The Edinburgh Reporter March 2022

Your monthly look at the news in Edinburgh

Your monthly look at the news in Edinburgh

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Whale of a time

Jawbones replica set for

The Meadows

White van men The Good Life Posh pizza

Food charity eats up miles

in new vehicle

Long wait to join city growers

happy with their lot

Morningside eatery serving

slices not to be sniffed at

Jambo jeopardy

Tynecastle midfield must

address missing goals

Page 3 Page 9 Page 12 Page 17

Page 23

March 2022


Martin P McAdam

But there’s a red light for those waiting at the allotment gates

See pages 12 to 14



MARCH USUALLY feels more like the

beginning of the year than any other month

for me. With the odd blip here and there,

the weather can often be better and we can

look ahead to the clocks changing again.

(Spring forward Fall back just in case).

Suddenly, we can all have a bit more spring

in our step, and get outdoors even more - a

good thing to do as living through a

pandemic has taught us.

I met several people who have allotments

to speak to them for this issue. They benefit

from the exercise of gardening and the

camaraderie of fellow gardeners. The only

pest is the long waiting lists for allotments in

Edinburgh - twelve years in one case. In the

face of the ever increasing cost of living it

seems only right that people should be

allowed the opportunity of growing their

own food - and we met up with some active

community projects who encourage just

that. As we went to press National Lottery

announced an award of £93,900 to

Edinburgh Garden Partners to develop their

garden partnership programme in the city

matching socially isolated people with

volunteers who are looking for a shared

growing space. Good news indeed.

Dr Elsie Maud Inglis was a pioneer for

women and medicine, setting up The

Scottish Women’s Hospitals. She worked in

Serbia improving hygiene to reduce

epidemics such as typhus. (One of her

nurses who died from that was Louisa

Jordan after whom the Covid-19 hospital in

Glasgow was named.) In a continued effort

to raise funds for a statue to be raised in her

memory, there are many events being held

this month. www.elsieinglis.org

We are starting to look ahead to the

council elections. Voting for 63 councillors

will be conducted on 5 May, and with many

current councillors standing down there will

be some fresh faces at the City Chambers.

If you are a candidate then please get in

touch as we have questions for you.

In the words of Simon & Garfunkel we

would “like to know a little bit about you for

our files”.

Phyllis Stephen Editor

Planning News


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.





Work against the clock

Concerns raised over 20 metre telecoms mast

IN THE WORDS of Morningside

Community Council a recent planning

application is “very unattractive”.

Vodafone have applied to the council to

erect a telecoms mast right next to the

Morningside Clock under planning

reference number 22/00407/FUL. The

proposal is to install a 20 metre “street

furniture style mast” with 6 antennas, 3

cabinets and all ancillary development at a

site 30 Metres south-east of 424

Morningside Road.

A spokesperson for the community

council said: “This 20-metre-high mast

installation is very close to our

Morningside Clock. The applicants seem

to have been careful to avoid any reference

to this historic clock. One can anticipate

that most Morningside residents would

consider that the proposed mast will

adversely impact on the setting of this fine

clock, which is of course, the symbol of

our Community Council.


the numbers...

THERE HAS BEEN a relaxation in

the rules and guidance around

Covid-19 in England where the

Prime Minister announced the end

of Covid restrictions and the

discontinuation of free mass testing

from 1 April. Boris Johnson said it

was time to “get our confidence

back”. The Chief Medical

Officer Chris Whitty and Chief

Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance

were more careful in their approach

saying that this was not a trivial

illness and could still create

“significant problems”.

The Scottish Government in an

updated Strategic Framework has

removed the requirement for face

coverings from 21 March, but the

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said

to MSPs: “Covid is still a public

health risk here and elsewhere.”

Ms Sturgeon said that The

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“The adjacent householder has already

been in touch to express great concern

over, and opposition to, this mast

provision. (She had recently witnessed the

trial pit being excavated to check the

ground conditions for the installation.)

The householder had, apparently

successfully, argued against a previous

proposal that would have meant heavy

cutting back of the large trees next to this

site. The mast comes with the inevitable

series of metal cabinets, at a different

location to the existing telecoms mast and

existing cabinets.”

Looking at the plans which were

submitted with the application it would be

easy to miss the fact that the clock is even

there - and has been for some

considerable time. It is feared that a mast

such as this could get in the way of any

reopening of Morningside Station if the

Edinburgh South Suburban is ever

allowed to make any progress.

Scottish Government will retain free

testing and she confirmed that

those who test positive will be asked

to continue to self isolate.

She expressed frustration at the

lack of clarity from Westminster on

any support for the testing system

in Scotland, and explained there is a

change from the early days of the

pandemic when the idea was to try

to eliminate Covid or suppress it.

She said: “The strategic framework

makes clear that in future we will

rely less on legally imposed

measures to control the virus, and

more on vaccines, treatments,

sensible adaptations and good

public health behaviours.”

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



No bones about it

Jawbones to become a bronze archway at The Meadows

EDINBURGH COUNCIL has agreed to make a

£120,000 replica of the Jawbones in bronze and

replace the whale bones which cannot be put

back in their original outdoor position at The

Meadows as they are too fragile.

The funds already raised from a public

crowdfunding exercise would be used for the

new commission and for the placing of the arch

in a new indoor setting.

The Jawbones were in place for more than a

century, before being removed in May 2014 for

preservation, and a 3D scan has been completed

during the work.

Council conservators say it is no longer

possible for the jawbones to be placed outdoors

again as they would require some form of

support to avoid harm to the public. The risks

and the costs have made that possibility

unviable. The Jawbone is at Powderhall Bronze

where an initial attempt to place one of the

bones upright resulted in cracking, so the

company ceased activity until the council

assessed the options.

The Culture and Communities committee

decided that it would be best to replace them

with a bronze replica. They also need to find a

place for the originals which we understand have

been weathering outdoors for a time while

conservation work continued.

Council officers suggested that the costs of

maintaining the bones outdoors would be around

£5,000 a year - and they would be unlikely to

survive another 15 years even with maintenance.

Council fine art curator David Patterson said:

“The restoration of the Meadows Jawbone has

been a very turbulent journey thus far. We have

now reached the stage where we feel we need

some guidance on how to move forward and we

have proposed options in the report.

Cllr Donald Wilson Culture Convener said:

“I think the feeling is that it needs to be

displayed in a place where it will be seen because

it is such an iconic structure.”

Cllr Max Mitchell wondered what the fate of

the real Jawbone would be and suggested it

should be retained and put on display

somewhere. The council officer confirmed this

was in their sights.

The dismantling of the

Jawbones in 2014

Cllr Brown said he was not previously aware

of the history of the Jawbone and suggested that

the National Museum of Scotland might be a

suitable place for people to see it and learn

about its history.

Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links

(FoMBL) say they were not consulted. A

spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the

council is keeping quiet about their intentions.

Despite being fully involved at the start of the

project and before that we have not been

consulted about the latest proposals. FoMBL

have provided money for the restoration project

but not replacement. We are not against a

replacement, but we have not yet been consulted

as we would have been in the past. Our view is

that all interested parties should be consulted

Moving into Dundas Street

A NEW name has appeared on

Dundas Street as one of the

galleries moves with the times.

Husband and wife team

James and Flora Harvey are set

to modernise the shop at the

top of the street which forever

and a day has been known as

Anthony Woodd.

Mr Woodd will remain as a

consultant in the business, and

will assist the couple to curate

art for the gallery, but the new

Harvey & Woodd brand will

have a state-of-the-art website

and an exciting programme

of exhibitions.

There are more than 500

artworks on offer from oils to

watercolours, and prints to

sculptures, with a starting price

of £500, and the gallery will

continue to offer a broad

selection of Scottish paintings

for which it is known.

James has more than 30

and the various alternatives discussed in a

meaningful way along with full costings and

comparisons with other jawbone projects such

as the one in North Berwick. I definitely think

there is support for a replacement along with

information board to link with the history of the

1886 international exhibition.”

The arch dates from the International

Exhibition which took place on the Meadows in

1886. The bones were then gifted to the city by

Shetland knitters who had used the archway as

their stall at the expo.

Funding for the conservation was initially

supplied by Edinburgh World Heritage and the

council with public funding from a crowd

funding campaign. Further monies came from

a Shetland-based trust.

years experience in art and

specialises in 19th Century

British Art as well as

contemporary art in the

traditional style.

He said: “Our shared values

on running a traditional gallery

with a focus on regular

exhibitions that welcome and

encourage visitors to our

physical space will be be

supplemented by an improved

online presence.”

Neil Roger

Improve your




Scotland Beautiful is inviting community

groups working to boost their areas to

join the 2022 Beautiful Scotland and It’s

Your Neighbourhood initiatives.

Groups with an interest in improving

their local environment – from cities

and towns, to villages, parks or

community gardens – are welcome to

register and take part, with a deadline

of 30 April 2022.

Run by the charity in partnership with

the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the

projects give volunteers and groups the

chance to benefit from expert support,

resources and recognition for their

efforts to protect and enhance their local

places. The charity’s team of expert

volunteers also provides mentoring

throughout the year.

Following on the success of last year’s

theme of ‘Climate and Nature Friendly’,

and joining the national celebration of

Scotland’s Stories, 2022’s theme will be

the ‘Year of Stories’. Groups will have the

option to build on last year’s projects or

start new projects and focus activities

around this, finding innovative and

creative ways to tell the tale of their


Catherine Gee, Deputy CEO of Keep

Scotland Beautiful said, “The last year has

been very important for action on

climate change in communities.

Volunteers across Scotland make a huge

contribution to the essential work being

done to tackle the climate and nature

emergency we are facing, helping make

Scotland clean, green and sustainable for

nature and people. As a recognition of

this and of the challenges faced by

groups over the last year, the registration

fee for Beautiful Scotland was removed in

2021 and entry will also be free this year.

“We’d love people from wellestablished

groups, through to those just

starting out, to register for free support

through the Beautiful Scotland or It’s

Your Neighbourhood initiatives this year

– joining a network of passionate people

who they can share their stories with and

learn from.”



Dynamic Dandelion

Growing gardens will show the power of collective action


GARDENS WILL transform unexpected places

in Edinburgh in a new nationwide creative

project - Dandelion - demonstrating the power

of collective action and rediscovery of the

connection to the food we eat.

The Edinburgh Agroecology Coop (EAC) will

partner with creative arts programme,

Dandelion, to grow an Unexpected Garden at

Lauriston Farm, and in addition a floating

garden will tour the canal network in Scotland

docking at The Helix in Falkirk until September.

The whole programme will pop up all over

the country in a range of activities and festivals.

Thousands of seeds and plant plugs will be given

away so that everyone can have a go at growing.

The 100-acre Edinburgh site at Lauriston will

give members of the EAC and volunteers on the

site the chance of experimenting with farming

practices and nurture indigenous and existing


The EAC will work closely with North

Edinburgh Arts on the project as they invite

residents and wider communities to come

together to learn and grow.

Commissioned by EventScotland and funded

by The Scottish Government, Dandelion is

Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED:

Creativity which is a UK-wide programme. The

project is driven by the concept of “Sow, Grow,

Share” – not just food but ideas, music, scientific

knowledge, and community.

Dandelion will take a unique approach to

growing, and brings together artists, scientists,

performers, and technologists to present events

and programmes throughout Scotland,

including the Unexpected Gardens, and the

project will culminate in hundreds of harvest

celebrations later in the year.

The events will bring new life to community

libraries, car parks and tidal sites from the

Western Isles to the Borders, the Unexpected

Gardens will be a highlight of Dandelion, from

April to September this year.

UNBOXED’s Chief Creative Officer, Martin

Green said: “UNBOXED celebrates creativity in

its widest sense, placing it at the heart of people’s

everyday lives, as Dandelion is doing across

Scotland this summer. As a project, Dandelion

is literally about sowing seeds for the future,

which we hope will inspire local communities

and the next generation. It’s part of a

programme of five brilliant projects taking place

in Scotland as part of UNBOXED this year,

which combine art, science and tech, offering

amazing events and experiences for everyone.”

A spokesperson for Lauriston Farm said:

“Lauriston Farm is delighted to be part of this

nationwide project that celebrates the diversity

of growing, people and places. Having the

opportunity and support to create a unique

garden and cultural programme that connects

community, art and food is fantastic and

enhances pathways for creative engagement in

the farm. We're looking forward to welcoming

lots of people to explore and participate in the

garden and activities at the farm.”


New builds are in high demand


published National House Building

Council (NHBC) data showing there

were 12,599 new home registrations

in 2021, a 43% increase on 2020.

Compared to the eight-year-low of

2020, where registrations fell to 8,810,

the sector experienced a significant

rebound as it emerges from the

pandemic. New home completions

also showed a significant uplift in

Scotland, increasing by 29% from

8,584 in 2020 to 11,063 in 2021.

The pandemic has caused some

change in attitude towards housing,

with more people using their home

for work, as well as reflecting on their

recreational and family life.

Registrations for detached, semidetached,

terraced homes and

bungalows all increased in Scotland

in 2021. Numbers of detached

homes rose from 3,822 in 2020 to

5,974 in 2021.

NHBC Regional Director for

Scotland, Raymond Baxter said:

“Scotland’s new build housing

market remains positive, particularly

in the central belt, with strong

demand partly fuelled by weak

supply in the second-hand market.

“While land competition and

availability, local authority consent

delays, supply chain and labour

shortages continue to impact

production, the house-building

sector remains robust, and both

builder confidence and consumer

demand are high.”

Green spaces


ACCORDING TO new research from

Lancaster University, Britain could

produce up to eight times its current

levels of fruit and vegetable production if

all available urban and under-used green

space were made available for cultivation.

Allotments are a fantastic way of

growing one’s own fruit and vegetables

and retaining a regular supply of fresh

produce. The environmental benefits of

allotments are diverse. Not only do they

allow wildlife to flourish with the

biodiversity of the area, but they provide

a welcome plot on which to recycle one’s

kitchen and allotment waste.

I have asked for a National Allotment

Viability Study to review potential land

which could be developed for allotments

and community growing spaces. I raised

this issue in Holyrood as I know these

issues are important to my constituents.

With an increase in food prices and the

cost of living generally, the opportunity to

grow food in an allotment is increasingly

attractive, and applications rose during

the pandemic. But in Lothian the demand

is far outstripping the supply.

There are an estimated 47 allotments in

Edinburgh, with 35 of those under council

control, and at present the waiting times

are unacceptable, with people being

failed by their local councils and funding

not available to rectify the issue. The City

of Edinburgh Council manages 1,586

allotments in Edinburgh, but is required

to provide another 1,500 to meet its legal

obligations set out in the Community

Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

The role of the councils involved is to

ensure that nobody remains on an

allotment waiting list for longer than five

years. At present, 615 people in Edinburgh

have been waiting for longer than five

years and there are waiting times of up to

eight years in the City of Edinburgh, with

East Lothian standing at an astonishing 15

years. Due to increasing demand, these

issues will become exacerbated should

cash-strapped councils not act

accordingly and it is only set to get worse

with the SNP-Green government slashing

funding to local councils.

A real and unavoidable consequence of

the pandemic has been the rise in cost of

living. Greater numbers of people will

experience a decline in living standards in

the foreseeable. Rather than relying on

increasingly expensive supermarket

items, the right to own a plot of land to

grow fruit and vegetables of their own is

something the people of Lothian deserve,

and I intend to stand up for that right.

Miles Briggs MSP for Lothian


All new St Crispin’s

A beautifully designed school has been created in Burdiehouse


A NEW ST CRISPIN’S school has just opened

to pupils and staff in Burdiehouse. The school

has been designed by The City of Edinburgh

Council completely in house. Soft, gentle

colours are used throughout - a far cry from

the primary colours used in schools in the past

- and are designed to be calming for the pupils,

many of whom are on the autistic spectrum.

The council’s interior designer, Lesley

McMillan, delighted in telling us all about the

school with its nature theme. Even the roof of

this new building is covered in wildflowers.

There are individual outside areas for each

wing of the school as well as a communal play

area for all the pupils who are aged four to 18.

She devised a new system enabling all pupils

to hang artwork on the classroom walls using a

"Velcro receptive" pin boards on the walls,

making sure that the school will be maintained

in the pristine condition it is delivered.

Signage is important at St Crispin's as

children with autism learn to exchange single

pictures for the item or activity they want. This

Picture Exchange Communication System

ensures that everyone has their own sign -

which can be put up outside any room - or the

new pool - to show where they are in the

building. The school design also incorporates

signage by Edinburgh based Lucy Richards,

Creative Director at StudioLR on Breadalbane

The new St Crispin’s

School has calm and

serene colours

Street, who created the Any Disability signs

which are intended to encourage awareness of

people with invisible disabilities.

Lesley said: “This school has been a

particularly fulfilling project with all the design

work being conducted “in house” at the

council. I have loved contributing the interior

design to this beautiful architectural space.

The wild flower roof and engagement with the

school community have inspired the

wayfinding, colours and finishes, a biophilic

environment to create peaceful welcoming

school, with pilot designs informing furniture

selection and design to support learning and

wellbeing for all, I really look forward to seeing

the children and young people enjoying it once

they have settled in.”

She also mentioned the colour-coded panels

which denote each classroom area, with a laser

cut plywood design applied to the internal

walls. The design was created in

collaboration with pupils and teachers

who drew what they saw in nature

outside the old school. The artwork

was then translated into the final

design by Emily Hogarth the

Edinburgh based artist.

Emily said: “I love working on

jobs that improve spaces for

children, quite frankly, I

worked on the Sick Kids

Hospital, and getting to



work on this school with children who as you

know have extra needs and actually sometimes

get overlooked in society, it's nice to be able to

make sure their spaces are the best they can be.

To be a little a little part of that kind of process

is a rewarding job. I would say for me as an


Headteacher, Rhoda MacDougall, said: "I

don't want to be disrespectful to the old

building because there are people who have

had their entire careers here or their child's

gone through every year of education here.This

building has served a lot of children and

families and staff and people are very

affectionate about it.

"But the new school has sweeping wide

corridors, soundproofing, beautiful artwork on

the walls and it is all so carefully designed

within the idea of the woodland and the new

conservation area that we are moving into. The

entire building just looks stunning. It

looks brand new, but also looks as

though it belongs in the environment.

The architect has been so

accommodating and has listened to

what our children and young

people need. Everything in an

environment can be a barrier or a

support to our pupils and the

old building became a huge

barrier to learning and having

an inclusive life.”



OVER THE YEARS I’ve taken an interest

in community gardens and allotments –

from the Backgreens initiative in

tenement gardens, to the Fountainbridge

canal gardens proposed as a temporary

use of vacant land, to the inspiring work

at Bridgend Farmhouse.

We have some fantastic allotments in

Edinburgh producing food for those who

run them. They provide a sense of

community and learning opportunities to

plotholders. But it takes years to be

allocated an allotment because there

simply are not enough of them to go

round. We would need 1,500 more to

meet the level required in the Community

Empowerment Scotland Act 2015.

For many, a community garden is a

welcome alternative way of growing your

own. Sadly, with food costs rocketing,

they are more needed than ever. But

happily, they also have major health

benefits. It’s not just the effort of

planting, digging and weeding, it’s also

mental health and wellbeing benefits

that come from being outside.

Community gardens are a great way to

get involved in gardening or food

growing if you haven’t gardened before.

A few years ago, I joined my local

community garden and for me the

attraction of being involved was that I

could volunteer and see if I enjoyed the

experience and join in without being

solely responsible.

It was also a great way to meet my new

neighbours. When the pandemic hit we

had to adapt and that meant stopping

our community get-togethers, booking

individual slots and making sure that all

the equipment was rigorously cleaned.

Sadly, it also meant that volunteers

from other communities couldn’t come

and use our garden.

In recent weeks, although the weather

has been awful, our WhatsApp group has

been sending round messages of work

people have done in the garden to look

after our plants, and our sheds and

greenhouses, to make sure they’ve not

been damaged though the winter

weather. I’m looking forward to spring.

As the weather improves there will be no

excuse for me not to get out the house

and get gardening again. It will feel all

the more enjoyable being able to work

with neighbours and to bring home and

cook the fantastic food and herbs we

grow in the garden again. It’s an

opportunity everyone should have

in our city.

Sarah Boyack MSP for Lothian




NHS Nurses Sarah and Greg have tied the

knot after winning their dream wedding

Tony Marsh


ALMOST TWO YEARS after winning an

all-inclusive wedding in a competition, two NHS

nurses have finally celebrated their marriage at

Eskmills Venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The couple, who both work at the Royal

Infirmary of Edinburgh, were due to get married

on 12 February last year, but their plans were put

on hold by the global pandemic.

In 2022 Sarah Hunter and Greg Turner were at

long last able to tie the knot at the award-winning

Eskmills Venue together with their 121 guests.

The wedding competition, which was

launched as a thank you to NHS workers,

included a prize wedding package worth around

£12,000 and exclusive use of Eskmills Venue, a

converted riverside mill building in Musselburgh.

The package included drinks, canapés, a

3-course wedding meal, a live band The Klones,

and a huge range of other elements provided by

local suppliers: flowers by Liberty Blooms, kilt

hire from 8 Yards, classic wedding car from

Edinburgh Classic Wedding Cars, a wedding

dress from Christina Rae, photography by Tony

Marsh Photography, videography by Craig

Heaslip Film & Photography, pipers from GD

bagpiping, stationery by 2Flux Stationary Studio,

gin from Holyrood Distillery and a wedding cake

from Truly Scrumptious.

Celebrant Jane Patmore of Your Service

in Scotland conducted the service, helping to

deliver an unforgettable and unique tailormade


Sarah, a nurse who cares for premature babies

in the neonatal unit, and Greg, who cares for very

poorly patients in the acute medical unit have

been together for nine years.

Having got engaged in Venice in 2019, the

couple have been working on the frontline

throughout the pandemic.

Sarah, who is expecting a baby in May, said:

“It’s been a very long wait it has absolutely been

worth it! We couldn’t have dreamt of a better way

to celebrate than in such a beautiful location with

our family and friends, plus the amazing food and

drinks and all the wonderful things provided by

so many kind local businesses.

“The planning of the wedding was made easy

by Eskmills’ expertise, and we worked together to

create the wedding that we envisioned when we

got engaged all the way back in 2019. We couldn’t

be happier.”

Libby Harrison, Director of Client Services at

Eskmills, added: “We were so pleased to finally

host Sarah and Greg’s wedding. It’s been a long

time coming but it was wonderful to see

them enjoy their big day together with their

friends and family in one of our most popular

wedding venues.

“The competition was originally launched to

say thank you to amazing NHS frontline staff

who are doing such incredible and selfless work

during the Covid-19 pandemic and Sarah and

Greg are a great example of that. We wish them all

the very best in their married life together.”


WeLink with UK’s first WiFi gigabit service



By Natalie Duffield

CEO of WeLink Communications UK

AS BRITAIN’S most congested

city, does Edinburgh really need

any more roadworks? The capital

regularly tops the UK table for

time lost per year to traffic jams,

driving residents and visitors

round the bend. At last, there is

some light at the end of the

tunnel. WeLink Communications

UK has launched Britain’s first

wireless gigabit service, bringing

lightning-fast internet speeds to

Edinburgh without the need to

dig up streets.

We are inviting households

and businesses in EH1, EH2 and

EH3 to get in touch and find out

about our range of introductory

offers. WeLink is pioneering a

fixed-wireless mmWave

broadband approach that is

much quicker, greener and less

expensive to deploy than

traditional fibre-to-the-premises

broadband. It extends the reach

of fibre into an area using the

latest advances in wireless mesh

technologies and network

routing to deliver gigabit speeds

for homes and businesses while

avoiding the endless delay and

disruption of laying fibre-optic

cables underground.

Latest Ofcom data reveals that

7,447 premises in Edinburgh are

unable to get 30mbps

broadband. This makes it difficult

or impossible for thousands of

people in the city to work or

study from home, access online

healthcare, manage their money

or keep in touch with friends and

family. A survey by price

comparison website Uswitch last

summer named Edinburgh as

the UK’s “outage capital”, with its

residents suffering the longest

time without broadband per

person. And estate agency

Knight Frank this year warned

the city was lagging behind

other major UK cities in digital


We are proud to be investing

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We understand the local

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If you would like to find out more,

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Essential Edinburgh

City centre gets back to business with food and drink campaign

L-R: Kate Russell (General Manager),

Bonnie & Wild, St James Quarter;

Dominik Kawalec (Executive Chef),

Edinburgh Grand & James Sleigh,

Signature Group

A TASTY NEW campaign by the capital’s

Business Improvement District, Essential

Edinburgh, is deisgned to entice people back

to city centre restaurants. Hear from some of

those involved:


Carina Contini, owner of

Edinburgh’s Contini George

Street as well as The Scottish

Cafe & Restaurant and Cannonball

Restaurant & Bar, said: “We’ve been serving

the people of Edinburgh, the Lothians and

beyond for over 16 years at Contini George

Street, so we’re really excited to be part of

the Eat Out Edinburgh campaign, offering

our famous Contini welcome to all our loyal,

local customers once again and seeing all

those familiar faces.

“From day one, we’ve served fresh,

seasonal and authentic Italian food.

“And as third generation Italian Scots, we

still buy from some of the producers our

grandparents worked with.

“We also stay true to our Italian Scots

roots and maintain tradition and authenticity

in our menus and service to attract custom

and tourism to Edinburgh.

“Our delicious food is just perfect for

sharing in a fun, informal and very special

family restaurant.”



Hannah McConnachie from

Edinburgh-based Signature

Group, said: “We can’t wait to welcome

everyone back as part of the ‘Eat Out

Edinburgh’ campaign.

“From Badger & Co on Castle Street to

Element on Rose Street and The Huxley on

Rutland Street, plus The Boozy Cow on

Frederick Street and Copper Blossom on

North Castle Street, we have something

for everyone.

“Each of our venues is unique, taking

inspiration from its surroundings and

customers, with food and drink offerings

sourced locally to showcase the best of

Scottish produce.

“Our vision is to nurture destination

venues for socialising and experiencing the

best of Scottish, independent hospitality for

locals and visitors alike.

“As part of the campaign, we’re really

proud to be bringing some of Scotland’s

smaller, independent, and up-and-coming

craft gin brands to Edinburgh for the first

time at our popular Element bar on Rose

Street. Our carefully selected line-up of

distilleries will offer gin lovers the chance to

introduce their taste buds to the authentic

flavours and aromas from some of Scotland’s

most wild and windswept regions, right in

the heart of the city.”


103 George Street EH2 3ES

Book Best of Contini - Three courses for

£32.50 and receive a complimentary

cocktail worth £10.


358 Castlehill EH1 2NE

Book the five course tasting menu at the

nearest restaurant to the Castle. £55 per

person and receive a complimentary

cocktail worth £10.


Kate Russell, the General

Manager of Bonnie & Wild at St

James Quarter, said: “Bonnie &

Wild is proud to champion Scotland's

world-class food and drink producers,

providers and purveyors as part of the Eat

Out Edinburgh campaign.

“It's at the heart of who we are and what

we do. We believe in high quality, socially

responsible sourcing, in promoting

sustainability, provenance and traceability.

And we're proud to have so many

independent producers on the menu within

our Scottish Marketplace.

“We're also a marketplace of food and

drink, of individuals and ideas. Bonnie and

Wild's Scottish Marketplace is a melting pot

of chefs and producers, of entrepreneurs

and start-ups.

“We're passionate about supporting those

smaller businesses who perhaps wouldn't be

able to have a high-profile, city centre outlet

otherwise. We're also passionate about

delivering a first-class customer experience.

“We've a highly trained Front of House

team passionate about making everyone

who comes through our doors feel welcome

and nourished.

“When guests visit our Scottish

Marketplace, we want them to experience

the very best of great Scottish food, drink

and hospitality.”



The Mound at the Galleries EH2 2EL

Book Afternoon Tea at £27.50 per person

and receive a complimentary cocktail

worth £10. Book ahead and quote

"Eat Out Edinburgh"


110-114 Rose Street EH2 3JF

New Scottish craft gin will bring the

flavours of Scotland’s smaller island

distilleries to the capital for the first time.


Gearing up for polls

Cycle campaign group publishes manifesto ahead of May election


SPOKES, THE LOTHIAN cycle campaign,

is a non party-political voluntary organisation,

founded in 1977. The body promotes cycling for

everyday reasons, alongside walking, wheeling

and using public transport. Spokes also lobbies

local authorities and The Scottish Government

to do the same.

With a membership of over 1000, volunteers

respond to consultations, run public meetings,

lead rides, sell the popular Spokes cycle maps,

run competitions, carry out regular traffic

counts, run cycle information stalls, and provide

grants for cargo bikes.

With the council elections coming up in May,

Spokes is launching its manifesto for the political

parties and candidates standing in the City of

Edinburgh Council election.

Mies Knottenbelt, from the Spokes Resources

Group, said: “We hope that all candidates will

adopt our manifesto in full. Cycle-friendly cities

are an obvious solution to our many urgent

challenges for the economy, for the climate, and

critically for our mental and physical health. Over

the years, administrations have been making

some improvements for cyclists, but progress has

been frustratingly slow and it’s now time for

major transformational change.”

Rosie Bell from the Spokes Resources Group

said: “Cycling should be a healthy, efficient,

and fun way to get about the city but too many

people are afraid to cycle because we don’t

have a network of on-road protected cycle

infrastructure. We are asking everyone who

would like Edinburgh to be a welcoming city for

cyclists of all ages and abilities to contact their

ward candidates and ask them to adopt the

Spokes manifesto.”

Spokes will be running an open husting online

on 28 March at 7.30pm for main party candidates

to present their plans for cycling improvements.

For details follow @SpokesLothian on Twitter, or

find them on Facebook. www.spokes.org.uk


A top-level aim of zero deaths

and serious injuries on our roads

and footways.


Reduce car-km 30% by 2030

- endorse and act on this

existing commitment.

All departments, not just

Transport, to actively support

the 30% commitment - for

example, decisions on planning


A staged programme of

reduced on-street parking

provision and increased


Avoid any road capacity

expansion and use budgets

instead for sustainable modes.


A comprehensive cycling

network, safe and welcoming

for all ages and abilities.

High emphasis on protected

infrastructure on direct and

well-lit main-road routes,

including improved and

permanent Spaces for People


Accelerate long-delayed

schemes, including CCWEL,

Meadows to George Street, and

cycle exemption on Edinburgh’s

one-way streets.

Cycling by Design to be the

basis of all cycling provision,

including in planning as well as




Urgent action on a replacement

cycle hire scheme,including

non-standard machines, notably

cargo bikes.

Further expansion, to meet

current and future demand, of

the Cyclehoop secure cycle

storage scheme.

Quality bike parking (Sheffield

racks with crossbar) and ebike

charging, in town centres.

Tackle the pothole scourge

and ensure that active travel

L-R Rosie Bell and

Mies Knottenbelt


infrastructure is built into road

maintenance work.


Maintain and increase

Edinburgh’s UK-leading policy of

allocating 10% of transport

capital and revenue budgets to

cycling, given the rudimentary

extent of the existing cycle


Ensure adequate funding to

maintain the existing pavement

network at a good standard,

with additional funding for

footway enhancements such as

pedestrian and toucan

crossings, and also dropped


Granton Goes



“Granton Goes Greener “ is an

environmental project based at Granton

Parish Church established in 2018 and

initially funded by the Climate Challenge

Fund. The core has always been the “swap

shop” rebranded as “Share’n’Wear”, a space

with second hand clothes, shoes and

books donated by locals and members of

the congregation. Anyone can get

preloved clothes, shoes and books for free

without any referrals or restrictions.

We run a weekly “rescued bread”

scheme. Volunteers collect excess bread

from a chain of bakeries and we share the

bread and pastries and deliver it to local

groups and sheltered housing in North

Edinburgh. We run weekly sewing classes,

focussing on maintaining and altering

clothes as well as educational workshops

and events.


We hope to spread environmental

awareness in our area, encouraging

more recycling/up-cycling rather than

constantly buying new things. Based in

North Edinburgh, an area of significant

poverty, we try to encourage people

who are in a more privileged position

to share resources they have with others

as well as help with tackling food and

general poverty.


With educational workshops and

events, we can change people’s mindset

and encourage younger people to be

more mindful about climate change.

We encourage keeping what we have,

mending and up-cycling rather than

buying new, while teaching skills that can

be helpful, especially for those living on a

low income.


We are active on social media. We work

with other projects to organise events (for

example Big Swap event with ELREC and

The Welcoming) and workshops on a

city-wide scale as well as our own events in

Granton such as family rubbish picking, an

Eco Fayre and family fun days.


Visit our website. We always need

volunteers - even if you can only help once

in every few months. Donations of good

quality clothes and shoes are welcome.

Check our website to see what type of

clothes we currently accept





the debate

David Hume’s statue

on the Royal Mile

It’s vantastic news!

Penicuik charity buys new vehicle after successful fundraiser


FOOD FACTS FRIENDS, a charity in Penicuik,

has just purchased a new van which they say will

be a massive help to them in stocking the

community shop which they run on John Street.

Mark Wells, the project manager and founder

of the charity, raised around £3,000 with his

sponsored walk, and Chairperson, Reg Dunbar,

set up his first GoFundMe page. Little by little

the charity raised almost £20,000 in the past year

to buy a new van and put it on the road.

Arnold Clark’s community fundraising team

helped when the charity approached them. They

offered assistance in two ways - money in the

form of a grant, and also discounted prices on

vehicle hire until they were able to buy a new

van. It was the local Environmental Health team

which had stipulated that the charity’s volunteers

could no longer use their own cars and vehicles,

and that the charity should have its own.

Reg also wrote articles for the local press to

highlight the project, but it was his daughter-inlaw

who works for Sodexho who came up with a

donation of £1,000 from her employers which

really got the fundraising off to a good start.

Reg said: “We had the £1,000 and then after

Sodexho, someone just walked into the

community shop and donated £750 which

meant the fund was really growing.

“Robertson Trust donated from their van fund

as well as the local charity, The Oracle Trust.

“The van cost £18,300 and it cost another

£1,000 for insurance.”

Having their own transport is a saving for the

charity, even though it will require regular

maintenance. Until they had their own, Food

Facts Friends were hiring vans at a cost of

around £800 a month - and that was at a

discounted rate from Arnold Clark.

Mark and Reg explained that they are both

very grateful to businesses which have been

extremely generous with donations in kind,

including Macsigns based in Mayfield who

provided the signage on the van and also at the

shop on John Street, and Edinburgh Liners who

fitted out the rear compartment - all at no cost to

the charity.

Reg said: “Everyone is very helpful to Mark.

He is very persuasive but he is also the sort of

guy who works hard and people recognise that.

They are willing to help the charity because of

his hard work. I encountered it when he told me

I would only have to go to two or three meetings

a year - which of course has turned into a few

hours every week.”

L-R Mark Wells Project Manager and Founder and

Chairperson, Reg Dunbar with the new van

Mark said when he set up the charity in 2016

he did not envisage working as he does now. He

explained that in the week prior to us meeting

the charity had provided food for 90 people in

one day which he thinks is quite sad, but you can

tell that he is proud that the organisation is able

to step into the breach and help local people who

really need it.

The pantry which opened in January this year

has around 120 members who come in to stock

up from the shelves filled with surplus food and

flowers from local supermarkets including M&S,

Lidl, Greggs and Costco.

The number of people using the charity’s

services is growing, particularly in the face of

rising energy bills, and so the worry is that there

will not be enough stock. If you are able to help

the charity will always welcome some tinned

goods or other long life food for the food bank.

Reg also pointed out that the charity needs

many new volunteers. He said: “We need a few

more volunteers. A lot of them do a good few

hours, but if we got a few more that would be a

great help to everyone. Mark is here almost

every day and he really needs some time off.”

Anyone who wishes to help the charity can

apply by email foodfactsfriends@gmail.com

EDINBURGH HAS historically been

the setting for a wealth of debate and

discussion. The influence of the Scottish

Enlightenment has been far reaching and

can be seen clearly in the writings and

legacy of the likes of David Hume and

Adam Smith. Our city played host to

these titans of intellect who were able

to learn from and challenge each

other’s ideas through rigorous debate

and civil discourse.

This historic ability to have civil

discourse with our ideological advisories

that has allowed Edinburgh to have a

disproportionate influence on the

construction of what we recognise as

modern civilization.

However, we are increasingly seeing a

level of nastiness between competing

political sides that is stunting our ability

to disagree in a healthy and constructive

way. One need only read the accounts of

Sarah Smiths experience as a journalist in

Scotland to understand the attitude

towards those who do not share our

exact convictions.

We seem to have lost the ability to

interact with opposing views in a cordial

and respectful manner and instead

attribute negative or malicious

intentions to the person who holds them.

We have to get back to a place where

we can disagree in a way that does not

turn our opponents into villains or

untouchables. We must all work to turn

down the temperature and return to the

level of civility that has fostered

Scotland’s historic success. If we want

Edinburgh to be a melting pot of ideas,

we have to ensure that we do not allow

that pot to boil over.

Jeremy Balfour MSP



50 years of...

Phyllis Stephen meets Iain Reid of Wonderland Models

as they celebrate fifty years of model-making magic

Wonderland on

Lothian Road is

celebrating a half

century of being in

the model-making


Founded in 1972

by clothing retailer,

Peter Barton, the specialist model shop has filled the

gap in Edinburgh for many youngsters, and not so

young model enthusiasts, over the years. Now it is

one of the biggest online model retailers in the UK

with a bigger than ever range of models available.

With Hornby and Airfix among the brands to choose

from, there are also newer names on the shelves to

tempt buyers.

The shop began in Rose Street and then moved to

larger premises on Lothian Road where the business

still operates under the control of Iain Reid, who is

Peter Barton's stepson. Although Reid had no previous

experience of retail he has taken the business from its

early success to a massive online presence shipping

models all over the UK and beyond.

The business has toughed it out during High Street

ups and downs and Iain said that he is particularly

grateful to the customers. He said: "We are very

grateful for the continuous customer support

that has lasted over many generations - with parents,

sons, daughters, grandparents and grandchildren

all shopping with us through the years. For us,

this momentous year is all about giving back to

our customers.”

One customer in particular used to spend hours

in the store getting some inspiration for his own

work. Renowned Edinburgh artist and sculptor,

For us, this momentous year is all

about giving back to our customers

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, was a regular visitor.

During the pandemic many had more time for

hobbies such as model-making, and as a result the

store did not have to furlough any employees as they

grew their online marketplace. Iain said: “It really

forced our customers into embracing internet

shopping, which we were thankfully able to cater for.

We also found that with more time to spend at home,

there’s been a big resurgence amongst adults in

nostalgic hobbies like model making, model railways

and construction toys. At the same time, we’ve seen

growth in collectible toys from brands like Papo and

Schleich, offering collectability and great play value -

ideal for keeping cooped-up kids away from the

computer and TV screens.”

The team behind the shop is also important to the

success of the business and Iain praised them for their

passion and enthusiasm. He said: "With over 110 years

of experience between them, my eleven-man team is

an incredible source of knowledge and advice which

our customers appreciate and rely on. With their

commitment to providing the best possible customer

care, they provide a level of service in store and online

that other retailers just can’t match in my opinion."

To mark half a century in business, Wonderland is

working with local ecommerce agency Digital Six, to

develop a new and improved online store. Speaking of

the year ahead, Iain said: “Our new site, launching in

the Spring, will be faster and more user-friendly with a


Our new site, launching

this Spring, will be

more user-friendly and

will deliver an even

better experience

A pop up

Your local newspaper was on show at St James Quarter

Ian Reid

THE EDINBURGH Reporter popped up

at the Sook Space at St James Quarter

last month for one day to promote our

website and newspaper with videos,

photos and copies of the paper. Sook is

a pop up space suitable for any

business or third sector body to use -

for an hour or longer. The space is

branded up digitally (and remotely) to

look like a bespoke and rather cool

shop or information point and their

rates are competitive. It was lovely to

meet some new and old readers there

and we are definitely considering the

logistics of doing it again.

New homes at estate

Hundreds of new-builds planned for £71m development

MORE THAN 300 new homes will be

built on a site extending to 20 acres at

Edmonstone Estate just off The Wisp by

Avant Homes. This will be a £71 million

development called The Lanes which

will includes a £1.8 million investment in

local education.

The overall scheme has been

masterplanned by Alba Developments to

created more than 700 new homes in the

area which is bounded by Edinburgh


The development will include 227

private and 85 affordable homes all to be

ready by autumn this year.

Avant Homes Scotland managing

director, Gerry Leitch said: “The Lanes at

Edmonstone is an incredibly exciting new

development for us, and will support the

high demand for the delivery of muchneeded

homes in a prime location.

“This marks a significant acquisition for

us and extends our presence in a key

location in the East of Scotland and we’re

very pleased to be delivering a landmark

development that will be part of the

former Edmonstone Estate.”

Another 149

student flats

Student development

host of new features that will deliver an even better

experience for our customers. And throughout the

year we’ll be running plenty of competitions and

giveaways with exciting prizes to be won - so keep

an eye on our Facebook and Instagram channels for

more information.”



development will be built in

Abbeyhill where construction has

just begun on a 149- bed scheme

comprising student studios and

cluster flats.

Glencairn Properties has

secured GRAHAM to manage the

design and build of the

multimillion pound development.

Edinburgh-based Glencairn say

they want to regenerate the area

and provide desirable student flats

to cope with increased demand.

The site is at the corner of

Montrose Terrace and West Norton

Place where the developer

promises a “characterful building

sympathetically designed” to

reflect the original 19th century

street. The building project will

help to create 12 jobs and a

further 10 jobs for security and

maintenance once it is complete.




to be

Martin P McAdam

Phyllis Stephen digs into

city allotments and waiting

lists populated by people

looking for The Good Life

after the pandemic

On 1 February this year there were

5,865 people on the council list

waiting for an allotment which is

double what it was in 2016. There

are currently 1,969 council

owned plots on 47 sites. A 26 plot

site opened last April and six new

sites will open this year. The

council’s allotment strategy, Cultivating Communities, for

the decade from 2017-27 was adopted in March 2017 and

follows other reports dating from 2002. The strategy is

due to be reviewed this year, but a pandemic and a

council election might well get in the way. So what is

being done to ensure the plan is put into action?

The council say they have identified six new sites - 200

allotments - with potential either as allotment sites or

community gardens.

A council spokesperson said: ““Since lockdown, there

has been increased demand for allotments and growing

spaces in the city, and we have been actively working to

increase allotment provision and the number of allotment

plots in Edinburgh.

“In response to this our third allotment strategy aims

to ensure adequate provision of allotments and other

growing spaces by investigating potential new sites,

encouraging people to directly establish and manage

new allotments on council-owned land, and the creation

of new allotments as part of the planning process for

new developments.”


Stuart McKenzie, President of The Federation

of Edinburgh and District Allotments and Gardens

Associations (FEDAGA), says his organisation

has discussed with the council making allotment

site provision a statutory obligation for all new

home developers.

He has had a space at Inverleith for 25 years.

He said: “I like the sense of society on an allotment site,

and then there is our little flower show each year. It is just

good fun with like-minded people. We all share and have

a laugh together.

“Years ago I remember only ever being able to buy

white potatoes from a green grocer and I got an allotment

so that I could grow some more interesting varieties. I’ve

grown the Aura variety which is delicious and also Salad

Blue - it really is blue all the way through when cooked.”

While Stuart disputes that people grow vegetables on

their allotments purely to save money he agrees that

having an allotment is a good thing. He claims many

vegetables may appear cheaper in the supermarket, but

with the labour involved in growing your own he advises

it is best to only grow food you really want to eat.

(There are exceptions to his theory however. Stuart

gave me a lovely leek to take home and explained that

it costs just £3 for 50 leek plants.) Tomatoes are at the

more expensive end of the spectrum with 10 seeds

costing about £5. Stuart with his 25 years of experience

behind him, recommends that allotment holders grow

fennel, rhubarb, soft fruits and squash which can be

pricey in the shops.

Stuart talked of the dynamics of the official waiting list.

He said: ”Ian Woolard, the council’s allotment officer, is

absolutely overworked. He deals with the whole of

Edinburgh maintaining the waiting list. He told me a few

years ago he had conducted a review of the waiting list,

Top left, the good life

at Inverleith

Above, Susan Grafenstein and

Martin Finlayson sniffing

around the garlic plants at

Stuart’s plot

I like the sense of society on an

allotment with like-minded people.

We all have a laugh together

and by asking people for an update he halved the list. I

think it reduced to about 1,500 people and then the

council allowed people to register for an allotment on

their website.

“The list then doubled almost instantly. During

Covid it further doubled. We have to thank Michael

Gove who said during an interview at the beginning of

the first lockdown that it was okay to keep them open as

working on an allotment allowed people to observe

social distancing.”

While the council installed composting toilets at

some of the allotments these are no longer in use, and

there has been no move to replace them. Most allotment

sites have running water but not much else in the way of

basic services.

Stuart who is now retired from a career with RBS

spends a couple of hours a day at his allotment. He said:

“Allotments are wonderful places. I really think that if

somebody sat down and worked out what the value of an


Murrayburn and Hailesland

Community Garden

allotment is to a nation - considering both physical and

mental health - keeping a bunch of people fit healthy and

well fed that has to mean there is a saving in the National

Health Service. The NHS could probably open allotment

sites and create a healthier society.”


The City Plan 2030 may have identified new sites, but

Inverleith Councillor Hal Osler explains this will not help

in the short term. She said: “The SNP/Labour

Administration published commitment 44 in the

Stuart dug up a leek

just ready for the pot

Allotments are wonderful places.

They are great for keeping people

fit, healthy and well fed

Coalition Agreement at the beginning of their five year

term, promising to ‘Increase allotments provision and

support and expand the network and the number of

community gardens and food growing initiatives.’

“The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

places a duty on the council to provide allotments and to

take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals do not

remain on a waiting list for more than five years and to

make sure that a waiting list does not exceed half the

number of allotment plots provided. Presently the council

is failing in this duty.

“The new development plan (City Plan 2030) has

within it identified areas where allotments could be

considered, but these will take time to come forward and

whilst we wait the lists will grow further.

“Investment, focus and real commitment is needed to

provide what is required under the Community

Empowerment Act. Sadly it just does not seem to have

been a priority under this present administration. I can

only hope that with a new administration due in May it

will move further up the agenda.”

Councillor for Corstorphine/Murrayfield, Frank

Ross, said: “I am glad that the new City Plan 2030 has

changed Pansy Walk’s designation from housing to

open space.

“However, it is currently being used as the site base

for the new CCWEL active travel route. I am not

sure there was any consultation on this as all three

adjacent community councils are supportive of Pansy

Walk being returned to allotment use. There is a list

of local residents, within walking distance, who

have shown interest in taking an allotment.”

One new allotment holder, who asked not to be

named, told us that they had waited for 12 years

for their space where they hope to provide

vegetables for their family, using it as a place to

escape to for some peace and quiet - while also

keenly aware that others may have acquired their

allotments on what appears to be a well known

“private” network.


I spoke to Derek Livesey President of Scottish

Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS) about

waiting lists,. He told me that the pandemic has meant an

increase in applications, but that he questions the

accuracy of the numbers. He encourages associations and

councils to be more proactive with them and not hide

behind GDPR laws which restrict the sharing of

information. He also agreed that there are some people

bypassing official lists - something I heard in whispers

from others I spoke to. But it seems there is little to be

done about this backdoor activity unless it is by

associations on the ground.

Derek draws on his experience as an allotment holder

and association official at Merrylee in Glasgow where

they publish Frequently Asked Questions to applicants. in

a thinly veiled attempt to weed out applicants and

maintain the accuracy of their list.

He said: “I was desperate to try to bring our plot into

the 21st century. We want to move the allotments on in

terms of the demographic and in terms of interest, so we

make people realise that an allotment will take eight to

ten hours a week minimum to get a plot into a good state

and that it is not all men with limps hanging around

sheds to get away from their wives. It means well

activated compost heaps, good weeding, good growing,

variety of cropping and good maintenance of all sheds on

your plot. We weed out the people who think it sounded

like a good idea but realise they don’t have the

commitment.” While Derek explained that SAGS believes

that everyone is in principle entitled to have a workable

piece of ground to provide themselves and their family


with food and all the benefits, he also says allotments

are precious and must be properly utilised by people

who care for them.


Inverleith Allotments celebrated their centenary in

2018 publishing a booklet about the origins of the site.

An emergency situation was declared in 1916 and the

council were invited to “arrange for land to be brought

under cultivation due to a growing shortage of food

caused by the war”.

At Inverleith five acres was given up for allotments

at 10/- each. Even at the beginning there was a waiting

list of 53 people, so the number of plots was doubled

to 246 - with no Sunday working and a prohibition on

shelters. Allotments flourished during WWII with four

times as many created by 1942 and 160 acres under

cultivation in Edinburgh.

Margaret McGhee has had Inverleith plot 119 since

1987. She explained that at the beginning potholders

were only allowed to grow rhubarb - and that she took

delivery of a load of zoo manure when first putting

her allotment in order. At the age of 90+ she is the

oldest plotholder still growing a wider range of

vegetables, although she now enlists helpers to do

the heavy lifting.

Martin Finlayson waited for ten years for his plot at

Inverleith, hedging his bets by also putting his name

on the list at Warriston. He said: “I was offered a plot

first of all at Ferry Road and I took a half plot there for

a year. The area was a bit overgrown and I grew the

usual potatoes and onions. Then I was offered the plot

at Inverleith which is more convenient for me. My

allotment feeds my wife and me, and I still have

produce to give away.

“I have gardened here for two full years now. It’s a

sunny spot and it has been great with lots of potatoes

as it was sunny in April and May. I have a pear tree, an

Above, Edible Estates held

community picnics which they

hope to start up again

Top right, size matters

Right, A fox keeping an eye

on his patch

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

apple tree and now I have planted a cherry tree.” (Only

fruit trees are allowed under the allotment rules to

ensure that the sites are used to produce food.)

Martin is a part-time self-employed gardener so it is

all a bit of a busman’s holiday, and he is pretty

knowledgable with a background of working with the

Forestry Commission and some horticulture courses.

He also travelled with a scheme called Work Away

in France which involved a lot of gardening,

but otherwise he said it is a question of “finding

your own way”.

Susan Grafenstein has an allotment in Northfield

and unusally she only waited just one year. She told us

that the plots at Northfield are smaller than Inverleith,

that hers was a bit overgrown and there is no water on

the site.

She said: “Ian Woolard showed me my plot which

was completely overgrown with weeds, so it has been

a bit of a project. Luckily that was just before lockdown

so I had time. At first I took a while to clear the

ground, put down some compost and then plant

some vegetables.

“I wanted to grow my own food here - that is

what I am used to doing back home in central

Germany. I always had a big garden and I missed it.”

It seems to have worked as Susan did not buy any

vegetables from June to October last year. She

explained what the other benefits are for her: “It is

really good for your mental health- it helps you forget

any worries. It is also good exercise and I like being in

the fresh air as I work in an office, so it is a nice

alternative to spending so much time inside.”


Edible Estates work on community growing projects in

Clovenstone, the Calders and Murrayburn/Hailesland.

The body was recently successful in securing a

Community Gardening contract from The City of

Edinburgh Council (CEC) for four years, and the first

part of that is a complete survey of all the community

growing projects across Edinburgh, taking place on

CEC-owned land. This is at the first stages of being

investigated, but Edible Estates will then feed the

information back to the council and decide upon next

steps. This might be support for existing sites or

creating community growing projects where there are

none currently. Community gardens tick a number of

boxes - growing food on land inbetween council

houses, giving people a central focus and a meeting

place and also the health benefits of being outdoors.

Alan Gordon Edible Estates’ Community

Engagement Officer said while the last two years have

been challenging they have allowed Edible Estates to

expand too. He explained: ”During the pandemic we

were able to do different things in the gardens around

food growing and community food. People have the

codes for the gates and can come and go 24/7. The

focus switched very much to communal growing,

producing a lot of food which was then used in

community food distribution projects.

“We were allowed to use the small kitchen at the

Healthy Living Centre putting out 100+ two course

meals every week - just Stacey from Tasting Change

and me making soup with the produce. We made

videos about making the meals using food which had

been grown locally - and some produce was delivered

by kids to Holy Trinity food bank.” (Tasting Change is

a body set up to tackle food insecurity in the Wester

Hailes area.)

With Clovenstone and Calders gardens already

handed over to the community to run themselves the

focus is on the main site at Murrayburn/Hailesland

where everyone, including school children who

planted a wildlife hedge, are involved. Alan threw in a

casual comment about a possible Community Asset

Transfer of the site at the end of our conversation and

outlined ambitious plans to create a community hub

and perhaps also an adventure playground. This alone

proves that gardens can be a springboard to

community projects which transform an area.


The council is lead partner of Edible Edinburgh a

group of organisations which promotes sustainable

food production in the city - and allotment gardening

is a good fit for such objectives.

The Scottish Government’s policy “Let’s Make

Scotland More Active” recognises that physical

inactivity leads to nearly 2,500 deaths in Scotland and

costs the NHS £91 million per year.

In its allotment strategy Edinburgh Council says

that allotment gardening contributes to all of the

strategic objectives set out by The Scottish

Government in legislation which allows local councils

to do anything which improves wellbeing of the area

and the people who live there.

But all of this will amount to little more than warm

words unless the council actually finds new allotment

sites, develops them and cuts the waiting time.







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

The charity rescues reunites and

rehomes any animal in need, and

works tirelessly to secure happy and

loving forever homes. New trustees

include David Field CEO of Edinburgh

Zoo and Matt Smith of THINK.

0131 669 5331


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 spring.







Vlad and Scott have a unique style at

48 Thistle Street with great coffee and

above average chat. The pair have now

celebrated a year in business at their

city centre micro roastery. Coffee also

available to order online if you are

working from home.


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.

Jurgita warmly welcomes you to

Dundas Street. Open Tuesday to

Saturday 11am-4pm.


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

Subscribe today to have your own

copy of The Edinburgh Reporter

delivered to your front door from next

month. A payment of £30 a year will

help to support us bringing you local

independent news.







For the whisky lovers among you, buy

award-winning Ardgowan Shipwright

online - described by whiskymaker

,Max McFarlane, as “a sumptuous

dram”. Special offer includes free

shipping and 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 varied programme of

exhibitions in 2022. In March it is the

turn of Ken Ferguson and Dianne

Gardner. Join the gallery’s mailing list

to be kept up to date with details of

each show.




By Charlie Ellis


Compiled by David Albury

Café society

A round up of the latest caffeine fixes all over the city


6 Coincide or cover slightly (7)

7 Musical composition for

the theatre (5)

9 Game played with clubs and

a ball (4)

10 Lingering flavour (10)

11 Ask back once more (8)

13 Device for reducing brightness

of a light (6)

15 Milky-white gemstone (4)

17 Army rank immediately above

a Captain (5)

18 Loose money (4)

19 On the positive side of a ledger,

for example (6)

20 Intense desire (8)

23 Means of communicating with

spirits (5-5)

26 Join together (4)

27 Do extremely well, better than

most (5)

28 Little packets (7)


1 Modern (10)

2 Opposite of acid (6)

3 Observe, tiny mark (4)

4 Passageway connecting other

areas (8)

5 Second letter of the Greek

alphabet (4)

6 Layer of the upper atmosphere (5)

8 Naive, without guile (7)

12 Take pleasure in something (5)

14 Measurement of the speed

of sound (4,6)

16 Take along as part of a group (7)

17 Naphthalene used to deter

cloth-eating insects (4-4)

21 Kidnap (6)

22 Urgently requires (5)

24 Lift or move with a lever (4)

25 In addition (4)


is a rapidly expanding and changing

one. This is particularly true in the

south of the city at present, where

several excellent new places have

popped up-or are about to. The

number of great places to enjoy high

quality specialty coffee in the city is

continuing to grow.

It’s all change at Machina Espresso,

one of Edinburgh’s specialty coffee

vanguard. Their original branch on

Brougham Place recently closed.

There, over eight years, they cemented

their position as one of Edinburgh’s

elite coffee places and also sold a

classy range of coffee making


Machina have now re-emerged in

Marchmont (32-38 Marchmont Road,

at the junction with Warrender Park

Road). Currently operating as a snug

“pop up” takeaway, they will be

opening a large cafe, designed by

Splintr Design, in the coming


Fortitude, one of the highest rated

coffee houses in Edinburgh are on the

verge of opening their third venue.

Their York Place café was joined by

their stylish Stockbridge branch in

February last year. This larger venue

allowed them to add food to their

offering, alongside their consistently

superb coffee. Their new branch on

Newington Road is likely to be a very

popular spot in this busy student area.

They recently installed the coffee

machine and the branch should be

opening soon.

Just around the corner at 116

Causewayside, Kate’s has opened

serving high coffee alongside a lovely

range of tempting baking. The light

and spacious interior makes Kate’s a

lovely relaxing place - an excellent

new addition. Their flavoursome

coffee is supplied by Santu (who

source their beans from Brazil), who

recently opened their open cafe on

the Canongate.

On North Bridge, Black Sheep

Coffee, an ‘indy chain’, have opened a

branch - taking over the shop from

Patisserie Valerie. Black Sheep serve

strong and rich coffees, with an Italian

influence. Their rich and velvety

piccolo coffees are particularly good.

Black Sheep is of a similar size and

character as the familiar big coffee

chains but with a better standard of

coffee. The place is already a hit with

students and those working on their

laptops. Unlike most cafés in the city,

they open until 7pm, catering to those

who enjoy a post-work coffee.

In Morningside, Detour Espresso

have added to their existing café in

Marchmont (39 Argyle Place). At 348

Morningside Road (opposite the old

Morningside Post office), Detour have

opened an elegant café serving coffee

by Machina and Fortitude. Despite a

large number of cafés in the area,

Detour is already a popular spot for

coffee and lunch.

The long march of speciality coffee

continues in Edinburgh.


Across: 6 Overlap, 7 Opera, 9 Golf, 10 Aftertaste, 11 Reinvite, 13 Dimmer, 15 Opal, 17 Major, 18

Cash, 19 Credit, 20 Yearning, 23 Ouija board, 26 Meet, 27 Excel, 28 Sachets

Down: 1 Newfangled, 2 Alkali, 3 Spot, 4 Corridor, 5 Beta, 6 Ozone, 8 Artless , 12 Enjoy, 14 Mach

number, 16 Perjure, 17 Moth ball, 21 Abduct, 22 Needs, 24 Jack, 25 Also

Cheap as chips no more

OWNER of East Coast Fish &

Chips, Carlo Crolla, has backed a

UK campaign to save fish and

chip shops which are under

threat of closure due to

escalating costs.

The Crolla family has been

serving the local community for

half a century. Styles may

change, but great flavours,

family heritage and warm,

friendly service remain as

important to Katia and Carlo.

Carlo outlined that the price of

fish has doubled, energy bills are

spiralling and cooking oil is more

expensive, but the shops are not

protected by the energy price

cap and some face huge rises in

costs - in some cases rising from

£400 to £2,000 per month.

He said: “Our family has been

proudly serving the local

community with quality fish and

chips for nearly 50 years, but the

spiralling costs battering our

industry is putting all that at risk.

“We won’t compromise on

quality, but these external

factors will inevitability mean a

rise in costs for us and also for

our customers.”


Perfect pizzas

Prices of slices to please the Morningside mamas

HOW DO YOU know a pizza is going to be sublime?

For me it’s when the crust is so crispy, light and

bubbly it’s the first part I want to eat. Matto Pizza has

this fine art down to a T. They treat their dough to a

“long, slow rise” and the attention certainly delivers.

There’s an obvious dedication to the provenance of all

the ingredients with the tomatoes and Mozzarella

coming from carefully selected suppliers near Naples.

I visited their recently opened Morningside restaurant

with my daughter and we immediately felt relaxed in

the modern, airy space. The corner location was

perfect for people watching: the locals of Morningside

have such an air of contentment, you feel they’ve

never encountered a disappointing avocado.

We began with Arancini Bolognese and a Burrata

Salad. The three Arancini were crispy and moist in

equal measure with a super tasty beef sauce in the

centre. The Burrata was the perfect level of

creaminess, offset with a punchy pesto and peppery

rocket. Our only problem was that we were now pretty

full and we had ordered two pizzas. Anoushka opted

for a Margarita style with additional black olives and I

went for a tomato base, Mozzarella, Spinata, Nduja,

Ricotta and Basil. Both were certainly on the generous

side and utterly delicious. The refreshing ricotta offset

the spicy Nduja perfectly. Next time I would be sure to

try some of their more adventurous bases, such as the

Pea Purée, Artichoke or Truffle Cream.

I noticed that many of the other lunchtime diners

were sharing a pizza with a cold beer. Pizzas range

from £6.50 to £9.50, so you could easily have a

splendid lunch here for under a tenner a head. I don’t

think there’s better value to be had in Edinburgh. Our

lovely server was quick to offer us a much-needed

takeaway box and the heavenly scent was quite the

envy of the other passengers on the number 16 bus

home. At 12 Cadzow Pl and 370 Morningside Rd.


A delicious pizza feast from Matto Pizza

Gin their Element

Ginny gin gin

THE CHARM OF gin is that it

often features the characteristics

of where it’s made. Element on

Rose Street has teamed up with

some small-scale distilleries

across Scotland to celebrate the

spirit of place that comes with

craft gin. Every two months they

will showcase a new Scottish craft

gin in the bar with a range of

straight serves and cocktails.

Why not pop in and sample Isle

of Cumbrae Gin, from one of the

few all female owned distilleries?

They produce three core gins

including “Nostalgin” with key

flavours of lavender, orange,

bramble, heather and milk thistle,

designed to evoke the relaxing

sea breeze and nostalgia people

have for the Isle of Cumbrae.


It’s all about the women

at Cumbrae Gin


Going out is always a treat but

entertaining in has become a

luxury too. I love entertaining as

long as the food is as fun as the

good chat.

I served up a Mexican feast at

one of my latest dinner parties

and for food like this pretentions

must be left at the door.

This is proper tuck in and chow

down food.



• 4 boneless and skinless

chicken thighs

• 1 large onion, sliced

• 2 tablespoons chipotle paste

• 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning

• 1 tablespoon honey

• Hot sauce to taste

• 1 ripe mango, finely chopped

• 3 shallots, finely chopped

• 2 red chillies, finely chopped

• 2 tablespoons chopped

fresh coriander

• Squeeze of lime juice

• 8 mini flour tortillas

• 250g grated cheddar cheese


Toss the chicken and onion in the

chipotle paste, seasoning and

honey, then add as much hot

sauce as you dare.

Season everyhting well with

salt and pepper.

Cook in a medium oven for

30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the mango,

chillies, coriander and lime juice.

Divide the chicken and onion

mixture over the tortillas, fold

each in half and place in an oven

proof dish.

They ought to be packed in

with the edges facing upwards.

Top each with a generous

amount of cheese and bake in a

medium oven for 10 minutes until

the tortillas begin to crisp and the

cheese has melted.

Top with a spoonful of the

tastiest mango salsa.


CHILLI (serves 4)

• 1.3 kg shin of beef or stewing

beef cut into generous chunks

• 3 red onions, sliced

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 1 tsp ground cumin

• 3 whole dried chillies, ground

with 3 cloves garlic

• ½ tube tomato puree

• 1/3 bottle red wine

• 1 tin chopped tomatoes

• 500 g carton tomato passata

• 500ml beef stock

• 1 tin red kidney beans

• 2 red peppers, diced and roasted

• 50 ml Arbikie, Chilli Vodka

• Salt and pepper to taste


Brown the beef in a heavy oven

proof casserole dish, remove and

set aside. Cook the onion over a

low heat until soft . Add spices

and garlic. Cook over a low heat

for a minute. Add tomato purée

and cook gently to remove the

bitterness. Add beef to the pot

with the wine. Simmer for a

couple of minutes then add the

passata, tinned tomatoes and

beef stock. Cover and cook at

150° C for four and a half hours.

Add the kidney beans and

peppers. Season to taste. Add

vodka (optional).

Serve with rice and a chunky




The Forth Line

A statue for Elsie

Month of fundraising events to honour the WWI doctor

AT THE ROYAL Botanic Garden

Edinburgh (RBGE) this spring there is

a vibrant arts and crafts exhibition.

The Forth Line’s exhibition arose

from the interest of local people in

their environment and their passion

to raise awareness for the

conservation of their coastline.

It started out as a lockdown idea

by four local crafters, and grew to

nearly 200 crafters taking part.

They each created a square of

artwork representing their personal

relationship with the Firth of

Forth coast.

Each one represents a square km of

the coastline. For the first time all 184

squares of artwork can be seen

together, each one with their own

story behind it. It creates memories

and visions of the Forth, linking the

Fife and Lothian coasts together.

Individuals of all ages and

occupations took part in helping to

craft the span of the coastline. Some

were amateurs, others professionals.

The artworks are all different.

The inspirations range from the

flora and fauna of the area to tackling

the problem of beach littering. Some

focus on the issue of climate change

and rising sea levels, recognising that

some parts of the coastline may no

longer exist in years to come.

Each square was regarded as a

saviour during lockdown for the

artists. For some, their square of the

coastline massively helped their

mental health through the pandemic

and helped them rediscover nature.

Some stories behind the artwork

are inspiring and heartwarming.

One of the artists, Sarah Bartlett

said: “During the pandemic I rode

empty trains to a frightened hospital.

“As lockdown eased and the

hospital breathed again, I swam here

after a nightshift. The sea was silky

still, shrouded in Haar.”

RBGE is working with other

organisations and community groups

on new community activities to help

conserve the coastline, natural

habitats and its wildlife including sea

grass and oysters.

Forth Lines runs at the John Hope

Gateway until Sunday 24 April

WHEN THE FIRST WORLD War began, Dr Elsie

Inglis offered to set up a fully equipped medical unit

staffed by women for the war front. She was told by the

British War Office, "Dear lady, go home and sit still".

She refused to do that. Instead, she raised large

amounts of money and established the Scottish

Women's Hospital in France and Serbia. She travelled

to Romania, Malta and Russia and helped provide

medical assistance on the Western Front.

Dr Inglis was born in India in 1864 and brought up

in Scotland, studying medicine in Glasgow, Dublin and

Edinburgh. She was a pioneer, founding hospitals for

poor women, joining the suffragette movement and

setting up the war hospitals which were entirely run

by women.

In Edinburgh many people were born in the Elsie

Inglis Maternity Hospital established near Holyrood in

1925 continuing the work which had begun in a

hospital on the Royal Mile.

Elsie Inglis died in hospital in Newcastle from

cancer after returning from Serbia, and her funeral was

held at St Giles Cathedral with members of the Royal

Family in attendance. Her body lay in state at St Giles

before the service, and she was buried in Dean

Cemetery. Edinburgh's streets were filled by hundreds

of mourners.

The Elsie Inglis Tribute Campaign hopes to raise

£50,000 for a Royal Mile statue memorialising the

pioneering Scottish doctor and suffragist - to make

sure that the legacy of her work is never forgotten. The

City of Edinburgh Council has already agreed that “the

life and work of Dr Elsie Inglis would be

commemorated in the form of a statue to be

bequeathed to the citizens of Edinburgh, and to

support any activities to raise the funds needed”.

Walking tours are just one part of the campaign's

work, with a goal of raising £50,000 to erect a statue to

her memory.

The Lord Provost's charity, the OneCity Trust is

responsible for collecting donations on their website,

or you can email elaine@onecitytrust.com for details

on how to contribute.

GirlGuiding fundraising events...

There will be many events to help

the fundraising effort including

beginning with the first Sit Still

which is being spearheaded by

GirlGuiding Scotland. On

Saturday, 5 March, Girlguiding

Edinburgh begins the week of 'Sit

Still' fundraising events for

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides,

Rangers, and leaders.

Dr Elsie Inglis did not sit still,

and neither will the members of

GirlGuiding Edinburgh.

A spokesperson for GirlGuiding

Edinburgh said: "Bring your units

along to find out more about the

remarkable woman, Dr Elsie Inglis,

and how her ideals are still very

relevant today. An Elsie Inglis

activity pack—designed by

Edinburgh Brownies and

Guides—and a badge is available

for all sections, as well as further

details on running a 'Sit Still'

fundraising event for your unit or

family and friends.”

A Sit Still can be big or small - a

lunch, afternoon tea, two minutes

or two hours. The campaign

explains: "We will prepare kits to

send out with advice. Just make

sure that you think about Elsie

Inglis NOT sitting still and about

the huge difference she made in

so many different areas.”



taking place

this March


St Giles Cathedral Exhibition

and Sit Still

See the Cathedral’s memorabilia

along with a remarkable collection

of medals. You will be invited to Sit

Still for 15 minutes beside the

famous wall memorial plaque to

Elsie Inglis, situated in the Holy

Cross Aisle, in the place where her

funeral service was held on 29

November 1917.






you can’t


1. Jen McGowan, Nuclear Family, digital collage.

2. Kirsty Whiten, Planted Women (Open Field),

watercolour and graphite on paper.

3. Siusan Patterson, It’s Fine, Acrylic and cotton

thread on canvas.

4. Shweta Bist, At Times, It Isn't Perfectly Clear Who's

Mother to Whom, Photography.

From 4 March The Filmhouse will screen

special 50th anniversary showings of The


There are ongoing 70mm screenings of Paul

Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza.

First Spilt Milk of the year

EDINBURGH-BASED social enterprise,

Spilt Milk Gallery CIC will open their

first group exhibition of the year with a

family-friendly preview event on Saturday

5 March 2-5pm.

The event also marks the beginning of a

permanent tenancy at Edinburgh Palette,

made possible with an award of £25,000 from

First Port earlier this year.

The funding will enable the body to deliver

a programme of exhibitions and artist

residencies for artist mothers, as well as

community engagement activities for local

families. Spilt Milk has grown rapidly over

the past two years with the rise of accessible

online working allowing them to reach wider

audiences and grow their artist membership

network worldwide.

Recognising that mothers/carers have been

disproportionately affected by the pandemic,

Spilt Milk will “continue to harness the

power of art for social change with accessible

and inclusive creative opportunities”.

The exhibition brings together a diverse

grouping of international w*men and mother

artists whose work responds to the notion of

collective healing. With work spanning a

variety of disciplines, the exhibition provides


an opportunity for the retelling of w*men’s

stories which have historically been told

from the perspective of men.

The artworks explore lost maternal

lineages, create space for shared grief,

represent family outside the binary and act

as a catalyst for progressive conversations

toward intersectional equity.


6-26 March

Open daily 11am-5pm (12-5pm Sundays)

3rd Floor Gallery, Edinburgh Palette, St

Margaret’s House, EH7 6AE

On 10 March the comedian and activist Mark

Thomas visits Filmhouse for a live Q&A

recounting the journey and greatest hits of his

revolutionary and campaigning Channel 4 TV


For Filmhouse Juniors The Iron Giant will be

on the big screen on 6 March at 11am. Tickets

are all £5 per head.

The cinema has special times for carers and

babies to watch films together.

Monday 7 March the film is The Souvenir Part

II starring Honor Swinton Byrne. Tickets are

again £5.

The Filmhouse continues to host its Senior

Selection At Home series showing films online

for the over 60s.

More details can be found on their website at:



An evening with Alastair Bruce,

Governor of Edinburgh Castle

Major-General Alastair Bruce

will take you behind the scenes

at Downton which he knows about.

Alastair is a historical adviser on the

series - and a SKY TV presenter,

often commenting on Royal events.

He also happens to be the Governor

of Edinburgh Castle and related to

Robert the Bruce.


International Women’s Day

An evening event hosted by Consul

General Mrs Laurence Païs at the

French Institute joined by speakers,

Jenni Minto MSP a First World War

historian who chaired WW100 on

Islay, speaking about women who

make history. Ros Taylor writer and

broadcaster will talk about

Empowering Women. Archival films

will be shown in the cinema.


Where are the women?

Afternoon tea at 3pm at the City

Chambers with Sara Sheridan

author of Where are the women? -

an imaginary Scotland where

women are properly

commemorated in statues, on

streets and in buildings. Kate

Murray-Brown editor and author of

The Upstairs Room who will talk

about her great great aunt - Dr Elsie.


An afternoon with Professor Linda

Bauld, OBE, and Kate Murray-Brown

Enjoy a coffee while listening to

both speaking - Professor Bauld

is Chief Social Policy Advisor to

the Scottish Government and

“one of the reassuring voices of

the pandemic” and a “go to

pandemic pundit”.

And you can ask her where she

got her flowers...


Fundraising Gala Dinner

At Dine for a finale to the

fundraising week. Beginning with a

fizz reception and including a three

course dinner.

Sadly tickets are already sold out

but you can join the waiting list.

For more details, plerase visit



In one city we trust

Former Lord Provost, Lesley Hinds

Rt Hon Lord Provost, Frank Ross

Author Sara Sheridan

Author Nadine Aisha Jassat

Contribute to Edinburgh’s social

inclusion charity OneCityTrust -

and buy this book of short stories

The People’s City,

a jolly good read

IF YOU BUY THE book, The People’s City, you

will not only enjoy a good read, but you will

also be contributing to OneCity Trust,

Edinburgh’s social inclusion charity.

This is the fourth anthology which still

features three of its original authors, the

renowned Ian Rankin, Irvine Welsh and

Alexander McCall Smith.

The stories are all connected to Edinburgh

in its various guises, mostly with a historic

setting, but the foreword by the Rt Hon

Lord Provost, Frank Ross, and the no

holds barred introduction by eminent

author, Irvine Welsh, pull few punches

about what living in the capital is like

for too many people.

Irvine Welsh believes that

many problems stem from the

fact that Edinburgh is geared

to tourism and “feeding the

bottomless trough of neoliberal capitalism”,

rather than the people who live here. He writes:

“I’m sorry to say not much has changed in our

city or in society as a whole. The poorest parts

of Edinburgh are still characterised by

underemployment, low wages, and insufficient

access to essential services, as deprivation

thrives exponentially, passed down from

generation to generation like a devastating


The Lord Provost writes about the

Edinburgh Poverty Commission which

issued its report in 2020 concluding that

one in five children in the city live in

poverty – and that this statistic was

increasing, not declining.

Food banks report soaring

numbers of people who

depend upon their services,

and the pandemic has only

Ian Rankin

made matters worse for lthose living in lower

income households.

The stories in the book are all individual, with

the common thread of Edinburgh which was

the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. To

celebrate the city, its literature, and more

importantly, its people, Polygon and the

OneCity Trust have brought together writers

– both established and emerging – to write

about the place they call home. Based around

landmarks or links to the city, each story

transports the reader to a different decade in the

recent past. Through these stories each author

reflects on the changes, both generational and

physical, in the city in which we live.

Ian Rankin titled his the Broukit Bairn. Even

though the story is set in Edinburgh and

features a convicted criminal, it is a departure

from Rebus.

Nadine Aisha Jassat is a poet, writer and

creative practitioner and her contribution is set

in Rosebank Cemetery. This was the view from

the flat that she and her auntie rented for the

weekend just before she began her studies at the

University of St Andrews, and she relates the

ghostly welcome she had on arrival.

Dr Anne Hamilton is an author who

concentrates on short works, although she says

she is working on her second novel. Her story

features the Botanics and the tree there which

stars in a complex family tale.

Sara Sheridan takes the reader to Portobello,

the land of ice cream, the possibility of an

arranged marriage in an Italian ice cream family

and love – both lost and won.

Alexander McCall Smith is a name that needs

no introduction here, as his No 1 Ladies

Detective Agency Series has won him much

acclaim. His story is set in Sandy Bell’s pub near

the University where he once worked.


Fantasy novel for

children aged 10+

When your dream of

becoming a Golden Eagle for

a day becomes a reality,

would you take the journey

to discover your true self?

Alexandra has recently

moved to Scotland and

desperately wishes she had

her old life back. She is

twelve years old with no

friends, a creepy next-door

neighbour and now she’s

made enemies with the

notorious school bullies. The

only positive thing since

moving is that she’s closer to

her dream of spotting a

real-life golden eagle.

Her journey leads her to a

magical animal kingdom, led

by a golden eagle named

Solas. When the human

world collides with theirs,

Alexandra risks everything to

save a life. A golden feather

leads to a wish fulfilled, but

when her wish-granter is

killed, she is left with a

dilemma. How will she get

back to her human form?

Does she even want to?




Teen fiction

Teenage life is the most

awkward seven years

you’ll ever have. It is 84

months of change, 364

weeks of weird and

2,555 days of scrolling

and inconvenience. In

the grand scheme of life,

it’s not a lot. Unless

you’re an actual

teenager, when


“It’s the best years of

your life!” they tell us.

And yet, while it should

be, for so many it just

doesn’t feel like it. For

most it’s an emotional

assault course of

acceptance, stress,

anxiety, heartbreak and

peer pressure, all whilst

navigating the

‘hashtagony’ of social

media. Gavin Oattes

challenges you to

embrace your inner

weird, to never grow up,

be true to yourself,

protect your mental

health and be sure that,

you act your age.





For advertising

and editorial

enquiries please

email us on:





Nordic nous

Famous Five legend

Eddie ‘Ned’ Turnbull

was the man who

gave the nod to

first Norwegians to

grace the turf at

Easter Road


WHEN HIBS signed highly rated teenager

Elias Melkersen in January from FK Bodø/

Glimt for a significant undisclosed fee, he

became only the fourth Norwegian to play

for the club.

The fact that Hibs were able to sign the

Under-20 international who is widely

regarded as one of the brightest talents

around caused quite a stir on the back pages,

but so did two of his fellow countrymen who

arrived 43-years ago.

When Jock Stein became Scotland

manager in 1979 he turned to Eddie

Turnbull for assistance, and ‘Ned’ used the

opportunity to find some talent for his

beloved Hibs.

Ned could spot a player and immediately

recognised the potential of young striker

Isak Arne Refvik from Viking Stavanger

during an Under-21 game at Easter Road

and winger Svein Mathisen from

Kristiansand side IK Start who provided

two assists for Norway in their 3-2 defeat

at Hampden.

Frustratingly Refvik should have made

his full international debut that night but

instead played for the youngsters which

would subsequently end his Hibs’

career prematurely.

Norwegian football was part time in those

days and Refvik was a mechanic whilst

Mathisen was a teacher and work permit

problems meant that that both had to be

registered as amateurs.

They each signed three-month contracts

and a few days after arriving at Leith Docks

on a ferry the pair started in a League

Cup quarter-final second leg against Morton

who took a 1-0 lead into the tie and Refvik

instantly became a fans’ favourite with

a memorable double, the second a

tremendous volley.

They then helped Hibs to a 2-2 draw

against champions Celtic and the fans who

were missing the glory days of the Tornadoes

Eddie Turnbull

back in 1958

believed they had found new heroes to

cheer on.

The authorities though had other ideas.

Eventually Mathisen secured a work permit

thanks to his Norway caps, but Refvik was a

more complex case as he was not a full

internationalist and the Labour government

refused to grant him the permit.

Chairman Tom Hart, never one to back

down from a fight demanded an inquiry into

the Department of Employment’s decision

but despite local support his efforts were

in vain.

Mathisen ended up playing just three

games for Hibs against Morton, Celtic, and

finally against Aberdeen in the League Cup

semi-final at Dens Park where Alex

Ferguson’s side won with a fluke goal in

extra time.

He returned to Kristiansand and Start and

played on until 1989, cementing his place as

a club legend but sadly died from stomach

cancer in January 2011 aged just 58.

Refvik featured seven times before

returning to Viking for whom he made more

than 400 appearances and won seven caps

for Norway.

It took almost 40-years before another

Norwegian graced the Easter Road turf when

Alan Stubbs signed left-back Niklas

Gunnarsson on-loan from Vålerenga in

January 2016.

Gunnarsson only spent half-a season at

Hibs but is fondly remembered for his

contribution to Hibs historic Scottish Cup


He made his debut in the Scottish Cup

fourth round 2–0 win against Raith Rovers,

then in the next round he came on in the

58th minute to replace David Gray when

Hibs were 2-0 down at Tynecastle. He also

featured from the bench in both quarterfinal

matches against Inverness Caledonian

Thistle but replacing the ever-reliable

Lewis Stevenson was always going to be

a difficult task

He did manage to score the winning goal

against Rangers in a 3-2 victory in the run

up to the final but had to settle for a place on

the bench that glorious day in May.

That summer Niklas returned to Norway

and joined Djurgårdens IF. He currently

plays for Strømsgodset and will always be

welcome at Easter Road.

Initiative set to

fill Easter Road

to the rafters


HIBS FANS CAN watch ‘Football For A Fiver’ this

month and the club are hoping to sell out every

seat in the Easter Road stadium for the visit of

St Johnstone on Saturday 5 March.

The regime recognised the impact that a

sold-out stadium had on Shaun Maloney’s side

when they faced Hearts earlier this year, and

have told fans not to underestimate the role

they play in helping the team push on to finish

in the European places.

That night Easter Road was rocking with 90

minutes of non-stop cheering from all four

stands all around the stadium.

Playing in front of a full-house really seemd

to inspire the Hibs players.

The Saints were chosen as the opposition for

this initiative as they are the team which always

looks after the Hibs travelling support on any

visit to Perth.

Chief Executive Officer at Hibernian FC, Ben

Kensell said: “Football is all about the fans, and

the support we have received this season has

been phenomenal.

“Being a football fan isn’t cheap, and Covid

has made it even harder for everyone, but it’s

clear to see the vital role that you all play.

“As we come to an important part of the

season, we want to make Easter Road a fortress

and have as many supporters getting behind

Shaun Maloney’s side as possible.

“Through ‘Football For A Fiver’, we have

made the game affordable for everyone

and hopefully we will sell out Easter Road

once again.

“The stadium was bouncing for the

Edinburgh Derby, and it made it a really special

occasion. I hope we can create that kind of

atmosphere again.

“It’s also fantastic that the match is against St

Johnstone as they look after our fans well when

we travel to Perth and offer the cheapest away

day ticket for our supporters.”

All match tickets on sale for just £5, including

away fans and the club are keen to see as

many Hibs fans, young and old, at Easter Road

as possible.

For ticket information please visit: www.



Midfield goals a must

Mystery how McKay has yet to score but his time will surely come in a Hearts jersey


WHEN HEARTS signed Barrie McKay following

his departure from Swansea City it would be fair

to say supporters knew what he could bring to

the team when on his game. However,

considering the midfielder had struggled in

Wales and was subsequently loaned out to

Fleetwood there were also some questions

to be answered.

The former Rangers man jumped at the

chance of a return to Scottish football with

Hearts and now almost six months into his

Jambos career, the move is working out very well

for both parties.

Despite a relatively poor February, Hearts

remain comfortably clear in third spot and are

through to the Scottish Cup quarter finals.

As an outsider, you’d think all would be rosy

in the Tynecastle garden, however the passionate

Hearts supporters always demand more from

their side, and to their credit, there are plenty of

things Hearts could improve on.

One of those is goals from the midfield area,

or rather the lack of them. For all the good

work Barrie McKay has produced this season

Robbie Neilson

the one thing missing, at this moment in time,

is a Hearts goal.

McKay isn’t alone in that though and

alongside Hearts’ top goalscorer Liam Boyce

and new loanee Ellis Simms, Hearts are

struggling to tie down a consistent performer

on the other wing.

Boyce has been tried out wide, but is far

more influential through the middle, whereas

Ben Woodburn, Josh Ginnelly, Gary Mackay-

Steven and Aaron McEneff haven’t contributed

enough to the goals department to show

Barrie McKay

manager Robbie Neilson they are worthy of a

starting berth.

It really is a mystery as to how McKay has

yet to find the net for Hearts, especially

considering the little pockets of space he finds

during every match.

Although he may not have scored for Hearts

yet, he has racked up six assists and looks by far

the most creative player at the club.

At times, McKay appears on a whole different

level to his fellow wide men, however there are

some early signs that Hearts are starting to rely

Aaron McEneff

too heavily on him. With the ball being passed to

McKay perhaps more in hope than expectation

that he’ll manage to create something.

The 27-year-old only signed a two-year-deal

last summer, which means it won’t be long until

other clubs could come calling.

After a productive summer window, where

Hearts agreed new deals with Michael Smith,

Craig Halkett, Stephen Kingsley, Craig Gordon

and Euan Henderson, the next player they

should be looking to tie down has to be the

impressive McKay.

Ian Jacobs

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