and community

greenhouses, ensuring that there

is a riot of colour all year round.

In May, the “must-see” is the

blossom which will be out in the

early part of the month, when

some visitors have a Japanese

hanami tea party under the trees.

The group has weekly

gardening sessions and sell mugs,

plants and jams to raise funds.

Chair of the Friends, Janet

McArthur, said: “May is a

smashing month in the park.

We have alliums which are

about to flower. The peonies

are breathtaking and are

absolutely gorgeous. We also

have tulip displays that we have

planted with love and care.” If

you wish to become a volunteer

gardener then contact the group,

either by going to the park or

through Facebook.

Martin P McAdam


2 NEWS

Letters to the editor

Fundraising for Childline

Editorial

THIS LAST MONTH has been a little more

unusual than most. First, there has been an

election campaign. Politicians have found

innovative ways to get their message across

with virtual hustings and Town Hall

meetings on Zoom.

Second, we are finding a way, a cautious

one, out of lockdown. The coronavirus

restrictions have been eased quite a lot,

and now we may travel anywhere in

Scotland, and even go to England for

non-essential purposes.

It is accepted that the vaccines have

made all the difference to our lives, and the

fact that over 60% of the adult population

in Scotland have received their first dose,

is one of the most significant steps yet.

The number of cases, deaths from Covid-19

and patients in hospital and ICU have

tumbled downwards.

Now that we have a bit more freedom,

some semblance of the Edinburgh

International Festival will return. We have

illustrations of what that will look like on

page 20. The performances will be outdoors,

but will be live.

HEALTHY LEGACY

Jupiter Artland is to unveil an important new

work by Edinburgh College of Art graduate,

Rachel Maclean. The sculpture park at

Wilkieston is a lovely place for a walk with

the benefit of having something to look at,

and a café of course. The Museum of Flight

in East Lothian has a huge LEGO® exhibition

to tempt you out of the city.

Our centre spread is about Northfield, an

important housing area in the city which

celebrated its centenary in 2020, but without

any real live celebration.

We have set out a few suggestions on

Page 16 of where you can go and eat.

We have recorded a few chats on our

podcast channel on anchor.fm and hope you

might have time to listen to some of these as

you continue to get out for a daily walk.

Perhaps that is one of the legacies of this

year that would be most welcome - a

healthier, fitter way of life, but coupled with

a little less stress to enjoy it.

I hope this finds you well and that you

enjoy our monthly look at the news.

Phyllis Stephen, Editor

Dear Editor,

Children’s lives have been turned

upside over the last year due to

challenges posed by the

coronavirus pandemic, with

extended periods of time out of

school and behind closed doors.

The NSPCC’s Childline service

has heard from thousands of

children who have found this time

really challenging. Some have felt

overwhelmed with home

schooling and struggled to access

their learning due to a lack of

technology, and others have

missed friends and family. Many

have seen their mental health

deteriorate.

The NSPCC and Childline

adapted so that our frontline staff

could continue to be a vital source

of support for those children who

felt like they had nowhere else

to turn.

Even though many children in

Scotland are now back at school, it

remains vital that we support those

who are still struggling.

We are encouraging schools

across the country to get involved

Stamps for heroes

Dear Editor,

I hope parents will encourage

their children to take part in

Royal Mail’s stamp design

competition, to honour the heroes

of the pandemic. The competition

is open to children, aged 4 to 14.

Eight designs will be chosen to

become stamps which will be on

sale across the UK.

Children may choose to

illustrate frontline workers in

health or social care. They may

want to celebrate other key

workers who have kept the

country going, such as refuse

collectors, cleaners, teachers,

supermarket workers, public

transport staff, delivery drivers or,

indeed, postmen and postwomen.

Or they might highlight the

volunteers who have helped in

their local communities or raised

money for charity, such as

GET IN

TOUCH

TODAY!

in the NSPCC’s Number Day.

This annual fundraising day,

which is based around fun maths

activities, will take place in

primary and secondary schools

across the country on 7 May in aid

of the children’s charity.

As part of the day, schools can

sign up to enjoy puzzles, games

and challenges to raise vital funds.

There is a range of activities for

different age groups, and teachers

will also be provided with

resources including information

on supporting their school’s

safeguarding.

It’s now more essential than

ever that children aren’t left alone,

isolated and unsupported with

their worries, and the money

raised from Number Day will help

the NSPCC in its mission to make

2021 a better year for children.

To sign up, visit the NSPCC’s

website and search for Number

Day and fill in your school’s details

using the registration form.

Alan Stewart

Schools Service Manager

NSPCC Scotland

Captain Sir Tom Moore.

The competition is open until

Friday 28 May. A special panel of

judges will select the winners. As

with all Special Stamps, the final

eight designs will be sent to The

Queen before they can be printed

and issued as stamps. The winners

will be announced in the Autumn.

We cannot wait to see who

children choose to honour on

their stamp. The past year has

been very difficult for everyone,

so let’s show the heroes of the

pandemic just how much we

appreciate what they have

done for us.

David Gold

Royal Mail

Director of External

Affairs & Policy

Full details can be found at www.

royalmail.com/stampcompetition

Coronavirus Statistics

THE NUMBER OF cases of Covid-19 reported in Scotland is now almost

250,000 in one year. With the advent of the vaccine, the biggest mass

vaccination programme ever run in the country has now given 60% of

the adult population their first dose. The number of those who have

received their second dose is now over one million.

The National Records of Scotland report that those who have died

number more than 10,000. The number of cases in Edinburgh is now

deemed to be under control with the seven day positive rate per 100,000

population down to 26.1 across the city.

The test positivity rate is key - the World Health Organisation deem the

pandemic under control if this sits below 5%. In Edinburgh the seven day

test positivity rate is now 1.3%. Many areas of the city on the Public

Health Scotland map have turned white, indicating no cases there,

although there are small pockets where the rate remains higher.

HOW TO GET YOUR COPY

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If you can, then please

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About us...

We write about news relating to the Edinburgh area. If you

have any news, or if you would like to submit an article or

photograph for publication then please contact us

Editor: Phyllis Stephen

Designer: Felipe Perez

Photos: Martin P McAdam

/EdinReporter

edinburghreporter

@EdinReporter

theedinburghreporter.co.uk

07791 406 498

editor@theedinburghreporter.co.uk


3

Pasta perfection

Portobello’s foodie reputation grows with addition of pastificio

By STEPHEN RAFFERTY

A POP-UP PASTA specialist is opening a

permanent place in Portobello.

Kip Preidys and Giada Betti are taking over

the former Bross Bagels shop in the town’s High

Street and plan to open Aemilia, a traditional

“pastificio”, in early June.

The couple earned a reputation for producing

high quality handmade pasta during the

Covid-19 lockdown, and sold a range of Italian

pasta and sauces at food markets and pop-up

restaurant events.

Now Kip, originally from Lithuania, and

Giada, from Imola near Bologna in the north

of Italy, will open a deli-style shop where

visitors and passers-by can watch them making

pasta daily.

Customers will be able to pick up a coffee

while deciding on what pasta to buy for dinner

and all products, from bread to dessert, will be

made on the premises. In time Kip and Giada

hope to widen the retail offering to balsamic

vinegar, olive oil and other traditional produce

from Giada’s home region of Emilia Romagna,

which is known as the food capital of Italy.

AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE

Kip said: “Our vision is based on life in Italy

where people come in to buy fresh pasta each day

and customers can watch us making pasta in the

Portobello shop each morning. Hopefully, as we

progress, we will offer a lunch dish or a dish of

the week, as well as focaccia sandwiches. It will

be a deli-style shop but the most important thing

is that everything for sale will be produced by us.”

Portobello is gaining a reputation for its varied

food offerings, with recently opened Civerinos

Slice setting up on the Promenade next to

high-end BBQ outlet The Little Chartroom

on the Prom, while Bross Bagels have

relocated to larger premises with an

in-store bakery in the seaside town’s

High Street.

Giada added: “We live in East

Lothian and originally planned to

open somewhere like North Berwick

but when our surveyor asked if we

were interested in Portobello and we

saw the space, we knew it was the right

location and we really had a vision of what

we could do. There are already some

great names in the town,

Chris refuses to be beaten by bin graffiti

RETIRED TEACHER Chris Cowie

is on a roll in his campaign to

spruce up large refuse bins

positioned along Portobello

Promenade.

With the popular beach

destination attracting thousands

of visitors, extra refuse containers

have been put in place at

several key points.

Some of the bins were

plastered with unsightly

messages or have been targeted

by vandals, so Chris asked the

council if he could do something

about it.

The council donated paint and

along with several volunteers,

Chris has spent his spare time

with a roller and tray, working

including Roberta Hall and Civerinos,

and it is an up and coming place as

a foodie destination, so we are

really looking forward to being

part of that.”

Kip, who was shocked to

discover that major supermarkets

sell ravioli in tins, has worked as a

chef in some of Scotland’s best

restaurants. Aemilia’s best-selling

pasta remains tagliatelle

con ragu, one of

Giada Betti

along the beach front tidying

up the bins.

Chris, 60, said: “I was just

conscious that those bins are so

ugly on our beautiful promenade

and I wanted to see if we could

get them covered up. People

seem to be pleased that the

graffiti is being removed and

that we are making an effort to

Kip Preidys

Bologna’s most traditional dishes.

He added: “We want to bring a bit of Bologna

to Portobello and create a place where people

can come and have a coffee and a chat, and I’ve

been inspired by many trips to Italy and to

Giada’s home town of Imola. We love what we

do, it will be like performing every day and we

will try to put on our best act.”

Opening times have to be confirmed but it is

likely Aemilia will be open Wednesday to

Sunday 9am to 5pm.

www.aemilia.online

make the place look nice.”

Chris, a teacher at Gracemount

Primary for 29 years before

retirement, has been supported

in his anti-graffiti painting

initiative by other local residents

including Anne Stevenson,

Emily and Maisie Wood and

Colin Cornwall.

Stephen Rafferty

Aemilia

Probationer of

the Year

By JOHN HISLOP

AN EDINBURGH police officer has been

named Police Scotland’s Probationer

of the Year.

Constable Amy Ritchie, a Response

Officer based at Craigmillar Police Station,

was honoured at the Chief Constable’s

Bravery and Excellence Awards.

She joined Police Scotland in March

2019 and excelled in her probationer

training.

According to the force, Amy is a highly

motivated proactive officer who tackles all

aspects of policing with professionalism

and enthusiasm, providing the community

with an exceptional level of service.

She has a keen interest in investigating

complex enquiries, as demonstrated

in her first week of policing when she

volunteered to assist with a serious

incident.

Amy is the first to help colleagues, uses

her innate initiative to solve problems and

can always be depended upon to complete

her work to the highest standard.

She has continually performed at a level

which far exceeds every standard expected

of an officer of her service.

Chief Constable Iain Livingston said:

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations

to all our winners and nominees and

thank them for their commitment to

public service.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza

Yousaf added: “I want to thank all the

officers, staff and members of the

public, who were nominated for awards,

for their service and support in these

challenging times.

“I have always been proud of the

dedication shown by our police officers

and police staff, to keep us all safe, and the

current pandemic has highlighted that the

police workforce is highly adaptable in its

response to new challenges.”

Chris Cowie


4 NEWS

Buyout in

The Edinburgh Reporter

Bruntsfield

Community empowered to convert

church for benefit of young and old

Bruntsfield St Oswald’s

- former school annexe

Chair David Urch, Fayaz

Alibhai, Fundraiser, and

Katie Hayne Secretary

The Edinburgh Reporter

AN EDINBURGH community has taken

ownership of historic city church

Bruntsfield St Oswald’s.

David Urch heads up a five-strong team

working on the community asset transfer of

the Montpelier building from the council.

They have now completed the first stage

of the project and will now look to obtain

planning permission and listed building

consent before renovation works begin.

The purchase made under the

Community Empowerment Act 2015 was

supported by a grant from the Scottish Land

Fund. The building is expected to open to

the public in 2022 after extensive works.

David has spent most of his career in

fund management but this new venture is

taking up a good deal of his time.

He said: "I was originally chair of the

parent council at Bruntsfield Primary

School, when St Oswald's was being vacated.

It was formerly the annexe to Boroughmuir

High School. Being in such close proximity,

immediately next door to the primary

school, it seemed far too good an

opportunity to let pass by without at

least exploring.

“There are a number of clear options for

the building. One of the key motivations is

the overcrowded school next door, so there

is an opportunity for wraparound childcare

with breakfast clubs and after school care.

At Bruntsfield Primary there are only 90

places available on a roll of over 600, so it

seems that there is demand, and there may

even be a way of joining both buildings by

an access through a mutual boundary wall.”

The school has lost a lot of general

purpose space and Bruntsfield St Oswald’s

will offer opportunities for drama and

music, and other extra-curricular clubs

which the primary school cannot host

at present.

He added: "We originally put together a

working group to assess the feasibility of

trying to get involved with building. We

became aware of the legislation and its

ability to allow community asset transfers.

And that really kick-started what has been a

two and a half year process, which

culminated in us taking ownership of the

building at the end of March."

David explained there is a process - not

necessarily quick and easy but clearly set

out. He said: "Part of it is obtaining a market

value for the building. Once you've

established it is surplus to requirements,

it's then permissible for a community

asset transfer. A joint survey gauges the

market value, and is carried out by an

independent surveyor."

In the case of Bruntsfield St Oswald’s the

market value was £465,000, but the price

paid was around £200,000 based on a

number of factors, such as condition of the

premises after being vacant for three years,

and reflecting that the building needs

considerable repair.

David said: "It needs quite a lot of

refurbishment but we were able to bring

to bear a lot of social and community

benefits. We tried to put a value to them

as best we could and that resulted in a

significant discount.”

David also explained there are bodies

which support these initiatives, like the

Scottish Land Fund, who looked favourably

on their application.

He said: "There is a clear, but arduous two

stage process of assessment. And we were

fortunate that they saw fit to support all of

the acquisition cost."

As part of both funding applications, the

group had to show evidence of a sustainable

long term business plan for the building.

They detailed the remedial works they plan

to carry out and a 10 year programme

costed at around £1.5 million. That has been

broken down into three phases, immediate,

medium and long term. Over the first 18

months the group will spend around

£500,000 on opening the building to the

public to generate revenue.

At the other end of the age spectrum the

building will also be opened up to older

people in the shape of clients from The Eric

Liddell Centre overseen by Chief Executive,

John Macmillan. David said there is a

natural dovetail between St Oswald’s and

Eric Liddell. He said: "John's been a fantastic

supporter through this whole process and

there's a real synergy here because they

obviously have lots of history of running a

charitable business or activity in a very old

church, and maintaining that building, and

how to manage it. John's focus is on the

whole community, but I think everyone

recognises they're very well known for their

work with the elderly, with dementia and

their carers in particular."

St. Oswald’s Church and Hall was

designated a Category B listing (buildings of

special architectural or historic interest

which are major examples of a particular

period, style or building type) by Historic

Scotland in 1993.

Until closure in February 2018 it was used

as the Annexe for the former Boroughmuir

High School and occasionally as a venue

for performances during the Edinburgh

Festival Fringe.


5

Public loos for Porty Pong

Councillors agree plan to install temporary toilets in city hotspots

By STEPHEN RAFFERTY

THE SO-CALLED Seafield Stench from

Edinburgh’s sewerage works was replaced

during lockdown with the Portobello Pong, as

record numbers of visitors headed to the beach

but found limited toilet facilities.

Residents were disgusted to find back lanes

and side streets awash in urine and the only

facility which remained open was the outdated

public toilets at Pipe Street, which closed at 6pm

leaving beach visitors high and not-so-dry.

More than 400 people have signed a petition

launched by Alastair Hearsum to have public

loos reopened, after his daughter photographed

a man who “left a massive loch sized puddle of

urine” inside his garden gate one evening.

Now a solution appears on the horizon after

city councillors agreed a plan to install

temporary public toilets in busy parks and other

“hotspot” areas including the Meadows and

Portobello, with an extra £450,000 of Covid

funds expected to fund the project.

The council’s Public Convenience Strategy

also highlights the town’s Bath Street toilets as a

facility which should be maintained but does

not require further investment.

Portobello Cllr Maureen Child said: “The

pandemic rules meant none of the usual public,

leisure or commercial premises’ toilets have

been open to customers or public except the

inadequate council-run Pipe Street toilets.

“To meet the pandemic regulations, these had

to be staffed and nowhere else was available to

meet the public demand. There is no statutory

obligation in Councils to provide public toilets,

although I strongly believe there ought to be.

“Councils are not fairly or adequately funded

by Scottish Government to do all we would

desperately want and expect to do. Frustrating

and infuriating as that is, I have no instant fixes.

I do wish I had. As and when we are all advised

it is safe to do so, the Council will reopen the

already inadequate Bath Street toilets but we

need a longer term properly funded solution.

“The Scottish Government have a primary

role to play here both in setting the legal

obligations in the interests of public health and

properly funding the sustainable solutions. The

Council’s transport and environment committee

have discussed a public convenience strategy

identifying options for the future of public

toilets across the city.”

The Edinburgh Reporter asked other

Portobello councillors, Kate Campbell, Callum

Laidlaw and Mary Campbell to comment on the

town’s toilet fiasco, but they failed to respond.

Proving that good

things take time

AN AWARD-WINNING artisan bakery is

marking a decade since first opening in

Edinburgh with the release of a series of

specially-commissioned illustrations from

local artists.

Bakery Andante began when owner Jon

Wood was made redundant as a manager

in a telecoms company. Ready for change,

he made a decision to follow his passion

and trained as an artisan baker, with

encouragement and advice from industry

leaders such as Scottish Bakers.

Jon’s vision was to create a

neighbourhood bakery that sold real

bread - authentic sourdoughs, focaccia,

baguettes, croissants and more, all made

using traditional techniques and without

additives, enhancers or improvers. While

much has changed, the original

sourdough starter that gives Bakery

Andante’s bread its flavour and texture is

now 21 years old and still going strong.


6 NEWS

Comiston Farmhouse bid

COHOUSING IN Southern Scotland

(CHOISS) is to make a bid for Comiston

Farmhouse, owned by The CIty of

Edinburgh Council, and which is currently

on the market for sale.

If they are successful, then this could

be one of the first ever cohousing projects

in Scotland.

This is a type of home ownership where

people want to become neighbours, usually

within an environmentally friendly setting,

and involves a sharing culture such as a

common building with a shared kitchen and

dining room. It is commonplace in

Scandinavia and in North America.

It is not communal living, but there are

shared resources including a laundry,

garden space, tools and cars.

Comiston Farmhouse sits within an acre

of land between Fairmilehead and Oxgangs.

A spokesperson for CHOISS said:

"Comiston Cohousing hopes the cohesion

and resilience of everyone involved,

working together as a group, will achieve

our vision.

“Our plan is to establish a legal entity,

such as a co-operative, a company limited

by guarantee or a ‘Mutual Home Ownership

Society’ which has been piloted by Low

Impact Living Affordable Community

(LILAC) Cohousing in Leeds.

“We are in conversation with a building

society and other sources of potential

funding while individual ‘pioneers’ are

totting up their savings or getting their

homes valued.”

It is expected the council will be setting a

closing date for bids around the end of May.

Sandy and Maisie Wood (11)

love the cycle lanes

BEST has its say

Coalition wants to retain Spaces for People

BETTER EDINBURGH for Sustainable Travel,

the BEST coalition of Edinburgh community

groups and organisations, is calling on the

council to do its best for public health by

supporting the retention of the Spaces for People

schemes across the city.

The Transport and Environment Committee

will meet on 17 June to decide whether or not to

support the continuation of the schemes.

BEST, in its support for healthier, safer, more

inclusive streets, believes that the schemes,

developed in response to the pandemic have

benefitted children and adults alike, from the

closure of Links Gardens in Leith to through

traffic, to protected cycle infrastructure on major

arterial routes such as Lanark Road and Comiston

Road. School schemes have been particularly

popular, with schools across Edinburgh benefiting

from lower pollution and safer streets at drop off

and pick up times. For example, Corstorphine

Primary has had a package of measures

implemented, including roads closed to through

traffic, widened pavements, narrowed junctions,

and double yellow lines.

Twins, Maisie and Sandy Wood, aged 11, who

live near the Spaces for People cycle lanes on

Duddingston Road, cycle regularly with their

parents and their wee brother, and are thrilled

with the new infrastructure. Sandy says he loves

the cycle lanes because he can cycle to places he

couldn’t cycle before. Maisie thinks the same, and

says that the lanes are great because she can get

to places much easier.

Charlotte Maddix, from Newington Safe

Routes, a member of BEST said: “Active travel is

critical for our public health. The ability to move

around the city without using a car has never

been as important as it is now. It is vital that the

city continues to provide safe, convenient

infrastructure for those who want to walk, wheel

and cycle for both leisure and functional trips

wherever they are in the city. This means

retaining wider clutter-free pavements, protected

cycle infrastructure, routes that are genuinely

quiet and or traffic free, and junction and

crossings improvements. Many of the new

schemes have been game changing for

communities, with people now able for the first

time to cycle safely with their children to school,

or to the shops, or into the city centre, or to parks

for a game of football. Ripping out these schemes

would not only be a backward step in terms of air

quality, climate change, and public health, it

would also be inequitable for those without

access to cars, and particularly those on low

incomes who should have travel choices beyond

public transport.”

Shelagh Sharp, who lives in Midmar, said:

“I am afraid to cycle in traffic so I have been

cycling locally so much more because of Spaces

for People. I completed the consultation asking

for the measures to be retained permanently and

I hope the council decides to retain the schemes.

I have cycled some of the Quiet Route to the

Meadows, and also up Braid Road when it was

still closed to traffic, to get to Braid Hills Drive,

which I hear will have a protected lane too.

I welcome this because it is opening up new

places I could reach by bike. Unfortunately Braid

Road has reopened to traffic and I feel more

anxious about cycling from my house.”

BEST believes the Council must retain the

Spaces for People schemes and says that many

people across the city depend on these schemes

for day to day journeys. Returning to the status

quo of pre-Covid, where there was hardly any

protected on-road cycle infrastructure, is neither

safe nor equitable, they claim.

LNER Collector series posters

THE NEW AZUMA was launched in Edinburgh on 1 August 2019. To commemorate

the new train, LNER has published a collectors series of posters celebrating

the route, including Edinburgh, where the train was welcomed with a piper or two.

You can buy them at www.lnermerchandise.co.uk


7

George Street plans

It’s time to put the clock back

LAST YEAR the London Road

clock, originally cast at the

Caledonian Foundry in Leith,

was taken to specialist

clockmaker Smiths of Derby for

refurbishment. The Tram to

Newhaven team say work on

the clock is now almost

complete. This has included

applying a top coat of black

gloss paint to all of the

decorative metalwork, to the

pillar, clock drum and the base.

The new aluminium deer

were hand-painted, as well as

the Coat of Arms at the top. All

the details such as the leaf

motifs and ornate features were

also refreshed by hand. The

clock dials and hands were

restored with new glazing and

paintwork. Inside the clock new

internal brackets were

manufactured for the clock

lighting and the movements,

before reinstalling them.

The London Road clock will

find its way home later this year.

It has been greatly missed since

it was removed from the centre

of the roundabout in 2007. It

was moved from its original

position on Waverley Bridge, to

outside Binns at the West End

before being sited on London

Road in 1955.

THE COUNCIL'S plans to transform George

Street have been welcomed by two thirds of

those who responded to a survey.

Only 13% said they would drive into the city

centre and 58% said they would take the bus.

Those who responded (650 people) also

commented on the way the street’s open spaces

might be used for public art, community events

and small markets.

One of the key issues raised during

discussions is the need for more trees, and the

council is to look at this again. Feedback also

drew attention to possible changes to delivery

times for businesses, and also possible evening

access for taxis.

The council also consulted organisations such

as Living Streets, Edinburgh World Heritage and

Edinburgh Access Panel who have been broadly

supportive of the plans to radically alter the

main city centre street with wider pavements

and landscaped areas for play and relaxation.

The plan is to largely remove any vehicular

traffic, making the street people friendly.

Vaccination costs

IN REPLY TO our Freedom of Information request, NHS Lothian

confirmed the costs of renting space to conduct the mass

vaccination programme. The organisation took up space in five

non NHS Lothian venues:

• Edinburgh International Conference Centres (EICC),

Morrison Street, Edinburgh

• Pyramids Business Park, Bathgate

• Queen Margaret University Campus , University Way,

Musselburgh

• Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston

• Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Younger Building, Gyle

• Gorebridge Leisure Centre, Huntersfied Road, Gorebridge ,

• The cost of rent and rates for all of these sites is £3.9m.

• The total cost of providing sites for the vaccination

programme is estimated at £9m.

• The additional costs include preparation works, equipment and

fitting out, facilities management costs and legal costs.

All costs will be met by The Scottish Government.

Mapping workshop

NORTH EDINBURGH Arts (NEA) have

partnered with The Culture & Communities

Mapping Project for a new community-led

project in which you will be able to express

your dreams for the city as well as the

local community.

NEA will hold a workshop in May asking

you about the places you value across the city

and your neighbourhood, along with ideas for

future arts and culture events in your area.

You’ll be asked to take photographs of

places that you normally visit or feel

comfortable with – places you go to dream, to

meet with family and friends, to get inspired,

to go for a walk or destress. People will work

with large paper maps to point out spaces

they care about and use the maps to think

about arts and culture events and

neighbourhood opportunities. NEA will

provide further details about how to get

involved in the project soon.

If you're interested in taking part, email them

at admin@northedinburgharts.co.uk

Johnnie Walker keeps on walking

JOHNNIE WALKER Princes

Street has released artist’s

impressions of the

“experiential whisky retail

concept” which

will liven up the capital’s

famous shopping street.

The Johnnie Walker retail

store will be located on the

ground floor of the eightfloor

visitor experience,

with a shop front on Binns’

Corner at Princes Street and

Hope Street.

With limited edition

bottlings, “exclusive liquids”,

merchandise and a

personalisation custom

studio, the space will use

visual theatre and

storytelling to take shoppers

on an immersive journey into

the world of Johnnie Walker

and whisky.


8 DUKE OF EDINBURGH

Allan Warren

Capital city

fit for a duke

PRINCE PHILIP DUKE OF EDINBURGH 1921 - 2021

HRH PRINCE PHILIP, Duke of Edinburgh, died at Windsor Castle on 9 April. His association

with the capital was long and important, evident in the quadrant of his personal Standard which

bore an illustration of Edinburgh Castle. He married Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947,

when he was granted the style His Royal Highness and the title Duke of Edinburgh was recreated.

Ceremony of the Keys

THERE ARE MANY

people across the

world whose lives were

touched by the Duke

of Edinburgh. Cllr

Gavin Barrie

remembered while

attending the

Ceremony of the Keys

in 2018, that the last

time he had met the Duke was 43 years earlier when he had

been invited to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to receive his Duke

of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Cllr Barrie said: “To me that award is of great significance,

because two years later in 1977, aged 20, I was one of 600

applicants to apply to join Tayside Fire Brigade, as it was known

at that time.

“Of the 600 hundred applicants ten of us made it through to

the final interview with the Firemaster, where two were selected

for employment. My abiding memory of that interview was the

only thing the Firemaster asked me about was what I did to

achieve the Gold DofE Award. And there started a career for me

that lasted 34 years.”

41 Gun Salute

ON 10 APRIL there was a Death

Gun Salute from Edinburgh Castle

to commemorate His Royal

Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of

Edinburgh. Gun salutes were also

fired in other cities in the UK, in

Gibraltar and from Her Majesty’s

Ships at sea. The 41 rounds were

fired at one per minute for 40

minutes. While the public had been

advised to stay at home and watch

on TV, many hundreds gathered in

Princes Street Gardens to watch

and listen on this solemn occasion.

© The Scottish Gallery

POLITICIANS OF ALL parties

remembered Prince Philip during

consideration of Motions of Condolence.

In Edinburgh the council’s motion was laid

down by The Rt Hon Lord Provost, Frank

Ross, who is also The Queen’s royal

representative in Scotland and Lord

Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh.

“On behalf of this council, and the

citizens of Edinburgh, I want to offer my

deep condolences to Her Majesty The

Queen and Members of the Royal Family

on news of the death of His Royal Highness

The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Made Duke of Edinburgh on the day of

his wedding to Princess Elizabeth in 1947,

His Royal Highness has made an immense

contribution to the civic life and

international reputation of Edinburgh

throughout an extraordinary life of

public service.

“He demonstrated great appreciation of

and support for Scotland’s capital city and

its citizens. Quite simply, he took the name

of our Capital across the world and put

Edinburgh on the map in so many ways.

“Our strong relationship with the Duke

was consolidated at a very early stage

when he was presented with the Freedom

of the City in March 1949, in recognition

of his distinguished role and effort in

supporting Edinburgh.

“In 1953, the year of the Coronation, the

Duke was appointed Chancellor of the

University of Edinburgh and held this

position for nearly 60 years until 2010.

“His Royal Highness’s great interest in

the benefits of education and belief in

opportunities to transform young people’s

lives was also reflected in the setting up of

the inspirational Duke of Edinburgh

Awards Scheme in 1956.

“We know of course that The Duke

himself had, following a life of public

service, retired finally from his official

Royal duties in 2017, aged 96.

“It was particularly significant therefore

that the Depute Lord Provost, Cllr Joan

Griffiths, and I had the pleasure

of welcoming both The Queen and The

Prince Philip visiting

The Scottish Gallery

Celebrity New York

photographer Inge Morath

Duke of Edinburgh to the Opening of

the new Queensferry Crossing on the

Edinburgh side of the new Bridge on

4 September 2017.

This was indeed the last time that the

Duke undertook a formal engagement in

the city and a highly significant one at that,

enhancing transport links and economic

development opportunities across the Firth

of Forth and the East of Scotland.

His Royal Highness remained Patron,

President or member of some 30

Edinburgh-based organisations and won a

special place in the hearts of local people.

It has been my privilege and honour to

serve as Lord Lieutenant for Edinburgh, a

city where Prince Philip’s legacy will be

outstanding and enduring.”

Scottish Gallery

PRINCE PHILIP was a great friend

of the landscape and subject

painter, The Earl Haig. The image

here capture a visit to The Scottish

Gallery in 1981, (when the gallery

was in Castle Street) to see his

friend’s latest exhibition.

The Duke enjoyed an extensive

tour of the gallery which also

included an exhibition by the

British ceramicist Jennifer Lee.

Prince Philip was a great patron

of the arts and acquired emerging

talent regularly from the Royal

Scottish Academy Summer Show.


NEWS

9

Prince Philip

in photos

during his

many visits to

Edinburgh

Old dogs cop a leg up

Police officers’ best friend charity in £10,000 cash boost

By JOHN HISLOP

A TEAM OF police dog handlers from

Scotland have raised almost £10,000 for

a charity that helps support retired

police dogs in their new homes.

Lisa Mitchell has worked as a dog

handler for Police Scotland for seven

years. She is based in Edinburgh with

her two dogs, German Shepherd,

Harper and Springer Spaniel, Digby.

“I found out about the Thin Blue Paw

Foundation in 2020, shortly after it had

launched, and I knew I wanted to do

something to help raise money for the

cause,” she said.

“Harper is eight and will retire next

year. Her care will then be my

responsibility. I also have to consider

Digby and my five-month-old German

Shepherd, Kaiser, who will eventually

take over from Harper when she retires.

“I wanted to help the charity as

much as possible - one day I might

need their help.”

Lisa and eight of her fellow dog

handlers – six from Edinburgh, one

from Glasgow, one from Larbert

and one from Glenrothes – decided

to set themselves challenges

throughout January.

Lisa added: “I decided I needed

something positive to focus on in

January and Covid restrictions made

fundraising difficult so I came up with

the idea to run, walk or cycle 10k a day.

Some other police officers, friends and

family also got involved and, between

us, we managed to raise £9,650.”

The team presented their donation to

the Thin Blue Paw Foundation in

February with a giant cheque, although

Covid restrictions meant they couldn’t

deliver it in person.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation was

founded in August 2020 and is a

national dog welfare charity which

protects, celebrates and rehabilitates

both serving and retired police dogs

from across the UK.

Charity trustee, Kieran Stanbridge,

said: “Many people are unaware that

retired police dogs do not receive

financial support in their retirement,

meaning the responsibility for

their care and vet bills fall solely to their

Police officers and their dogs

ex-handler or new owner.

“It can be incredibly difficult to get

insurance for an ex-working dog and

they can face injuries or health

problems as a result of their working

life, leaving many owners facing

ongoing and expensive vet bills.

“The Thin Blue Paw Foundation

provides much-needed financial

support to over 200 unsung canine

heroes and their owners to enable them

to have a long and happy retirement.”

Lisa and the team have decided to

launch a charity challenge each year to

help support the charity.

Lisa added: “I want to raise awareness

of the charity and the

work they do. Not a lot of people

realise that retired police dogs don’t

receive support from the force they

once served.”

© Robert Blomfield photography

PRINCE PHILIP was Rector of the University of Edinburgh for 57

years. On one visit in 1958, celebrated street photographer

Robert Blomfield, took several images of the waiting crowd,

including celebrity photographer, Inge Morath, who was visiting

from New York and photographing the Duke’s visit. Blomfield,

who became a doctor, took photos such as this over three

decades until the 1970s.

We are very grateful to the Blomfield family for their kind

permission to use the images.

Students waiting

to see the Duke

Growing food in the city

A NEW interactive map

shows places in Edinburgh

where food is, or could

be grown by local

communities. This last

year has drawn increased

attention to food poverty

faced by many people.

The Edinburgh Food

Growing and Projects Map

has lots of detail of

community growing

projects, allotments and

community gardens for

people who want to

become involved.

The aim of the Food

Growing Strategy is to

offer more opportunity to

people for growing food

locally, and in particular to

look at setting up an

indoor local food market

and distribution hub.

Cllr George Gordon,

City of Edinburgh

Sustainability Champion

and Chair of Edible

Edinburgh, said: "I am

delighted to publish the

first food growing strategy

for The City of Edinburgh

Council. We have faced

difficult times over the last

year when the importance

of food to our physical

health and our emotional

and mental wellbeing

have been evident for all

to see.

"By working closely

with the Poverty

Commission, Growing

Locally seeks to address

food insecurity in the city

and improve people’s

access to fresh food, as

well as supporting and

promoting food growing

across the city.

"It also celebrates the

role that food plays in our

lives – from bringing

people and communities

together, to improving

biodiversity and

mitigating against the

effects of climate change

by providing access to

locally produced, low

carbon food.

"Along with the map,

the strategy brings

together our proposed

approach to encouraging

more local production,

more sustainable

management of food

growing and perhaps

most importantly of all, an

ongoing discussion as a

city about what a diverse

and vibrant food economy

looks like, so that the

benefits of local food

growing can be realised

by as many of our citizens

as possible."

Cats charity

THE CATS Protection charity

shop on Dalry Road has reopened

and has introduced safety

measures to keep everyone safe,

such as sanitising gel, and a

reduction in customers allowed

in the shop.

Area Retail Manager Ian Trotter

said: “We can’t wait to welcome

back customers after such a long

time but the safety of our staff,

volunteers and customers is our

highest priority and previously

introduced safety measures will

continue to be observed to help

prevent the spread of

coronavirus. It is great to know

that we will once again be able to

support the work of our network

of volunteers in helping cats and

kittens in need.”

Cats Protection is a national

network of around 230 volunteerrun

branches, 37 centres and 109

shops, helping around 200,000

cats and kittens every year.


10 NEWS

Markets bounce back

Rosslyn

Chapel

Craft stalls back in fashion after Covid restrictions lifted

WHILE IT’S BEEN a hard year for everyone,

some market traders have at least managed to

keep a presence at both Stockbridge and Leith

Markets which has helped them to stay afloat.

The markets made the difficult decision to

have only essential food stalls when they

reopened last July after the first lockdown.

This meant that all craft stalls were suspended

to comply with the restrictions, but were

allowed back in August when restrictions were

once again eased.

Beth Berry, who runs the markets, said:

“Some traders had an online presence, but it’s

just not the same as meeting your customer and

offering advice on their purchase.

“We followed advice and took non-essential

stalls out at the start of this year but following

the latest government advice, the market has

decided to slowly reintroduce craft stalls from

the first weekend in May.

“We will still be observing supervised entry

and exit, a one way system, hand sanitising and

social distancing.

“To begin with there will only be one or two

craft stalls at each market. In May in Stockbridge

we welcome back jewellery stalls Alexis

Southam, Templetree Silver and All Fired Up.

“There will also be craft stalls including local

artists Als Couzins and Liam Dobson, and

popular children's clothing and art stall -

Cahoots, our own special Indian artefact stall

Gecko Gallery, and Green Earth Beads which

specialises in hand made goods, including bags

and jewellery, JoJo candles and leather specialist,

Workshop After Six.

“Due to all the Covid restrictions we really

have to limit the number of stalls and it’s been

very hard to decide who gets a place.

Perks of Pentland

pedal for Gavin

CLLR GAVIN CORBETT is a keen

cyclist and often posts photos from

his various cycle rides. He points

out that it is possible to take the

family with you. He said: “One of the

benefits of being in South West

Edinburgh is just how easy it is to

get out of the city into open

AIlan from Alexis Southam Jewellery

at Stockbridge Market

“All of our traders are desperate to return to

the market and start their businesses up again.

“As things hopefully slowly return to

“normal” we will be keeping a very careful eye

on the situation.

“You can see who is at the market by looking

at the website where each Monday afternoon we

update the list of who will be present the

following weekend.

“In Leith we welcome back Amaranthine and

Estia, both doing fabulous soaps and lotions,

also Blue Kitty Jewellery and Green Earth Beads.

Long awaited by the dog friendly community we

welcome back Collared By Mark with his tweed

countryside. The new allocated bike

space on Lanark Road has made it

more attractive for commuters and

faster cyclists, leaving the Water of

Leith shared path less pressured.

“When my two sons were

smaller, ten years ago and more,

a favourite short ride was up to

creations for humans and dogs, and also

Rosstic Woodcraft.”

For the moment the weekly market in the

Grassmarket remains closed.

Beth says she will be watching what happens

there with outside hospitality and general

footfall. As soon as they deem it safe they

will open again.

Beth said: “Please support small local

independents, we are here for you all year

round, and we help our city to be alive and

individual.”

www.stockbridgemarket.com

Gavin

Corbett

Bonaly and round Torduff and

Clubbiedean reservoirs, all the way

past Kinleith to Harlaw and back

down to Balerno via Malleny Mills

and onto the Water of Leith path.

About 15 miles all in all, from the

Harrison Park area, almost all of it

on paths and tracks.

“On a summer’s evening or a

Sunday afternoon you feel high

above the city and the Forth

Estuary, with the Pentlands on

one side. And while it is a bit of an

ascent up to Clubbiedean you

have the satisfaction of knowing

it is going to be downhill all the

way home.”

Taking a cycle

back in time

By JOHN KNOX

A ROUND TRIP from Edinburgh city centre

to the 15th century Rosslyn Chapel in

Midlothian gives a wonderful day out on

the bicycle and will cost you nothing,

except 24 miles of not very hard work and

a possible coffee and cake in the visitor

centre café.

Mind you, it starts with a bit of grind

uphill to Gilmerton, four miles out on the

south side of town (A772). But before you

get to the City Bypass, you’ll be much

relieved to find a brand new cycle route,

heading south-west, which will take you

safely under the traffic and out to Straiton

Pond nature reserve. Pause here to get

your breath, admire the swans and leave

the busy 21st century behind.

Soon after that you will be flying across

the Bilston Glen Viaduct, built for the

Loanhead and Roslin Railway in 1874 .

(Roslin is how everyone, except the chapel

people, spell Rosslyn). It’s a “box lattice

girder” bridge and a fine example of

Victorian engineering.

By now you are enjoying the open fields

where Dolly the Sheep once roamed at the

agriculture research centre. Up a slight hill,

on the right is a memorial to the Battle of

Roslin, a Scottish victory against the

English in the First War of Independence in

1303. Cycling into the village itself, you

pass the lovely old Manse (1837) on the

right and then, at the first crossroads, you

see signs for Rosslyn Chapel. Perched on

the edge of the dramatic North Esk Glen,

this fantasy in stone was built by the Earl of

Rosslyn and Prince of Orkney in 1446. Dan

Brown’s Da Vinci Code has added extra

tourism interest and there’s a fine visitor

centre. You’ve been away for a day and

time-travelled for 700 years. Time for a

well-deserved, socially-distanced High Tea.

Midlothian Cycle Map available from the

cycling campaign Spokes and all good

bookshops


11

EDINBURGH DOG AND CAT HOME

FLAT TO RENT

LEITH WALK POLICE BOX

LOVE YOUR BUSINESS

GIOVANNI’S

Rescue, reunite, rehome. Edinburgh

Dog and Cat Home accepts any

animal which reaches its door in

need, and works tirelessly to secure

happy and loving forever homes.

They need donations.

26 Seafield Road East EH15 1EH

0131 669 5331

86/1 West Ferryfield EH5 2PU

Virtual viewing available for this

modern two bedroom flat located

next to Ferry Road. Living room,

kitchen two bedrooms and bathroom.

Landscaped grounds and parking

space. Rent £850 pcm.

flat2rentedinburgh@gmail.com

Very reasonable rates allow 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

organisations in between. Have a look

at their pop-up garden when you visit.

Croall Place EH7 4LT

hello@leithwalkpolicebox.com

Love Your Business networking club is

relaxed informal and good fun, and is

now online on the last Thursday of the

month with a host of inspiring

speakers sharing their entrepreneurial

journeys and invaluable business tips.

www.lybnetworking.com

Facebook/howtolyb

Edinburgh’s best fish and chip shop

has been in the same family for half a

century. Pizzas, kebabs and burgers for

delivery or collection. Open 4.00pm to

12am daily.

94 Northfield Broadway EH8 7RU

giovannisonline.co.uk

0131 669 0462

PAPER TIGER

DI GIORGIO’S CAFFE & BAR

SCHOP

CRAIG BANKS TAILORING

FRANK BOYLE ART

This year the shop celebrates their

40th birthday with an amazing diverse

range of cards, stationery gifts

supporting local makers,

manufacturers and illustrators Now

open and all stock is also available

online or for local bike delivery!

www.papertiger.co.uk

Di Giorgio’s have lots of cakes and

slices, coffee with a smile and pasta

and lasagne to go.

Morning rolls and ciabattas are also

available, but this is brownie heaven

and do ask about their birthday cakes.

Open 7 days 10-4pm

1 Brandon Terrace EH3 5EA

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.

schop.co

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!

0131 226 7775 • 45 Thistle Street

EH2 1DY • craigbankstailoring.com

From the award-winning cartoonist, a

gift for fans of either capital team.

A print of the first recorded Edinburgh

Derby football match on Christmas

Day 1875. Available in two sizes A3

and A2.

boylecartoon@gmail.com

frankboyleart.bigcartel.com

NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION

INDEPENDENT WINE COMPANY

SOMETHING FISHY

BIG HEARTS COMMUNITY TRUST

DADS ROCK

Subscribe today to have your very

own copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered by Royal Mail to your front

door from next month.

Pay £2.50 a month to support local

independent news.

ter.ooo.subscribe

A specialist importer of boutique fine

wines from Italy. Carefully hand-picked

award-winning wines of premium

quality sourced direct from the

winemakers. Oleg and Elvira visit every

vineyard personally. Free UK delivery

- same day delivery to Edinburgh

available. www.independent.wine

Independent fishmonger , Daniel,

provides 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.

16a Broughton Street EH1 3RH

0131 556 7614

Using the power of football to create

positive social outcomes, the charity

will be on the road delivering

Christmas essentials. Hearts fans or not

get involved by volunteering with Big

Hearts and their fundraising appeal.

www.bighearts.org.uk

0131 603 4926

A fabulous charity which provides

support for dads, and support for

families. They help men under- stand

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. dadsrock.org

ARDGOWAN DISTILLERY

BOYES BOTANICSCOMPANY

THE WATERSHED

STOCKBRIDGE MARKET

NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION

Enjoy the award-winning limited

edition Clydebuilt Coppersmith. A

wonderful first fill sherry cask blended

malt. Free shipping and nosing glasses

available. The perfect gift at any time

of the year. £49.99. Now limited stock

ahead of new release

shop.ardgowandistillery.com

Botanical design studio run by Kirsty,

creating floral designs for weddings,

events and businesses. Find a selection

of dried flower bouquets, wreaths, gift

boxes and the dried flower cloche

collection online. Local Edinburgh

delivery each Wednesday and UK by

post. www.boyesbotanics.com

The floating café is owned and run by

Lindsay and sits just next to the

Leamington Lift Bridge on the canal.

With their range of smoothies and

coffees accompanied by macarons

and a host of other treats, it is not to

be missed. They will have tables and

chairs soon. EH3 9PD

You may know about Leith (Saturdays)

and Stockbridge (Sundays) Markets

but did you know that you can order

online and pick up all of your shopping

at once? Using the NeighbourFood

site you simply choose what you want

pay and then collect.

www.neighbourfood.co.uk/markets

Subscribe today to have your very

own copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered by Royal Mail to your front

door from next month.

Pay £2.50 a month to support local

independent news.

ter.ooo.subscribe


12 FEATURE NORTHFIELD LEGACY

Celebrating a...

Centenary

Phyllis Stephen meets residents of Northfield, first established

100 years ago as a model housing scheme fit for heroes

T

he original houses built by the

council in Northfield in east

Edinburgh are 100 years old.

And while no celebrations could

mark the centenary, due to

Covid, there are plans afoot.

In Gifford - Buildings of Scotland, the

housing is described as: “To the N of

Willowbrae Road two large areas of housing.

First NORTHFIELD, mainly three-storey

blocks designed and laid out for the City by

Fairlie, Reid & Forbes after a competition held

in 1919. The neutral colour of harled walls is

relieved with red brick and red tiles. Rubble

walls here and there, e.g.at Northfield Gardens

and Nos. 53-57 Northfield Broadway, where

both design and composition are outstanding.”

Steven Robb, Deputy Head of Historic

Buildings at Historic Environment Scotland,

has written extensively on the subject of

housing, from the 19th century slum clearances

of the Old Town and the Southside with the

help of town planner, Patrick Geddes, to the

inter-war work of City Architect, Ebenezer

MacRae, (also responsible for designing the

city’s police boxes). We spoke to Mr Robb

about his personal research relating to

Northfield - a

characterful plan for

homes fit for heroes

Steven Robb,

pictured, right

Northfield, where the development

“successfully mixed tenements, flatted blocks

and cottages together in a meandering

characterful plan”.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1919 was

introduced to deal with overcrowding and

housing shortages. He said: “The government

used the act to kickstart the housing industry,

and they gave out generous subsidies to

councils so that they did not have to put

their rates up.”

The Act was known as “Homes fit for

Heroes”, to give those returning from war

somewhere to live, and also to improve public

health following the mantra a “healthy family

in a healthy home”.

The 1911 census proved that Edinburgh had

a housing problem. Over 110,000 people lived

in either one or two room houses, accounting

for 41% of the city’s housing stock, and some

40,000 people lived three to a room.

Mr Robb said that the first housing built after

the 1919 Act was the result of an architectural

competition for private Midlothian architects,

offering four new sites including Northfield

with the first families housed in October 1920.

The council had bought 40 acres from the

Duke of Abercorn at £300 per acre.

In June 1920 architects Fairlie, Reid & Forbes

publicly exhibited their “admirable housing

scheme” for 322 houses. These three architects

only collaborated for the purposes of the

competition, but went on to design other

notable buildings in the city. Fairlie designed

many Catholic churches and the National

Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge, while

Reid and Forbes were involved in the design of

many Edinburgh schools.

Ironically the trio did not even win the

competition for Northfield. Other architects,

AK Robertson and Thomas Aikman Swan,

won the competition for all four sites, but it

had already been decided that no one firm

would be allowed to design more than two.

Robertson and Swan were awarded the sites

at Wardie and Craigleith, and Charles

Tweedie was awarded Saughtonhall.

The latter two were later abandoned.

AVOIDING URBAN SPRAWL

Mr Robb said that the council started by

building low density schemes with cottages,

but then owing to the high cost had to

resort to constructing four in a block, or

flatted tenements. He pointed out that

Edinburgh wanted to avoid “urban sprawl”

so they built houses quite close to the

city centre and where people worked.

Building costs were high after the

war simply because of high demand,

but at one time building in brick or

stone had cost roughly the same.

Steven believes that some of the stone

tenements built in Northfield Gardens

are the only 1919 Act houses to be

categorised as listed. He said: “It’s quite

rare to be listed but they were of such

high quality, and it was down to the

architects who were really good. There

is such a variety of housing in Northfield,

the architects seem to have really

enjoyed themselves.”

From the valuation rolls, Robb discovered

a lot of middle class professions represented

among residents in the 1920s, rather than

any poor people from the slums who needed

better housing.

Mr Robb likes the area very much,

particularly the fact that it is very green with

lots of garden space and open spaces. He said:

“I think it is a really good plan, for example it

has been designed with cut through lanes. I

don’t really like the fact that gardens have been

paved over, as it was originally planned as a

very green development.”

Depute Lord

Provost Cllr Joan

Griffiths, MBE


13

Northfield is quite

a distinct wee area,

and from a council

housing point of

view it was a

much soughtafter

area

ACTOR, WENDY BARRETT and her

family have lived in their Northfield

Avenue home for 26 years. One of the

original dwellings, unusually for

Edinburgh and indeed Scotland, it is

built of red brick. She said that the thing

she likes about the house is that it feels

very solid, and that moving from a top

floor flat in Easter Road it felt like “a

proper house”. Red brick is considered

more of an English style. Although it is a

“cottage style”, the house has high

ceilings and “decent sized rooms” and a

large garden. Wendy said: “People

wanting to live in the area originally had

to meet certain criteria, and many were

typically white collar workers. My family

is only the third to live in this house.”

THE DEPUTE Lord Provost, Joan Griffiths, MBE, is

ward councillor for Craigentinny/ Duddingston.

She told us that she has a photo which hangs in

her rooms in the City Chambers, which she

received from one of her constituents. It shows

Northfield Farm as the area used to be before

housing was built.

Cllr Griffiths said: "Lorna Frost contacted

me about marking the centenary, and I told

her I thought it was a great idea. Northfield

is quite a distinct wee area, and from a

council housing point of view it was one

of the most sought-after areas for a long

time. People wanted to live in Northfield.

It is a great idea to celebrate it."

FIONA CLARK, a member of the

Northfield & Willowbrae Community

Council, has lived in Northfield for much

of her life. Her parents and two brothers

moved in when the house was brand

new in June 1967. They had lived in the

prefabs in Mountcastle and had to move

as these - a form of post-war temporary

housing - were being pulled down and

residents had to move to Northfield

Drive. Her father Duncan, now 90, is the

only remaining resident who has lived

there since the houses were built. These

newer blocks have balconies where

Fiona grows herbs. She said that some

people don't realise that there are 100

year-old houses in the area. Although

she does not live in the older part she

explained it was still a sought after area

in the 1960s. She said: "You can say the

same about the houses built in the

sixties - the council had a points system,

and you needed lots of points to get a

house in Northfield. It was a lovely area

when I was growing up - we all played

together out in the street from the

Grove and the Drive. While my parents

bought their house under Right to Buy,

it is perhaps one of the worst things that

happened to the area. If it was still solely

council homes, then I think this area

would be nicer."

The council had a points system,

and you needed lots of points to

get a house in Northfield

DAVE ARMSTRONG is a member of Northfield & Willowbrae

Community Council. He explained that it was one of our

contributors, Lorna Frost, who first mentioned the centenary

at one of their recent virtual meetings. He said: "In the past

we would have done something at Northfield Community

Centre. Fiona Menzies, who is a graphic designer, plans to

turn old Northfield photos into postcards, and the

community council is looking at ways of helping with

that. We will be discussing it at our next meeting."

Anyone who would like to help in any way can contact

Dave at: darmstrong52@yahoo.co.uk


14 BUSINESS

Fighting against

Helen Carlin

homelessness

Unique funding model is Scottish housing first

HELEN CARLIN is attacking homelessness in

Edinburgh with a brand new funding approach.

She has established a community benefit

society, Common Ground Against

Homelessness (CGAH), to buy a property

which will become home for nine men when it

is refurbished. With a background in housing

policy, and sheltered housing she set up charity,

Rowan Alba, 23 years ago and the intention is

for both organisations to work in tandem.

Shares up to £700,000 were offered in CGAH

on a commercial basis with a return for

investors. Unlike other charitable bodies dealing

with homelessness, this funding is not in the

manner of a loan, and it is not charity. It is a

sustainable commercial investment and there

is a commercial return for those who bought

the shares.

This is where the arrangement is unique in

Scotland, and Helen hopes that the innovative

funding model can be used again to purchase

more properties until street homelessness

comes to an end. Initially a property in

Peffermill was purchased for £415,000. The

renovations to create nine self-contained flats

will cost a further £990,000. Helen says she has

done little else the last three years but look for a

suitable building.

CGAH will fund the acquisition and

renovation of the building, which will become

the second "homes for life" development run

by sister organisation, Rowan Alba.

Helen said: "I used to work for Age Concern

Scotland in housing policy and got research

funding to examine the reasons behind

homelessness. It was as you would expect,

relationship breakdown, alcohol, people

leaving the armed forces, so I was determined

to do something about that."

And do it she has. Glasgow-born Helen

admits she is a wee bit embarrassed by her

recent award from Edinburgh Chamber of

Commerce who recognised her as Director of

the Year. She clearly prefers to just get on with

the job at hand.

Rowan Alba supports people who are

homeless, and who often have addiction issues,

with a broad range of support services. This is

also a unique set up, as individual flats are

rented on Scottish secure tenancies in

partnership with Bield Housing Association.

Bield organise the tenancies and Rowan Alba

steps in and provides the tenants with a stable

home as well as ongoing care. At present the

charity run a self-contained block at Thorntree

Street in Leith which is a home for life for its

residents, most of whom stay for around seven

years on average. There has been just one

eviction from Thorntree since it was set

up in 2004.

The 24/7 support includes preparing three

meals a day and residents gather to eat together

in a common area. The same facilities will be

offered at Peffermill, which is set to be complete

by 2022.

The charity has recently evaluated its work

and found that for every £1 spent on supporting

the men in these flats they save the public purse

£3. Although the share issue has ended, there is

still an opportunity for anyone wishing to

donate to Rowan Alba which will help them

with their continuing work.

The success of the project means that as soon

as a person becomes a tenant, they are no longer

designated as homeless. At present, Helen says

there are about 50 people who are regularly on

and off the city's streets according to council

figures, but when we spoke to her she estimated

that number had reduced to around nine.

Admitting to being a self-confessed housing

policy geek, Helen said: "We need to get them

off the streets, and we need a landing point that

is right for them and they need to know that

they will have a home for life. Most of our

tenants at Thorntree are 50 plus. I would like the

public to understand that there are a certain

number of folk who just cannot live

independently. CGAH and Rowan Alba are a

bit more pragmatic about it all."

To relax, Helen is sitting her Grade One piano

exam this summer, practising as much as time

allows on her electronic keyboard. She said:

"I had a very bossy mum who had played the

violin. So I had to play violin too and my

brother got to play the piano. Now I have a very

patient piano teacher."

We are sure that she will do more than just

achieve a pass.

New card range

Jackie Conkie

Robert Smail’s

printing works

TO CELEBRATE Paper Tiger’s 40th

birthday, the cards and stationery

shop on Stafford Street, has

commissioned a brand new range

of cards from a traditional printing

press protected by National Trust

for Scotland.

Partnering with Robert Smail's

Printing Works in Innerleithen, the

oldest working commercial

letterpress printer in the UK, 10

unique designs were printed and

typeset using old methods dating

back to Queen Victoria.

Robert Smail’s Printing Works is

cared for by the National Trust for

Scotland, and is an example of

Scotland’s industrial heritage,

while continuing to take on

commercial jobs. The expert team

at Smails hand-crafted the two

colour prints featured on the cards.

Michael Apter, owner of Paper

Tiger, said: “We’re delighted to

have partnered up with Smail’s to

bring our customers an exclusive

range of letterpress cards. This is

something we’ve been planning

since March last year, and we’re

excited to see this come to fruition

after such a difficult year with the

pandemic. This partnership

combines retail and market

knowledge with design, print and

typeset skills – the cards are a true

artform from start to finish.

“The original process at Smail’s

is truly unique, and the quality of

these cards has exceeded our

expectations.”

HSBC branch

The HSBC UK Hanover Street branch

in Edinburgh has just reopened

following a fundamental facelift

carried out during lockdown.


15

Baltic hotspot takes off

Two weekly flights to

Latvian capital Riga

Meander shop is

good for gander

THE SUSTAINABLE outdoor clothing brand,

Meander, started as a pop-up store on

George Street last year. The company has

experienced such an increase in trade

owing to their city centre presence, that

they have decided to extend their lease for

another year.

Meander co-founder, Jill Henry, said: “We

are delighted to extend our lease on the

George Street store. The pop-up has proven

that there is still a strong demand for a

physical presence as well as an online

offering. We were thrilled to see so many

people coming out to support local

businesses despite the pandemic last year.”

The concept store houses the full Meander

collection of sustainable, technical clothing

as well as showcasing a selection of

likeminded premium Scottish brands

including, Shand Cycles, Ooni, Tens and

Instrmnt.

The shop is open seven days a week.

www.meanderapparel.com

AIRBALTIC WILL fly to

Edinburgh Airport this summer

with flights between the

Scottish capital and Riga

from June.

It’s the Latvian airline’s first

route from Edinburgh and there

will be two flights per week on

an Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The

route is scheduled to begin on 4

June and will operate on

Mondays and Fridays.

Gordon Dewar, Chief

Executive of Edinburgh Airport

said: “We’re always looking to

add new routes and we are

excited to be welcoming

airBaltic to Edinburgh Airport

and connecting the capital

cities of Scotland and Latvia.

“We know people are eager

to travel when conditions allow

and we want to be able to offer

some excitement through new

destinations, and Riga is

definitely one for people to

check out and experience one

of the finest cities in the Baltics.”

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive

Officer of airBaltic,said: “We are

delighted to announce our

second destination in Scotland,

thus expanding connectivity

between Latvia and the UK.

In addition to the new route,

airBaltic also continues to

offer convenient and safe

connections between Riga

and London, Aberdeen and

Manchester in the UK.”

Business Woman of the Year

September deadline for brightest

female corporate stars

THIS YEAR’S Business Women Scotland awards have just opened and

entries must be submitted by 3 September. The online awards ceremony

will be held on 19 November.

The themes this year have expanded to include collaboration and

sustainability and entires are sought from businesswomen in start-ups

and established businesses.

Lynne Kennedy, MBE, founder of Business Women Scotland, said:

“We want to showcase some of the most enterprising and successful

women from around Scotland women who’ve had the courage to follow

their dreams, whether that be starting their own business, making it to

the top in their career, or using their expertise and knowledge to help

other women be the best they can be.

“We have always wanted to shine a light on the great work women are

doing across Scotland while being role models for the next generation.”

Last year’s Business Woman of the Year Award winner, Sarra Beajoui of

SmartPA, said: “One of the aspects of SmartPA’s growth I’m immensely

proud of is that, in addition to building a company that provides

impactful support services to thousands of businesses of all sizes in over

15 countries, we’ve also empowered thousands of females globally to

start their own businesses, get back to work and find a career where

they’re rewarded and valued.”

She added it was lovely to have her work recognised.

Sarra Beajoui

New appointment

LOCAL BUSINESSMAN, Peter McLean,

has been appointed to head up the

Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) team

in Edinburgh and the Lothians and

drive forward the charity’s mission to

give all local school children access to

enterprise learning.

As Chair of the volunteer group, Peter

will co-ordinate efforts to introduce more

schools and students to entrepreneurial

skills development through the YES

Company Programme. With his team of

business advisers, as well as fundraising

and organising events, the role includes

working directly with senior school

students who set up their own

commercial ventures as part of the

Company Programme.


16 FOOD

CROSSWORD

Compiled by David Albury

Dinner is served

...take a seat

COVID-19 restrictions on eating out

are being relaxed, and restaurants

are beginning to emerge chrysalislike

from the enforced closure.

Where will you try first? Here is a

handy list of some city centre spots

which you can book - and then dress

up and eat out if you feel able to.

APEROL GARDEN AT THE REFINERY

5 St Andrew Square Edinburgh

EH2 2BH

Kitted out with an abundance of

beautiful flowers, bright orange

parasols, bunting and fairy lights, the

new Aperol Garden Terrace is a place

to relax with an aperitivo in hand, or if

you’re with a group you can try an

Aperol Tree with four Aperol Spritz

cocktails for £32.95. Catch up with

friends for breakfast and brunch

through to supper and Sunday Lunch,

celebrate a special occasion with a

beautiful afternoon tea, or pop in for

quick bite after a day of shopping.

Following government guidelines,

the strictest health and safety

protocols will be in place, with indoor

dining closed at 8pm and outdoor

dining at 10pm. Alcohol will be served

on the terrace only.

T: 0333 210 0017

www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk/

the-refinery-st-andrew-square

PRESTONFIELD HOUSE AND

THE WITCHERY

Priestfield Rd, Edinburgh

EH16 5UT and 352 Castlehill,

Edinburgh EH1 2NF

Owned by James Thomson, the

five-star Prestonfield House Hotel has

reopened in line with Scottish

Government guidelines. James was

born and bred in Edinburgh and has

been a restaurateur and hotelier in the

city for over 40 years. He’s also an

active ambassador for Scottish tourism

and his home city of Edinburgh as a

world class visitor destination.

Just five minutes from Edinburgh

city centre, unique bedrooms, notable

heritage and excellent food and drink

await at Prestonfield, which is

family-friendly and dog-friendly.

Prestonfield has reopened for lunch,

afternoon tea and dinner from

12pm-8pm, and overnight stays.

James Thomson also owns The

Witchery by the Castle on Edinburgh’s

Castlehill, which is one of Scotland’s

most spectacularly atmospheric

dining destinations. Now in its fifth

decade, James Thomson bought The

Witchery over 42 years ago and has

transformed it into a much-loved

Edinburgh institution, with nine

extravagant suites, stunning décor

and food and an award-winning

wine list.

The Witchery is now open for lunch

and dinner, from 12pm-8pm, as well

as overnight stays.

L’ESCARGOT BLEU

56, Broughton Street EH1 3SA

Tel 0131 557 1600

Put the date in your diaries, l’escargot

is opening the door for a few selected

dates and with limited numbers

for now.

The Broughton Street Restaurant

will be open for dinner on Fridays

and lunch on Saturdays. As per

government guidelines, they are

unable to serve alcohol during

this time.

From the week beginning 17 May,

they will extend the opening times

from Wednesday to Saturday.

All times will be confirmed when

they open the reservation system.

Fred Berkmiller, the chef-patron,

said: “Our menu will be on the

blackboard ‘bistro-style’ featuring our

classics dishes, and the restaurant will

be set to make people feel safe, as it

was last autumn, with hand sanitizer

on every table. Please be aware of a

few rules when joining us, like wearing

a mask when moving around, and

temperature checks when you arrive.

“L’escargot At Home will continue

as long as there are orders are coming

in. We have no intension of stopping

and we are very happy to continue

with our Friday collection and

deliveries. It now feels like we have

been doing them for years.”

www.lescargotbleu.co.uk/takeaway

HOLYROOD DISTILLERY

19 St Leonard’s Lane, Edinburgh

EH8 9SH

Holyrood Distillery’s Courtyard Bar will

open again with a range of carefully

selected drinks from local

independent brewers and distillers

and food by Hickory.

The Courtyard Bar, which ran for

the first time over the summer of

2020, has reopened at Holyrood

Distillery:the first single malt distillery

in Edinburgh for almost 100 years. The

area outside the distillery, just off St

Leonard’s Lane, will be transformed

into a relaxed al fresco bar and bistro

space for a summer social.

Visitors to the bar will be first in line

to try new drinks from the distillery,

including their latest release,

HolyXXXX Gin, which celebrates the

end of lockdown.

Designed by Distillery Manager

Marc Watson, HolyXXXX Gin is pared

back to just one botanical and two

other unusual ingredients, to deliver a

very distinctive, daring and delicious

flavour profile – and one that the

distillery is inviting you to describe in

your own words on the bottle.

ACROSS

4 How a paper might turn up (6)

6 Pure logo printed in introduction

to book (8)

9 Discharge cargo on dual-sided

quay (6)

10 Hides gin in small rowing boats (8)

11 Place to which I am heading is

where I donate tins (11)

15 Move coat ‘til bird is revealed (4-3)

17 Moving near it I suffer from lack

of action (7)

18 Clean, old fur is not required (8-3)

22 In Muscat, a combined operation

discovers an underground

cemetery (8)

23 Della and I have joined forces (6)

24 Alkaloid is not nice, I decide (8)

25 In Ealing, Eric might hang

around (6)

DOWN

1 Mails a sample of sausage (6)

2 If I tail car, it will seem to be

false (10)

3 Gee ! Clean objects display

ornateness (8)

4 Water channel laid across cute

quad (8)

5 Distribute pearls to demonstrate

this heavenly body (8)

7 Network found in wrong ridge (4)

8 Direction for fresh teas (4)

12 Match a tent with its means of

fastening (10)

13 Filling with strange, fun gifts (8)

14 Arab lord selects this breed

of dog (8)

16 Elements aren’t cut out, but are

cut short (8)

19 I clear away remains of this cake (6)

20 Broken coin provides an image (4)

21 Part of clot I can remove, relating

to the ear (4)

ANSWERS

Across: 4 Appear, 6 Prologue, 9 Unload, 10 Dinghies, 11 Destination, 15 Coal-tit, 17 Inertia, 18

Uncalled-for, 22 Catacomb, 23 Allied, 24 Nicotine, 25 Linger.

Down: 1 Salami, 2 Artificial, 3 Elegance, 4 Aqueduct, 5 Polestar, 7 Grid, 8 East, 12 Attachment,

13 Stuffing, 14 Labrador, 16 Truncate, 19 Eclair, 20 Icon, 21 Otic.

Alongside drinks from Holyrood

Distillery, the bar will also support

other local businesses emerging from

lockdown by showcasing the best in

independent brewing and distilling:

including draught pints by Pilot,

Barneys and Crossborders, gin from

Electric Spirit Co and Port of Leith, and

some of the best new whiskies from

across Scotland, including Kilchoman

and Nc’Nean.

Award-winning Edinburgh caterer

Hickory will be providing a unique

menu with dishes including Hickory’s

signature sandwich and salad, chicken

tenders, and chili cheese fries, as well

as hot drinks. An ice-cream tricycle

will also be serving up scoops.

A covered and heated seating area

will also be available.

Children will be welcome with their

family group until 7pm. The bar will

be open daily from 1pm to 8pm in the

first week, and then on Thursdays to

Saturdays from 1pm to 9pm, and on

Sundays 12pm-6pm. Service will

initially be table-service only, with

contactless orders via an online app.

Tables will seat a maximum of six

people, with an overall capacity of

up to 120.

Pre-booking is highly recommended,

details can be found at:

www.holyrooddistillery.co.uk

alongside full opening hours.


17

Juliet’s food diary

Dining out

Italian style

Stefano

Pieraccini

REMIND ME, HOW MANY people from various households are

allowed to meet outside, do bubbles count as one? I’m confused. It

surprises me that outdoor drinking is in any way safer than being

policed at a covid spaced indoor table. Stepping off the bus at The

Shore last week it was nigh on impossible to walk along the pavement,

such was the throng of outdoor drinkers stripping the booze fridges of

Sainsbury’s Local. The Number 22 nearly ran over a couple of

pensioners and a Jack Russell, forced to brave the cobbles. The allure of

the river bank is all very well but couldn’t the police guide the masses

to the vast space that is Leith Links? You can bevvy to your hearts

content down there, get the disposable BBQ out, and enjoy a free

lungful of marijuana while you’re at it. With such delights on offer the

council could charge an entry fee.

My own thoughts have turned to outdoor dining, in the sector now

known as “Street Food”. Watch any travel blogs and the adventurers

rightfully delight in street food - home made from scratch, tasty fare

that’s dirt cheap because, well, you have to eat in on the street. Scottish

street food was once a chippy or kebab in a bus stop after a night on

the lash, but has sadly evolved into artisan venison burgers for which

you get little change from a tenner. So for your street, garden or

kitchen eating delights I’ve come up with a street food type recipe and

am so pleased with the results I’ve been looking up the cost of catering

vans on Facebook Marketplace.

I know Pulled Pork is no new thing. I’m seldom a fan because the

pork is often not just pulled but given a night of passion and breakfast

in bed the next morning. It shouldn’t be mush, but unctuous and juicy.

For this recipe I’ve used a smoked gammon for an extra punch of

flavour. If you’re not as keen on saltiness as I am it’s a good idea to soak

your gammon overnight before cooking. Accompanied by a zingy,

nutty Satay Slaw, this recipe has a low, pleasant heat with a contrast of

crunchy freshness.

Juliet Lawrence Wilson

PULLED SRIRACHA GAMMON WITH

SATAY SLAW (makes a generous six portions)

• 1 750g Gammon Joint

• 1 Onion

• 4 tablespoons Sriracha

• 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

• 2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce

• 1 tin Cherry Tomatoes

• 2 whole chillies

• 2 cloves garlic

• 250ml water

• 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Pre heat the oven to 130°C. Cut the

onion into wedges and place in

the centre of a crock pot or oven

proof dish with a tight lid.

Sit the gammon joint on the onions

and pour over all the other

ingredients, with 250ml water,

leaving the chillies and garlic cloves

whole. Cover and bake for 4 hours.

It’s a good idea to check after

three and a half hours. The

gammon should show some

resistance when you pull it apart.

Remove the gammon from the

sauce and shred into chunks.

Remove the chillies from the sauce

(or keep them in if you want a

super fiery version) and either

blitz the sauce with a hand or

table top blender or pass through

a sieve, finely chopping the onions

and garlic.

Add two tablespoons of light

brown sugar and reduce the sauce

over a low heat until thickened to

the coating the back of a spoon

consistency.

Put two thirds of the sauce onto

the gammon and mix well,

reserving the other third for extra

to pour on when serving.

SATAY SLAW

• 300g stir fry mix (or a mixture of

beansprouts, shredded cabbage,

onions, apples and carrots)

• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

• 1 tablespoon peanut butter

• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Mix the mayonnaise, peanut

butter and vinegar and season to

taste. Mix into the vegetables.

Serve the slaw and pulled

gammon in a bun or wrap,

alternatively serve with sticky rice.

THERE ARE MANY things I’m grateful to

my parents for and one of them is their

enthusiasm for taking me to lovely

restaurants from the age of five. Dressed in

a fashion that could put European royalty

to shame and on my very best behaviour, I

loved the occasion of fine dining. There was

no such thing as children’s menus so I was

allowed to choose anything I wanted, with

my father offering to swap if I didn’t like it.

My parents would engage me in

conversation and were far from being

in the “children should be seen and not

heard” camp, just not heard to fellow

diners. Sadly I’m now the source of much

frustration and am regularly told that after

a couple of glasses of vino I can be heard

in the kitchens.

One of my favourite places was Cosmos

on Castle Street because although fancy,

it had a sense of fun and Italian flare.

The dessert trolley was a real treat, my

favourites being the Crème Caramel

and profiteroles.

My one regret from my own stint in the

restaurant business was not reviving the

joy of the dessert trolley. Cosmos sadly

came to an end and was eventually

replaced with Martin Wishart’s The

Honours, and is now set to become Rico’s,

the latest venture by Stefano Pieraccini.

At the tender age of 25, Stefano has

brought his family’s Italian style and vigour

to The Broughton and The Seafood

Ristorante in St Andrews, both

establishments that benefit from

atmosphere as well as great food. The

moment my daughter is old enough to

dine there, I’ll be taking her in to show her

what the joys of eating out are all about.


18 WHAT’S ON

CULTURE • LITERATURE • EVENTS • MUSIC • MUSEUMS • ONLINE LEARNING...

Mimi’s all

topsy turvy

Jupiter Artland welcomes Maclean exhibition

Another

fantastical

creation

By PHYLLIS STEPHEN

I

visited an exhibition of Rachel Maclean’s

work at the National Gallery in London a

couple of years ago, and in the way of

what is impactful, it stayed with me.

The film in the satirical work, The Lion

and the Unicorn, was set to a soundtrack

of speeches by Jeremy Paxman and Alex

Salmond, and featured garishly dressed figures

speaking about Scottish independence and the

farce of politics.

Visitors will be able to see the work at Jupiter

Artland in an exhibition of Maclean’s four main

works from the last decade, but the star of the

show will be Mimi.

Satire and fantasy are both parts of Rachel

Maclean’s work and she has a very distinctive

creative voice. Based in Glasgow, Maclean is an

Edinburgh College of Art graduate. In 2017 she

represented Scotland at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Now the artist will introduce us to Mimi, a

creation combining animation and architecture,

and her first permanent outdoor artwork.

The abandoned high street shop will be sited

in the woods at Jupiter Artland, and is the

upside down world of cartoon princess, Mimi.

This is Maclean’s first fully animated heroine,

but she is darkly arch and invites us to see the

world of end-game capitalism from her topsy

turvy perspective.

To create the figure, Maclean spoke to

teenagers from all over Scotland who were

recruited by Jupiter Artland. She talked with

them about the pressures they faced during the

pandemic, online culture, and the decline of

real-life spaces on our high streets for young

people to express and discover their own

identities. Eventually it is hoped to take an

iteration of the installation on tour into

Scotland’s high streets.

Using colourful make-up and extravagant

self-designed costumes, Maclean plays all the

characters in the films herself, borrowing from

fairy tales, children’s television, product

advertising, and internet pop videos. Employing

computer technology to generate her locations

and appropriating voices from popular television,

the internet, and cartoons, she deftly constructs

super-saturated, cinematic alter-worlds

populated by cautiously psychotic characters.

Founder Director of Jupiter Artland

Foundation, Nicky Wilson, said: “We have

watched Rachel Maclean’s career develop for

many years and have always admired her fresh

and frank approach to issues that surround us.

Although these are always relevant to the present,

they provoke timeless questions about identity,

power and social context. At Jupiter we have

encouraged Rachel, and are delighted to see, her

create a new fantasy world in the grounds of

Jupiter Artland. Not all is what it seems and it’s

this jeopardy that makes it such an exciting

permanent installation. We hope we can provoke

discussions and debate about issues that affect us

all but most particularly after the time of Covid.

As one of the Scotland’s most celebrated

contemporary artists, Maclean’s work challenges

audiences, and in its production challenges

Maclean as a filmmaker.

“Mimi will continue to stretch our

imaginations through a film that is comical

and charged.”

Artist Rachel Maclean said: “Working with

Jupiter Artland on this new commission has

been incredible. It’s my first foray into outdoor

art, and my most ambitious project to date,

combining architecture, sculpture and

animation. The upside-down world of Mimi has

taken years of planning and hard work, so I’m

really excited for folk to see it. I hope that the

feeling of the world turned on its head resonates

Digital video

stills taken

from Spite

Your Face

with audiences in these topsy turvy times and

offers a surrealist and darkly humorous escape

from lockdown life.”

Rachel Maclean’s exhibition runs from 8 May

to 18 July. Jupiter Artland’s permanent collection

of sculptures is already open for the general

public to connect with art, nature and the

outdoors. Further details and booking for the

springtime walks can be found on the Jupiter

Artland website.

Location: Jupiter Artland, Wilkieston,

Edinburgh EH27 8BY

Website: www.jupiterartland.org

Season Dates: 8 May – 26 September

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm daily

Rachel Maclean: Mimi on permanent display

from 8 May 2021

Exhibition: 08 May – 18 July 2021

Fall in line for Drill Hall

OUT OF THE Blue Drill Hall Café will be open from the

end of April, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. They remind

everyone that it is airy and spacious, with lots of room for

social distancing.

Their spaces can be booked for use by small numbers

of people as outlined on their website - look for the Book a

Space page. Their creative spaces are available to enable

people to meet, teach, learn, rehearse, record, and plan

within the current restrictions. They hope to help you get

back to appropriately socially distanced activity.

Contact telephone number: 0131 555 7100

Scottish Arts Club - virtual Fridays

AT THE SCOTTISH Arts Club (SAC) they

have gone online and invite people to tune

in for “Virtual Fridays - arts happenings

that can be enjoyed from the comfort of

your home. On Fridays at 6.30pm SAC

provide members and the public with a

musical event or an online art exhibition.

This could be a photo-film or in a more

traditional gallery style. Links to the events

are on their website and on their social

media platforms like Facebook, Twitter,

Instagram and their Vimeo Channel.

You might also be inclined to donate to

SAC’s Performers’ Fund

If you like what they provide then they

ask you to think of the performers.

The Covid-19 lockdown has left many

artists without any income due to closed

venues and cancelled performances. To

make a donation to support the performers

participating in the “Virtual Fridays’”series,

you can donate on their JustGiving page or

email administrator@scottishartsclub.com

for details on how you can help.


19

Jock McFadyen

fêted at Dovecot

Exhibition marks 70th birthday with 20 works

ARTIST JOCK MCFADYEN is in his 70th year

and the big birthday is being celebrated with an

exhibition of his recent paintings in a collection

of over 20 works.

The show at Dovecot Studios, Infirmary

Street, in partnership with The Scottish Gallery,

is also part of the Edinburgh Art Festival

2021 programme.

These paintings show the romance and

grandeur of Scotland, as well as the urban

dystopia for which McFadyen is known.

The artist was taught by a generation of

abstract painters, so it is little surprise that

paintings such as Mallaig and Estuary Music are

almost minimalist. All of them have no human

presence, except one which has a half-inch tall

tiny figure.

Christina Jansen, director of The Scottish

Gallery, said: "McFadyen paints the exterior

world with a cool detachment that carries an

emotional punch, and Lost Boat Party perfectly

STEPHANIE KERR, Programmes

Adviser at People’s Postcode

Lottery, welcomes aboard a

special visitor at the National

Museum of Flight at East

Fortune.

Tickets are on sale now for the

Museum. Visitors will be taken

describes his approach – floating through the

landscape to find and show the strange

enigmatic portion only seen when looking

for something else.

"The painting Lost Boat Party is a monumental

work, depicting a seaside funfair which appears

to have detached itself from the land and is

slowly drifting out to sea. The metaphor for the

human condition is unavoidable, and many of

the paintings in the exhibition describe the sea

with all its implications of threat and

indifference, as well as painterly possibility."

During the last seven months Dovecot has

collaborated with McFadyen to make a new

artwork inspired by his painting, in the same

way as they have with other artists such as

Barbara Rae and Chris Ofill. The Mallaig

Commission will be unveiled at the exhibition.

Naomi Robertson, Master Weaver at Dovecot

Studios, said: "Our initial aim was to explore the

beauty in the paintings. We have experimented

New arrivals at

Museum of Flight

around the globe with Brick

Wonders, a display supported

by players of People’s Postcode

Lottery, which explores the

wonders of the world in more

than 500,000 LEGO® bricks.

Warren Elsmore and his team

have created the Egyptian

pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef

and the Matterhorn, along with

more than 30 other intricate

models. But the best of all must

be the six metre long Concorde,

made of over 60,000 bricks,

which you can then compare

with the real thing.

with how to amplify the complex undertones

in Jock's use of paint through the blending of

yarn as well as the innate sensuality of the

textile surface.

"The way in which the final work absorbs light

emphasises a depth of colour that is just not

possible with paint."

Jock McFadyen - Lost Boat Party

at Dovecot 10 Infirmary Street EH1 1LT

Friday 11 June – Saturday 25 September

Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm

www.dovecotstudios.com

www.scottish-gallery.co.uk

Artist Jock

McFadyen

Stephanie Kerr

on the tarmac

He said: “Concorde is such an

iconic aircraft with its unique

shape and silhouette, and it is

great fun to create a model like

this that is so recognisable.”

Until 27 June free with admission.

www.nms.ac.uk

Podcasts...

MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM

Jackie Kay and Hollie McNish visit Glasgow

Women’s Library in one of the most recent

episodes of the Art Fund podcast, Meet Me

at the Museum. The Art Fund podcast

features well-known faces taking someone

they love to a favourite museum or gallery,

to explore what's on offer, have a chat about

what they find, and generally muse on life.

WIRED THE PODCAST

From the award-winning team at WIRED UK

comes a look at the week in tech, culture,

science and politics. Every week, they discuss

the most interesting stories on WIRED, share

their favourite random facts and offer a

catch up on the world of technology.

RENEGADES

This is an informal longform podcast

featuring President Barack Obama and

Bruce Springsteen talking about everything

from being a father to income inequality.

It was recorded in Springsteen’s converted

farmhouse studio where he also

makes music.

THE FOOD CHAIN

As part of this BBC World Service podcast

there is a sub series of My Life in Five Dishes

featuring among others Nigella Lawson,

Yotam Ottolenghi and Madhur Jaffrey, who

introduced us in the UK to real Indian

food. This is a kind of Desert Island Discs

for foodies.

Hidden Door

Festival returns

HIDDEN DOOR will return this summer for

an outdoor festival of music, visual art,

theatre, dance and spoken word, organisers

have announced. Over the five days,

Hidden Door will stage a series of specially

commissioned collaborations with Scottish

musicians and artists, creating visually

stunning multimedia shows and immersive

experiences.

The location of the festival remains a

secret for now, but organisers have spent

the past year exploring potential sites

for staging a safe, physically distanced

outdoor event.

David Martin, Creative Director of Hidden

Door, said: “This event is going to be a great

opportunity to get back together with

friends and celebrate the return of live

events and the amazing creativity that is

still very much alive in this city, if hidden

for the last year.

“We are going to create something

special in a large outdoor space that will

have enough room to spread out and feel

free, yet at the same time give everyone

something to share together. While there

has been lots of arts happening online, we

are crying out to share experiences

together and create new memories. We will

throw 18-months worth of pent up creative

energy at this and create something truly

memorable for the city.”

Tickets are available now at:

www.hiddendoorblog.org/tickets


20 THE ARTS

JL Preece

Children’s

Festival

Connecting children with art from 25 May to 6 June

By JOHN PREECE

THE EDINBURGH International Children’s Festival

has announced its 2021 hybrid programme of online

and outdoor theatre and dance for young people

following months of planning (and re-planning).

The digital programme will include streamed

performances such as Removed (the gripping story

of a young man’s experience of the care system) and

innovative “live” digital interactions such as The

University of Wonder & Imagination (a live magic

show over Zoom).

To complement the online offer, the Festival

programme includes Family Encounters, a series of

free pop-up performances happening in outdoor

spaces across Edinburgh in the first and last

weekend of the Festival.

Festival Director Noel Jordan said: “There are so

many things to celebrate about this year’s Children’s

Festival. We are proud to be able to offer paid work to

so many Scottish artists, freelancers and companies,

from an industry that has almost been at a standstill

for over a year.

"Most importantly, we are appreciative and inspired

by the opportunity to be able to present much need arts

and culture to children, young people and their families

at this time of need. As our community re-emerges from

lockdown, now is the time to enjoy the world of wonder,

curiosity and connectedness that the arts can offer us.”

www.imaginate.org.uk

Lift off for student opera

The unicorn by

Nudge Puppets

with Rosa

Festival pops up in new format

This summer Edinburgh International Festival will go under canvas in three

locations such as that featured above in the Old Quad at the University of

Edinburgh. Live performances will be shorter and there will be no intervals.

By DAVID LEWIS

LOCAL STUDENT ensemble,

Edinburgh Studio Opera,

managed little short of a miracle

by putting on an entire

performance recorded using

their singers’ webcams amid the

heights of lockdown. The

production, The Remarkable

Rocket, was an adaptation of the

Oscar Wilde short story of the

same name, with various “best

hits” from classic operas woven

around the plot.

Student music groups have

been hard-hit amid the

pandemic, subject to often two

or more sets of restrictions yet

lacking the ample online

resources of professional

ensembles. But ESO made the

best of some rudimentary

technology to give the

performance a flamboyant, if

low-budget, aesthetic that

strangely suited the zany

sentiment of Wilde’s prose – a

tongue-in-cheek moralising

fable about a precocious

anthropomorphised firework

(yes, really!).

There were plenty of good

performances and some

exceptional ones, both from the

more experienced soloists and

the up-and-coming singers who

performed duets or trios. The

best singers leant into the

strengths of their youthful voices

with keen attention to not just

the musical expression but also

the textual detail.

If you’re looking for something

with high production values then

The Remarkable Rocket

definitely isn’t for you. But if

you’re willing to part with the

modest sum of £5 (plus a small

booking fee, or even less if you’re

a student) to help aspiring

singers keep doing what they

love, you might find yourself

charmed by this exuberant, if

slightly make-do-and-mend

performance.

To purchase your viewing of the

online performance please visit:

edinburghstudioopera.org


BOOKS

21

Ian and Anne Pilbeam with

children Roonagh and Rory

ARE WE THERE YET?

By Ian Pilbeam

THE BACKGROUND to the book

has taken several years, but Ian

Pilbeam has finally committed a

year long family trip to paper. The

result is Are We There Yet? which

he has self-published.

The trip took about 360 days and included Ian,

now the owner of an HR and health and safety

company, his wife, Anne, who is a dietician, and two

children, Rory, then aged nine and Roonagh, then

aged seven. The Bruntsfield family visited several

continents but not Europe or North America. It came

about because of serendipity according to Ian, but

there was also spontaneity and tragedy involved.

The spontaneity came at the end of a family

holiday in Turkey when he idly asked the children

where they might like to go next. The answer came

the next night at dinner with a list embellished with

drawings of animals which lived in each destination.

And the next question was whether you could buy a

round-the-world trip for families. You could, and so

the adventure began. The serendipity was that the

children were at the correct age to go away from

home for a year, essentially skipping school, but

receiving an education through travel.

Ian said: "They could read and write, they had

basic maths, so they could then go out into the world

which became their classroom. They just absorbed all

the lessons of geography, history and biology and

everything else."

The tragedy arose as Anne's father had been

diagnosed with vascular dementia, and he went

to live in a care home. Anne's mother had died

of cancer, leaving them an inheritance of the

money she had saved for her retirement.

The double-edged sword of this situation meant that

the Pilbeams were free to travel.

The family visited 20 countries and stayed in 100

different places using 50 different forms of transport

to travel between them all. A lot of the time they

were on the go but they also built in some longer

stops. Ian said: "In the 360 days, 100 of them were

stand out days when we went to a named place or did

a special thing. But the other 260 days were probably

more important because they were just the down

days when you would do the laundry or write the

blog or just play. The children kept daily diaries and

some of the best are in the book. I had to sanitise my

blogs a bit as they were being read by people back

Are we

there

yet?

Ian Pilbeam's

lockdown project

was to publish

a book...

and he has

home who were worried about us, notably my

parents. So some of the things that happened did not

go in the blog immediately, but could be included in

the book with abandon."

On their return, Ian spent a year out of work (it was

just after a recession) and for the last seven years he

has been building a business, so that is his excuse for

not writing the book until now, when the children are

in their twenties. Anne helped to remind Ian of some

of the parts he had perhaps forgotten about, and the

children did help by commenting on the draft.

The financial wherewithal came from an

inheritance and having their house rented out to a

minister while they travelled. So knowing the rent

was pretty secure helped with the costs of the year

away, but the family came home broke and needing

to get back to work. The dream of flying over their

final destination of Rio de Janeiro in a helicopter was

shelved in favour of knowing they would have some

weeks of food shopping from Asda in reserve. They

decided that they needed the Asda shopping more at

that stage, and they had already done a lot of

"amazing stuff " by then anyway.

Are We There Yet? by Ian Pilbeam is available

to buy on Amazon.

Two siblings,

one crime

EMBERS

Josephine

Greenland

Two siblings,

one crime.

One longburied

secret.

Seventeen-year-old Ellen

never wanted a holiday.

What is there to do in a

mining town in the

northernmost corner of the

country, with no one but her

brother Simon – a boy with

Asperger’s and obsessed

with detective stories – for

company?

Nothing, until they stumble

upon a horrifying crime scene

that brings them into a

generations-long conflict

between the townspeople

and the native Sami. When

the police dismiss Simon’s

findings, he decides to track

down the perpetrator himself.

Ellen reluctantly helps, drawn

in by a link between the crime

and the siblings’ own past.

What started off as a tedious

holiday soon escalates into a

dangerous journey through

hatred, lies and self-discovery

that makes Ellen question

not only the relationship to

her parents, but also her

own identity.

Greenland is a Swedish-

English writer who now lives

in Edinburgh.

She has an MA in Creative

Writing from the University

of Birmingham and a BA in

English from the University of

Exeter. In 2019 she began a

PGDE course at the University

of Edinburgh to become a

Secondary school English

teacher. Embers is her

first novel.

Scottish Book Trust – It’s a Celebration

DOUGLAS STUART, winner of the

Booker Prize for his wonderful

Shuggie Bain, has teamed up with

Scottish Book Trust (SBT) to ask

Scots to submit their real-life stories.

The Your Stories initiative is open

to everyone and this year’s theme is

Celebration. The hope is to focus on

some positive stories in what is, and

has been, a difficult year.

Your Story could be about

yourself, a loved one or

sharing ways in which

you celebrate.

Douglas Stuart said: “As

someone who grew up in a

home without books, I

understand the importance of

stories. They bring together families,

friends and communities. Your

Stories is an opportunity for the

people of Scotland to pick up their

pen and share their experiences

from the small steps to the bigger

milestones. Our nation is rich with

culture, language and traditions,

and this is the perfect time to

celebrate and treasure them.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of SBT,

said: “Sharing stories is a great

Scottish tradition whether over

a drink or around the dinner

table, we have a longestablished

culture of telling

tales for comfort or entertainment.

For many, Your Stories has been the

tentative first step of sharing their

writing. At Scottish Book Trust, we

look forward to hearing about what

you have celebrated over the last

year, from the small successes to the

bigger milestones.”

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic

Books Council, said: “This year’s

theme challenges us to find reasons

for celebration in the midst of

adversity. We hope Gaelic speakers

will embrace the invitation to

celebrate their language and tell

their own stories. We are delighted

once again to be working with

Scottish Book Trust to encourage

everyone to love reading and try

their hand at writing.”

Your Story of up to 1,000 words

can be written in English, Scots or

Gaelic in any form - a story, poem,

comic strip, play or letter. It must

be submitted online or by post

by 22 June. Every entry will

be published on the

SBT website.

Some will appear in

a book to be

distributed free to

libraries and schools

during Book Week

Scotland.

Douglas

Stuart


22 SPORT

Ross touts

Paul Hanlon in

action for Hibs

Hanlon for

Scots squad

Hibs gaffer backs stopper for Euro finals

By JOHN HISLOP

HIBS’ HEAD COACH Jack Ross has backed Paul

Hanlon’s claim for a place in Scotland’s Euro 2020

squad following his consistency of performances

for the club this season.

The 31-year-old defender won his one and

only cap against the Czech Republic back in

October, although he was an unused substitute

for a friendly against the Netherlands under

interim manager Malky Mackay in 2017.

He was overlooked by the national team boss

as the Scots kicked off their World Cup qualifiers

last month but he has been a rock in the heart of

the Hibs’ defence, helping the club to third place

in the table.

He is hoping to end the season with another

Scottish Cup medal to add to the one he picked

up five-years ago. He hopes it will bring him to

the attention of Scotland boss Steve Clarke.

Ross said: “Paul earning his cap this season

and being involved in the Scotland squad was a

well-deserved reward for his performances, not

just this season but throughout his time at Hibs.

He’s a player that I only really appreciated how

good an all-round footballer he is when I get to

work with him every day.

“His temperament, attitude and

professionalism are outstanding, not just his

qualities as a player.

“He is a really good player and I think

his consistency of performance this season,

on the back of being involved in the national

team squad, has meant that should any

opportunities arise that he is still very much

in the manager’s thoughts.

“I think he understands that there are

players who are maybe ahead of him at the

moment within the squad but maintaining

that performance level gives him the best

possible chance should it arise.”

Hanlon has put such thoughts to the back of

his mind however and is just determined to end

the season in style.

He said: “It’s always been an ambition of

mine to play for my country and luckily enough

with the form I’ve had this season, it brought me

that last year.

“I’m delighted to get that cap and to know that

you are in or around the manager’s thoughts.

“Every player says the same but it is really

all about performing well for Hibs and Hibs

being successful.

“Being part of a successful Hibs team will

undoubtedly help my chances so that’s my main

Ian Jacobs

focus, to try and finish the season strongly,

cement third place and see how far we can go in

the cup, and if that leads to anything else in

terms of international recognition that I’d be

absolutely over the moon, but I know first and

foremost that I need to be doing it for Hibs.”

Scotland start off the tournament on Monday

14 June with a match against the Czech Republic

at Hampden.

Four days later they will travel to Wembley to

face the auld enemy England.

On Tuesday 22 June they return to Hampden

to face Croatia.

The top two teams from each group will qualify

along with the four best third-placed teams.

Gary hits the ground running

Walking footie in

West Edinburgh

CORSTORPHINE DYNAMO FC are

launching walking football in West

Edinburgh in late May. Sessions will be on

Wednesday afternoons at the Gyle Park in

Corstorphine.

Walking Football is exactly what it sounds

like – a standard game of football where

players walk instead of run. It’s designed to

help people get fit or maintain an active

lifestyle no matter what their age and

fitness, as well as support people getting

back into football they have given it up due

to age or injury.

www.corstorphinedynamo.co.uk

Edinburgh City boss Naysmith takes Citizens squad to play-offs

By JOHN HISLOP

EXCITING TIMES are ahead for

Edinburgh City whose recently

appointed manager, Gary

Naysmith, has hit the ground

running. Now only the play-offs

will determine in what division the

Citizens will play next season.

High-flying Queen’s Park were

always the favourite to gain

automatic promotion, but City

have spent the season competing

with Stirling Albion and Elgin City

for second place. Now they have a

squad more than capable of

playing at a higher level, although

not at Ainslie Park.

Last month City announced that

they will be returning to their

traditional home of Meadowbank

Stadium for the start of season

2021/22.

Gone is the old, brutalist

grandstand and terracing, the

nostalgic scoreboard that came all

the way from the 1984 Los Angeles

Olympics, and the imposing

old-school floodlight towers. In

their place are modern, world-class

facilities including a state-of-theart

sports centre with a 500 seat

stand in its shadow, alongside a

brand new 4G pitch.

An agreement has been reached

that may allow the club to build a

second stand on the north side of

the pitch, subject to obtaining

planning permission.

The proposed structure will have

both seated and safe standing

sections, and will accommodate up

to 1500 supporters.

Naysmith took over from James

McDonaugh (who has taken the

role of Sporting Director), and led

the club to six wins and a draw in

his first seven League Two matches.

The 42-year-old started with

Hearts, where he lifted the 1998

Scottish Cup, before signing for

English Premier League giants

Everton for £1.7m in 2000.

This move added more than 130

Premier League appearances to his

46 Scotland international caps.

Despite several serious injuries

during his time at Goodison Park,

Gary made a £1 million move to

Sheffield United in 2007, becoming

their regular full back in the English

Championship, before latterly

agreeing moves to Huddersfield

Town and Aberdeen.

In the twilight of his playing

career he joined East Fife, which

developed into a player-manager

role, and he went on to lead the

Methil men to the League 2 title

in 2016.

Following this success, he took

over at Championship side Queen

of the South later that year, a

position he held until May 2019.

Prior to joining City, he enjoyed

the role of Loan Manager at Hearts

where he has overseen the

development of the young players.


23

Who’s on the

Hearts midfielder,

Andy Irving

way out at

Tynecastle?

Premiership will demand new faces

By DUNCAN ROBERTSON

WHATEVER YOU think of the 2020/21 season, those

at the club will be swift to point out that, at the end of

the day, Hearts is making its return to the Premiership

at the first time of asking.

The fact that this has played out in a rather plodding

nature, peppered with some truly embarrassing cup

results along the way, paints a reality that leaves the

summer break and pre-season one of real poignance

for those of a maroon persuasion.

Noises are already being made at the club around

enhancements and changes to the playing squad.

This, to many fans, sounds all too familiar –

especially given the 94 players who have arrived under

the ownership of Ann Budge. But clearly there is a

need to at least tweak a squad that arguably has

performed to a Premiership standard on occasions

you could only count on one hand, in the

Championship and cup competitions this season.

BIG QUESTIONS

But what would the big changes be? The Jambos have

eight out-of-contract players at the end of the season.

The on-loan Gervane Kastaneer and crocked Josh

Ginnelly will head back to their parent clubs whilst

back-up goalkeeper Ross Stewart may make a

permanent switch from Livingston as Bobby Zlamal’s

contract expires.

Final loanee, Shay Logan, despite the negativity

surrounding his arrival from Aberdeen, has made a

decent enough start but has faded of late.

The biggest notable departure is surely midfielder

and youth graduate Andy Irving, who has failed to

accept the contract on offer from the club.

Irving has been a mainstay in the starting XI,

nearing 30 appearances, and has played a pivotal role

in orchestrating the Hearts centre with his range of

passing and cool head. His exit is a sore one for the

support. Aidy White and Elliott Frear will likely make

quiet exits when their contracts end.

So what of the broader squad and those that

could and should make room for Hearts’ tilt at the

Premiership?

Top of many lists amongst fans are Jamie Walker

and Andy Halliday. The former certainly divides

opinion with the latter’s fandom of Rangers, and

ongoing podcast appearances, causing irritation.

Whilst capable professionals, their current wage

demands probably don’t justify their contributions

so far, as they enter the last year of their contracts.

MORE IS EXPECTED

Also in the midfield, heralded at the time of his

January arrival, Gary Mackay-Steven has been an

all-out dud in Gorgie.

For a player who has represented his country and

won silverware with Celtic, much more is expected of

the 30-year-old.

Whilst a pre-season may see his energy and

dynamism return, as may the backing (and heat) of a

Tynecastle crowd, it’s his apparent attitude that is

getting many Jambos angry. GMS is under contract in

maroon until the summer of 2023.

What of others?

Fees or early contract terminations would be

needed with centre back Mihai Popescu’s days at

Hearts surely numbered. His fellow defensive

colleague Craig Halkett is also feeling the pressure,

having regressed since his arrival from Livingston and

the early promise shown.

The less said about Loic Damour the better.

Of course, who arrives over the summer to bolster

Robbie Neilson’s charges is the bigger question as the

manager seeks the fast start he needs to stand any

chance of saviour in the eyes of the Hearts support.

Ian Jacobs

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