The Edinburgh Reporter February 2022

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Thistle do nicely

Funding boost for all

ability biking

Food for thought Southern charm Sook us out

City couples make it their

business to love

Italian shop is heel-bent

on supporting artisans

Visit your favourite newspaper

at digital pop-up unit

Maloney’s vow

Hibs boss pledges to play

attacking football

Page 7 Page 12 Page 14 Page 15

Page 22

February 2022


Loving and


together is

ideal recipe


Martin P McAdam

Restaurateurs Victor

and Carina Contini

It’s not just


FEBRUARY IS a romantic month if

ever there was one, and we felt that

some of our home grown Edinburgh

businesses could do with some of our

love and attention.

Restaurateurs Victor and Carina

Contini are a very good example of

people who appear to make it work

both at home and in business.

What does it take?

When they were first married

the first of three bunches of

flowers arrived every month,

allowing Carina to feel really

quite special.

Then she discovered it was a bit

less romantic as Victor had set up

a standing order with a local

florist, rather than having to think

about sourcing them himself.

While jointly relating this tale

from the early days of their

marriage, the pair laughed, both at

and with each other.

Since then their marriage

has been a flower free zone, so The

Edinburgh Reporter dropped by

their Cannonball Restaurant with

a bouquet from Narcissus on

Broughton Street to encourage Victor

to be just a wee bit more romantic.

But it is a relationship which works

on all levels.

Find out inside the secrets of how

the Continis and a few other

Edinburgh couples run busy food

businesses while living in harmony.

Full story on Page 12



HAVE WE TURNED a corner in dealing with

the pandemic? I hope so, but it is still a case of

cautiously moving forward in Scotland, with

our masks on.

The scary number of cases around the turn

of the year involving the omicron variant did

result in a tripling of the number of people in

hospital, but it was perhaps not as

overwhelming as feared - maybe in large

part because of our good behaviour.

Food and drink and hospitality businesses

have been among those hit badly during the

pandemic and in this issue we show them

some love - and find out some of the pros

and cons of living and working together.

We also focus on some charities and

campaigns in the city which have come to

our attention, and you can read about those

on pages 8 and 9.

We devote some column inches to the new

Local Democracy Reporter, Donald Turvill,

who has produced an awesome amount of

copy in the short time he has been in post.

His role is to write impartially and only about

local authorities and other public service

organisations, is funded by the BBC, although

his immediate “employer” is Reach plc who

produce The Daily Record among other titles.

We, along with other papers, may use his

stories as agency copy, and hope that any

possible changes to the BBC do not put this

in jeopardy. Council elections are coming up

in May and we hope in the next two issues to

tell you about at least some of the candidates

who are standing in Edinburgh’s 17 council


And yes, anyone who follows our Twitter

feed will know that I have succumbed to

Wordle. It is a game to guess a five letter word

- you get six chances. It is possibly all the

more obsessive as you only have one game

per day - and there is a certain camaraderie in

knowing how well you have done against

your friends and acquaintances. One of the

good things to come out of lockdown.

I hope you enjoy our February issue and

the (ever so slightly) longer days.

Phyllis Stephen


Vincent Meiklejohn

Planning News

Concerns over proposed student flats


THERE ARE 6,000 copies of the Edinburgh Reporter distributed

through a network of city businesses and public buildings.

The paper is usually distributed at Stockbridge Market on the

first weekend of the month. You will find copies at all six branches

of Farmer Autocare, Summerhall, Art & Craft Collective, EICC,

LifeCare on Cheyne Street, Coffee Angels, Rose Theatre Café, The

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General Hospital, and

some city supermarkets.

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. We distribute door to door on

some selected streets. If you would like us to include your street,

even as a one-off, then please suggest it to us.





RESIDENTS ARE concerned over the

proposal to build student flats at the

former Jewson’s Yard in Eyre Place

Lane, Canonmills.

A proposal of application notice

(PAN) has been lodged with The City

of Edinburgh Council to demolish the

buildings in place and build a new

block of student flats.

There is no provision for car parking

although the plans have yet to be

finalised after an online consultation

which will take place later this month.

Vince Meiklejohn a spokesman for

The Eyre Place Lane Owners

Association says it will object to the

plans on a variety of grounds - such as

any lack of car parking, likely increases

in noise levels, additional traffic, and

that this will add to the density of

accommodation in the EH3 area.

The association suggest instead that

planning solutions could be more

creatively used for permanent housing

and green space rather than densely


the numbers...

THE WAY THE number of Covid-19

cases are reported has changed.

Now the figure includes cases using

either a lateral flow device (LFD) or a

polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

This has not led to an immediate

reduction in case numbers which are

still hovering around 6,000 or so

each day although case numbers

achieved a high of 20,000 or so at

the beginning of January.

With more than 3.2 million people

who have now had the booster

dose, the omicron restrictions have

been removed again which has

allowed professional football and

rugby matches to proceed with

capacity crowds.

In addition people who are

admitted to care homes will no

longer have to self-isolate for two

weeks, although there is a testing

regime which must be followed.

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packed student flats. They point out

that there is adequate provision in

developments within a mile of this site

at Logie Green Road, Leith Walk and

McDonald Road.

Residents feel it would be a poor

addition to the neighbourhood by an

out of town developer. CA Student

Living, which is based in London, and

has its HQ in Chicago, has already

developed a large student site at

Dundee Street.

This, coupled with the permission to

develop the former RBS building on

the other side of the George V Park,

being demolished at present, has

alarmed nearby residents who feel the

area is being overdeveloped.

Search for 21/06729/PAN on

council website: Proposed demolition

of existing buildings and structures

and erection of a purpose-built student

accommodation development, with

associated amenity space, access, cycle

parking and landscaping .

Visitors will again be allowed

without restriction except any

imposed by the care home itself.

The Scottish Government is

working on an updated strategic

framework to allow everyone to “live

with Covid”. In the last document

published in November 2021, the

government suggested that periodic

booster vaccinations might be a part

of that picture along with ongoing

testing and surveillance, improved

ventilation in buildings, hygiene

measures and face coverings. It is

likely that these will form part of any

future strategy, and all are couched

with the important word -


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



Lets crackdown

Council ready to regulate Edinburgh short term lets

The Edinburgh Reporter


Local Democracy Reporter

EDINBURGH IS IN a “strong position” to begin

regulating short term lets, council leader Adam

McVey said, as legislation was passed at Holyrood

to introduce licensing schemes in Scotland.

Any property being used as a holiday rental,

such as Airbnbs in Edinburgh, will have to apply

for a local authority licence by April 2023 in

order to operate.

Over the last decade the capital has become

a hotbed of short-term lets (STLs) and is now

believed to be home to around a third of all

in Scotland.

The lack of regulation over the market is seen

as a key cause of Edinburgh’s housing crisis, with

thousands of properties in the city no longer used

for residential purposes. Furthermore,

neighbours often report being exposed to

excessive noise into the early hours and

anti-social behaviour.

The council leader said the introduction of a

licensing scheme is “a great step forward for

something that Edinburgh has led”.

He added: “We shouldn’t forget that the change

that’s happening on a national level is because of

the work that Edinburgh has done and our

council has done in calling for these changes and

helping shape them to give us the powers we

need to resolve these problems.”

Cllr McVey said “hundreds of thousands of

pounds and resources” have already been put

into setting up the scheme in Edinburgh.

“We’re in a strong position now to start

processing applications and crucially enforcing

the new regulations as soon as we have the ability

to do so,” he added.

All local authorities will be required to set up

STL licensing by October this year.

Whole properties being let out as STLs will

have to apply for a licence with planning

permission for a change of use, or evidence of an

application seeking change of use, required

before a licence can be obtained.

This month the council will decide whether or

not to become a “short-term let control area’”,

which would require properties to have planning

permission in place at the time of applying.

Councillor McVey continued: “It’s not just

about anti-social behaviour issues and impact on

individuals and stairs, personally, although those

are hugely important, it’s about the overall

housing supply in Edinburgh which has seen

10,000 residential properties taken out of

residential use and put into short-term let visitor


“We need to see that tide starting to turn back

and more properties – particularly in the City

Centre that we want to remain a vibrant place –

continue to be first and foremost for residents.”

A spokesperson for short-term let company,

Airbnb, said: “We are committed to being good

partners to Scotland and want to work with local

authorities to make these rules a success.”

They added the majority of hosts “share their

homes occasionally to boost their income”,

adding: “We look forward to collaborating with

everyone to support these families and their

communities as they recover from the pandemic.”

The Year of the Tiger


Festival will offer a

programme of event. The

celebrations in Edinburgh

are coordinated by

Edinburgh Tourism Action

Group (ETAG) and

supported by Heriot Watt

University's Scottish

Confucius Institute for

Business and


Edinburgh Zoo’s two

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the

Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, which

represents people who work in the short-term

letting sector, was critical of the scheme, saying it

was “poorly thought out and highly restrictive”

that will be “nothing short of a disaster for

self-caterers in Edinburgh”.

She added: “Edinburgh has a richly deserved

reputation as one of the world’s leading tourist

destinations and hard working, professional, and

diligent self-caterers are a key part of the diverse

accommodation offering in the city.

“Traditional self-catering is worth £70 million

per annum to the capital’s economy which is now

put at risk.

“To compound matters, Edinburgh’s

self-caterers also face struggling under the

council’s restrictive city-wide control area as

well as the prospect of a tourist tax not far on

the horizon.

“It really is a perfect storm of restrictions for

us, which comes during a time at which we

need it least.”

critically endangered

Sumatran Tigers, Dharma

and Lucu, are visitor

favourites and can be

spotted on the wildlife

conservation charity’s free

online webcams.

Lucu was on hand for a

quiet photo call and was

very cooperative in eating

the enrichment provided

in a special box before

being hand fed by the

Holiday lets to

be regulated

Lord Provost and the

Chinese Consul General of

Edinburgh, Ma Qiang.

The Consul General,

who has not been back

home to China since his

arrival in Edinburgh in

autumn 2019 explained:

“The tiger represents

ambiton, strength,

courage and overcoming

evil - which we need in

turbulent times. “

Gaelic school

paused to look at

other options


Local Democracy Reporter

PLANS TO CREATE a dedicated Gaelic

high school in Edinburgh have been put

on pause as parents urged the council to

consider further options .

The City of Edinburgh Council’s

long-running proposals to establish a

Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

secondary school and two additional

primary units were due to be approved for

statutory consultation. A report to the

Education, Children and Families

Committee explained plans to build a

standalone school on the site of the

former Royal Victoria Hospital would no

longer be possible, as The Scottish

Government was still to confirm if the land

on Craigleith Road is available for use.

Instead two options are being

considered - a GME secondary school on a

shared campus with the replacement

Liberton High School, or on the existing

Castlebrae High School site. News that

plans for a central, standalone high school

have been effectively scrapped led

parents of children in Gaelic education to

call on the committee to vote against

proceeding with the consultation as

was recommended by officers.

The consultation would involve parents,

Education Scotland and The Scottish


Orla Hobson, treasurer of Gaelic parents

association Comann nam Pàrant, told

councillors: “Our overarching message to

you is this: Take the time to develop a

coherent plan for GME with realistic

timescales that parents can have

confidence in and can help you deliver,

undertake much greater meaningful

engagement with families and create a

proposal which is in the best interests of

GME children and of GME itself.”

Education Convener, Cllr Ian Perry, said:

“We’re setting up a new secondary school

and there are a lot of challenges in that,

but what we cannot lose sight of is the

education we’re trying to provide. We

think that to pause this just now and give

you, the parents and the council further

opportunity to discuss both the

educational benefits and the available site

would be beneficial both to yourselves

and ourselves.”





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and editorial

enquiries please

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Explore the opportunities in Gaelic teaching...


Aig an àm seo den bhliadhna,

bidh sinn tric a’ smaoineachadh

air ar dreuchdan atharrachadh

agus mar sin is dòcha gum bi an

goireas ùr aig Bòrd na Gàidhlig

feumail dhuibh ma tha sibh a’

beachdachadh air dreuchd ùr

ann an teagasg tro mheadhan na


A’ leantainn air na

dleastanasan agus geallaidhean

a tha ann am Plana Cànain

Nàiseanta Gàidhlig 2018-23 gus

tidsearan Gàidhlig a thrusadh, a

ghlèidheadh is oideachadh agus

sanasachd a dhèanamh air

teagasg Gàidhlig mar dhreuchd,

tha Bòrd na Gàidhlig air padlet a

chruthachadh, a’ togail air bhon

bhileag ‘A bheil thu airson

teagasg sa Ghàidhlig?’ aig

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg

na h-Alba.


’S e bòrd-fiosrachaidh didseatach

a th’ ann am padlet far a bheil

làraich-lìn, sgrìobhainnean agus

bhideothan air an

cruinneachadh air balla.


Tha padlet ann gus stiùireadh a

thoirt do thidsearan clàraichte a

tha airson an sgilean cànain a

leasachadh gus gluasad gu

Foghlam tro Mheadhan na

Gàidhlig; agus padlet eile

dhaibhsan a tha a’

beachdachadh air cùrsa Foghlam

Gàidhlig a dhèanamh aig ìre

fo-cheum no iar-cheum.

Gheibh sibh a-steach dhan

phadlet le bhith a’ sganadh an

còd QR.



At this time of year, we often

think about changing careers so

you may find Bòrd na Gàidhlig's

new resource useful if you are

considering a new career in

teaching through the medium of


Following on from the

commitments in the National

Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23 to

recruit, retain and educate Gaelic

teachers and to advertise Gaelic

teaching as a career, Bòrd na

Gàidhlig has created a new

resource called a padlet. The

padlet complements the existing

General Teaching Council for

Scotland's leaflet ‘So you want to

teach in Gaelic?’.


A padlet is a digital noticeboard

where websites, documents and

videos are clearly displayed on a

single wall.


One of our padlets provides

guidance for registered teachers

who wish to develop their

Do dh’Oileanaich -

For students

language skills in order to

transfer to Gaelic Medium

Education; while the other

padlet has been created for

those considering an

undergraduate or postgraduate

course in Gaelic Education to

teach Gaelic as a subject or to

teach a secondary subject

through the medium of Gaelic.

Access the padlet by scanning

the QR codes.

If you have any questions, please

contact our Development Officer

at angela@gaidhlig.scot

Do Thidsearan Clàraichte -

For Registered Teachers

It’s time for

us to become


AS WE MOVE towards the end of

Covid-19 restrictions and look to our

lives post-pandemic, it is time for us to

be aspirational. For the past two years,

we have had to give our full attention to

mitigating the effects of the virus and

protecting our NHS. Governments have

had to fulfil their duty to the citizens by

taking appropriate measure to protect

them from a highly transmissible virus.

We are not entirely out of the woods

yet, although a lot of data is showing us

on the right track and coming to the end

of our need to treat Covid-19 as an

existential threat.

So it is time for us to look forward

towards to the time when we can move

our focus towards future facing policy

that can make a real and positive

difference here in Scotland.

We have an opportunity that doesn’t

come along all that often in governance,

to operate with as close to a legislative

blank slate as we are likely ever to get.

The question for those in Government

is: What are you going to do with this

blank slate? Are you going to use it to

take a fresh look at issues investing time

and resources in new attempts and

schemes to address them? Issues that

have become a stain on Scotland like

homelessness, A&E waiting times,

education attainment gaps and horrific

levels of drugs deaths all could be

approached without the baggage of

having to adhere to a previously

unsuccessful policy.

It seems that the party of Government

in Scotland is uninterested in taking this

opportunity, and would rather push on

with a tired and unsuccessful suit of

ideas, the pinnacle of which is

represented by their nationalist

obsession of driving a wedge through

the middle of Scotland and holding

another referendum.

The SNP is a prime example of a

government that has been in power for

too long and has run out of ideas. They

have no answers for the mess that they

have made and are unwilling to seize this

opportunity of a clean slate to come up

with a fresh strategy. Instead they revert

to type and promote division. It is time

for the Scottish People to evaluate

whether they wish to continue with this

stale and unimaginative governance.

Jeremy Balfour

Conservative MSP for Lothian


Get on board now!

The Edinburgh Reporter

Campaigners check if city’s public transport is just the ticket



Edinburgh’s bus passengers and services.

Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group campaigns as a

voice for bus users, and is committed to

protecting and improving Edinburgh’s bus

network for the benefit of current and future

bus users. EBUG is concerned with bus services

operating within The City of Edinburgh Council

area and those which cross its boundary, and

with city-wide - rather than local - issues.

EBUG is committed to sustainable transport.

It is user/supporter led, independent of any

operator, local or national authority, political

party or trade union.

Participation is open to anyone with an

interest on that basis, and the group co-operates

with other user-focused groups, such as Bus

Users Scotland at a national level, and other

local groups, as appropriate.


Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group (EBUG) is a

campaign providing a voice for bus users. We’ve

about 60 signed up members (new members

welcome and over 700 Twitter followers.

The members elect a committee each year to

deal with day-to-day business. The committee

is made up of ordinary Edinburgh residents.


To protect and improve Edinburgh’s bus

network; bus services within Edinburgh

Council’s area and others which cross

its boundary.

Edinburgh has a much-loved bus network

which is the envy of other cities. But it’s been

rather taken for granted and, even before

Covid, there were dark clouds on the horizon.

We want to help ensure that it has a strong,

long-term future, meeting Edinburgh

residents’ needs.


Because without a strong, user-friendly and

growing bus network, Edinburgh can’t be a

sustainable, thriving city. Good public transport

is at the heart of successful cities world-wide; in

Edinburgh that means, in the main, buses.

Chris and Jennifer

doing a bus stop audit


We always start with question: ‘what is in bus

users’ interests?’. Sometimes that means, for

example, looking at bus stop design, sometimes

at wider issues like the City Mobility Plan, or

transport policy.

Since we started in 2019, we’ve spent a lot of

time responding to the Council’s consultations

and actions. Recently we’ve tried to be more

proactive, for example by creating “Bus Stop

Audits” to highlight how bus stops could be

improved. In the run-up to May this year,

we’ll be challenging candidates and parties in

the Council elections on what they’d do for

bus services.

We’re still quite a small group, so we

concentrate on city-wide issues. Where there’s

an issue which is important to one or two

particular communities, we can best spend our

efforts supporting local campaigns. We aim to

help, not to take over, local initiatives.

We spend a fair bit of time collaborating with

other sustainable transport interests. We’re

Trams will stop at Picardy Place


project is progressing and just

last month the roundabout at

Picardy Place became the

focus of the latest work. It is

here from spring 2023 that

there will be a new

interchange for Edinburgh

Trams and Lothian Buses.

While pedestrians can

access the area at all points

during construction, it is an

area for vehicles to avoid for

now while track laying


Access from Picardy Place

to Broughton Street is

prohibited for the sixteen

week closure until May.

There are diversion routes

for all vehicles travelling

from London Road to Picardy

Place, and Lothian Buses

have details of the services

careful to keep ourselves independent of

operators, local or national authorities, political

parties and trade unions.



By joining up (it’s free). And, whether a

member or not, letting us know about

relevant issues with the bus services you

use. Of course, we can’t promise to solve

your problems, but it’s important that we

know what’s happening out there!

There are still vacancies on our

Committee. It would be particularly good

to get more input from younger people,

and the south and west of the city. Are you

part of a campaign group? Would you like

some publicity for your cause? Then get in

touch and we will help you tell your story.



affected by diversion routes

on their website.

When complete the line will

have a stop at St Andrew

Square as it does now and the

next stop will be at Picardy

Place before proceeding

down Leith Walk and stopping

at McDonald Road, Balfour

Street, Foot of the Walk, The

Shore, Port of Leith, Ocean

Terminal and Newhaven.

Martin P McAdam


come this way

EDINBURGH LEISURE is looking for new

volunteers to step this way to train as

walk leaders for their award-winning

Active Communities programme,

Ageing Well.

A Walk Leader training course will take

place on Friday, 18 February from

10.00am – 1.30pm. The training is “laid

back and friendly” and there are no

exams or tests.

The Ageing Well Project is run by

Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with

NHS Lothian and delivers a range of

city-wide activities which support people

to become, and remain, active in later

life. The emphasis is on meeting new

people and making physical activity

accessible and enjoyable.

Ryan Dignan, Health Development

Officer (Older Adults) at Edinburgh

Leisure explained: “Our programme relies

on the generous support of volunteers –

older adults who give up 1 or 2 hours a

week to help and support other older

adults to get or stay active. No previous

experience is necessary – just

enthusiasm, the ability to get on well

with people from differing backgrounds

and ages and a love of walking.

“It’s not just Ageing Well who benefit

from the volunteers’ gift of time, our

volunteers say that they develop deeper

connections within their communities,

feel better physically, mentally and

emotionally; and are better able to

manage health conditions such as stress.

“On completion of their training, they

will lead or support one of the many

weekly walking groups that take place

across the city.”

Run up a hill

on #Twosday

ON A SPECIAL DATE - 22/02/2022

(It’s a Tuesday - so it is now being

called #Twosday) and at the time of

20:22 (that’s 8:22pm in old money)

the Carnethy Hill Running Club aims

to get as many powerful torches

along the Pentlands ridgeline

between Hillend and Allermuir as

possible. They need volunteers from

Carnethy and other clubs to spread

out along the ridge. They will mark

where everyone should stand and

switch on head torches at 20:22.



Martin P McAdam

Future of bike

project saved

New council funding for all ability biking

Martin P McAdam

David (above left) and Chris (above) from Thistle

Foundation would love to welcome new cyclists

Walking the walk

CHRIS HOWARD visited Edinburgh on an

overnight stop on his 11,000 mile walk

around the British coast. He is now on the

homeward straight as he began his walk

for Children in Need in July 2020. He had

been walking for 393 days when we met

him in St Andrew Square.

Known as the Coast Walker, Chris left

his wife and three “amazing” children

behind in Cambridge and set off on foot

with a backpack after only three weeks of

planning. Relying on the kindness of

strangers he has camped out or found

bed and board offered to him on his

travels. has now raised more than

£30,000 for the charity.

He has been intrigued that his unkempt

appearance has made him invisible. Chris

said: "I suppose in effect I have made

myself homeless. In cities people don't

really want to talk to me as they clearly

think I am homeless. It is a bit of a sad

indictment on our society that we won't

talk to homeless people. I have found that

strange and have been in those shoes for

a time now. But I have to stay positive -

every step is a step closer to home now.”

Donate on Just Giving - search for

The Coast Walker


bike sessions at Craigmillar and at Saughton

Park every week, made possible with new

council funding.

The sessions are at Saughton Park on

Thursday afternoons and on Sundays from

10am-12noon and at their Queens Walk

Craigmillar base on Tuesday afternoons from

1pm to 4pm. If you fancy a shot on one of their

bikes then turn up and join in, or email

thistleoutdoors@thistle.org.uk to book.

If you are new to cycling or have not been on

a bike for a while, then Dave and Chris from

Thistle will show you what to do using the

nearby off-road paths.


The inclusive activity has been made

possible with £71,000 of funding

from The City of Edinburgh

Council which is a positive result

after the loss of the cycle hire

scheme in the city.

This money was awarded in

November last year after the

Edinburgh Cycle Hire Scheme,

which was run by Serco, folded. It

is part of a short term range of

initiatives to get everyone

who can cycle onto a

bike. Edinburgh

council agreed a

three year

contract with Serco to run the cycle hire

scheme at no cost to the council. When the

three years ran out Serco explained that they

required some financial help to renew the

contract for a further period. The council

reported that it would have required a subsidy

of approximately £500,000 each year to keep

the scheme afloat. In addition a further one-off

investment of £1.172 million would be

required to upgrade security for the fleet of

bikes. One of the major problems was theft and

vandalism which meant the scheme was

loss-making for Serco during the three years.

The council decided against entering into a

new deal on that basis, despite the fact that this

was an award winning scheme which achieved

record user numbers. At the time it was

disbanded the scheme offered 600 bikes

and 150 e-bikes for hire. More than

70,000 users had registered and more

than 500,000 trips had been taken.

The council owns 60 former hire

bikes and say these will be used in a

new scheme which will be the

subject of a report to the council in

March 2022.

The bikes are suitable for the able

bodied or those with disabilities.

They offer side by side

cycles for two, and


David Holmes




Borrow a cargo bike

Charity will help families and businesses move onto two wheels



month take their bikes to St Margaret’s Park in

Corstorphine for anyone who wants to have a

shot, but they also have a longer term scheme

which allows individuals and families or

businesses to find out if a cargo bike is

appropriate for them.

The group is one which arose during the

pandemic. It was set up informally in 2020 by

Active Nation Commissioner, Lee Craigie, and

her fellow cycle adventurer, Alice Lemkes, who

both had cargo bikes and who wanted to do

something useful with them. The pair had in

2019 ridden cargo bikes from Edinburgh to

Copenhagen accompanied by two other

women, aiming to arrive just before midnight

on Hogmanay. Riding in pairs they took it in

turns to be cosied down in the front of the bike

when not in the saddle. The pair of adventurers

built up connections with people in Edinburgh

around food collections at the start of the

pandemic, and could be spotted cycling their

bikes carrying food all over the city. Over time

volunteers got in touch to offer their help and

Naomi Arnold was one of those.

Now she is the CBM Project Manager. She

realised that the organisation might just fizzle

out last summer, and that it would be a pity to

lose the momentum which had built up. As

someone who used to work in the

environmental charity sector for around seven

years, Naomi offered to write a funding

application to Paths for All which resulted in

her having a full time job.

In the wake of the Edinburgh Cycle Hire

Scheme ending, £75,000 of council funding was

awarded to CBM to develop their service. They

lend out cargo bikes from a base they set up in


Naomi explained how welcome the funding

Nora Robertson

(86) says



all the





“loves the



Burt (86)


being out

of the house

was at this time. She said: “The reason that the

funding from the City Council is so crucial as

because we can use that money, as match

funding for our Paths for All application, which

means we can get basically double. If we are

successful, we will get around £120,000.”

Additional funding would mean that the

organisation can recruit a project coordinator

to work alongside Naomi and that they might

also look at extending into adjacent premises.

CBM shares its Tollcross space with Farr Out, a

city courier company which uses cargo bikes,

depending on their help (and that of a few

other city cycle shops) to repair and service the

bikes they now own.

Forever Young need you


Mary Murray is really glad that

the club can reconvene, even if

it is only four days a week, and

for shorter hours than before.

The club is a lifeline to people

who are isolated and unable to

get out on their own. It depends

on doctors and families to refer

new clients to them. Most of the

people who come to play

dominoes, or word games and

eat a light lunch are mobile, but

at Carrickvale Community

Centre they can accommodate

wheelchair users.

The club has kept going -

though only just - as a result of

some guidance from local MSP,

Gordon Macdonald, who put

Naomi enjoys a

cargo bike ride

them in touch with a

professional fundraiser. That has

resulted in the club having

enough funds for the next six

months or so. Their council

funding was cut before the

pandemic, and there appears

little hope of the £26,120 per

annum being reinstated.

Mary enjoys being able to pull a

figure like that out of her head,

having run the club for

Stenhouse, Whitson and

Saughton Mains residents for

many years. But she explained:

“We are really frugal with the

money we have. And we are

also fortunate in receiving

donations and gifts which has

helped us to keep going.

Project Manager

Naomi Arnold

Naomi explained that she would like to

expand the outreach part of the project, taking

the message about how useful cargo bikes can

be to a variety of people and businesses.

Members of the public can borrow the bikes to

try them out before they buy in two ways - at

the Corstorphine event they will simply be able

to have a shot at riding the bike, but there is

also a possibility of hiring one on a longer term

basis. CBM have three bikes specifically for

longer term loans thanks to funding from

Energy Saving Trust.

Naomi said: “We just want people to try

them. So just come along. I can train anyone

who then wants to borrow one. Being able to

try cargo bikes such as the one we are holding

in March is really important, but for people to

be able to borrow a bike from us for say a

couple of months to see if it works for them is a

huge game changer.”

”Previously we held raffles and

tombolas as one of our main

moneyspinners. Now we need

some core funding to make us


The community centre has been

a generous landlord and has

placed a pause on their rent for

now, but that may have to be

addressed again in future.

There are two paid members of

staff who pick clients up in a

minibus and bring them to the

centre to first of all enjoy a cup

of tea and a chat. Along with

four volunteers this is a happy

environment for older people to

enjoy on their doorstep. There is

a Just Giving page where you

are invited to donate if you can.

Saddle up and

get off road


IN EDINBURGH we have some great

off-road paths for cycling that include

interesting heritage sites, wonderful

views, and wildlife habitats that are rich

with birds, butterflies, plants, and

mammals. My favourite cycle trip, that I

did regularly throughout lockdown,

includes all of these. It’s a circular route

that takes in Craigmillar Castle and the

Braids. As it changes dramatically with the

seasons it’s worth doing several times

over the year. You can do the ride in an

hour or two or make it a longer trip by

taking a picnic. If you have binoculars, do

take them along.

Start via the Innocent Railway Path by

the Commonwealth Pool. Swoop down

through the Innocent Railway Tunnel

(over 500 metres in length), and, as you

get out into the open, look up to your left

for great views of Arthur’s Seat. There may

even be cows in the field by the path, an

unusual sight so close to the city centre.

At the bottom of the path, you’ll turn right

into Peffermill Industrial Estate, and from

there it’s a few minutes up to the park.

Craigmillar Castle Park is one of

Edinburgh’s best kept secrets. The castle,

a large baronial structure now run by

Historic Environment Scotland, was built

in the fifteenth century by John Preston.

Mary Queen of Scots famously used the

castle as a haven in 1556. The park itself

has extensive woodlands, a children’s

playpark, and a network of paths to

explore. The last time I cycled through the

park I saw a buzzard perched on a branch

that then took off, hunting through the

trees. While they can be hard to spot if

they aren’t moving, their mewling cries

are distinctive. And look out for other

animals like voles and foxes.

Leave the park from the west side and

head through the Inch. The oldest date on

Inch House is said to be 1617. From here,

it’s a gentle climb to access the Hermitage

of Braid. Follow the gravel path all the

way along the Braid Burn (it can be

muddy in places after a lot of rain). Stop

to see the 18th century rubble-built

subterranean Braid Ice House. A few

minutes further along, take a break for a

while with coffee and cake at the Lodge

Coffee House.

From here you can cycle back on the

council’s newly developed quiet route

through residential streets in

Morningside, the Grange and Marchmont

to the Meadows. For route details, check

out the recently published Spokes

Lothian Edinburgh map.


Enriched by Hope

Supporting children and young people who have lost loved ones


Richmond’s Hope supports children and young

people from the age of four to eighteen who

have been bereaved. It uses therapeutic play

and specialised grief activities to help children

understand how the death has impacted them.

It gives children a safe place to preserve

memories of the person that died, explore their

feelings and develop coping strategies for their

own future.

The service was established in Richmond

Craigmillar Church, Edinburgh, 18 years ago in

response to a need within the local community

and since then the charity has grown to

support approximately 272 children a year in

Edinburgh, the Lothians and the West of

Scotland. Its Glasgow Office launched in Ibrox

Parish Church, Glasgow, in August 2016 and

employs three staff.


Richmond’s Hope supports bereaved children

and young people between the ages of 4 and 18.

At the heart of Richmond’s Hope’s programme

of support are specialised grief activities and

therapeutic play which helps bereaved children

& young people improve their mental health &

well being by working out their grief through

verbal and non-verbal ways. They also offer

support to the families of children who attend

Richmond’s Hope.

Children who come to Richmond’s Hope are

supported by dedicated specialist bereavement

support workers for 40 minutes once a week for

an average of 12 sessions. All the services and

sessions are free and they operate an open

referral system.


It is an alarming fact that 1 in 29 children

under the age of 16 are bereaved of a parent or

sibling – that’s nearly 1 in every school class.

“At Richmond's Hope, we recognise that

every child’s grief is different and there’s no ‘one

size fits all’, so we support bereaved children to

manage the challenges that can come along

with grief. Richmond’s Hope therapeutic play

and face to face session work offers children a

way to express conflicts and painful


“Over the past year, we've seen a huge

increase in demand for our services. Some of

The old Coca-Cola and

Mentos trick is a real


the children we see have experienced extremely

challenging situations in their young lives.

Covid-19 and isolation have really magnified

the impact of bereavement and reduced the

access of children and young people to their

regular coping strategies - such as friends,

family and routine. Richmond's Hope uses

therapeutic play and specialised grief activities

as a way to help children preserve memories,

identify feelings and develop personalised

coping strategies.”


Richmond’s Hope relies on public donations

and individuals volunteering, organising and

taking part in fundraising events in aid of

Richmond’s Hope. There are a variety of ways

in which you can get involved, support or

donate money to Richmond’s Hope.

As a small charity, every amount that

Richmond’s Hope receives goes a very long way

in supporting bereaved children. Your support

will really make a difference and help provide

life-changing support to bereaved children and

young people, when they need it most.

You can donate online at www.richmondshope.

org.uk/ways-to-donate and help us be there

for bereaved children & young people when

they need it most.

If you are interested in volunteering or taking

part in a fundraising event for Richmond’s

Hope email Kelley at edinburgh@


You can follow Richmond’s Hope at...

Facebook: RichmondsHope1

Twitter: @Richmond’sHope1

Instagram: richmondshope

2022 Annual

Nursery Guide

THE 2022 ANNUAL Nursery Guide has

just been published. This will be the first

edition to include a pull-out ‘New Parent

Guide’ which will provide editorially

independent recommendations by and

for local parents who live in Edinburgh

and the Lothians.

The recommendations were researched

and compiled by the editor together with

Laura Vida, a local freelance writer and

former primary teacher, who is herself a

new mum.

The 2020 edition’s new parent

recommendations will include: non

commercial/affordable parent & toddler

groups (based mainly in local churches in

the region), child-friendly eateries by

area, interactive children’s book

recommendations and recommended

family memberships. These will sit

alongside promotion for local childorientated

businesses including valuable

new start-ups such as Worn in Wardrobe

and Future Bilingual.

The Nursery Guide was initially

conceived to be a useful resource for new

parents. The main magazine lists nurseries

by area and allows parents to compare

Care Inspectorate ratings and other

relevant information for individual


The ‘Nursery Checklist’ — another

annual feature of the magazine — is also

designed to support parents who are

going through the process of selecting a

nursery for their child.

The Nursery Guide is free and can either

be picked up at locations in and around

Edinburgh (libraries, supermarkets etc.) or

ordered thrpugh the Nursery & School

Guide website nurseryandschoolguide.

co.uk. (The £2.99 fee covers postage and



In memory of Peter Ritchie

Jim Mackintosh

Born 2 January 1949 – Died 3 December 2021

IF ANY MAN was destined for a

life at sea it was Peter Ritchie.

Born into an old Musselburgh

fishing family his future seemed

preordained. Yet while salt water

ran in his veins, Peter went on to

become a fine police detective

and a prolific writer.

A true lad o’ pairts, he was also

an accomplished artist, poet and

playwright. Driven to fill every

waking minute, Peter also

volunteered at his local museum

and hospice, and actively

supported his heart’s desire -

Scottish independence.

The restless energy that

defined his life showed itself early

when he left school as soon as

possible, desperate to follow his

family tradition in fishing off

Scotland’s east coast.

For the next decade Peter

worked on his family’s boats, the

“Brighter Dawn”, the “Bon

Aventure” and many others,

becoming one of the youngest

qualified skippers in the fleet. The

long days and nights at sea

kindled his lifelong love of nature

and of Scotland’s wild places.

But in 1974, he could see the

future decline of inshore fishing

and, newly married, he came

ashore to follow another

ambition, the police service.

Joining Lothian & Peebles

Constabulary was a cultural and

financial shock, his police wage

was half of what he earned at sea,

but his prospects were bright.

Peter soon found himself as a

detective in the CID. He was a

natural, with a sharp mind,

shrewd judgement and

meticulous attention to detail. It

was just as well, for in the 1980s

he was immersed in the hunt for

the serial killers that stalked

Scotland’s Central Belt during

that decade.

Promotions came quickly but

the domestic scene could not

contain his restless spirit, and

posts as the Head of the

Organised Crime Unit in the

National Criminal Intelligence

Service in London, and later as UK

Liaison Officer to Europol in The

Hague were filled with distinction

in senior rank.

Life after the police continued

at a hectic pace when Peter took

up writing as a new passion.

Always a good communicator, he

found a niche in the competitive

field of crime fiction and Tartan

Noir. Based firmly on his own

experience, the six volumes of the

“Detective Grace Macallan” series

brought fiction as close to fact as

possible. Plays, poems and poetry

completed his prodigious output.

But anchoring this energetic

spirit was a family that staunchly

supported him. Agnes, his wife of

nearly 50 years and his much

loved children, Wee Peter and

Claire, gave him the foundation

of stability he needed. Latterly his

young grandchildren, Nancy and

Angus, were the loves of his life.

When diagnosed with a

terminal illness, Peter took the

news with grace and quiet

courage. His only regret was

leaving his family. On his last day

in the tender care of St Columba’s

Hospice in Edinburgh, he was

writing a new play - set in a

hospice. To the last he was

pushing forward.

Peter Ritchie. Fisherman,

detective, writer, artist, poet and

playwright. Scottish lad o’ pairts.

Tom Wood, author and former

Deputy Chief Constable of

Lothian & Borders Police

Above, Peter in

recent times

Left, Peter Ritchie

as a young man

at sea

It’s a Window


Corstorphine in the frame

CORSTORPHINE TOWN Centre and the surrounding area will

become the focus for an outdoor gallery encouraging visitors to

become wanderers during Corstorphine Window Wanderland.

To take part anyone in the area can register their window to

become part of the trail. Visitors can see the display between 6pm

and 9pm each evening on 26, 27 and 28 February.

The display can be in a window of a home, nursery, school,

business, car or a front garden - anywhere that can be seen by passers

by - and anything family friendly will fit the criteria.

When all entries are submitted the organisers will produce an

online map showing the locations of all the displays. Window

Wanderland can help with the materials such as paper which they

can sell on at cost price and which can be collected from The Refillery

at 119b/c St John's Road EH12 7SB. The deadline for orders is

6 February 2022. But designers are also encouraged to be as

environmentally conscious as possible and use recycled goods

where they can.

While this is an outdoor event the organisers also remind everyone

that any Covid-19 rules must be complied with.

For further details please email Vikki or Becky at


Library petition

A PETITION HAS been set up to reopen Leith

Library describing it as a “vital service which is

used by a broad spectrum of our community

- from parents and children accessing books

and toys to elderly people reading the

newspapers to job hunters using the

computers. For many, Leith Library is a lifeline.

“While we understand the community

needs a Covid testing centre, in areas such as

Morningside and Stockbridge alternative

Covid testing sites have been found and their

libraries have re-opened. Why not move Leith’s

testing centre to some of the empty space in

Ocean Terminal?”

New Highway Code

A NEW HIERARCHY of road users will put

vulnerable categories such as pedestrians

and cyclists at the top if a new change to the

Highway Code is enacted on 29 January.

When passed, the Highway Code update

will include a new hierarchy of road user. For

the first time in Britain the law will recognise

that those who pose the greatest risk on our

roads to others have a higher level of

responsibility. This means someone cycling

will have greater responsibility to look out

for people walking, while someone driving

would have greater responsibility to look out

for people cycling, walking or riding a horse.







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

Newly established gallery in the New

Town art district which will feature

curated group shows and solo shows.

The owners promise it will be

”challenging and compelling art”.

Innovative new works and a collection

of art books to buy.


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

currently online on the last Thursday

of the month with a host of inspiring

speakers sharing their entrepreneurial

journeys and invaluable business tips.



Donate unwanted items to the shop

on Gilmore Place knowing that they

will find a new home. Very little ever

goes to landfill. Visit the shop to pick

up a copy of our latest paper and also

to admire their innovative and

ever-changing window displays.







Subscribe today and have your own

copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered to your front door from next

month. - in a compostable envelope. A

payment of £30 a year will help to

support local independent news.


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 partner- ship

with independent retailers, Tim at

Schop offers to deliver a huge range of

great quality food and drink straight to

your door saving you a journey.


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

Beautiful wee shop on Dundas Street

packed to the gunwales with lovely

Italian goods all handmade. Lynne

parcels them with great care in the

shop’s trademark turquoise tissue and

ribbons. New must see website will be

online in January.







Stephen is a Clinical Hypnotherapist

available for virtual or in person

sessions. He uses hypnotherapy and

Neuro Linguistic Programming to help

you make changes and achieve your

goals. Manage chronic pain, stop

smoking or manage stress.


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

The gallery focuses on original

paintings, prints and fine crafts

inspired by nature. Wide price range to

accommodate various budgets. The

gallery will reopen on 11 January after

the break. Open Tuesday to Saturday



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

Vlad and Scott have a unique style at

48 Thistle Street with great coffee and

above average chat. The pair have just

celebrated a year in business at their

city centre micro roastery. Coffee also

available to order online if you are

working from home.







For the whiskly lover, buy Ardgowan

Shipwright online - described by

whiskymaker Max McFarlane as “a

sumptuous dram”.Special offer

includes free Glencairn glass and

either whisky marmalade or a slate

coaster while stocks last .


A luxurious, elegant salon with a very

happy and friendly atmosphere where

the aim is to make your experience

relaxing, enjoyable and glamorous.

Appointments essential.

Tel 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.


The Torrance Gallery on Dundas Street

will be offering a fantastic varied

programme of exhibitions in 2022,

kicking off with work by Fee Dickson

from 15 January to 5 February.

Join their mailing list for details

of each show.



Photos by: Martin P McAdam

It is a tough job running any kind of hospitality

business no matter whether it’s the late nights

in a restaurant or early mornings spent at fish

markets. Does it make it any easier if you are

in business with your life partner? I discovered

that there are some really good examples of

couples in Edinburgh who can make a success

out of both. Even if there are the odd fiery

moments, the support for each other and single

mindedness of purpose shone through in all of these

interviews - and there was a lot of laughter during the

photo shoots.


Contini, The Scottish Café and Cannonball

RUNNING BUSY restaurants for the last 19 years, with

an outside dining arm and, during Covid, adapting to

home deliveries of meals and vegetable boxes, as well as

looking after three children, takes its toll on anyone, but

their different personalities bring a balance to all the

relationships that this busy couple are juggling.

Their families had probably been friends for more

than 500 years, and although it might seem a little bit of

cliché it was almost inevitable that they would get

together - notwithstanding Carina’s father putting his

foot down that she had to be 21 before she started dating

Victor. Their two grandfathers were great friends in

Italian villages only a mile apart, before coming to

Scotland in the early twentieth century, and Carina’s

sister and Victor’s brother are also married to each other.

At 23 Carina married Victor, having always had a bit

of a soft spot for him and in spite of their seven years age

difference. She said: “I just thought he was the loveliest

person. He would always treat me like a wee sister

whenever we met - which was not often, until he asked

me out.”

Youngest of eight she may have had little need for

another sibling, but recognises that Victor is very similar

to her own father who was 50 when she was born. Carina

explained: “My dad was a lovely, lovely man. What I love

about Victor is how similar he is to my Dad. They are

both very convivial and engaging, retreating to their own

spaces when necessary, but open and loving people.”

Victor is the calmer of the two ideally suited to front of

house, and the staff during training learn to do what they

call The Victor Welcome. His big smile

and welcome to diners is legendary

and well known among customers.

Carina admits that part of their

success is that they have compatible

skillsets. She said: “I watch him in the

Scottish Café, and his face is so gentle when he

talks to customers. I’m good at the other side of

things, you know, keeping everything in order. But I get

anxious about talking to people front of house when my

head is so full of all the things I have to do.

“I concentrate a lot on the product and the provenance

and all of that. Victor does too, but when you’re trying to

sell an experience the food and the service both have to

be good for the whole experience to be great.”

Giselle and


Phyllis Stephen meets couples who successfully blend

a loving relationship while running a business together...


and Carina


Even if one or both of us have a

really bad day, we still hold hands

on the way home


and Michele


I spoke to Gin Lalli, a solution focused psychotherapist,

specialising in stress and anxiety management. Her

therapy is modern and science based, and moving

forward rather than analysing the past.

Gin said: “What I believe you have found here are

people who have really worked out their personal

boundaries and what is doable for them. So every

couple will be slightly different with some of them

loving to talk about work at home. I often say that

there is no such thing as work/life balance - it is all just

called life and we get so much purpose from our work.

These couples will have worked hard and tried some

things and realised what was working and what wasn’t -

it will not have happened straight away. What creates

resilience long term is going through some hardships

to get to that point.”



MICHELE RUSSO AND his partner Gabriella

Sanguedolce are a couple who are obviously sweet on

each other, and who share their own happiness in

Edinburgh with the Sicilian Torrone which they sell

from their pop up stall. Both are engaging individuals,

but as a couple their hard working, yet playful and

happy, attitude is obvious for anyone to see. When they

met in the central Sicilian town of Caltanissetta,

Michele ran a clothes business and Gabriella was a

customer. Torrone is nougat and almond brittle

produced in the same way for generations using the

best of raw materials, crafted into molten sugar and

cooled on marble slabs. Michele learned his trade in

Italy from a young age in his family business.

What is it that makes this work? Michele said: “Of

course I am clearly in love with Gabriella and this

makes it work. Sometimes we fight each other! We

have been together for about 12 years and although a

couple we are not married yet - but we will be soon. We

met in Sicily and then I decided to come to Scotland.

Because I was terribly in love with her, I said I would

go back to Italy if she did not want to come and join

me here. She didn’t want to miss the experience of

living abroad, so she came to join me and now we are

happy here in Edinburgh.”


Ed’s Supper Club

EDWARD JANUSZ of Ed’s Supper Club is a chef who

works alone in the kitchen, but his parter Alan

McCurdy deals with the tech and admin issues behind

the scenes, with a bit of front of house thrown in for

good measure. Edward explained that having a work

relationship with Alan does of course also impact on the

couple’s home life.

He said: “It is not easy because there are no

boundaries between work and home, so it’s difficult,

from a kind of mental point of view because you don’t

have this separation. But in our situation everything

works perfectly, because we, fully 100% support each

other in every decision we make. We understand each

other, and engage in each other’s life. We don’t behave or

think selfishly and I think we treat each other with

respect and communicate quite well.

“We have a lot of conversations over dinner -

sometimes not easy conversations. But usually Alan is

better at drawing the line, and sometimes takes me out

for a drive to distract me from business chat.”

Edward admitted that occasionally it gets a bit fiery

between them - but it must work as they are now in

countdown mode to their Edinburgh wedding in April,

so believe me they are more than a bit loved up.

Edward produces beautiful food for Ed’s Supper Club

(and yes there will be more dates from 5 February

onwards), will be cooking in the kitchen on Mondays

and Tuesdays at Bijou Bistro on Restalrig Road, and still

has time to make his delicious chocolates under the

brand name PM Edinburgh.

Meanwhile Alan is out of the house each day as he

teaches computing science at Leith Academy, and is also

in charge of the websites and social media for all the

various businesses. But the key element in their

relationship is that they complement each other and

know exactly what the other is doing.


Eddie’s Seafood Market


Hogmanay in Victoria Street more than 15 years ago.

The stars were clearly aligned, as one of the places that

Campbell had spent a good deal of time was on a beach

in the Philippines - and Giselle though born in London

is part of a Filipino family of entrepreneurs.

Giselle said: “He was a proper beach boy on a

paradise island with talcum powder sand, but was so

astonished and he had never met a Filipino in

Edinburgh before!”

She moved to Edinburgh where she continued to

work in banking, and the pair were married shortly

afterwards. These two have had their fair share of ups

and downs with Campbell’s unexpected cardiac arrest in

2017 a definite bump in the road (although he was back

at work just ten days later) and their move into Eddie’s

Seafood Market has been a real high point.

The couple recently made a decision to streamline

their lives and concentrate on the original Marchmont

shop. The Merienda restaurant in Stockbridge, which

won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2020 will remain

closed. All focus will now be on getting up at 3am to

head for the fish market bringing the best produce back

to Marchmont where Campbell has begun smoking his

own salmon.

This last while has been quite intense for both of

them and it has been all hands on deck. The former

banker in a power suit has now turned her hand to

serving in the shop, and has also learned how to cut fish.

She said her new way of life really makes her happy:

“I just surprised myself as to how much I’m enjoying it.

And I love serving people. It really brings me joy

because you’re giving people happiness.”

So how does it work? As a couple who are together

pretty much 24/7 it appears to come down to love.

Giselle said: “As corny as that may sound you just

choose love. Even if we’ve had a bad day then we are still

holding hands in the car on the way home. And if

Campbell is home first he is already making dinner.”

I feel very lucky that Victor is my partner in

life and in business, and you know we don’t

take each other for granted


and Alan


Apulian no punches

Salento salutes the

best of south Italy’s

specialty crafts



Italy are enjoying a new market for their

unique products 1,800 miles away in wellheeled


Puglia, the region which stretches to the

eastern tip of Italy and is known as Salento by

locals, is a mix of diverse cultural influences

and boasts a thriving artisan community.

Lynne Roberts, who spent 12 years

living in Puglia (also known as Apulia)

before returning to Scotland, is

championing the fine craftsmanship to

be found in one of Italy’s most beguiling

regions in her Salento shop in Edinburgh’s

Dundas Street.

Many of the producers are personal friends

of the Salento owner, or friends of friends, and

the shop’s unique selling point is that ebullient

Lynne can almost certainly give a life history of

each craftsperson, and often show photographs

of the goods being hand-produced in Pugliesi

homes and farms.

But through the misfortune of opening for

business just two months before Covid-19

engulfed the world and heralded lockdown,

Lynne is yet to be able to take a salary and is

just keeping her head above water.

Kilmarnock-born Lynne said: “It’s been two

very hard years but I’m just delighted to still be

here because everything in the shop is made by

people that I know really well, who have been

friends of mine for a long time or are friends

of friends.

“Most of my suppliers are just tiny family

businesses or individual people who are doing

something they are really passionate about. I

was fortunate to live in Foggia in the north of

Puglia but the bit that I really fell in love with

was Salento in the south.”

Salento’s stock also includes products from a

small number of suppliers based in Sardinia,

Sicily and Capri and ranges from ceramics to

lighting, table linen, perfumes, baskets, textiles,

jewellery and plant pots which are typical of

the region with the goods shipped direct from

the artisan producer, rather than bought

en-masse at trade fairs.

Italophile Lynne spent years travelling in the

north of Italy as a buyer in the handbags and

shoes trade before settling in Puglia where she

ran a variety of businesses, including a

restaurant, bar, underwear shop and

motorcycle hire business.

Lynne added: “With a background in retail, I

wanted to bring something completely unique

to Edinburgh. I had been watching the growth

of independent retail and saw that momentum

in that kind of shopping was building up. I

could see that people increasingly wanted to

buy from independent shops and I spent three

to four years looking around Edinburgh for

the right location and getting to the point

Flying high with a new idea

A SITE SAFETY specialist has

made the first major innovation in

90 years for simple handrails which

protect millions of UK workers.

Scottish-based Kite Group

already provides vital safe access to

industrial and commercial

premises – and promises that its

new breakthrough product has

major environmental benefits.

Managers of the £3 million+

a-year firm, which provides

handrails to oil rigs and industrial

settings, have harnessed the latest

laser-cutting technology to

transform how its tubular steel

systems are produced and how the

components fit together securely.

Managing Director, Anthony

Wells, unveiled the new system,

Lynne Roberts pottering

about at her Dundas

Street shop

where I could actually do this.

“I am working on a website but having a real

bricks and mortar shop was very important to

me because I want to be able to tell clients ‘this

lamp is made by Luigi and here is a picture of

him in his olive grove with his cats, or here is

the girl who made those ear rings you are

thinking of buying’.

“It want customers to be able to find out

something about the story behind the product,

to see the brushstrokes on a piece of ceramic

and feel the thumbprint on a lamp, which

underlines the authenticity of what they

are buying.”

Salento, 44 Dundas Street, Edinburgh

Inst @salento_edinburgh Tel 0131 259 2943

called ModiFix, and said:

“Delivering the first major

innovation in a product since the

1930s is something we are proud

of. Tubular steel handrails are so

ubiquitous that they are virtually

invisible. It is like they have been

around so long and are so

prevalent that no-one stopped to

think how they could be improved.”


tackle hackers

EDINBURGH NAPIER University cyber

security experts have created a new data

set supporting cutting-edge research into

detecting ransomware. This is the malware

which attacks computer systems, allowing

hackers to demand a ransom for its

removal. Newly created NapierOne can

now use new methods and updated

data sets. One of the data sets which is

publicly available is Govdocs1 - now more

than ten years old, raising doubts about

its effectiveness.

A PhD student at Edinburgh Napier,

Simon Davies, (pictured above) worked

with university academics on a paper

about Digital Investigation detailing their

research creating a data set of 50,000

unique files. Davies said: “It is hoped that

the adoption of the NapierOne data set

into the implementation, development

and testing lifecycles of new ransomware

detection techniques will streamline and

accelerate the development of more

robust and effective detection techniques,

allowing independent researchers to

reproduce and validate proposed

detection methods quickly.”

Associate Professor Rich Macfarlane said:

“Ransomware has been around for many

years - encrypting and deleting users’ files

and demanding a ransom from the victim.

It has become increasingly common and its

sophistication has increased significantly,

leading to it currently being the biggest

cyber security problem globally.

“This work aims to provide a research

data set allowing scientific rigour in

research towards fighting the ransomware

problem. The data set has been created

and successfully used in our ransomware

detection research. Containing over half a

million unique files representing real world

file types, it is broad and diverse enough to

be used in a range of cyber security and

forensic research areas. We hope the data

set will have the same global research

impact as the Govdocs1 work.”

Professor Bill Buchanan said: “There are

few areas of cyber security that need more

of a scientific base than in digital

investigations, and there exists a need to

make sure investigators have appropriate

tools that have been verified and properly

evaluated. This data set provides a

foundation for researchers to prove their

new methods, and further support

innovation in the area. The UK is becoming

an international leader in the field of safe

technology – which involves the

development of tools to support digital

investigations and threat detection – and

this research showcases the development

of a strong scientific base.”



hatch in city

Julie Howden

Sook it and see!

Digital pop up store offers innovative presence for business



challenging even before Covid-19, it is perhaps

bold to say that your business will open 17 new

retail outlets by the end of this year. But that is

what Sook's Chief Operating Officer, Paul

Mitchell, told The Edinburgh Reporter the

company is aiming for in 2022.

We should point out that Sook - the hidden

name of the apparently empty shop unit on the

ground floor of St James Quarter derives from

the Middle Eastern marketplace rather than

from any Scottish connotation of the word.

It is described as a place where people can

come together to do business, or as Mitchell

explained, for third sector organisations to use to

promote what they do. So every single day this

unit could be dedicated to one or more

businesses, renting out time slots to them, using

technology to transform the shop.

Sook has access to furniture rentals and can

install the sofa and chair layout occupiers would

love to have. Their shelving system is moveable

and a fashion pop up might have hanging rails,

or art could be hung on the walls. This reuse of

the space and the components within it adds to

the company's view that this is sustainable retail.

With the sophisticated lighting system with

colour washes and mood lighting the space

can become entirely bespoke - and all within

fifteen minutes.

When we asked what people can do here Paul

replied: "Well, the question is what they can't do

here - that's what I would say. Sook exists as the

interface between physical and online retail. We

effectively take over an empty space from a

landlord and reactivate it in a more interesting

way. So what you see in front of you is that we've

got digital wallpaper, which you can upload your

content to. And it's for everybody to be honest,

we're a community player. We are a retailer, we're

an NHS pop up site, (which has happened here

with NHS testing and vaccinations). We've had

day poppers in - we just had Radley handbags

in here for three months. We are everything

to everybody.”

Without any set up costs the shop is

immediately professionally branded and to

passers by it looks like a long established retail

outlet, but Sook also offers a tech advantage, with

an array of cameras which measure footfall, or

the best places to stand in the store - and there

are "Sentiment Cameras" which will determine if

the passer by or visitor is in a good mood or not.

Analytics is a big part of future development as

the company is attempting to apply an equivalent

of Google Analytics to how a physical space

is occupied.

John Hoyle is CEO and founder of Sook and

he refers to their take on retail as a "disruptive

platform". As a property developer and asset

First in at Sook Edinburgh were

entrepreneurs from Women’s

Business Station

manager, he joined an accelerator in London to

discuss how to solve problems by using tech, and

he came up with the idea for Sook which is all

about using spaces in a more suitable way.

But Paul explained that John had always

envisaged this business as a "community player".

He said: "It is not all about big brands, it is

about the third sector and helping them, or

helping entrepreneurs who can't afford space on

the street. You are in Scotland's busiest shopping

centre now. It gives opportunities to people who

are the "day poppers", the guys that are on

Shopify. It gives them the opportunity to come in

here to a Grade A site, activate their space and

sell to the public. That is more valuable to them

quite often than it is to be making money. Our

reach is phenomenal.

"Community is a big part of this store.

Edinburgh launched with the Women's Business

Station from Dundee which is a third sector

group of lady entrepreneurs. They had fifteen

entrepreneurs coming through here in two

weeks and their whole ethos is to give women a

chance to sell their goods.

"The idea is to sell the space by an hour - you

don't have to be somewhere 24/7. Occupiers are

not liable for rent and rates - which can be quite

prohibitive of course. I am an old retailer -

previously I worked for House of Fraser for a

long time. Next the Sook brand will be rolled out

in 17 stores in the UK, doubling the company by

the end of the year which is hugely exciting. We

are going international as we have nearly secured

a site in North America which is a real game

changer. So what we are doing is not just telling

the UK market that retail needs to reinvent itself,

we are helping to find a solution for everybody

across the planet - and that is exciting."

ONLINE AND offline community of more

than 65,000 women, egg & co, was

launched by Kylie Reid five years ago. Now

the group has taken a big step into the real

world taking up a city centre retail space

where female-led retail brands will be on

sale. The 7,000 square feet store at 51

George Street is designed as a colourful

hub with a co-working space for women

alongside a range of high-profile brands

and new names.

Among the female-led, Scottish brands

that will be on display are these: the Tartan

Blanket company, global brand Snag

Tights, florist Fruit Salad Flowers,

sustainable fashion label Beira and Rare

Birds Books. Coulters estate agency, the

main sponsors of the new egg & co space

on George Street, will have experts on

hand to help with all housing and

mortgage enquiries. There will also be

comfortable seating areas, regular

networking and speaker events and yoga

sessions to promote wellbeing. Space is

being given to charity ‘It’s Good 2 Give’

that supports young cancer patients and

their families.

The group also recently introduced a

new partnership with Appointedd, the

Edinburgh-based online booking platform

led by Scottish entrepreneur Leah

Hutcheon. The agreement means egg

users can source and book appointments

online any time of the day or week without

leaving its newly developed website.

Head egg Kylie Reid said: “We’ve built a

massive and loyal female following of more

than 65,000 women across egg in Scotland

over the past few years and established a

network of 35,000 engaging and

supportive women in Edinburgh alone.

During that time the egg community

has helped local businesses grow and

become trusted services widely used by

our community.

“We’ve spent a year developing a new

website to reflect this by creating a new

online directory of businesses and services,

many of which can be booked direct using

Appointedd’s booking platform. I’m so

excited to be taking our predominantly

online community to the next stage with

the launch of egg & co and its first physical

presence in the centre of the Scottish

capital on George Street. From day one,

we’re hosting a diverse range of local,

female-led brands, as well as creating areas

for people to chat, work and focus on their

health and well being. I also believe that

the opening of egg & co represents the

changing face of our high street which

is shifting to offering experiences

alongside retail.”


Café review: SANTU COFFEE


Compiled by David Albury

Stylish new place for coffee lovers in the Old Town


THERE ARE DECENT places in the

vicinity, such as Milkman (two

branches on Cockburn Street),

Hideout (Upper Bow), The

Edinburgh Larder (Blackfriars

Street) and Procaffeination (St

Mary’s Street), but otherwise the

Old Town area is dominated by

chains and touristy cafés for whom

coffee is something of an

(overpriced) afterthought. Things

may now be changing.

Santu Coffee on the Canongate

has recently arrived to fill a

significant gap and to raise the

general standard. They have judged

that, as well as a passing tourist

trade, there will be sufficient coffee

lovers who work and live nearby

- including the well populated places

such as Moray House, The Scottish

Parliament and Dynamic Earth.

After feeling deserted for many

months, The Royal Mile has again

started to regain some of its usual

liveliness with the chatter of tourists

again evident in the old closes, shops

and the museums.

Santu Coffee is a snug and

stylish newcomer on the

Canongate, a few doors down from

The Museum of Edinburgh.

Although primarily a takeaway, they

do have one comfortable armchair

and a wooden bench for those

wanting to sit in. It’s a lovely cosy

spot to shelter from any wintry

weather. On our recent visit there, it

was sleeting outside, and a warm

drink and shelter was much needed.

While there you can enjoy their

excellent coffee, teas and hot

chocolate- as well as a selection of

baking (their almond croissants are

particularly tasty).

Santu are aware that they are

taking something of a risk with this

venture. As one of their baristas put

it, “there may be a very good reason

why there have been no other

specialty coffee places on the Royal

Mile”. They are also aware that their

style of course might not be to the

taste of many of the tourists,

especially those from Mediterranean

countries. They will likely be used to

more traditional dark roasts, rather

than the more subtle and varied

third wave coffee which Santu serve,

using beans from their own range,

all with subtly different

characteristics. They currently have

four roasts on offer, with Coffee 1

their usual expresso, with Coffee 2

generally on filter. Coffee 1 is grown

by Alfredo Casagrande and has sweet

and fruity notes with a balanced

body. All four are sourced from

growers in Brazil. For many years

Brazilian coffee tended to be

overlooked the specialty coffee

world, due to the size and scale of the

Brazilian coffee industry. Only a

small percentage of the beans

produced there are of the specialty

variety, but those that are are often of

exceptional quality.

Washington Vieira, the man

behind Santu, has a wealth of

experience in the coffee trade, having

grown up on his grandparent’s coffee

farm in Brazil before working as a

coffee trader in New York. Santu

supplies beans to a number of coffee

houses and eateries in Scotland,

including the Milk cafés and the

recently opened Kate’s on



1 Scottish lake (4)

4 Overcast, uninteresting (4)

9 Leather gun holder slung

from the hips (7)

10 Time after hostilities have

stopped (4-3)

12 American expression for places with

toilets and hand basins (4,5)

13 Give birth to baby cow (5)

14 Edge or border (4)

15 One of several parts published at

regular intervals (10)

17 Magical words used by Ali Baba (4,6)

20 Unable to speak (4)

22 Difficult puzzle, or a pretentious

person (5)

23 Climate that is between polar and

tropical, moderate (9)

25 Loss of memory (7)

26 Most close (7)

27 Extended journey with several

stops (4)

28 Stare at intently (4)


2 Ring on a target furthest from the

centre (5)

3 Barbed spear fired from a gun (7)

4 Pay money etc into a bank

account (7)

5 Final chance (4,4)

6 Maps (6)

7 Time of the year when certain game

cannot be hunted (6,6)

8 The East (6)

11 Taught to a high level (4-8)

16 Coffee made by forcing steam

through ground beans (8)

17 Child who has lost both parents (6)

18 Weather that is clear and dry and not

expected to change (3-4)

19 A souvenir (7)

21 Inhalation (6)

24 Communication sent from a

computer (1-4)


Across: 1 Loch, 4 Dull, 9 Holster, 10 Post-war, 12 Rest rooms, 13 Calve, 14 Side, 15 Instalment, 17

Open sesame, 20 Dumb, 22 Poser, 23 Temperate, 25 Amnesia, 26 Nearest, 27 Tour, 28 Ogle.

Down: 2 Outer, 3 Harpoon, 4 Deposit, 5 Last call, 6 Charts, 7 Closed season, 8 Orient, 11

Well-educated, 16 Espresso, 17 Orphan, 18 Set-fair, 19 Memento, 21 Breath, 24 E-mail.

Book for Valentine’s Day

THE IVY ON the Square has

joined forces with Letters of Note

to give diners a gift to treasure

this Valentine’s Day. Love is an

exclusive book compiled by

Shaun Usher, featuring a

collection of the most passionate

love letters written in history,

reimagined by The Ivy Collection

with a bespoke cover and

foreword. The book will be

offered to all guests who book a

table in the restaurant on

Monday, 14 February.

Inspired by love, a limitededition

cocktail menu designed

to make even the cold-hearted

blush will also be available for

guests from Friday, 11 to Monday,

14 February, alongside Pillow Talk

an indulgent sharing dessert.


Devil’s in the detail

Stay over, stay in and order room service at the decadent House of Gods


singletons who dread 14 February. I

received some very insightful dating

advice recently: “If you’re single, join

Tinder. You’ll still be single but will feel a

hell of a lot better about it.”

When Valentine’s Day rolls around I

console myself by remembering at least

I’m not in the restaurant business any

more. An evening that ought to be full of

romance and promise can be a bit of a

dirge. Restaurants require tables of four

and six to liven up the atmosphere and its

no fun to be full of rather miserable

looking couples who dine out once a year.

At least Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday

this year, making for an unexpectedly

prosperous night. Its a real snore when it’s

a Saturday and your restaurant would be

full anyway.

(Above) sexy

irreverence is in

abundance at House of

Gods in Cowgate

What about something a tad more

erotic for Valentine’s Day, or any old day

of the year if you’re the classy sort? I

recently caught up with Mike Baxter, who

with his brother Ross owns House of

Gods Hotel in Edinburgh’s Cowgate.

Although a fairly new establishment it’s

already caused quite a stir and no wonder

- the rooms are furnished with the sort of

decadence that might make burlesque

star Dita Von Teese blush.

Mike and Ross have had their finger on

the pulse of the hotel business for a long

time. After opening Kip, their

“flashpacking” hotel in London in 2014

they soon established their boutique

hostel in Edinburgh aptly named Baxters,

Mike said: “Well it was good enough for

the Hiltons!”

The entrepreneurial brothers decided

to focus on a new vision for the

Edinburgh luxury market.

“We wanted to recreate the opulence of

the Orient Express and Versailles but give

it a more contemporary, modern twist

and make it accessible and friendly to

everybody.” Opening in 2019 they were

soon hit by lockdown. “We used that time

to take a good look at what we were

offering and learned a lot about refining

our ideas. A popular experience is Treat

Me Like I’m Famous, where you can press

buttons in your room and a butler comes

running with all sorts of indulgences

from prosecco to a midnight feast.”

House of Gods doesn’t have a dining

room although residents can enjoy their

equally sumptuous Casablanca Cocktail

Club bar. “The experience is all about

enjoying a slumber party in your room

with your partner. We order in Civernos

Pizzas for our guests, which they love.

Most people check in at 3pm and don’t

leave their rooms until checkout at noon

the next day.” Breakfast is delivered in a

hamper, so lazy mornings are to be

actively encouraged.

It’s no surprise House of Gods has

already been voted as Edinburgh’s sexiest

hotel. “It’s all about experiencing an

other-worldy fantasy, falling down the

rabbit hole,” Mike tells me. “And the walls

are well soundproofed.”

Mike and Ross are already establishing

House of Gods in Glasgow, Manchester

and Cardiff. “The plan is to have a House

of Gods in every city.” With a concept so

glamorous and sensual it would be rude

not to.

Juliet Lawrence Wilson

Drinks that

reflect the


of nature


innovative drinks offerings

going on in Edinburgh and

the Lothians, it can be

difficult to keep up. Some

especially romantic tipples

have been created by Buck &

Birch creative duo, Tom

Chisholm and Rupert Waites.

Their ethos is to connect to

the landscape and shore,

creating exciting drinks that

reflect the majesty and

romance of nature. I tried

their Aelder Elixir, a dark and

fruity wild elderberry liquor.

Every sip was warming and

indulgent and rounded off a

good dinner with a nibble of

dark chocolate. A super

Valentine’s Day gift would be

a visit to their East Lothian

distillery where guests can

sample all their concoctions,

some wild foraged treats and

limited edition releases. To

book and purchase their

Elixirs of Love selection visit


The ever innovative

Campbell and Giselle at

Eddie’s Fishmarket have

come up with something

incredibly special just in time

for Valentine’s Day. Vintage

Sturia Caviar is available to

purchase for £39 per ounce.

Follow @eddiesedinburgh on

Instagram for seafood

inspiration. Meantime pop

the champers open and

serve your lover these:


Mix together 100g wholemeal strong bread flour and 70g

plain white flour. Add a teaspoon of fast action yeast and a

pinch of salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry

ingredients and pour in 225ml of slightly warmed milk and

one large beaten egg. Whisk the ingredients together until

a smooth batter has formed then cover with clingfilm and

leave in a warm spot for 1 hour. Heat a skillet with a little

oil and fry the blinis by dropping in small spoonfuls. Once

the blinis have started to bubble on the surface, turn them

and cook for another minute until golden. Serve with sour

cream and caviar.




Auld Reekie Retold team, L-R: Oliver

Taylor, Anna MacQuarrie, Suzy Murray,

Gwen Thomas and Nico Tyack


Birds book lands at National museum

Conservator Lisa Cumming

installs Birds of America

at The National Museum

of Scotland

Auld Reekie Retold

Art from the city’s collection charts Edinburgh’s story

Stewart Attwood


12 February, the National Museum

of Scotland will display 46 unbound

prints from National Museums

Scotland's collection and a rare

bound volume of Audubon's Birds of


The book is one of the largest,

rarest and most coveted and was

first published as a series between

1827 and 1838.

Artist James Audubon (1785-

1851) produced four volumes

consisting of 435 hand coloured

prints. It was the culmination of his

ambition to paint every bird species

in North America. The illustrations

are animated, dramatic and detailed.

The life-sized birds were printed on

paper which was almost 1 metre

long, but even then some larger

species had to be posed in contorted

positions to fit them on the page.

These illustrations are from nature

and the works were pioneering in

depicting the birds in lifelike poses.

Traditionally celebrated as the

American woodsman, adventurer

and naturalist, Audubon identified

more than 20 new species. His work

hangs in the White House, and his

artwork is some of the most famous

in the history of art and natural


MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Edinburgh’s collections

belong to the city, and a new exhibition will give

everyone in Edinburgh a sense of ownership of and

connection to its objects and their stories. The display

will mark the culmination of Auld Reekie Retold,

the largest collections inventory project ever

undertaken in the organisation’s history and runs

until February 2023.

Over the past three years, this ambitious project has

recorded, catalogued and revealed thousands of items

housed in stores and venues across the City. Auld

Reekie Retold connects objects in the collection, which

has been growing steadily since the 1870s, with people

and places in the city, uncovering new stories from

Edinburgh and its residents.

The culture body have told some of the stories online,

with their digital events and this exhibition will be a

chance to see some of the highlight objects uncovered

by the team, and also to find out about the behind the

scenes work involved in maintaining the collection.

Cllr Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities

Convener said:”As we look ahead to 2022 at the City

Art Centre it looks set to be a truly great year. The City

Art Centre is one of the most accessible places in the

Capital for art lovers and is home to Edinburgh’s art

collection, one of the finest in the country.

“We’re delighted to be playing our part in the

Edinburgh Art Festival and hosting some fantastic

exhibitions. There are many highlights throughout the

year beginning in Spring with 'National Treasure: The

Scottish Modern Arts Association'. The major two-floor

exhibition will tell visitors the story of the unique

collection and the artists behind it including works by

William McTaggart and Joan Eardley.

“And then later in the year we’ll host the fascinating

findings from 'Auld Reekie Retold'. This fantastic

project is allowing us to develop a fuller understanding

and appreciation of what we have right here in our

collections. The project has helped to uncover their

stories, broaden participation with our Museums &

Galleries and ensure their long-term relevance. This is

the story of our great city that we all love. It needs to

be told and I look forward to visitors discovering it for

themselves this autumn.”

Queens’ Hall

is back with

a diverse


for 2022


Jason Fox: Life at the Limit

Ex-special forces soldier, star of TV’s

‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’, ‘Inside The Real

Narcos’ and author of The Number

One Bestseller ‘Battle Scars’; Jason Fox

will bring to the stage and on tour for

the first time the remarkable story of

his daring exploits in a distinguished

career as an elite operator in the UK

Special Forces (SBS).


Classic Rock Show

The Classic Rock Show is back, bigger

and even better, celebrating the very

best-of-the-best of Classic Rock.

Paying tribute to its favourite rock

heroes CRS thunders through

legendary performances from the

likes of Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits,

Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, AC/DC,

Queen, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac,

The Who and many more.


Drake Music Scotland and Hebrides

Ensemble - Echoes

Following the multi award-winning

‘Diversions’ in 2019, Drake Music

Scotland and Hebrides Ensemble

present ‘Echoes’. A concert of new

works by disabled composers.

Ben Lunn has once again invited

composers from across the UK to

write chamber works for acoustic and

digital instruments.


Milton Jones in Milton: Impossible

One man. One Mission.

Is it possible? No, not really.

Him with the shirts from TV

programmes like ‘Mock the Week’,

‘Live at the Apollo’ and ‘Radio 4’.

Milton reveals the truth about being

an international spy, before being

given a disappointing new identity

which forced him to appear on ‘Mock

the Week’ and ‘Live at the Apollo’.


Matt Crockett

Patter & pints

Martin P McAdam


Local and Gilded Balloon,

regulars at the Edinburgh

Fringe, this is evening

entertainment that blends the

street food of The Pitt Market

with live music and comedy.

Leith Social's 'Patter & Pints'

nights have been running

throughout November and

December, with more to come

this month. Set to take place on

24 February and 31 March,

Leith Social is a night of

comedy, entertainment and

good food.

Previous events featured acts

such as Christopher MacArthur

Boyd, Susan Riddell, Amanda

Hurst and Jesus L’Oreal (Jesus

appeared on stage at Club

Comedian, Fern Brady

back) – with music from the

likes of Jimi Get Your Funk On.

The Pitt Market regulars Róst

and Barnacles & Bones will

provide their usual mouthwatering

selection of

street food.

Tickets for Leith Social are

£12.50 on the Gilded Balloon

Cumming a couple


of years

Mina at the Book




Scotland programme launch

Hidden in plain sight

A TEN DAY ARTS festival like no other

will take place from 9 to 18 June at one of

the most imposing buildings in

Edinburgh which has lain empty and

unused for more than half a century.

The former Royal High School will

come to life with live music, visual art,

dance, theatre and spoken word between

9 and 18 June 2022 when Hidden Door

hold this year’s pop up festival there. The

central chamber will become a space for

dance on an elevated stage. Outside there

will be bars on the front terrace enjoying

fabulous views over Holyrood, and an

outdoor stage will be built in the car park.

The empty building was considered as

the possible home for the new Scottish

Parliament, but none of those plans came

to fruition. The school moved to

Davidson’s Mains in the 1960s and the

council has not found a good use for it

since except as storage. The building is

made up of interlinking rooms, staircases

and corridors which will be filled with art

for a last hurrah before it is developed as

an education centre for the musicians of

the future.

David Martin, Creative Director of

Hidden Door, said: “It’s not that hard to

find as a building as it is pretty prominent

in the city centre, perched on the side of

Calton Hill. We had always clocked it - at

Hidden Door there’s a group of us who

are always aware of buildings in the city

which are conspicuously dark, so when

we built up a relationship with the council

we started talking about the Royal High

School and the possibility. We were

amazed at how open the council were to

Hidden Door coming in and doing our

thing in the building.

“What we are really trying to do is

shine a light on what we call the best new

emerging talent in visual art, music,

dance, theatre, spoken word in Scotland.

“And one of the ideas is that if we bring

that together then audiences get a chance

people to pick and mix between different

art forms that they might not necessarily

go out of their way to see. So people can

create their own experiences where they

get to see visual art, go and see a music

show, sit in on a spoken word

performance that they might not

normally go and look at. But above and

beyond all of that we are also for this

particular edition of Hidden Door we are

commissioning collaborations . We are

asking artists and musicians set designers

and costume collectives to work together

to create some specially commissioned

performances for the building.

“There are over 100 doors and we are

opening some doors and gates which have

not been opened for more than 50 years.

That involves a lot of rust, a bit of

blacksmith work and some careful

conservation work, but we are really

excited to be able to open up the original

school gates and the audience will be able

to find their way in just like the pupils did

back in the 1960s.”

Events like this involve an amount of

fundraising and in the case of a pop up

festival like Hidden Door that means it is

back to the drawing board each time.

David said: “With Hidden Door we

have always wanted to be as independent

as possible. We generate all our own

funding through ticket sales, bar sales,

grants and funding. We make that money

each year and the best way people can

support Hidden Door is to come along,

buy tickets and buy a pint and get their

friends to do the same. That is supporting

Hidden Door.”


High Performance Podcast Live!


SCO 2022: Schubert’s Trout


Consone Quartet


SCO 2022: A French Adventure


SNJO: Pop! Rock! Soul!

How do Premier League football

coaches lead their teams to victory?

Special guests Steve Clarke:

Scotland Men’s National Team

Football Manager and Ollie Patrick:

Physiology and Lifestyle

Management Expert. The High

Performance Podcast - offers an

intimate glimpse into the lives of

high-achieving, successful people.

Franz Schubert conjured the

carefree melodiousness of his

radiant ‘Trout’ Quintet as a 22-yearold

kicking back with companions

on a countryside holiday. It’s music

of good times and warm friendship

– just the piece for Principal

Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev at

the keyboard for an intimate

afternoon of chamber music.

The Consone Quartet programme

for New Town Concerts at The

Queen’s Hall offers a rare and

intriguing chance to hear quartet

music by Fanny Mendelssohn

alongside that of her brother Felix.

The current BBC New Generation

Artists have made a name for

themselves on Radio 3, and on tours

in Europe and South America.

British cellist extraordinaire Steven

Isserlis joins Principal Conductor

Maxim Emelyanychev for a

sophisticated soirée amid some of

France’s most irresistible music –

and a quick trip to Hungary. Isserlis

brings his lustrous intensity and

celebrated joie de vivre to Saint-

Saëns’ spirited Cello Concerto No 1,

and Fauré’s ‘Élégie’.

Award-winning vibraphonist Joe

Locke and vocalist extraordinaire

Kenny Washington join the SNJO to

play tracks from the modern

American songbook with

wonderfully popular songs by the

likes of Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell,

Billy Joel, and Bill Withers, Earth,

Wind & Fire, Led Zeppelin, Heart and

Steely Dan.



The mystery of...

Rizzio’s grave

Dr Jan Bondeson is a retired senior lecturer and consultant physician.

This is an extract from his book Murder Houses of Edinburgh...

We know that back in

March 1566, David

Rizzio, the secretary and

court favourite of Mary

Queen of Scots, bit the

dust at Holyrood Palace.

After he had become

deeply unpopular among the Scottish nobles, a party

of conspirators forced their way into Holyrood, led by

Lord Ruthven and Mary’s husband Henry Lord

Darnley. They entered Mary’s private apartments,

where she was having a meal with her closest

confidantes, held her at gunpoint and waved daggers

in her face. The craven Rizzio cowered behind her, but

the murderous throng seized hold of him with a hearty

goodwill, wrenched his fingers away from the Queen’s

skirts, and dragged him out into the ante-room, where

they murdered him with 56 stab wounds.

One of the great unsolved mysteries of Edinburgh is

Murder of David Rizzio (above)

by Jean Lulvès 1868

where David Rizzio was buried. We know that his

mutilated corpse was thrown out through the window

into the courtyard, carried into the porter’s lodge, and

later buried by the door to Holyrood Abbey. But

according to the old chronicler George Buchanan,

Mary had him disinterred and reburied in one of the

royal tombs, containing the remains of her father

James V and his family: “Her first proceeding was to

cause David’s body, which had been buried before the

neighbouring church door, to be removed in the night,

and placed in the tomb of the late king and his

children, which alone, with a few unaccountable

transactions, gave rise to strange observations; for

what stronger confession of adultery could she make,

than she should equal to her father and brothers in his

last honours, a base born reptile, neither liberally

educated, nor distinguished by any public service, and

what was still more detestable that she should place the

miscreant almost in the very embrace of Magdalene of

Vallois, the late queen.”

On the other hand, there has long been a tradition at

Holyrood that Rizzio was buried there, in an

unmarked grave in the Abbey grounds. Thirdly, the

east wall of Canongate Kirk has a plaque above a worn

old gravestone, saying that this was the grave of David

Rizzio, transported here from Holyrood, presumably

in 1688. This version of events has gained widespread

credence on the internet, and was accepted by Rizzio’s

biographer, Mr David Tweedie.


A series of letters from Sir William

Drury agree that Rizzio was buried

in another part of the church, and

not in the royal tomb

At Register House, I found a memorandum by a

certain Doctor Sibbald, saying that when the vault was

discovered and searched in 1688, in contained only the

royal corpses of King James, Queen Magdalene, Lord

Darnley, the Countess of Argyll and the King’s two

sons, all in good order. There was no trace of David

Rizzio. Furthermore, Bishop Lesly said that in spite of

Buchanan’s exhortations, there was evidence that

Rizzio had been buried “in the Porch of the Abbey

Church”. Bishop Lesly was a contemporary and thus in

a position to know. The Sibbald memorandum agrees

with a statement by Bishop Keith to the effect that

when a party of noblemen inspected the royal vault in

1683, Rizzio’s remains were not there. The original

statement as to the disposal of Rizzio’s remains, by the

French Ambassador Paul de Foix, merely says that he

was given an honourable burial in the [Holyrood]

church, like a royal personage. A series of letters from

Sir William Drury agree that Rizzio was buried in

another part of the church, and not in the royal tomb.

With this evidence at hand, I would treat Buchanan’s

version of the story as a falsification intended as a slur

on Mary: there is good evidence that Rizzio was not

buried in the royal tomb, and it would of course have

been entirely out of character for Mary to have the

Above L-R: The Conspirator’s

Doorway, David Rizzio and Mary

Queen of Scots.

Right: plaster relief depicting

Rizzio’s murder.

low-born Rizzio buried in the tomb of her noble


A plaque on the east wall of the Canongate Kirk in

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, above a very worn old

gravestone, proclaims that according to tradition, this

is the grave of David Rizzio, transported here from

Holyrood. In the early 17th century, Holyrood Abbey

served the inhabitants of Canongate as their parish

church. King James VII, who wanted the Abbey to

serve as the chapel of the Order of the Thistle, gave

money to have a new church constructed in the

Canongate itself.

Founded in 1688 and finished in 1691, in a quaint

Dutch style with a prominent gable, Canongate Kirk

has served as the local parish church ever since. In its

kirkyard, various notable people have been buried over

the years, including the economist Adam Smith, the

philosopher Dugald Stewart and the poet Robert

Ferguson. It seems highly adventurous to count Rizzio

among the worthies buried in Canongate Kirkyard,

however, since it would involve the reinterment of the

remains of a Catholic with no living friends in a

Protestant kirkyard at least 120 years after his death.

The gravestone pointed out as that of Rizzio is

certainly of 17th century origin, but its inscription is

wholly illegible; it may well be the stone of Bishop

James Ramsay, known to have been buried in

Canongate Kirkyard. The tradition that Rizzio is

buried at Canongate does not predate 1920, and the

plaque connecting the gravestone with Rizzio is from

the 1950s; it must be suspected that the story of his

reinterment at Canongate is a hoax intended for the

more gullible of the Edinburgh tourists.

Having disposed of two of the three alternatives as

to Rizzio’s final resting-place, we are left with the fully

credible version that he was given a honourable burial

at Holyrood Abbey, as originally suggested by Paul de

Foix, Bishop Lesly and Sir William Drury. Of these

three worthies, Bishop Lesly was the only one to

specify the location of the grave: in the porch of the

Abbey Church. Much later, James Grant wrote that “In

the middle of the passage leading from the quadrangle

to the chapel is shown a flat square stone, which is said

to mark the grave of Rizzio; but it is older than his day,

and has probably served as the tomb for someone else.”

A tourist guide just says that Rizzio’s grave is in the

passage leading from the quadrangle. Now a porch is

defined as a room-like structure at a church’s main

entrance, so if Bishop Lesly was right, these writers

must be wrong. According to Charles Mackie, the

porch of Holyrood Abbey once stood at the western

side of the church, by the main entrance, but it was

demolished in 1755.

In prolific Edinburgh mythology, I have no doubt

that the tripartite ghost of David Rizzio will continue

to haunt the royal tomb at Holyrood and the spurious

gravesite in the Canongate Kirkyard, being admired by

the gullible tourists, although it is tempting to exclaim,

with Thomas Hood:

Don’t go to weep upon my grave

And think that there I be

They haven’t left an atom there

Of my anatomie.

But for the minority who prefer truth to make-believe,

Rizzio is buried in the grounds of Holyrood Abbey,

most probably in or near the porch at the west gate, as

suggested by the Sibbald memorandum.

This is an edited extract from Jan Bondeson’s book

Murder Houses of Edinburgh (Troubador Publishing

2020), of which signed copies are available at

Edinburgh Books, West Port.


Playing football

in the right way

Hibs’ fans buy

into Maloney’s




HIBS FANS HAVE always demanded

entertaining and attacking football played on

the ground and that is why Shaun Maloney

was appointed as new manager last month.

The former Scotland international left his

role as Belgium assistant manager having

joined Roberto Martinez’s backroom team

in 2018 and will be assisted by ex-Hibs

captain and former Wigan team-mate

Gary Caldwell.

Hibs’ CEO Ben Kensell said: “We wanted

to acquire a manager who has an attacking

mentality, who’s progressive, and someone

who is hungry for the opportunity to build

something here at this big club. Shaun has

been the standout candidate throughout this

process as his idea of football is completely

aligned with ours and the history of this

football club. He believes in attacking,

possession-based football, and has

implemented it at the highest level with

Roberto Martínez at Belgium.”


The fans have already witnessed the new

style of play with victories over Aberdeen

and Dundee United and although the team

lost to Celtic in Glasgow, the players

continued to adopt Maloney’s philosophy.

The 38-year-old said: “It will take a bit

of time for the players to understand how

I want them to play, but the coaching

process starts this morning and we will

build from there.

“The connection between us and the

supporters is key at the start. We have to try

and look to excite and inspire the fans.

“I want to try and implement a style which

I believe is the best way to win, it is not just

for style’s sake - I really believe it is the best

way to win and excite the fans at the

same time.

“We have to inspire the players to play a

certain way and hopefully build a connection

between myself, the players and the fans.

Hibs coach Shaun Maloney aims to

punch above the Leith club’s weight

“I always felt there was a different way of

playing when I was a player myself. In my

late twenties, when we played against top

teams and other nations I began to get

exposed to different styles of play.

“Roberto Martinez was a big influence

on me at that stage in my career and more

Ian Jacobs

recently in the last few years with Belgium.

That influence has given me a deep desire to

create a different style in Scotland.

“Hopefully the way we play will show that

even more but we have to compete, we have

to fight in every game, every training session

and every moment if we want to achieve.”

Gullan heads

across Forth to

Raith Rovers


JAMIE GULLAN has joined Raith Rovers after

leaving Hibs in the transfer window.

Nicknamed “The Hammer’”by fans and team

mates at Easter Road, the 22-year-old joined

Hibs in 2014 after starting in the Hearts youth

coaching system.

He quickly progressed through the Academy

ranks scoring one of the goals in the final as

Hibs beat Aberdeen to win the 2017–18

Scottish Youth Cup.

Neil Lennon gave him his first-team debut

against Faroese club NSI Runavik in the Europa

League qualifiers in July 2018 and since then he

featured in 37 games, scoring three goals, all of

them in cup competitions.

His first was in a 5-2 victory over Inverness

Caledonian Thistle in the quarter-final of the

Scottish Cup but just as he was starting to

become a regular in the first-team, Covid struck

and football was suspended before returning

without fans.

Gullan was a popular player with the

supporters for his commitment to the cause

and he has left the club with their best wishes

for the future.

He enjoyed three successful loans spells

with Raith Rovers and decided to make the

move permanent.

He said: “I’m delighted to be back at the club

in a Raith Rovers shirt and this time it’s a

permanent deal so it’s a bit different to the

six-months loan spells we’ve been doing in

the past.

“I’ll now be able to concentrate on Raith

100% without looking to see what’s happening

back at Hibs.

“I hope to hit the ground running in some

important matches coming up soon. I’m

looking to them and just buzzing to get back

playing football.

“The gaffer (John McGlynn) here put faith in

me at a young age so I am thankful for that and

that’s helped me as a player and it’s now time

for me to repay that faith. ”

Gullan joins a former Hibs’ teammate at

Starks Park, Sam Stanton. Jamie said: “I was a

young boy when he was in the first team so I

know how Sam plays and I know good a player

he is. I can’t wait to link up with him. We are

both fresh and looking to hit the ground

running as soon as possible.”

Ian Jacobs


A new era at Drumtassie

Nigel Duncan reports anglers

can now enjoy coarse ponds

Nigel Duncan

DRUMTASSIE IS ABOUT to enter a new era with

a mouth-watering prospect for coarse anglers as

the long-awaited coarse ponds are scheduled to

open next month.

Bosses are set to release the pricing structure soon

and the coarse lakes are around half a mile from the

current three-pond trout facility.

A large number of anglers, including specimen carp

hunters, are likely to fill the car park judging by calls

seeking information.

Bosses plan to make Drumtassie “Scotland’s finest

coarse fishing location”.

Meanwhile, the trout ponds, used by anglers from

all over Central Scotland, continue to produce.

Recent catches have included one of 22lb, another

of 17lb and a good number of double-figure fish.

Weekly stocking is a feature.

Buzzers, cat’s whisker patterns, yellow dancer, diawl

bach, FAB flies, mini-lures, particularly black and green,

and chamois patterns have regularly delivered over the

winter and, if there is a wee ripple on the top of the

water, a sedge hog can be deadly according to Leeanne.

Ambitions to be Scotland’s

finest coarse fishing location

Drumtassie fish are reared on quality pellets and the

lakes are fed by a nearby stream, continuing to

oxygenate the water which caters for anglers of many

degrees of competency. Beginners, for example, don’t

have to cast far to locate fish.

Car parking is a few steps from the Kingfisher and

Mallard ponds and the access is flat making this ideal

for those with a wheelchair.

Indeed, wheelchair-bound Kenneth Harper fishes the

water several times a week and he was all smiles

recently with a 10.5lb trout safely landed after being

tempted by a Millennium Bug.

Alan Rennie

Boost for jumps meeting

Musselburgh’s Scottish Festival Trials under starter’s orders

MUSSELBURGH Racecourse’s

premier jumps meeting of the

season got a welcome boost with

the Scottish Government’s

announcement that Covid-19

hospitality rules are to be relaxed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said

that in light of an improvement in

Covid-19 statistics, licensed

premises and hospitality venues

would no longer be restricted to

table service and one metre

distancing rules.

It means the East Lothian course’s

big-money bet365 Scottish Festival

Trials weekend (5 and 6 February)

can go ahead as normal, with guests

able to enjoy Musselburgh’s full

range of bar, restaurant and

hospitality services.

Musselburgh Racecourse general

manager, Bill Farnsworth, said the

development would be welcomed

by all five Scottish racecourses

which have been operating within

constraints which has severely

impacted on visitor experience

and income revenues.

Mr Farnsworth said: “This is

excellent news, not just for

Musselburgh but for the Scottish

racing industry as a whole. We fully

understood the need for caution at

large sporting events, but now the

situation has changed significantly,

we welcome the chance to offer the

full racing and entertainment

packages on which our race

meetings depend, and which allows

us to deliver to visitors the best

experience we can.

“The bet365 Scottish Festival

Trials weekend is one of the most

important fixtures on the Scottish

jumps racing calendar and attracts

high quality entries from the UK and

Ireland, with many horses being

trialled for a potential tilt at the

Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.

“The pedigree of the horses

racing up Musselburgh’s final

straight is all important, but equally

vital is a large and enthusiastic

crowd who contribute to the electric

atmosphere at big meetings.

“Now that we have the green

light to open up all our facilities and

to provide our well-established

five-star experience, we can look

forward to a fantastic weekend of

premier racing, which I hope sets

the tone for the rest of the jumps

season and into our Flat meetings in

the summer.”

With more than £260,000 in prize

money over the weekend festival,

the Saturday meeting includes the

£40,000 feature race the bet365

Edinburgh National, while the

Sunday meeting boasts three

£25,000 races, including the bet365

Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial.

Advance Adult Tickets are

discounted by £5 (normal admission

£30) until midnight on 4 February

and race goers are advised to book

in advance.

For more information and to book

tickets visit: www.musselburghracecourse.co.uk

15% discount on all shipping and packing materials when quoting code PS101

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