The Edinburgh Reporter October 2021

The independent local newspaper all about Edinburgh

The independent local newspaper all about Edinburgh


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In the chair Coasting it Hot off the press Strand & deliver Not for Budging

Former Edinburgh councillor

presides in Parliament

Page 4

Boat club casts off for

10 year celebration

Page 7

Local free news addresses

democratic defecit

Page 12

Royal site apartments

fit for a queen

Page 20

Hearts boss Anne delivers

fan ownership

Page 23

October 2021




Autumn leaves

options for city

hospitality sector


Martin P McAdam

Left to right visitors Lauren

McLean and Ellie Spencer from

Staffordshire, took a look at

the autumn decorations at

The Ivy St Andrew Square

AFTER MONTHS of enforced closure, city

restaurants are welcoming guests back, with

many making use of outdoor areas. Measures

agreed by Edinburgh Council in March to

help hospitality businesses have been

extended. This means that temporary

structures created to increase outdoor seating

capacity may now stay in place until 31

October when permissions may be required.

The council’s charges for tables and chairs

outside are waived until the end of December

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the

Scottish Hospitality Group, agreed the move

is welcome. He said: “It’s been a lifesaver for

many places and has allowed people to trade.

It also gives hospitality venues a European feel

with outside dining and it gives customers a

choice which is important.

“I am glad that Edinburgh has taken the

line they have, but these measures should be

all round, and I would urge Edinburgh

Council to allow this 365 days a year. They

would be leaders in promoting hospi-tality in

our big cities if they did that. If we can

encourage footfall in any way it would also

improve retail. But thumbs up to Edinburgh

Council for the moves they have made so far.”


Letters to the editor

Bin ill thought out hub plans


HAVING A MONTHLY deadline is part of

the production of a newspaper and in our

spread this month we have shared stories of

other independent news titles just like The

Edinburgh Reporter.

The news websites and papers we feature

in our middle pages are either independently

owned or social enterprises - so-called not

for profit organisations. What they have

in common is that around a third of the

people running them spend more than

40 hours each week producing the news

for their readers.

At a recent conference held by

Independent Community News Network - of

which we are a founding member - the

numbers quoted were impressive. There are

125 independent titles who are members

of the industry body producing 22 million

page views each year. While most titles are

geographically based, as we are, there

are others which base themselves on a

particular topic.


A group set up by The Scottish Government is

currently examining ways of supporting

independent titles - perhaps by allowing

statutory advertising to be published there

and not just placed with the bigger dailies. I

have long advocated for this and hope this

time it will be successful.

Independent titles have produced tens of

thousands of articles about Covid-19 in the

last 19 months, but with little government

support. It is important to try and address

what is commonly referred to in that neat

phrase the “democratic deficit” - meaning

that not everyone has access to online and

may miss out on reliable information as

a result.

That is one of the reasons why The

Edinburgh Reporter newspaper exists - and I

am particularly proud that we have managed

to produce a newspaper every month in spite

of a marked decrease in advertising support.

Local businesses have had a very uncertain

year and it is no surprise to us that advertising

has possibly been the last thing on their

minds. We appreciate all of our advertisers

and hope that you can help them to help us

by offering any support.

Phyllis Stephen, Editor

Dear Madam,

The City of Edinburgh Council is to place hubs

of communal waste bins throughout the

heritage streets of the New Town. These hubs

will replace all the current waste collection

schemes, including the gull-proof bags (GPB)

and the communal landfill bins, along with red

and blue recycling boxes.

Each hub comprising 6 or 7 bins, will be

located within 50 metres of homes, which

means there will be a large number of them.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, communal bins are

regularly abused, trade waste is dumped in and

around them, they are emptied carelessly and

many get damaged and not repaired, and they

are subject to graffiti tagging.

The council should be ashamed. This is not

what I would expect to see in the capital city of

a first-world nation. I am appalled that the

council believes this type of waste management

scheme is appropriate for any street in the city,

let alone the World Heritage, Georgian,

New Town streets. What would visitors think

when they come to see this iconic architecture

and have to put up with the sight of council

refuse dumps cluttering the 200 year-old

cobbled streets?

The council assert that the bin hubs will

increase recycling, but Freedom of Information

Covid - the numbers

THE NUMBER of cases

recently exceeded all previous

records with a high of 7,113

cases in Scotland on 29

August. On that date the

number of cases reported in

Lothian was 1,110, but an even

higher figure of 1,129 cases

was reached on 12 September.

The Scottish Government says

the variant of concern is now

Delta - more transmissible

than the Alpha variant. But the

government also said that

vaccines “still offer good

protection against new


The reproduction or R

number (the average number

of secondary infections

produced by a single infected




responses do not provide the evidence to

support their arguments.

The council abandoned the current schemes,

without planning permission, with no

consultation with residents or heritage

organisations, and without undertaking a

transparent environmental and social impact

assessment. In my view, the council members

have acted beyond any reasonable mandate and

unilaterally selected a scheme based purely on

cost - in other words, the lowest cost solution to

provide basic services regardless of the views of

stakeholders. Indeed, I have confirmation from

one councillor that cost was the primary driver.

I am deeply concerned that degrading the

beauty of the New Town, will further relegate

Edinburgh to a city with a reputation for scruffy,

person) was below 1 between

January and the middle of

May, and again for a period

between 9 June and 21 July,

but it then crept up to around

1.3 at the end of August.

The number of PCR tests

conducted in the past 19

months or so has now

exceeded 10 million at the

three regional hubs set up

around Scotland including one

at Lauriston Place in

Edinburgh. These also include

the four nations network of

Lighthouse labs, partner

laboratories and testing sites.

And the Scottish Ambulance

service has conducted more

than one million tests at

mobile testing units.



distributed through a network of

city businesses such as

supermarkets and Leith and

Stockbridge Markets on the first

weekend of the month. The paper is

also available from Summerhall, The

Scottish Storytelling Centre and

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Velvet

Easel Gallery in Portobello and at the

LifeCare Café in Stockbridge and the

Watershed Café on the canal.

If you have been to any branch of

Farmer Autocare then you may have

picked up a free copy of our latest

paper during your visit.

If you can, then please subscribe

to have your copy delivered to you

each month. It helps us to cover the

overheads of bringing the news to

you in print and online.

For advertising and

editorial enquiries

please email:



reporter.co.uk Donate anchor.fm YouTube

squalid streets, blighted by ugly bins, often

broken and overflowing, and surrounded with

trade waste and dumped household items. The

name ‘Auld Reekie’ is likely to be highly apt

once again.

The New Town and Broughton Community

Council is running a campaign to stop the bin

hubs and save the GPB scheme, which has

worked well for several years. For those of us

who are proud of our city, and do not want to

see it further deteriorate due to irresponsible

actions by a council that does not consult or

listen to its customers, I encourage others

sharing my concern to visit their website.


Simon Price

Edinburgh EH3

And if you have any suggestions

as to places where we could

distribute our paper then please let

us know.


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





07791 406 498



Get on her bike!

The Fancy Women Bike Ride pedals onwards in Edinburgh

Stella Thomson, Viki Jefkins,

Sally Hinchliffe and

Suzanne Forup line

up for the start of the ride

Lavery lines up

for capital poet

laureate role

AWARD-WINNING poet, playwright and

performer Hannah Lavery has become the

Scottish capital’s sixth poet laureate.

Hannah will take over the honorary role

from Alan Spence later this year at a

special reception hosted by the Lord

Provost within the City Chambers.

Born and raised in the capital, Hannah is

a highly respected poet and playwright

whose work has been published widely.

Hannah’s poem, “Scotland, You’re no mine”

was selected by Roseanne Watt as one of

the Best Scottish Poems of 2019, her

poetry film, Thirteen Fragments featured

as part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s

Curious Festival this year and she it will

feature as part of a longer work for

Push the Boat Out Festival in Edinburgh,

this month.

Christian aid

sale of paintings

Participants in the Fancy Women Bike

Ride Edinburgh 2021

Martin P McAdam


THE FANCY WOMEN Bike Ride is an annual

women-only cycling event held on World

Car Free Day in more than 150 cities around

the world.

The events allow women to cycle just to show

that everyone can ride a bike – even if you are

wearing something just a bit fancy.

And here in Edinburgh women put on

their fancy clothes and went for a cycle around

The Meadows.

But there was a purpose to it all. The

Edinburgh organiser, Sally Hinchcliffe, told The

Edinburgh Reporter: “it is a way of bringing

visibility to the way that women change the

world. Cycling does not have to be something

you armour up to do. It is something you can do

in your best clothes, as slow as you like, as fast

as you like, as fancily as you like. We just

wanted to take over the streets a little bit with

some fabulousness.”

Sally is co-convener of the Women’s Cycle

Forum Scotland. She said that she mostly just

cycles to “get around” but admitted to cycling

quite far. she said: “Getting around has got

further and further over the years. I do cycle

longer distances now. It’s been a revelation to

me and now I think that a journey of al-most 40

miles is easy. I would not have been able to

think about that a few years ago.”

Transport Convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes

also took part in the ride. She said: “This is just

fantastic. It is done in cities all over the world

and is a chance for women to really get out

there together and remind people how many

cyclists in this city are women.” Asked if better

infrastructure would not help all of the cyclists

on our streets, Cllr Macinnes admitted that it

would. She said: “It is all about connectivity.

Coming into the city centre from south

Edinburgh where I live, I ride about five miles

and a lot of that is now on segregated cycle

paths. That makes such a difference.”

International coordinator, Pinar Pinzuti said:

“The women’s bike ride is successful because the

event welcomes everyone, the message is clear

and it is organized by intrepid and independent

women. The Fancy Women Bike Ride is an

opportunity to experience the soft power of

femininity on the streets where women boldly

exhibit their inner colours on their eco-friendly

transport: bikes. Once a year we offer people a

chance to leave their stinky cars yet look

fabulous all the same, on their bikes. If you

enjoy cycling once a year, you probably keep on

cycling every single day.”

THE POPULAR sale of paintings and

books to raise funds for Christian Aid is

back. The event will take place at St

Andrew’s and St George’s West Church

on George Street from 14 to 16 October

10am to 5pm each day.

On Saturday 16 October there will be a

bake sale until noon. The Sale features a

wide range of artworks, with many pieces

by well known contemporary artists,

including Victoria Crowe, Hugh

Buchanan, Ann Oram, Henry Kondracki

and Jennifer MacRae. There will also be a

special selection of Scottish books,

ephemera and maps. It’s an ideal

opportunity to find beautiful gifts at

great prices.



Alison takes

the chair

Phyllis Stephen meets with Scottish Greens

first Presiding Officer in parliament

It is almost five months since Lothian

MSP, Alison Johnstone, was nominated

as the sole candidate for the job of

Presiding Officer (PO) of The Scottish

Parliament, after a long three days of

will she, won’t she?

For anyone who regularly watches

the proceedings from Holyrood it now

seems that this is a job she was made for.

Certainly the previous incumbent, Ken

Macintosh, who tried to persuade her to take up

the position, thought she was the ideal candidate.

Johnstone is only the second woman after

Tricia Marwick to become PO, but she is the

first member of the Scottish Greens to take up

the position.

As someone who campaigned and protested

even before she became a city councillor in

Edinburgh, it might seem a little odd for her to

be politically neutral now as the role demands.

She said: “I think it’s fair to say when you’ve

been involved in politics, as long as I have, that it

takes a little getting used to.

“Maybe the first couple of days in this job for

sure I would say to myself, ‘Oh, look at what’s just

happened. I’ll just tweet my opinion on that’. But

then I won’t, because that would be wholly

inappropriate. It’s absolutely key that people have

every confidence in my impartiality.

“One of the reasons I went for the role - and

you know it wasn’t something I was pursuing

- but having decided to put myself forward, I was

absolutely determined that I wanted to do the

very best job that I can for the parliament.

“It’s about seeking to enable robust debates.”


As a precursor to becoming a politician Alison

worked at Holyrood with the first Green MSP,

Robin Harper, and then stood for election to

Holyrood in 2011 when Harper decided to call it

a day. Now, with two terms as an MSP behind

her, and elected for a third session, Alison was

eventually persuaded that the time was right to

leave politics aside.

This is perhaps the first time that the

arithmetic at Holyrood allowed a Green MSP to

step forward to take up the position of PO - the

equivalent of Speaker in the House of Commons

- as parliamentary figurehead and head of

the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

(SPCB). The PO also represents the parliament at

home and abroad.

At the 2021 election there were eight Scottish

Green MSPs returned to Holyrood, and so the

loss of one politician to higher office was less

likely to affect the party’s ability to make a

difference as much as it would have when there

were only two MSPs - Johnstone and Patrick

Harvie. The SNP and the opposition parties tied

at 64 MSPs each so none of those could easily

give up a political position.

Now the Scottish Greens have entered into a

loose coalition with the SNP, but there is little

point in exploring that with the PO who takes no

part in day-to-day politics. What she is charged

with is deciding who is heard in the chamber and

which questions are debated.


Alison said: “I do think it’s I think it’s a very

important role - it has an impact. You know, the

Presiding Officer can very much help enable

scrutiny of the government and help ensure that

MSPs are in the best position possible to

represent their constituents. Now I’m on the

other side where I receive a lot of requests for

questions throughout the week, and I try to look

at what the issues of the day are and what people

in Scotland most want to hear about.”

She explains that there is a “fabulously

well-established team supporting the PO” but

admitted that it is a team she knew little of until

she started in the job. She said: “They’re just so

well versed in the business of the parliament, and

are a huge support in this role.”

Johnstone is assisted in the chamber by a clerk

on one side during parliamentary meetings and

is glad that these are “expert staff members who

know the standing orders inside out and upside

down”. But she is also mindful of the direction

she can give to her parliamentary colleagues and

insists that she wants the debate to be courteous

and respectful as well as robust.

Alison said: “I am determined that the

parliament should be the focal point of debate

across the nation on a range of issues. And I

would like it to be abundantly obvious that you

can disagree with one another, but you can do

that respectfully. I am also really chuffed that the

parliament has made progress when it comes to

having that more truly representative parliament,

and I am keen to look at who is making the

contributions and who is intervening. I want

everyone to feel as comfortable as they can

in the chamber and participate in it as freely

as possible.”

The variety of the new job is still exciting with

each day quite different from the last.

With her eye firmly on the future she said: “I

want us to make sure that we are not taking for

granted the progress we have seen on diversity in

the chamber, as I want the chamber to be as

representative as it can be.

“I do want to keep an eye on where

contributions come from and encourage

I am determined that the

parliament should be the focal

point of debate across the nation

on a wide range of issues


Martin P McAdam


slated for



The Scottish Parliament

The Scpttish


above, and the

chamber, right

The Rt Hon Alison

Johnstone, in her


House office left

PHOTO courtesy

of The Scottish

Parliament /

Andrew Cowan

everyone to get as fully involved as they

possibly can.

“In the run up to COP26 we have got to

ensure that we as a parliament continue to take

every action we can to be an exemplar and to

highlight the changes that we need to see. And I

think that we can do that in so many ways, from

procurement to what the grounds of the

parliament are helping to deliver.

“I think hybrid working ties into both of those

agendas because it enables more people

potentially, to be involved in politics at all sorts

of levels, whether that means we get more

diverse witnesses attending committees, whether

it means we enable more people to get

involved in politics, because there are

perhaps people with caring

responsibilities for older relatives or

young children who have felt this was

not for them, or it was going to be

exceptionally difficulty.

“The hybrid model has implications

for how the staff in the parliament work

and it has im-plications for our carbon

footprint. It is hard to imagine that we will go

back to the way we were and I am very keen that

we continue to see a family friendly parliament

that should be setting itself up as an exemplar

of both of what family friendly means, but also

delivering on the climate change agenda

on biodiversity.”


The Festival of Politics, which the PO will preside

over, will bring together policymakers, writers,

and others to discuss, debate and ask questions. A

series of online discussions running from 20-24

October will discuss matters related to COP26,

and the parliament will also host an international

legislators summit. More details will be

announced soon and The Edinburgh Reporter

will publish a comprehensive online guide.

Tuesday to Thursday of each week is very

much centred around being in parliament, and

on each Tuesday the PO chairs the parliamentary

bureau which is made up of cross party business

members. Once every two weeks the Presiding

Officer also chairs the Scottish Parliamentary

Corporate Body (SPCB), which was recently in

the firing line for its move to make the

parliamentary buildings and grounds a protected

site. This means that police have extra national

security powers to break up any protests which

are regarded as disruptive.


But Alison feels that the criticism of the move

was unfounded. She said: “This is something

which has been in place in the Welsh Senedd for

three years - they have never called upon it. It is

in place at Westminster and I think most people,

when they turned on their television set during

the Brexit debates, heard nothing but

campaigners being very, very vocal.

“This is absolutely not about curbing or

limiting protests. That’s the last thing we would

want to do. We have these fabulous grounds

here at Holyrood and I think they’re very well

suited to accommodating and facilitating

protests. The SPCB is absolutely determined

that will continue.

“The right to protest is a fundamental human

right. Neither the parliament or Police Scotland

would wish to inhibit that - it is certainly not

what is intended here at all. At its very core, this

is about action being possible when on a very

rare occasion the actions of individuals make it

unsafe for others, or potentially when it becomes

impossible for the parliament to carry out its

essential functions.

This was a unanimous decision made by a

cross party group. I have had a long term

campaigning background and spoken in many a

rally or marched down the Royal Mile on a range

of issues and it is absolutely essential that that

continues. MSPs really want to hear from their

constituents - it is a key part of democracy and

very helpful if you hear directly from the people

to understand the issues that matter to them, so

it is a chance for MSPs to engage with protesters.”


condemned the bill for the SNP

government’s overseas offices.

Figures obtained by

Parliamentary Questions have

revealed that The Scottish

Government employs some 52

members of staff in offices

across the globe.

The cost of this to the public

purse is £8,139,000.

The upkeep of the office in

Brussels costs £2.3 million

employing 17 people, three

more than the London office

although as Mr Johnson points

out the vast majority of

Scotland’s trade takes place

within the UK.

The written answers also

reveal that The Scottish

Government is expanding

these offices, with plans to

open in Copenhagen and

Warsaw. This will likely increase

costs of these outposts by at

least a further £1 million.

Mr Johnson said that while it

is important for The Scottish

Government to have a

presence abroad, serious

questions need to be asked

about this level of expenditure

while we are in the midst of a

health and economic crisis.

Johnson (above)said: “This

is an eye-watering amount of

money for the government to

be spending abroad while our

NHS is in crisis and thousands

are stuck on furlough.

“If these offices are focussed

on trade why are they in

administrative cities such as

Washington, Ottawa and Berlin

rather than the commercial

centres of New York, Toronto

and Frankfurt.

“I fear the answer has more

to do with political posture

than economic utility.

“At a time where we can’t

staff ambulances, finish ferries

or even pick up peoples’ bins in

our largest city, the plan to

expand these overseas offices

beggars belief.

“It’s high time the SNP spent

more time on governing and

sorting out frontline services

than opening more overseas

flag waving outposts.”

Duty to accept more

Afghan refugees in the UK

IN AUGUST, the world

watched in horror as terrified

Afghans clambered on to the

last planes leaving Kabul

airport following the

withdrawal of US troops from

Afghanistan. The country is

now under the control of the

Taliban and those who have

helped the UK and its allies,

but have no means of escape,

are at serious risk of being

targeted and killed.

The UK Government has

promised to settle 20,000

Afghans over the next five

years, a paltry number from a

country that spent £27.7

billion on military operations

in Afghanistan over the last

20 years but refuses to

acknowledge its role in this

crisis by welcoming its

victims. Despite this ongoing

catastrophe, the UK

Government is ploughing

ahead with its Nationality and

Borders Bill. This Bill will mean

refugees are judged, not by

their need or the level of

danger they face in their

home country, but essentially

by the method of transport

they used to get here.

Refugees will be criminalised

for using “unofficial routes”

while organisations like the

RNLI could also be charged for

rescuing people from sinking

boats. To be clear, the UK

Government will be in breach

of its international obligations

once again, this time to the

Refugee Convention, which

recognises irregular routes as

official entry. If the UK

Government thinks Afghans

should be catching Ryanair

flights from Kabul airport, I

have news for them.

We must accept more

displaced Afghans, 80% of

whom are women and

children. Refugees escaping

one punishment in their own

country should not face

another upon arrival here.



City Plan 2030

halts further


Edinburgh to concentrate on

brownfield city developments


EDINBURGH CITY boundary will not be

extended in the new City Plan 2030 which is

now published for six week statutory

consultation. This means that when it is finally

adopted the plan will only allow brownfield

development within the city for any new

schemes. It accords with the council’s transport

strategies and the move to develop 20 minute


These are areas where people can access all

their main needs - education, doctors’

surgeries, chemists, and shopping within a 20

minute walk there and back. It is a relatively

new concept adopted in many European cities.

The council’s Planning Convener, Cllr Neil

Gardiner recognises that developers and house

builders may resist the move, but he is

adamant that the city cannot grow any more

than it has already.

Cllr Gardiner said: "This development plan

can recalibrate how development happens in

this city, positively shaping how our capital

grows and changes over the next 10 years and

beyond. Rather than growing forever outwards,

the proposed plan focuses on developing new

communities on brownfield land which mix

living, working and leisure uses. These locations

utilise and add to already existing

infrastructure. This plan is about us as a city

collectively making the right decisions now so

that our residents can make reasonable and

informed choices about how and where they

live and how they get around in the future.

"City Plan 2030 has been developed taking

on board the views of residents, businesses, and

other stakeholders from across the city to help

us meet our core priorities for Edinburgh:

making Edinburgh a sustainable city, which

supports everyone’s wellbeing and enables our

residents to access homes they can afford. The

plan also facilitates travel options and networks

so that residents won’t have to own a car to

move around, while having every opportunity

to share in their city’s success.

"Our proposal of mixed-use communities in

the plan aligns to Scottish Government’s

20-minute neighbourhood vision, which is

especially relevant now as the global pandemic

continues to make massive changes to the way

people live their lives - including how we all use

and appreciate green spaces with the health and

wellbeing benefits they bring.”

US business


building bridges

IAN HOUSTON, President of the Scottish

Business Network US and Ambassador

for SBN in Washington DC will visit

Scotland this month. His visit is timed to

tie in with COP26 and he will also come

to Edinburgh where he will meet the

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce,

speaking about trade and the broader

US-Scottish relationship.

He will also talk to MSPs, their staff

and civil servants, and while in

Edinburgh he will deliver a talk at the

Eric Liddell Centre about the importance

of links between business and charities.

Ian said: "I am passionate about raising

the profile of what I see is modern,

creative, progressive, and

entrepreneurial Scotland. Every day I am

inspired. Scots and Scotland as a people

and nation are loved and admired across

the world, but still there is a lack of

understanding of the modern and

visionary Scotland beyond certain

positive stereotypes. This is a key

moment to be creative with international

engagement, especially with the US.”


We’ve been given

David Lee

the RowAround!

Fisherrow club celebrate a decade of coastal rowing


INTREPID MEMBERS of Eskmuthe Rowing

Club have braved thick fog, large waves and

swirling seas to row all the way from the Forth

Bridges to St Abbs as part of an epic round-

Scotland challenge.

Different crews from the club covered the

50-plus miles as part of the RowAround

Scotland celebrations to mark ten years of

coastal rowing.

Gaynor Allen, Chair of the Fisherrow

harbour based club, said: “The 10th anniversary

was in 2020 so we had to do the event virtually,

socially-distanced on rowing machines because

of the pandemic. But a year on, we have done

the real thing - and it has been amazing.”

The RowAround has allowed clubs to pass

on a baton around the coast of Scotland - and

also hand over scientific equipment to carry

out a micro-plastics trawl of waters all around

the coastline.

Eskmuthe rowed both its boats - Steedie

Falconer and Honesty - to Portobello and then

accompanied the Row Porty club back to receive

the baton just outside Fisherrow harbour. Eoin

McDunphy, one of Eskmuthe's coxes, lifted the

baton high in the air to celebrate its arrival to

cheers from a busy beach and harbour.

The following night, a crew carried out the

microplastics trawl, and then both boats braved

choppy seas and unfavourable winds to row just

over 5 miles to hand the baton over to the

Boatie Blest club in Port Seton harbour.

The club was also keen to join in as many

other of the RowAround legs as possible,

rowing in company with other clubs to explore

new places.

So after passing the baton to Boatie Blest,

Honesty left Port Seton harbour with the local

club at 6am - this time in beautiful rowing

conditions - to row all the way to North Berwick

(more than 14 miles) for the next baton

handover. Eskmuthe then took part in the

The Eskmuthe crew enjoys

a calm, though misty, day

of rowing from Granton

to Portobello

North Berwick regatta before both boats rowed

down to Dunbar the following day, where North

Berwick handed the baton to Dunbar.

Eskmuthe also accompanied the baton on its

earlier legs, from South Queensferry to Granton

Harbour (where Newhaven Rowing Club is

based) and then from Granton to Portobello, on

a row which took place in thick coastal haar.

These two rows were 15 miles in total.

“We are so proud of all the club members

who took part in this epic Eskmuthe escapade,”

said club membership secretary David Lee, one

of the main organisers. We have had a lot of

newer rowers joining the club recently and

several were able to take part in the

RowAround, which was great to see. In total,

more than 30 different rowers have taken part.”

The club currently has a long waiting list due

to an increasing interest in the sport.

To join the waiting list, please email


Flagship city

opening for

Johnnie Walker

WALK IN THROUGH the doors of

Johnnie Walker Princes Street and you can

still feel a little bit of the old Binns left

behind, but instead of escalators the

staircase has been reinstated. The Diageo

flagship store has a prominent location on

Princes Street and there are absolutely

stunning views from the bars on the top

floor, including from the terrace. The

Edinburgh Reporter’s tip Is to book a slot

in the bar to enjoy them even without

taking the tour (although that too is very

interesting). Our photo above shows

Barbara Smith, Managing Director of

Johnnie Walker Princes Street with Ivan

Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo raising a

Johnnie Walker flag above the building.

Mr Menezes said: “This is a proud day for

everyone. Last year Johnnie Walker

celebrated 200 years since founder John

Walker opened the doors to his small

grocery store and today represents the

next chapter of the incredible story.

Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a

landmark investment in Scotch whisky

and into Scotland and it sets a new

standard for immersive visitor attractions.

It celebrates Scotland’s remarkable

heritage, our incredible skilled whiskymakers,

and looks to the future by

engaging new generations of consumers

from around the world in the magic of

Scotch whisky.”

Miller Homes launch

Home Safe campaign


have provided high vis vests to

help children in the south of

Edinburgh walk home from school

safely as the nights become darker.




Kirsty Lewin

Collecting Edinburgh memories

Store horses show their stripes to highlight road safety

Pavement parking in

Porty is the norm

Selfish drivers hogging pavements

block right of way for pedestrians


DO YOU EVER PARK your car on

the pavement? Perhaps just for a few

minutes while you run across the

road for a coffee? Or you’re in a rush

on the school run and you haven’t

got time to park around the corner

and walk the last hundred metres

or so.

Or you store your car on the

pavement because you live in a street

without enough space for all the

residents’ vehicles? Perhaps you

think it doesn’t matter. Everyone

does it, right? And anyway,

pedestrians can just walk around

cars, or squeeze past. It’s not like it’s

doing any harm.

Except it is. I live in Portobello

close to two streets that are plagued

by pavement parking. If you are

blind or partially sighted, use a

wheelchair, or push a buggy, you

cannot use the pavements in these

streets. You are supposed to,

according to some residents, walk or

wheel up the middle of the street

instead. And many people do walk

up these streets. But you can’t do that

safely or confidently if you are blind

or partially sighted or using a

wheelchair. What do you do if you

meet a car head on? What if the

drivers don’t slow down?

Several years ago, I had to use a

wheelchair for a few months while

recovering from an injury. My GP

was on Portobello High Street. I

couldn’t take the shortest route there


Edinburgh Collected

shows how the St

Cuthbert’s Association

horses were used in

local campaigns across

Edinburgh. Dating from

the late 1950s, when car

ownership was on the

increase, this campaign

“Road Safety Matters”

shows a horse dressed

as a zebra to represent a

pedestrian crossing of

the same name.

Notice the Belisha

because I couldn’t use the pavement.

Instead, I would take the longer

way round.

Recently my elderly neighbours,

both in their 90s, told me they also

had to take this longer route. Neither

had the confidence to use their

walking frames in the middle of

the street.

Pavement parking also damages


Pavements are not designed to

carry the weight of a vehicle. When

drivers park on pavements,

maintenance costs increase, and we

all have to pay for that.

beacons at either end of

the cart and its striking

black and white livery.

The cart is adorned with

slogans aimed at

motorists and

pedestrians alike. The

photo was taken at the

junction of the High

Street and Cockburn

Street in the Old Town.

Do you remember this


Museums & Galleries

Edinburgh submitted

the photo which is taken

from the

commemorative book

“Pictorial Record of

Ceremonial Occasions”.

Edinburgh Collected

is a place to share,

explore and discuss your

memories of Edinburgh.

Everyone can browse,

or you can sign up to...

• Upload your own


• Save your favourite

memories in a


Edinburgh Collected

With the council already

struggling with budgets, this is an

extra cost none of us should have

to bear.

Scotland has banned pavement

parking, but the legal ban may not

come into force until 2023. We don’t

need to wait that long to free our

pavements from vehicles.

Next time you are about to park

on a pavement, or on tactile paving,

or across a dropped kerb, spare a

thought for the people who need that

infrastructure just to make ordinary

everyday trips.

Will you be making someone

is managed and

maintained by

Edinburgh Libraries, run

by The City of Edinburgh

Council .

All the material added

will be used to expand

the city’s digital heritage

collections, adding to

the material held in the

Central Library, which is

already the most

extensive collection

about Edinburgh in



using a wheelchair wait until

you return?

Will you be forcing someone with

a child in a buggy into traffic?

Will you be preventing a partially

sighted person from going out in

their local streets?

Do the right thing. Find a legal

place to park on the road. It might

feel inconvenient, but considerate

parking is good for all of us.

If our pavements are safe and

clear, we can all get around more

easily and confidently.

And who wouldn’t want that for

our local communities?


The award for best

woodland goes to...

PoLHA leadership team

Award for

Community woods are honoured at the annual ‘Tree Oscars’



overall Large Community Woodland Group

award at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2021

- which recognise the very best in forests,

woods and woodland education.

Ben McCallum, of The City of Edinburgh

Council, which owns Craigmillar Castle Park,

said: “The woods have been a real focal point

for the community, for them to socialise,

connect with nature and improve their health

and wellbeing.”

Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust

has worked with the council and local

community to make it a valued resource for

Craigmillar Castle Park has

been a boon to the community

people in the area - and a lockdown lifeline.

Douglas Worrall, one of the judges, said:

“Craigmillar Castle Park is an excellent

example of an urban woodland primarily

managed for the benefit of the local

community, with excellent links to local

nurseries, schools, community groups and local

social enterprises.”

Judges also said: “The woodland’s primary

purpose is to provide an attractive, safe

woodland greenspace for the benefit of the

local community and it has been well

maintained as well as developed since it was

planted just over 20 years ago.

“The Trust has made excellent progress in

engaging with the local community, developing

Learning in the park

their awareness, understanding and

appreciation of Craigmillar Castle Park.

“It has been notable how valuable the

woodland has been to the local community

during lockdown, providing an attractive

greenspace which has helped with physical and

mental wellbeing.”

Angela Douglas, Executive Director of

Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “The strength of

the awards depends on maintaining high

standards and recognising entries that deserve

the title ‘finest woods’.

“After a Covid cancellation in 2020, I’m

delighted we have been able to bounce back

with such a high-quality programme - and I

congratulate Craigmillar Castle Park.”

Port of Leith

PORT OF LEITH Port of Leith Housing

Association (PoLHA) has secured an

internationally recognised excellence

award from the European Foundation for

Quality Management (EFQM). EFQM’s

Recognised for Excellence status enables

organisations to e valuate and

demonstrate efforts to improve

performance against a range of globally

recognised definitions of excellence.

PoLHA achieved a Five-Star Excellence

Award, following a rigorous, independent

assessment process which highlighted the

organisation’s main strengths and areas

for improvement.

The EFQM Assessment Team identified

a wide range of positive practices across

customer service, strategic planning and

staff engagement among PoLHA’s 107

employees. The organisation was also

praised for the flexibility and

responsiveness with which it met the

impact of Covid-19 while simultaneously

proceeding with ambitious plans to

undergo an organisational review and

launch a new strategic plan.

PoLHA’s Group Chief Executive, Heather

Kiteley, said: “EFQM assessment provides

a robust means with which to measure

our performance as we work to provide

affordable homes and life-changing

services and create brilliant communities

in Leith and north Edinburgh.

“The Five-Star Excellence Award is

testament to the hard work of our staff

team, who were praised for their sense of

purpose and commitment to high

standards of customer service. “

PoLHA provides 3,000 affordable

homes in Leith and north Edinburgh.

Sir Andrew Cubie and

Charles Hammond OBE

Leith charity seeking contributions

LEITH’S NEW Community Fund

has been incorporated as a

Scottish charity. It will be

governed by Forth Ports and The

Leith Trust and will support

projects in the area. Forth Ports

has seed funded the Trust with a

donation of £200,000, and now

asks other businesses in the area

to support and contribute.

The Fund will provide support

for the work of local Leith

charities with particular

emphasis on projects tackling

isolation or loneliness,

enhancing the local area or

providing educational

opportunities for local people.

Charles Hammond, OBE, CEO

of Forth Ports, said: “Forth Ports

is proud to be part of the Leith

community and we are

committed to supporting Leith

for the long term. Like most

communities, we know there are

always local issues that need

funding, and we hope that the

establishment of this Fund, with

our seed funding of £200,000,

will help to make a difference.

“This has been an incredibly

tough time for everyone as we

all navigate through the global

pandemic and we see this as a

great opportunity for the

community of Leith to decide

themselves how the money is

spent. We will be speaking to

businesses in Leith over the

coming months to encourage

them to support and contribute

to the Fund.”

Sir Andrew Cubie CBE, Chair of

The Leith Trust said: “This is a

significant announcement for

Leith and I greatly welcome the

leadership shown by Forth Ports

in priming the Community Fund.

All of us involved will work

hard to encourage others to

contribute as the purposes of

the Fund will be of significant

value to the Leith community.

The impact of the pandemic has

slowed the establishment, but

anticipating a formal launch later

this year, we would be pleased to

hear from those, who might in

whatever way, be interested in

lending support.”







Debbie Anderson invites you to take

yourself back to your childhood with

all the traditional jars of sweets in her

shop. Chewits and fudge will take you

back a decade or two. Open from

10am except Mondays.

102 Leith Walk EH16 5DT

0131 554 1401

Subscribe today and have your own

copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered in a compostable envelope

to your front door from next month.

Pay just £2.50 a month or £30 a year

and help to support local

independent news.


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


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.



The October sale at St Andrew’s and St

George’s West Church on George

Street returns with artworks, Scottish

books, ephemera and maps. Proceeds

support the vital work of Christian Aid.

14 - 16 October 10am - 5pm. Bake sale

on Saturday 10am to noon







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!


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 the journey.


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 or

working from home very stylish.

0131 226 7775 • 45 Thistle Street

EH2 1DY • craigbankstailoring.com

Subscribe today and have your own

copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered in a compostable envelope

to your front door from next month.

Pay just £2.50 a month or £30 a year

and help to support local

independent news.







Subscribe today and have your very

own copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered by Royal Mail in a

compostable envelope to your front

door from next month.

Pay just £2.50 a month to support

local independent news.


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

A unique gallery and gift shop in

Edinburgh’s Southside - a cornucopia

of all forms of art. Buy handmade art

and craft from independent artists.

Linsay says: “If we don’t have it, we can

probably find it for you.”


0131 629 9123

Johnnie Walker Princes Street’s

beautiful rooftop bars, the 1820 Bar

and the Explorers’ Bothy, offer

delicious dishes seven days a week.

Choose from Breakfast & Brunch, the

All Day Menu or Canapes & Small








Ardgowan Distillery has launched

Shipwright, its second whisky in the

Clydebuilt series. Whiskymaker, Max

McFarlane: “It is a truly sumptuous

dram, made to ignite your

imagination of far-off lands”. Free

shipping and branded nosing glass.


A luxurious, elegant salon with a very

happy and friendly atmosphere where

the aim is to make your experience

relaxing, enjoyable and glamorous.

Appointment essential.

0131 556 4478

2a Broughton Place EH1 3RX


The floating café with outdoor seating

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.


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 your shopping.


This Midlothian charity is urgently in

need of supplies to keep their food

bank going as well as a new van to

collect much-needed supplies. A

Christmas toy appeal has also just

been launched to help those who

have been most affected by Covid-19.


Digging into local n


Phyllis Stephen explains the importance of free local news services for communities ac

The Edinburgh Reporter has been

delivering a diet of hyperlocal news

online and in print – all free – for

more than 10 years.

Our paper is independently owned,

has no political allegiances or

significant financial support and relies

on sources of advertising to continue

to be published monthly in print and daily online.

The Edinburgh Reporter is edited by one full time

employee - the founder and publisher Phyllis Stephen - and

is supported by a team of unpaid volunteer writers and

photographers who contribute stories, features and images

on a range of topics.

Our online website attracts around 200,000 readers

every month, while our print edition is published on the

1st of each month and is available from a number of city

centre locations and businesses. Our patch is geographic,

in common with most of other hyperlocal titles and our

stories must have some link to Edinburgh or the

immediate area, or some other overarching reason for

being included in our content.

The Scottish Government supports the view that local

news is important. In their Programme for Government

paper it states: “We will ensure the long-term sustainability

and resilience of public interest journalism in Scotland. We

will listen and respond to the recommendations of the

Public Interest Journalism Working Group, due this

summer, to ensure journalism in Scotland remains

transparent and strong, as a key element of Scottish


The Public Interest Journalism Working Group was

established as a short term way of looking at the long-term

sustainability of public interest journalism in Scotland and

to make recommendations for its future. An observation

which the group made at a recent meeting is that “an

informed community is an empowered community”.

Local newspapers are key to providing such information,

and The Edinburgh Reporter, at its core, is committed to

inform, not sensationalise.

After eight months of discussion the working group is

now finalising its report and recommendations, and hopes

to submit them to Ministers shortly. The members of the

group range from those working in independent news

titles to journalists working in national newspapers, and it

must be hoped that Ministers give their recommendations

serious consideration.

As an independently funded news outlet, we are not

alone. The Edinburgh Reporter is a founder member of the

Independent Community News Network (ICNN) which is

the UK’s official representative body for independent

community news organisations.

In Scotland, there are independent community news

providers from the Central Belt to Shetland. But until there

is more government support offered to local papers, we

would appreciate your help by signing up to have your

copy of The Edinburgh Reporter delivered to your door.

There is a voucher here to post back to us, or you can sign

up online.ko-fi.com/theedinburghreporter/shop

We offer you a snapshot of our independent colleagues

here (see opposite page).

All of these titles are also members of ICNN which

represents over 125 independent titles across the UK,

promoting quality journalism by providing support,

training, and guidance to its members, and connecting

many such news outlets in the UK and Ireland. Among

them the members produce 22 million page views each

year. The organisation helps to address the “democratic

deficit” in news-poor communities and assist the creation

of more local jobs.

It aims to increase recognition of community publishers

and the vital work they do, to make representations on

their behalf to policy makers, regulatory bodies, third

sector funders, businesses and other organisations, and

fight for better opportunities for all.

Independent community news outlets play a huge role

in local democracy. In many areas ICNN members are the

only journalists attending local council meetings, local

planning meetings, schools, elections, magistrates’ court

hearings, and holding those in power to account, helping

foster shared identity and social cohesion. There are areas

where, if a publication ceased to exist, town and city

leaders would operate unchecked.

The challenge is that the business model which sustained

news production in the 20th century no longer exists.

Advertising revenues have dwindled, making it a very

unpredictable source of income. Local titles do not have

the infrastructure or state support (VAT exemption, or

access to statutory public notices) that helps to sustain

larger organisations.

But, the sector has shown itself to be tenacious and

innovative, constantly looking for ways to modernise

practices and streamline operations.

Members of ICNN are independent of commercial,

political, and religious interests. They are community-


Complete this form and post to: The Edinburgh Reporter, 32a Abercromby Place Edinburgh EH3 6QE

Annual subscription costs £30. We will send you an invoice for payment.





PHONE NUMBER..........................................................................................................




community garden prompting a flurry of

volunteer sign ups. Online, some of our

most impactful stories have been inspiring

examples of people making a difference

- such as a group of residents who

transformed their shared backcourt and

made good friends in the process.

“When so much of our media is controlled

by huge conglomerates and run for profit, it

can often sow division and do more harm

than good. The beauty of hyperlocal news is

that it can properly serve the community it

covers, listening to what the community

needs and responding directly.”




ross the UK

focused and produce contemporaneous news content. All

uphold high professional standards, including accuracy,

transparency, integrity, accountability, and fairness. They

have committed to adhere to IPSO’s Editor’s Code of

Practice or the IMPRESS Standards Code and all

demonstrate a clear and transparent management/

ownership structure. Members are fully inclusive of all

ethnicities and backgrounds and are non-discriminatory.

ICNN is part of The Centre for Community Journalism

(C4CJ) and is one of Cardiff University’s flagship

engagement projects that delivers on the University’s

commitment as the centre of excellence for independent

community journalism in the UK and Europe.


The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) is a newish

industry body, set up in 2019. The trustees work to

understand the unique contribution that independent

news providers make to society and deliver programmes to

help build their capacity. PINF supports independent news

providers and public interest journalism, working with big

tech, government and philanthropists to support a positive

future for journalism with financial assistance. The

Covid-19 Emergency Fund was particularly welcome when

advertising dried up. PINF recognise that advertisers now

battle to find a safe brand with an authentic loyal audience

- which local newspapers can and do offer.

Jonathan Heawood, Executive Director of PINF, said:

“It’s great that The Scottish Government has recognised the

importance of sustaining quality journalism. In this age of

fake news and conspiracy theories, we need local news

that’s relevant and trustworthy. The government now need

to get behind the recommendations of the working group

on public interest journalism. We’re asking for a small but

significant investment of public funds, to ensure that every

community in Scotland benefits from high-quality,

independent news.”


Rhiannon Davies launched Greater

Govanhill (GG) online in March 2020, with

the first print edition published in

December 2020. GG publishes 4,000

magazines on a quarterly basis distributed,

by volun-teers, to local shops/cafés/

hairdressers/pubs as well as to some

households. GG works with community

groups and food banks to get the

magazines into the hands of those

most isolated.

Covering Govanhill and the surrounding

areas in the Southside of Glasgow - one of

the most multicultural and densely

populated areas of Scotland, the title aims

to challenge negative perceptions of the

area by celebrating the diversity making it

so unique.


Rhiannon said: “We don't avoid serious

issues, but cover them from a solutionsfocused

perspective. Specifically, we aim to

provide a platform to typically underrepresented

voices to empower people to

tell their own stories in their own words.

“Since we began so many people have

told us what a positive impact the magazine

has had, whether that's helping to

understand their neighbours a little better,

or learning about community groups to get

involved with, or creating new connections

in a strangely isolated world.

“We ran a piece about the local


Shetland News (SN) is a small but widely

read online news organisation covering the

Shetland Islands. Established in 2003, the

site has been regarded as an independent

community news organisation, long before

the new emerging sector started to

organise itself. SN is a member of ICNN, is

regulated by IMPRESS and works closely

with PINF.

Serving a core community of 23,000

people, Shetland News records around

50,000 unique users per week. Last year,

the website at www.shetnews.co.uk

recorded more than 14 million page views,

which represents a growth of 86 per cent

over the last two years.


Shetland News started life as the Shetland

News Agency in the 1990s. As freelance

agency work became more and more scarce

the idea of publishing their material online

appeared to be the obvious way forward.

Today, SN employs two full-time

journalists, a full-time webmaster and

graphic designer, and a part-time admin


Business income is made up of local

advertising, half a Local Democracy

Reporter contract, some news agency work

and a growing supporters’ scheme.

Founder, Hans Marter, said: “Shetland

News is a small but agile organisation that

very much sets the news agenda in

Shetland. We feel very much part of the new

emerging public interest news sector run by

small and fully accountable organisations. I

feel there is roomful many more news

organisations such as ours all over Scotland.”


Lochside Press (LP) was set up in 2012 by

Julian Calvert, a former newspaper editor in

England and Scotland.

LP has local news and events - anything

which might affect people in the area.

At present the title is online only covering

the Helensburgh and Lomond area in

Argyll and Bute, especially the Rosneath

Peninsula which includes a population of

around 25,821

The most successful story is the article

in which the LP mapped the property

owned by the MOD in the area but which

lies unused. Some articles are behind a

tiny paywall.

Julian said: “Local and hyperlocal news is

especially important in rural areas, where

decision-making is literally remote - our

council is based 65 miles away, and

decisions have increasingly been

centralised. The council responds to media

inquiries - but no longer sends us press

releases, with a policy of communicating

direct with the public via social media.”





Midlothian View was established in 2014.

Writing about all things Midlothian, with

a touch of Edinburgh and East Lothian and

The Borders, it gives both a ‘View’ of what is

happening in the county and also gives

everyone a chance to write an article and

give their ‘View’. The online platform covers

an area populated by around 83,000 people

said to be Scotland’s fastest growing county.

Sheriffhall Roundabout is a huge issue

and it was the View’s first ‘big’ story in 2014

and 7 years later it still is.

Editor Phil Bowen said: “Lots has been

written about and spoken about Sheriffhall,

and discussed about it, but it looks exactly

the same as it did in 2014. Adding a flyover

would get traffic moving north/south but

likely increase traffic east/west into

congestion either way



“Sheriffhall is also a huge

impediment for improving active

travel from Midlothian to and from

Edinburgh. Cyclists commuting include

many Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

staff for whom it would be a fairly short

cycle commute from Midlothian.

“Currently it is too dangerous to

get through the roundabout by bike

and the routes either side are pretty

unsafe too.”

“Earlier this year Midlothian View

did have a world exclusive in our

article about Donald Trump having

secret talks with the Duke of

Buccleuch...(perhaps fair to warn

readers this was published on 1 April).

“Midlothian View is politically

impartial. We aim to report on stories

to inform readers of local news, a

significant part of which is local

government and planning, and we

aim to do it so that all sides have their

say. If someone reads one of our

articles and then says “Oh now I

understand why that is the way it is or

why they think that” then we have

done our job.”



The Ferret is a slightly different

hyperlocal which is more subject

based than geographically

constrained and it was founded as a

cooperative in 2015. The investigative

journalists write their articles and

often The Ferret has broken stories

picked up by national press. The title

works on social issues and the

environment, and it is also home to

the Ferret Fact Service which is

Scotland’s only non-partisan factchecking

service. Their work is only

published online at the ferret.scot but

sometimes The Ferret partners with

other newspapers and their work is

then published in print. Their patch is

an international one and their most

successful stories prior to Covid-19

were those exposing dark money

behind Scottish Conservatives

candidates. There has also been a

lengthy series examining animal

welfare and environmental concerns

around fish farms.

Recent collaboration with The

Herald led to articles answering the

question “Who Runs Scotland?” A

spokesperson for The Ferret said:

“Independent public interest news

can do things a bit differently - and

that’s a win for everyone.”




Michael Casey began Your Harlow in

the Essex town with a population of

around 85,000 in 2013. The awardwinning

publication is online and

attracted an audience of 2.8 million

page views in 2019. The aim is to

celebrate the good news of all the

people and groups living in the

area while scrutinising, questioning

and challenging.

Sadly, their most popular article

featured the death of a little girl in

March 2016. Summer Grant died while

playing on a bouncy castle which

blew away. The story was syndicated

around the world.

Michael said: ” We are there. We are

at the community event, the sports

event, the court case, the council

meeting, interviewing the local MP.

We live amongst and celebrate our

community while scrutinising the

powers and holding them to account.”

Michael is a graduate of Stirling

University and enjoys his annual trips

to Edinburgh when he becomes a

reviewer for The Edinburgh Reporter.

Slow down at the

zoo for the sloths

South Americans settle into life at Edinburgh Zoo

VISITORS TO Edinburgh Zoo

have to be quick off the mark to

see the only two sloths in Scotland.

The Linne’s two-toed sloths can

be seen in the new Sloths and

Armadillos building which is

opening gradually to the public

allowing the new animals to

settle in.

The pair are two-year-old

Moana nicknamed Mo, and

one-year-old female Feira or Fe.

They have joined large

hairy armadillos Nymeria

and Diogo to tell the story of

South American wildlife.

The placing of the sloths in

Edinburgh has been helped by

funding from the players of

People’s Postcode Lottery. RZSS

has supported conservation

partners in South America which

is the sloth’s native home, for over

ten years.

Erika Oulton, senior animal

experiences keeper at Edinburgh

Zoo, said: “We are thrilled to have

welcomed this brand new species

to the zoo and hope visitors will

be able to spot Mo and Fe in

their incredible new home

during their visit.

“Our Brilliant Birds building has

been refurbished to create an

amazing space with lots of trees

and ropes for our sloths to explore

at their own pace.

They are settling in well so far,

though we’ll be keeping viewing

hours limited for the first few

weeks while they get used to their

new surroundings.

“It is wonderful to open this

exciting exhibit which our sloths

are sharing with two large hairy

armadillos who are important

ambassadors for our charity’s

conservation partners, working to

protect threatened species and

their habitats in Brazil.

“We hope that by welcoming

this well-loved species and further

developing our animal experiences,

we can help visitors foster a deeper

connection with nature and inspire

future conservationists to better

protect wildlife across the globe.”



Getting a head start

The salon’s

beautiful interior

Bruntsfield nest

for Bowerbird


Stockbridge hair salon Wilson Allen

celebrate first year with expansion

STEVEN WILSON and Lisa Allen have been

snipping and colouring hair in their new

business since last July, but the champagne and

cookies seemed a little bit premature on the

actual date, as the shop has only been open for

around nine of those months.

The two hairdressers have around 35 years of

hairdressing experience between them, and

opened the doors at Wilson Allen in Stockbridge

just as they thought the first lockdown was over.

Attracting some of their old clients from their

earlier days, business was going well until

Christmas when, like everyone else, they had

to put the hairdryer down for a while.

But the new business owners used the time

during the second lockdown after New Year to

have the salon renovated according to their

own style.

They ripped out the interior of the shop and

everything was changed during a six week

project. With new chairs, backwashes and fresh

decor, the salon is now very inviting and

calming with its muted colours.

Steven said: “We had a lot of time to think

during both lockdowns. Lisa and I had worked

together for about 15 years. We formed a strong

bond and had often talked about opening a

business. This shop became available just after

the first lockdown and we decided the time was

right to take the big step.

“I think that having the time to clear our

heads was good and we were able to weigh

everything up. Running our own business really

works for Lisa and me.”

Lisa and Steven now both live locally in

Stockbridge and love both living and working in

the neighbourhood.

With Inverleith Park close by Lisa likes to run

there and enjoys eating out in one of the nearby

restaurants. Steven takes a textured approach to

cutting and colouring hair and particularly

enjoys creating a short textured cut for his

clients. He plays tennis and keeps fit by walking

his dog in the park. He loves cooking and has

conquered the art of sourdough.

The USP of their new hairdressing salon is

all about the people.

Steven explained: “For us it is all about buying

from people rather than a business. That was

reinforced during lockdown when I really

wanted to spend my money with people where I

felt part of something, on a journey with the

people who own the business.”

The hairdressing business has a superb

location in the heart of Stockbridge, in a very

visible spot. Their client base is made up of

clients already known to them and new ones

who are recommended to them. Recognising the

value of word of mouth referral the salon will

reward any referrals with a discount scheme.

Although Steven said that it is their aim to

recruit apprentices and juniors, but they are not

in a position to do so just yet. The salon offers

slightly longer appointment times at present

which allows the stylist to attend to everything

for an individual client before moving on to the

next. But their ambition is to grow and to train

juniors, imparting some of their own experience.

As well as the talent and enthusiasm for their

profession which they share, it is also important

to both Steven and Lisa that their clients receive

the best personal service.

Wilson Allen uses products by L’Oreal,

Olaplex, and the Italian brand Davines, a

sulphate free brand, which concentrates on

sustainability using natural active ingredients.

Now that the first year is firmly behind them

the business is set to grow. The vision is to

become just a little bigger with the signing of

two more hairdressers, Stephanie Fairlie Morgan

who joined at the end of September, and Rosy

Kenny, who has been a hairdresser for around 27


legal firm Balfour+Manson has

added two new associates – one

each to its Employment and

Commercial Property Teams.

Russell Eadie joins the firm as

a Senior Associate in the

Employment team. He arrives at

Balfour+Manson having worked

in employment law for over 25

years. A former Partner with

Morisons LLP, and having

recently worked at Dentons,

Balfour + Manson Commercial

years. Steph has a loyal following of gents clients

and won the L’Oréal colour trophy in 2012. She

is also a runner and trains for marathons.

Rosy specialises in lightening and bleaching

hair. She enjoys taking her two young boys for

walks in the city.

All four stylists trained at the same city centre

salon, and with similar experience behind them

promise sophistication in the styles and colours

they create for their clients.

Three of the team are L’Oréal colour specialists

and all are highly skilled in all other

hairdressing. The team is also committed to

supporting the Little Princess Trust charity,

cutting and preparing hair to be used in making

wigs for people who have hair loss.

Wilson Allen 49 Raeburn Place EH4 1HX

0131 315 3525


Instagram /wilsonallenstockbridge

Balfour+Manson adds two to city legal team

Steven Wilson

and Lisa Allen

Law Partner Stephanie Zak

takes maternity leave, her role

will be covered by newly hired

Senior Associate Stephanie

Nichol. She will remain with

the firm when Stephanie

Zak returns.

ARE YOU in need of eco-friendly interiors

inspiration or advice? Perhaps you could

do with some (remarkably affordable)

vintage clothing?

Or a truly original present for a friend?

If so, I’d make a beeline for Bowerbird

Antiques. You’ll find it nestled in a

quiet spot just opposite Bruntsfield

Primary School.

Bowerbird bravely opened its doors in

late April 2021 truly mid-pandemic. As

co-owner Raine DuPuy explained: “It was

an act of faith. We thought "Bowerbird"

was a catchy name that describes

something of our ethos in that we, like

them, lay out an eclectic array of items

and art in order to attract others in.”

Indeed, where else in Edinburgh could

one expect to find such an eclectic mix of

antique and vintage furniture, original

art, limited edition prints, Scottish glass,

textiles (including vintage liberty 70s and

80s fabric), tools and curios?


A word of warning though: a visit to

Bowerbird is a risky affair. (Few leave

empty-handed.) But it’s also an

education. On my first visit I discover (and

learn about) stunning Anglo-Indian

boxes, Indian juggling clubs and... spirit

levels. I was also introduced to 1960s

Caithness glass (also pictured) which is,

apparently, very much in vogue.

This is not your average antique shop.

It’s colourful, bright and airy, not dingy

and dank. And the owners are

exceptionally helpful and generous with

their knowledge and expertise. What’s

more, the goods on sale – dating from the

late 18th century – are all beautifully

arranged. After all, real style is, arguably,

about being able to juxtapose eras

successfully. And Bowerbird

demonstrates how to do this in a way that

is environmentally friendly.

At the heart of Bowerbird’s ethos is a

commitment to sustainability. For Raine,

"buying good quality antiques and

vintage is the ultimate in ‘going green".

When we decorate our homes with used

objects, we have zero impact on global

resources. It is a way of celebrating

traditional skills that have often been

lost. Before returning to Edinburgh David,

aka ‘Mr Fix It,’ was a Doctor of Botany and

Orchid specialist at Kew Gardens, London.

Raine is an artist who makes Byzantineinspired

icons to raise awareness of

endangered and persecuted species.


Time to stop and

smell the coffee!


Compiled by David Albury

Hata owners,

Agata Rudzka and

Andrew Rennie

Opening a café during the pandemic was brave, but Hata owners

say it has been a promising start at Canonmills location


OPENED AT the end of 2020, this

little coffee shop sits at a busy junction

in an increasingly lively area.

The name Hata derives from the

Polish word chata which has

connotations of homeliness. Run by

Andrew Rennie and Agata Rudzka,

the café was inspired by a 10 month

trip they took together in 2019. They

had for some time wanted to run their

own business and took inspiration

from the food and drink they

discovered on their journey.

As Andrew and Agata said: “We just

wanted to take on a challenge and to

see it through”. They see the café as a

continuation of their travels –

“developing our idea and to see where

it takes us – hopefully enough people

will like what we are doing to enjoy

the journey with us”.

After some time trying to find the

right location, they both had a gut

feeling that this was the right spot. The

couple said: “We both knew as soon as

we saw this one, that it was the one.

We spoke to other businesses in the

area and got a really good feeling for it

and what was on offer already. We felt

that we wanted to be part of that. With

places such as the Bearded Baker,

Marshmallow Lady and One

Canonmills nearby, it’s clearly a

rapidly developing area for food

and coffee.“

They use coffee beans by Kinross

based Unorthodox Roasters. They

chose Unorthodox after a blind tasting

of beans from eight different roasteries

– mainly local ones. They have since

built up a good relationship with the

coffee roasters.

They said: “It all came down to taste

really and we really liked the two

owners of Unorthodox who run it and

have become great friends. The main

coffee that we use in their espresso is

the Wee Stoater (from Fazenda

Cachoeira in the Minas Gerais region

of Brazil), which has chocolate,

caramel and hazelnut notes. Hata also

sell a range of beans and ground coffee

by Unorthodox. In addition, we’ve

recently started to stock ceramics

from the Dutch brand HK Living.“

Their simple food offering includes

porridge with a range of

accompaniments – honey, banana or

home-made berry compote or their

‘goawesome’ porridge; specials with

more extravagant home-made

toppings, home-made granola

with yogurt and berry compote,

home-made soups and weekly

special sandwiches, with one hot

and two deli sandwich specials

available every week. Bakery includes

home-made cakes, brownies and

biscuits – including gluten free and

vegan options.

Hata’s close proximity to King

George V Park and walking routes

such as the Water of Leith Walkway

have helped it become a popular

takeaway. When the basement area is

fully renovated, Hata will have seating

capacity for 16.

Andrew and Agata managed to

remain busy throughout the lockdown

period, which they had prepared

for. They said: “It was always part of

the business plan that we would

possibly have to close or reduce to

takeaway only.”

The regular, long weekend queues

suggest that they are already a hit with

Canonmills residents.

Hata 5 Rodney St, Edinburgh EH7 4EA


1 Curved edible nut (6)

4 Extremely foul smelling or

tasting (6)

9 Lowest female singing voice (4)

10 Clumsy, awkward (4-6)

11 Building where films are

shown (6)

12 Lover from long ago (3,5)

13 Unimportant or

insignificant (5-4)

15 Raucous, very noisy (4)

16 Tie or fasten tightly (4)

17 A favourable circumstance or

score in tennis (9)

21 Supporter of the monarchy (8)

22 Son of one’s brother or sister (6)

24 Musical groups that use oil

drums etc (5,5)

25 Jump (4)

26 Light-sensitive tissue in

the eye (6)

27 Fight between two armies (6)


1 Silvery-white element found in

bones and teeth (7)

2 Push violently (5)

3 Charm, delight (7)

5 Greenfly (6)

6 Vessel used on artificial

waterways (5-4)

7 Experienced thoughts or images

while asleep (7)

8 Providing a place for people

to stay (13)

14 Someone who manages a

large estate (4-5)

16 Herring that has been salted in

brine and partially smoked (7)

18 Loss of memory (7)

19 Explosive device, usually thrown

by hand (7)

20 Small ape with long arms (6)

23 Person who flies an aircraft (5)


Across: 1 Cashew, 4 Rancid, 9 Alto, 10 Cack-handed, 11 Cinema, 12 Old flame, 13 Small-time, 15

Loud, 16 Bind, 17 Advantage, 21 Royalist, 22 Nephew, 24 Steel bands, 25 Leap, 26 Retina, 27 Battle

Down: 1 Calcium, 2 Shove, 3 Enchant, 5 Aphids, 6 Canal-boat, 7 Dreamed, 8 Accommodating, 14

Land-agent, 16 Bloater, 18 Amnesia, 19 Grenade, 20 Gibbon, 23 Pilot


enough people

will like what

we are doing

to enjoy the

journey with us

Pineapple, mango

purée, banana,

toasted coconut,

pistachios and

fresh blueberries

Coffee beans by

Kinross based




Juliet’s food diary


If you fancy some more wholesome Halloween treats

you could try this recipe for Pão de Deus - bread of

God. Legend has it that in Portugal this was given to

warm hearted people who knocked on your door on

Halloween, offering to pray for your dead loved ones.

So if any trick or treaters come a beggin’, simply

throw them one of these and demand a Lord’s Prayer

from them. If they’re guising, do give them the usual

Haribos and Cadbury’s Heroes.

Juliet and The Oyster


Goodbye to

the summer

Mixing it with a magic pairing of chocolate and whisky

A HIGHLIGHT of the last days of

summer was a visit to the Scotch Malt

Whisky Society’s (SMWS) annual garden

party in the magical setting of Queen

Street Gardens. You don’t have to be a

member to attend this and for the amount

of exceedingly special malts they had on

offer, at £55 a ticket you’d certainly get

your tipples worth.

The SMWS put on a splendid barbeque

and there were also some fabulous

charcuterie platters from Bacco on

Dundas Street and smoked fish boxes

from Belhaven Smokehouse. I also

befriended The Oyster Man, who is

available for all your private party needs. I

opted for a freshly shucked oyster with a

spray of Talisker. Sensational!


In anticipation of their imminent

opening at the new St James Quarter, the

Alchemist Bar sent me a couple of their

fabulous cocktails to try, along with their

hugely inspiring cocktail book. Their

Smokey Old Fashioned was a hit for me.

Mixology is definitely going to involve

some theatre and drama here, so I advise

you to book early. @thealchemistuk

October also hosts UK Chocolate Week

(14-19) and I was thrilled to try some

samples of Pacari Chocolate. UK

Managing Director, Juan Andres

Santelices, has spent 25 years working in

ethical and sustainable trade. Pacari

Chocolate, he tells me, is”‘tree to bar”

meaning the cacao is grown and processed

in the region it comes from, meaning 50%

of the value stays where it’s made, whereas

with Fair Trade chocolate the growers only

retain 6-8%.

Not only does this ensure excellent

quality control but it brings jobs and

prosperity to each region. “If a daughter of

a farmer wants to go into production

engineering,” Juan explained, “there’s no

need for her to emigrate abroad, she can

do that in Ecuador.”

Throughout lockdown Juan has been

hosting virtual tastings but is keen,

restrictions allowing, to do more inperson

events and based in Edinburgh. He

is available for birthdays, hen dos or just

about any party.

Having worked with the SMWS and

others to do chocolate and drinks

pairings, he certainly brings knowledge

and flair to a product that’s clearly his

absolute dedication.

Juliet Lawrence Wilson

To book tastings and purchase some of

these delectable goods visit


• 100ml warm milk

• 100ml room

temperature water

• 1 sachet dried yeast

• 1 egg

• 1 tablespoon rum

• ½ teaspoon vanilla


• Zest of one lemon

• 275g plain flour

• 20g white sugar

• 20g golden sugar

• 20g butter

• Pinch of salt

For the coconut crust:

• 75g grated coconut

• 50g sugar

• 1 beaten egg

• Icing sugar to dust

In a large bowl add the milk, water, 1 tablespoon of

the white sugar and yeast. Mix well and allow to

stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, rum, vanilla,

remaining sugar, lemon zest and half the flour. Beat

well with a whisk or eclectic mixer for a few minutes

until the mixture is thick and creamy with plenty of

encouraging bubbles on the surface.

Add the rest of the flour and salt and incorporate

with a wooden spoon. Tip the dough onto a lightly

floured surface and knead in the butter. This will feel

more like pushing a paste around at first. Continue

kneading for 10 minutes until the dough is still very

sticky but elastic. If it doesn’t reach this texture,

gradually knead in more flour until it does. You’ll

need to scrape the dough off the surface you’re

kneading on. Grease a large bowl and allow the

dough to rest in it, covered with a cloth for 1 hour in

a warm place.

In the meantime, take half your beaten egg and

sugar and mix well with the coconut to form the

topping. With well-oiled hands form the dough into

10 balls and place on a greased baking tray. Brush

with the rest of the beaten egg and cover loosely and

allow to rest again for 45 minutes. Pre heat the oven

to 180C - 350F. Top each ball with the coconut

mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden

brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack, dust with icing

sugar and store in an airtight container for up to

three days. A kind of Portuguese scone. Mini versions

of these are lovely for a party canapé, simply cut

down baking time to 10-12 mins.



At the launch of the

festival on the canal

JL Preece

Pushing the Boat Out

New Summerhall-based festival to bring poetry to larger audiences in new ways


Scotland’s newest poetry festival, taking

place from 15 - 17 October at Summerhall.

It aims to do what it says on the tin, by

challenging perceptions of what poetry is

and how it can be enjoyed.

Named after the poem “At Eighty” by the

first Glasgow poet laureate, Edwin Morgan,

PTBO is inspired by the vibrancy and range

of contemporary poetry, hip hop and

spoken word coming out of Scotland, the

UK and indeed the world. The festival will

not only give poetry a new platform, but

will also create an environment where all

variations of this artform are encouraged to

grow, evolve and even collide.

Taking place within the creative spaces of

Summerhall in Edinburgh, the PTBO

programme will seep into every nook and

cranny of the venue with film, imagery,

song, music, dance, singing, debate and

other forms of poetry performance.

There are four key themes; social justice

and representation; healing and recovery;

climate crisis and ecopoetics; and

virtual and other realities.

Audiences can expect first-class

performances from around 60 poets,

emerging and established, including

the newly appointed Scots Makar,

Kathleen Jamie.

Other key programme highlights include

performances by Scottish hip hop legend

Solareye / Dave Hook of Stanley Odd,

celebrated Caribbean poet Lorna

Goodison, and the author the first-ever

poetry collection to win The Guardian First

Book Award, Andrew McMillan. Joining

them on the many and varied Summerhall

‘stages’ are Roseanne Watt, Hannah Lavery

(who is the newly appointed Edinburgh

Makar), Nova Scotia the Truth, Harry

Josephine Giles, Ray Antrobus, Clare

Pollard, Caroline Bird, and Salena Godden.

Another key element to the PTBO

programme is the Poetry Mile initiative

which, through a dedicated web app, allows

users to experience Edinburgh differently,

filtered through the eyes and ears of some

of the country’s finest poets. Featuring over

50 specifically commissioned poems from

over 25 poets, all locations featured are

within a square mile of Summerhall. The

app generates bespoke walking tours

depending on the type of experience the

user requests to have.

Director Jenny Niven, former head

of literature at Creative Scotland, and

co-founder Kevin Williamson, writer,

publisher and founder of the Edinburgh

arts events collective Neu! Reekie! devised

the idea.

PTBO is convinced of the need for

poetry more now than ever before,

particularly as we emerge from lengthy

lockdowns and seek new ways to express


Jenny Niven said: “We are so excited to

launch our inaugural ‘Push The Boat Out’

after what has been a difficult year for

everyone, not least those working within

the arts.

“That said, poetry is all about using

language in new ways, to express new

experiences, so if ever there was a time

to explore this vital and vibrant art form,

it is now.

“We feel incredibly lucky to be hosting

our inaugural festival in a city so full of

talent, at a time when there is so much to

say, and off the back of a summer festival

season that saw performance take over

more city spaces than ever before.

“With performers and artists spanning

the full spectrum of this spectacular

artform, from classical verse to hip hop,

we can’t wait for audiences to come along

and enjoy.”

Hot on the heels of a fringe festival that

was soul food for a city starved of culture

and live performances, PTBO founders

and organisers hope to harness this sense

of the city as a natural backdrop as the

inaugural festival takes its first steps onto

Scotland’s stage.



Neil Hanna

Zooming in on

Taiwan on film

TAIWAN FILM Festival Edinburgh returns

for its second edition from 25 to 31

October with a range of Taiwanese cinema

gems, many of them UK premieres, dating

from the 1930s to 2020. The films will be

presented on in-person screenings and

digital talks at both Glasgow Film Theatre

and Summerhall in Edinburgh and online.

With the theme of Disruptions and

Transformations, inspired by the fastchanging

and unsettling world in the past

few years, the Festival explores the

historic shifts the Taiwanese society

experienced over the decades but also

portrays the seemingly small disruptions

of the everyday.

Featuring works by filmmakers such as

Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, and

exploring war, urban life and the struggles

of the LGBTQ+ community, the free

programme of digital screenings is

available to pre-book. Access is limited to

a specific number of viewers per film and

audiences are advised to book early.


Janis Mackay will

perform in the

opening concert,

Roch the Wind



Books and dancing to keep you on your toes


Portobello Book Festival is a book festival for

local people run by locals.

The festival will take place from 1 to 3

October. Everything is free and nobody is paid,

except for expenses paid to participants.

Partnering up with the local library pays off as

the library then becomes one of the venues.




The Treasure Trove is holding a pop-up craft

fair at St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church

at 13 George Street EH2 3PA. 10am to 2pm 9

October 2021.There will be hand-made crafts,

toys and children’s clothes along with home

produce, baby knits and craft demonstrations.


Leith Comedy Festival takes over The Biscuit

Factory on 14 October to bring some of the

finest comedians in Scotland on to an indoor

stage. Rosalind Romer, Director of Leith

Comedy Festival, said: “I can’t express how

much I have missed live comedy, and how

amazing it feels to be booking gigs again. This is

the first time Leith Comedy Festival has been in

a position to do a live indoor comedy show and

we can’t wait to share some laughs with you!

"First up, we have Amy Matthews, a bright

new comedian who’s going places. She is

award-winning and explores the absurdity of

modern life with zest.

"For the main act, we are thrilled to present

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, a firm favourite

and rising star on the Scottish comedy circuit

and beyond. Bursting with energy and good


Festival opens

new chapter


place from 15 to 31 October and has expanded with

some online and some live events which will cover the

whole of Scotland. For the first time the festival extended

an invitation to storytellers to join the creative process by

submitting a proposal on the theme of Imagine. This

year’s festival invites audiences to imagine something

different. To imagine pasts, futures, or a timeless other.

Festival visitors will be invited to dip into dreams and

desires, old and new, lost worlds and worlds still to

become. There is also a children’s programme of

events. The performances will include 100

musicians and storytellers from Scotland and a

further 30 international performers from

countries including USA, Iran, Italy, Iceland, Sierra

Leone and Colombia. Storytellers were invited to

join the creative process by submitting a proposal

on the theme Imagine. The result is a series of new

works developed by storytellers and musicians and

funded by the Scottish Government Festival Expo Fund.

The programme is a mix of events encompassing a

wealth of cultures, traditions and styles. Audiences at the

in-person events will be kept to a small number and there

will also be some outdoor events.

A world of stories in the Festival City.


Amy Matthews will

appear at Leith

Comedy Festival

vibes, catch him now before he becomes a

household name."

The host for the evening on 14 October 2021

is Billy Kirkwood who is a three time Scottish

Comedy Award winner.

Fiona Hamilton, Managing Director at

The Biscuit Factory said: “We are absolutely

delighted to welcome Leith Comedy Festival

to our lovely venue in the heart of Leith.

The past 18 months has highlighted the need

for community spirit and collaboration more

than ever.

"And we are all more than ready for a good

laugh together. We cannot wait to continue

working together with the fantastic people at

Leith Comedy Festival.”



Ceilidh in Lauriston Hall 30 October from 8pm

to 11pm, Lauriston Hall, Lauriston Street EH3


With caller Ken Gourlay and ceilidh band.

Hall has air-conditioning and a bar. All dances

walked through and called. Good exercise and

great fun.

Soft drinks £1, alcohol £3

Instructions from the organisers:

Mobile phones and tablets: taking photos or

videos is OK but if you need to answer / make a

call / text / browse etc. (musicians find this very

rude) please do so outside the dance room in

the corridor. Please bring a face mask. No high

heels please.

Out to lunch

Authors Victoria Schofield and Trevor Royale

THE LITERARY lunch will take place on 21

October at The Royal Scots Club on

Abercromby Place beginning at noon. Guests

will enjoy a three-course lunch with

champagne on arrival and refreshments. The

authors - Victoria Schofield, Trevor Royale and

Rosemary Goring will participate in a panel

discussion followed by a Q&A with Jackie

McGlone. Tickets £60 per person



Strand and deliver

Phyllis Stephen discovers palace apartments and physic garden – crowning glories at Holyrood

We were told to stay at home

for over fifteen months, and

we did. Looking around for

a change from our own four

walls it was a little odd at

first to choose a mini

break just a mile from the front door.

But it turned out to be a wee adventure, and a

wonderful way of looking at Edinburgh from

a fresh perspective.

Offered as a complimentary night away from home, it

was easy to say yes of course, but also remarkably easy to

get there. We loaded up the bike panniers and set off on

the short journey to Abbey Strand Apartments. These

are beautifully restored apartments so close to the Palace

of Holyroodhouse that it seems natural to adopt a few

airs and graces when you arrive. You can also take your

corgis with you, but there is an extra charge for the deep

cleaning after you leave.

There are nine studio, one and two bedroom

apartments in the historic row of buildings looking over

to The Scottish Parliament which are accessed through a

pend and then up a winding stair. There is no lift in this

historic building, and anyone requiring accessible

accommodation will have to seek alternatives in the

other self catering apartments run by Cheval either at

The Edinburgh Grand or the apartments at 329 High

Street which are on the point of opening.


Each apartment has been named in recognition of the

long history of the building and the area, and you can

opt to stay for one night or a year according to General

Manager of Cheval Collection Edinburgh, Gavin

MacLennan. There was a time when Chris Stewart's own

management company, Lateral City, ran the operation,

also under the managerial eye of MacLennan, but after a

two year search the company decided to outsource the

functions to Cheval who now deal with everything from

booking onwards. Their staff ensure that the apartment

is stocked with Nespresso coffee, tea, sugar and fresh

milk. MacLennan moved employers, but continues his

love of the Edinburgh apartments which are luxurious

and individual. The building was crafted from a former

courtier's house and is believed to be about 500 years-old.

The west side is the earliest surviving structure,

and although the building was used mainly as a

weapons store, it later became a fashionable dwelling

during the Renaissance and the third storey was

There are lovely

touches of history

inside with exposed

stone walls and some

apartments have

medieval fireplaces

then added around 1566.

There are lovely touches of history inside with

exposed stone walls and some apartments have

medieval fireplaces. What then would former

inhabitants such as Mary Queen of Scots have made of

all the modern twists such as the BOSE bluetooth

speaker so that visitors can play music from their

smartphones, or the high tech oven which incorporates

a microwave with its operational touch screen. And of

course there is complimentary WiFi which is now

standard in most hotels and self-catering apartments.

The colour scheme both inside and out was produced

by traditional methods and was chosen by HRH The

Duke of Rothesay, and the careful renovation took over

two years to complete, very much under direction from

Prince Charles. Look carefully at the outside which is

actually a pale pink.

The Lady Margaret Seton apartment became home

for the night with a TV in the living area and the

bedroom, a comfortable sofa to sink into and plenty of

room everywhere for the range of stuff we had managed

to bring with us - and it turned out for the couple of

visitors who came to tea. It is always pleasing when even

in a one bedroom apartment there are enough seats for

everyone and plenty cups and saucers.

The bed linen is of course sumptuous, the bathroom

sophisticated and everywhere is scrupulously clean.

There is also as we found out CCTV which meant that

leaving our bikes in the pend was no problem at all, as

Palace security kept an eye on them.

Luxury living at Abbey Strand

Apartments is fit for a Queen

City centre self-catering

right on the doorstep of

parliament and palace

It is the Chris Stewart Group which has been

responsible for renovating Abbey Strand in partnership

with Royal Collection Trust and having already seen the

interiors at Old Town Apartments and The Edinburgh

Grand, the look was nothing less than the five star

luxury I had expected.

And here is my top tip for going anywhere on a

self-catering holiday - throw a few extra dishwasher

tablets into your overnight bag and a tea towel or

two. No matter how luxurious the apartment is they

always come in useful when you are really catering

for yourselves.


Although it would have been quite easy to provision for

the stay we opted to ask Mary at The Rose Theatre Café

to cater for us. She provided the most beautiful

blueberry scones with jam and cream and chocolate

brownies for afternoon tea. Dinner was a very easy to

warm up Chicken Supreme with mushroom and wine

sauce with tarragon, roast potatoes and green beans. All

of this was exquisitely prepared, and it really made our

stay a little bit more special. There are restaurants on the

Royal Mile, and it is also easy to order groceries to be

delivered to your apartment before you arrive. At this

location there is no in-house restaurant or bar but there

is a lovely reception area which can be used by guests for

business meetings and there are also coffee facilities.

The biggest find was the secret garden behind Abbey

Strand which is owned by The Royal Collection Trust

(RCT) but which is open to the public. It is simply

beautiful and will certainly merit a visit during each of

the seasons to admire the exquisite planting inspired by


I am delighted that this

public garden can be

enjoyed by our visitors

and the local Edinburgh

community alike

some of the earliest recorded gardens on the site.

Abbey Strand Learning Centre was created by Chris

Stewart during the renovation of the whole building and

will be used by school and community groups to explore

how plants have been used to improve health and wellbeing.

The centre is all part of the Future Programme which is a

major programme of investment at the Palace by RCT.

HRH The Prince of Wales recorded a message about the

garden here.

The new garden consists of three distinct areas, each

representing a phase in the Palace’s 900-year history. A

flowering meadow of medicinal plants evokes the 15thcentury

monastic gardens of Holyrood Abbey, once one of

the grandest medieval abbeys in Scotland. The remains of

the Abbey can be seen as part of a visit to the Palace (and do

remember if you go to the palace to get your ticket validated

so that you can use it again within a calendar year).


A third area reimagines the physic garden that was

established in the Palace grounds 350 years ago by the

doctors Sir Robert Sibbald and Sir Andrew Balfour, two

founding members of the Royal College of Physicians of

Edinburgh. Created in 1670 to teach students about the

medicinal properties of plants and to provide pharmacists

with fresh materials, the Palace’s original physic garden was

the first of its kind in Scotland and only the second botanic

garden to be established in Britain.

The new physic garden contains medicinal and culinary

plants that would have grown in the 17th-century garden.

Five years after the first physic garden was created at the

Palace, the plants were moved to a much bigger site at

Trinity Hospital, now the location of Platform 11 at

Waverley Station, and then to Leith. In 1820 the garden was

established in Inverleith, where today the Royal Botanic

Garden Edinburgh covers over 70 acres and displays more

than 13,000 plant species, while continuing its worldleading

plant science, horticulture and education.

Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, said on the

opening of the garden last winter: "I am delighted that this

new public garden, an important element of the Future

Programme project at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, has

been completed in this anniversary year and can be

enjoyed by our visitors and the local Edinburgh

community alike."

This was a lovely find on our doorstep and an easy way

to recharge the batteries. Yes, a change is as good as a rest.



We’ve got McGinn

Proud moment as older brother capped for Scotland


TWELVE YEARS after making his debut for

Queen’s Park and subsequently plying his

trade in the lower divisions with St Mirren,

Dumbarton, Dundee, Chesterfield and

Partick This-tle, Paul McGinn has been

capped for Scotland.

The older brother of “Super John McGinn”

joined Hibs on the last day of the January

2020 transfer window and it’s fair to say that

his arrival was not met with a great deal of

enthusiasm from the fans, but his consistent

performances as right back have earned him

widespread praise.

After being called-up just one day before

last month’s World Cup qualifier against

Aus-tria, McGinn was thrown in the deep

end, coming on with just 13 minutes

remaining as Scotland were battling to keep

hold of their 1-0 advantage, and performed

to the stand-ard he displays consistently

for Hibs.

Paul played his part as Scotland earned a

vital win and put themselves in a good place

with the remaining qualifying games left.

After the game he explained how much

representing Scotland meant to him.

He said: “I’m immensely proud. I’ve been

on a similar journey to Andy Robertson

from the bottom - we both played at

Queen’s Park together, so it’s nice that the

next time we end up playing together is in

a Scotland jersey.

“I was straight in at the deep end. It was a

tense affair, but we got over the line and I

thought the boys deserved it on chances.

“Steve Clarke told me stuff like tuck in, all

the usual, but mostly just to enjoy it.

“I think I’m enjoying it more now that it’s

finished but it’s just a proud moment for me.

Paul McGinn in

action for Hibs

“Look, Austria are a top team still, maybe

not in the greatest of form right now but you

need to go there and play well to win, and

they still put us under a lot of pressure.

Maybe a second goal would have killed it,

but we didn’t quite get it.”

The game also saw Paul playing

alongside his brother and former Hibs man

John, which means two of the three

McGinn brothers have now played for

their country.

“It was also good playing alongside John

although it would have been nice if he’d put

that one in the top corner. I’m sure my mum

and dad will be proud and there’s still time

left yet for Stephen!”

Ian Jacobs

Mixed fortunes

for SWPL sides


AFTER TWO GAMES of the SWPL1 season Hibs

topped the table in style, scoring seven goals

and conceding none. Hearts new manager Eva

Olid, wants to give the other Edinburgh sides a

run for their money and build a project at

Tynecastle with increased investment. Spartans,

who finished behind Hibs on goal difference last

year, are also looking to consolidate their

position in the top half of SWPL1.

Hibs moved from Ainslie Park to the Tony

Macaroni Arena, beating Spartans 3-0 on the

opening day of the season. Hibs’ new signing

Alexa Coyle - in her first ever game of league

football - scored from the penalty spot. Winger

Colette Cavanagh - player of the match - scored.

Hibees then played Motherwell, winning 4-0

with four different goalscorers. Boyle’s early

free-kick was the pick of the bunch, scoring

from a seemingly impossible angle. Dean

Gibson’s side will be hoping to use this as a

foundation to challenge the three full-time

Glasgow teams.

The Jambos opening day fixture against

Hamilton was remarkable. They conceded three

penalties, two of which were well-saved by

goalkeeper Parker-Smith. Despite leading in the

73rd minute, the visitors scoring one penalty

and converting from the rebound meant that

Hamilton were controversial victors 2-1.

Next up for Hearts was an all-action affair

versus Spartans at Ainslie Park which the home

side won 3-1. Eva Olid was unlucky - her team

missed lot of chances.

Live Edinburgh News

How I Made European History with Hibs


LOOKING FOR a gift for the

beloved Hibee in the family, then

how about the autobiography of

Jackie Plenderleith, the only

surviving player from Hibs first

European game?

First and Last: How I Made

European History With Hibs was

co-written by Jackie and Tom

Maxwell, who also wrote the

popular Fabulous Baker Boys book

about brothers Joe and Gerry.

Now aged 83, Jackie takes the

readers back to 1955 and

describes what it was like for a

17-year-old coal miner’s son to

witness first-hand the awkward

birth of the global phenomenon

now known as the Champions

League, and his role in helping

Hibs reach the semi-finals.

The former Scotland

international relives his time

playing alongside the Edinburgh

club’s legendary “Famous Five”

forward line, and reveals how it

felt to line up against the

incomparable Ferenc Puskás twice

in the space of two days while in

South Africa.

Captain of the British Army

team during his national service, a

team-mate to Joe Baker at Hibs

and Denis Law at Manchester City,

Jackie is the proud possessor of

international caps from schoolboy

to senior level.

Jackie recalled to The Edinburgh

Reporter: “Writing the book has

brought back so many great

memories of my time playing for

this great club.

“When Hibs entered the

European Cup I travelled to

Germany for the first-leg against

Rot Weiss Essen who were the

German champions and had some

great players in their team. What

many people don’t remember is

that Germany were world

champions, having won the

World Cup.

“Once the game started I was

not nervous. I just played my

normal game and we won 4-0

across there, which was a fantastic

result which would be

inconceivable today.

“I stayed in the side for the next

round against Djurgardens, who

were also a good team but I

missed the semi-final against

Rheims. They had a centre forward

called Raymond Kopa who was

one of the best players in the

world, but I firmly believe that

I would have been able to deal

with him.

“Without being big-headed, I

believe that Hibs would have won

that game if I had been playing

and reached the first European

Cup final against Real Madrid.

“I am proud to have played for

Hibs and have no regrets about

choosing them over the Old Firm

or the top English clubs as I had a

great time at Easter Road.”


Queen of Hearts

is going nowhere

Job done but

Anne not for

budging as fan

ownership begins


AFTER HEARTS became the largest

fan-owned club in the UK at the end of

August, club chair Ann Budge committed to

a minimum of two more years at the club.

Budge and Hearts have come a long way

since the local businesswoman, who

reportedly cashed in £40 million on selling

her IT company in 2005, took over the club

in May 2014 and forked out £2.5 million to

take them out of administration just 51

weeks after downfall of the Vladimir

Romanov regime.

Since then, the Foundation of Hearts,

a fan-led group which was set up in 2010

by local businesspeople, all of whom

were Hearts’ fans, has raised £12 million

for the club through pledges from

Hearts supporters.

The Foundation has roughly 8,000

members, whose monthly pledges have

helped build the new main stand at

Tynecastle, pay the original £2.5 million loan

back to Ann Budge, and much more. Now,

Ann Budge’s majority share in the club has

been passed over to the Foundation of

Hearts - i.e. the fans.

The message from the Foundation has

always been that the club will be fan-owned

and not fan-led, so what has exactly changed

since the handover?

The Foundation’s members will not get to

pick the team, but they will all have a vote in

important club proposals, such as changes to

Tynecastle Stadium, the club name or

colours, as well as the selling of the

Foundation’s shares in the club.

To put it simply, never again will an

individual like Chris Robinson or Vladimir

Romanov be able to gain control of the club

without the permission of the supporters

through the Foundation.

Hearts have made numerous off-the-field

appointments this summer. Joe Savage was

brought in as sporting director to oversee

recruitment and on-the-field matters,

Andrew McKinlay was brought in to take

care of the day-to-day running of the club as

the new chief executive, and James Anderson

was appointed to the Hearts board, having

already donated significant monies to Hearts

in previous years.

All of these appointments were designed

to allow Ann Budge to take a step back and

focus solely on her role as chair of the club.

Looking to the future, Budge has

confirmed money from various benefactors

will continue to reach Tynecastle, and

pledges through the Foundation will add to

the impressive £12 million already raised.

Budge has assured fans that Hearts are

now in a stable position, which certainly

hasn’t been the case for the previous decade.

It’s been a difficult journey and some

Hearts fans have voiced concerns over some

of Budge’s on-the-field decisions, and

understandably so. However, she got the ball

rolling and stumped up the initial lump sum

to take the club out of administration.

The view of some of the founding

members of the Foundation, as well as their

chair, Stuart Wallace, is very clear - without

Ann Budge, there would be no Heart of

Midlothian today.

Ian Jacobs





Hearts enter

administration with

debts of £25 million

and start the new

season on -15 points.



Hearts are relegated

to the Championship

for the first time since



Ann Budge

completes her £2.5

million takeover with

plan to hand the club

over to the

Foundation of Hearts.


Hearts exit




Hearts seal

Championship title at

the first time of



Hearts announce

plans to build a new

main stand, taking

the capacity to over




Robbie Neilson wins

his final game in

charge of Hearts

before departing for

MK Dons.



Neilson’s replacement

Ian Cathro sacked

after an embarrassing

League Cup



Director of Football

Craig Levein was

announced as

manager for the

second time in his




Craig Levein sacked

as Hearts boss

following a 1-0 defeat

to St Johnstone. Only

goal difference kept

Hearts off the bottom

of the league.


German manager

Daniel Stendel

succeeds Levein.



Scottish football

suspended due to

Covid-19 with Hearts

sitting bottom of the



Hearts demoted to

the Scottish



Robbie Neilson

reappointed Hearts



Court battle against

relegation fails and

club fined £2,500 by

the Scottish FA for

starting proceedings.



Hearts win the

Championship and

return to the



Hearts became the

largest fan owned

club in the UK, as Ann

Budge hands her

majority share over

to the Foundation of


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