Friends of Dalry Cemetery get
together in centre of town
America calling A right honour Fabulous feasts
Roots of Peace in capital and
seeds of friendship in NYC
Lord Provost Frank Ross looks
back at five years in office
Scottish and Japanese cuisine –
charm, class and quality food
Hi and goodbye
High point for Hearts but
curtains for Maloney
Page 6 Page 9 Pages 12-13 Page 17
Martin P McAdam
EDINBURGH’S FREE LOCAL NEWSPAPER...A CAPITAL READ FROM START TO FINISH
of art in
Chris Rutterford shows
off his latest work on the
front of the building
New look at an
THE NEWEST mural in town is in
Braidburn Valley Park where a
fabulously colourful design has
brightened up a corner of the park at
an electricity sub station, now
displaying paintings of nature and
animals, and reflecting the wildlife
visitors might spot there. For many
years the old building (on the
western hillside, abutting the Fly
Walk) has been something of a blot
on the landscape.
Mural artist, Chris Rutterford, is a
‘Southside boy’ who is well known
for his beautiful artwork in the
Colinton Tunnel and now he has
done it again.
Paul Bailey, Chair of the Friends of
Braidburn Valley Park (FOBVP )
explained the genesis of the project.
He said: “The building looked a
complete mess until the electricity
board did at last paint it over in grey.
Then some ”artists” applied some
graffiti - reasonably pleasantly - but
obviously it needed a professional
artist to make it more attractive.
“Andrew Swann, who was a
previous Chair of FOBVP, first came
up with a proposal for a radical
facelift for the structure. Inspired by
Chris Rutterford’s transformation of
the Colinton Tunnel the proposal
was to have murals decorate the
substation, depicting images related
to the Park, with the community
involved in their creation. Previous
chair of the Friends, Margaret Bruce,
was also involved in grant
applications - always a necessary part
of any project like this.”
Turn to page 20
Letters to the editor
Helping the blind
THIS MONTH voters all over Scotland shape
the future of their local councils for the next
five years. All of this is affected by national
and international politics, and the climate
emergency. We have eight years within which
to achieve net zero carbon in Edinburgh –
something which the council is bound to try
and do in terms of Scottish Government
legislation. There is also an obligation to
report any progress being made each year.
Since 2005/06 carbon emissions in the city
have reduced by 60%, and in 2020 the council
reported it was a year ahead of where it
thought it would be. One of the biggest
reasons for reduction advances was the
introduction of waste processing at Millerhill
where rubbish also generates energy.
Edinburgh Solar Co-op which installs solar
panels on public buildings is now six years
old and generating its own renewable energy,
saving both on emissions and costs.
The rising cost of fuel for vehicles is tied to
global price rises, and the war in Ukraine is
playing its part in that.
With the cost of living on the rise, the
council will have to constantly review its own
finances, although a new council elected this
month will at least start off with the annual
budget already agreed earlier this year.
It seems likely that more families in
Edinburgh will be forced to resort to food
banks, and the 80,000 people living in
poverty here, according to the Poverty
Commission set up by the last council
coalition, may increase. All the more reason
then to choose any new council wisely.
On our website you will find profiles of a
majority of candidates, and copies of all the
manifestos we have been able to find. There is
a brief breakdown of some key policies on
Pages 4 and 5 in this issue to help you decide
who to vote for.
We always look in many corners of the city
for news and were pleased to discover the
new mural in Braidburn Valley Park –
a triumph for the Friends group there.
Roddy Martine relates another chapter in
the story of Ricky Demarco and the film
made about him and his life’s work – musing
it is perhaps too much for one lifetime.
As ever I hope you enjoy our monthly look
at the news in Edinburgh.
With the elections for Scotland’s local
authorities happening on 5 May, it is
important to emphasise the vital role councils
play in helping blind and partially sighted
people to live as independently and
inclusively as possible.
People with a visual impairment are more
likely to depend on services from their local
council, for information that’s readily
available in alternative formats, public
transport that’s accessible, streets and
thoroughfares that allow people to walk
safely and without obstacles, education that
allows every child to reach their full potential,
and employment that’s informed by a better
understanding of what those with sight
loss can do.
Around 178,000 people are currently living
with a significant degree of sight loss in
Scotland, of whom over 4,000 are children
and young people. Our ageing population
and the increase in sight-threatening
conditions such as diabetes means this
number will, inevitably, grow.
Let’s make one positive legacy of the
BRINGING THE NEWS TO YOU
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, at Summerhall, Art & Craft Collective, EICC,
LifeCare on Cheyne Street, Coffee Angels, Rose Theatre Café, The
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Western General Hospital,
as well as some branches of large 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
selected streets. If you would like us to include your street, even
as a one-off, then please suggest it to us.
upheaval we’ve all been through a resolve to
make sure we re-emerge as a society in which
no one is left at the margins. Our local
authorities are absolutely key to this.
Yours sincerely, James Adams, director
of the Royal National Institute of
Blind People (RNIB Scotland)
It’s all about
63 councillors will be elected
on 5 May in 17 city council wards
22 councillors are retiring or
stepping down at this election
There are 15 political parties
fielding candidates at this election
There are 10 Independent
candidates - and six of those are
standing in the City Centre Ward
There are seven candidates
standing in seven wards for the
newest party - the Alba Party
One Communist Party candidate
is standing in Leith Walk Ward
Other less well known political
bodies include the Women’s
Equality Party who have put
forward one male and one female
candidate and there is also the
Workers’ Party of Britain
The Scottish Libertarian Party
have five candidates standing.
The Scottish Family Party have a
For advertising and
reporter.co.uk Donate anchor.fm YouTube
I’m proud to support Mary’s Meals, a charity
which feeds more than two million children in
some of the world’s poorest countries every
school day. With spring now upon us, it’s an
ideal time for your readers to get active to
help Mary’s Meals reach more hungry children.
The Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon is an
opportunity to swim, run, kayak and cycle
around Loch Tay, Perthshire. Or they could try
hiking one of three routes in the Pentland Hills
for the Artemis Pentland Peaks Challenge.
Readers can also set their own Move for Meals
challenge and jog, climb, even disco dance
anywhere in the UK to raise funds!
Taking part in these events will help to
support Mary’s Meals, allowing it to reach
desperately hungry children with the promise
of a school meal across 20 countries including
Ethiopia, Haiti, South Sudan and Syria.
And with it costing just £15.90 to feed a
child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school
year, it’s easy for your moves to make a
Thank you! Mark Beaumont,
athlete and broadcaster
total of 11 candidates
The councillors elected will shape
the way the council runs 700+
services in the city
The population in Edinburgh is
projected to grow to 586,566 by
2043, but the number of residents
under 15 is expected to decrease
by 5% between 2019 and 2043
The population density in
Edinburgh is 2,003 residents per
square kilometre – compared with
4,805 in Manchester
We write news stories 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
Martin P McAdam
Young entrepreneur smashes her fundraising target
Bombrys (10) with her
friend, Katarina Steele
TEN YEAR-OLD Maia Bombrys is flexing her
entrepreneurial skills with fundraising efforts for
Ukrainian aid charity, Sunflower Scotland, and
has already broken her initial target of raising a
total of £1,000.
This is a charity close to her heart as her
mother, Anastasia, is Belarusian/Ukrainian.
Maia started off with a stall at Tesco in
Musselburgh where she sold t-shirts, jewellery
and home made cakes, making £767.06 for the
Freedom of the
City for SNIY
THE HIGHEST honour that Edinburgh can bestow has
been awarded to the Edinburgh Squadron of the
Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) (pictured
right) in a ceremony conducted on The Royal Mile by
Depute Lord Provost, Cllr Joan Griffiths.
The Freedom of the City is Edinburgh’s most
prestigious honour and the recognition allowed SNIY
to march through Edinburgh with bayonets fixed
which is one of the perks. The Yeomanry which is the
Army’s newest combat regiment is based in the capital
at Redford Barracks.
There are now five living Freemen of the City - HM
The Queen (bestowed in 1947), Sir Chris Hoy
(bestowed in 2012), Professor Peter Higgs (January
2014) and Squadron 603 of the Royal Auxiliary Air
Force which was granted in July 2018.
charity. Since then she has been able to replenish
her stock with new items supplied by Hiroko
Macfadyen, a Japanese jewellery maker who lives
in The Honest Toun where she makes her own
jewellery range by hand.
Some othere new stock came from the US
where Maia’s paternal grandparents live. While
visiting Florida they related the story of their
granddaughter’s fund-raising efforts to a
Vietnamese shop owner who gave them some
jewellery from her store for the schoolgirl to sell
for charity in Edinburgh.
Most recently Maia, along with her friend
Katarina Steele, raised £549.20 at the Coffee
Morning held at Starbucks Fountainbridge,
smashing through her initial target.
When her stock is at an end Maia might make
her own jewellery to sell, but meantime she has
many T-shirts available for sale. Contact
Sunflower Scotland through Facebook.
EDINBURGH REMAKERY has been
honoured with a Queen’s Award for
Enterprise, recognised for its excellence in
The organisation teaches and adopts
sustainable practices around repair and
reuse to prevent valuable materials and
resources, such as electronic devices,
from going to waste, and reducing
pollution and carbon emissions. In this
way, the social enterprise aids the urgent
need to change the UK’s economy to one
that is more environmentally, socially,
and economically sustainable.
Elaine Brown, CEO of The Edinburgh
Remakery said: “Receiving the Queen’s
Award for Enterprise is an amazing
achievement for us.
”We’re delighted to receive this
recognition for our work in sustainability,
and it is a great testament to the role of
social enterprises in creating positive
change in our communities. Putting
people and planet first is at the heart of
our operations, and this award is a
triumph for the circular economy and its
vital role in helping Edinburgh and the
UK hit their ambitious net zero targets,
ending waste and pollution, and helping
people to Waste Less, Live More.”
In 2021, the Edinburgh Remakery
collected 39 tonnes of electronic waste,
352 people were taught repair and reuse
skills, and 412 free electronic devices
were gifted to people in Edinburgh.
Martin P McAdam
Two deaths is enough
It’s time to redesign
the most dangerous
By SPOKES PORTY
Cllr Cammy Day
On the 2022
THE PORTOBELLO High Street Sir Harry
Lauder Road junction is the most dangerous in
Edinburgh for people riding bikes. Two people
have been killed there in recent years. The
junction is also hostile and inconvenient for
pedestrians. People walking between Inchview
Terrace and Portobello High Street are faced
with up to six separate crossings, forced to wait
at each point as heavy traffic thunders past.
The long delayed initial temporary safety
improvements are due to start soon. Interim
measures focussed on resolving the primary
issues causing fatalities at the junction are yet
to be published, but are likely to require Traffic
Orders, so are expected in approximately
18 months (assuming no further delays).
However, Spokes Porty are concerned that,
once these interim measures are in place, the
council may not give the urgent priority
needed to improve the junction as a whole
- to encourage more people to walk,
wheel, cycle or take the bus, and reduce
the impacts of industrial traffic on
people and the local environment.
Spokes Porty believes that the council
should commit to and prioritise such a
design in its current work - the Major
Spokes Porty is proposing a
protected signalised junction as a
possible permanent solution. This would
be a signal-controlled junction with
separate phases for walking, cycling, and
driving. It would improve conditions for
pedestrians and cyclists by removing conflict
between drivers and cyclists and make it easier
for pedestrians to cross.
The proposal is based on Dutch design
principles where the movements of all users are
segregated, making the junction safer for all.
It would support the Highway Code’s new
transport hierarchy, which places those who
walk, wheel and cycle at the top.
Removing the slip lanes reduces crossing
distance and time for pedestrians while
maintaining an efficient junction. Wide
footways separated from motor traffic by cycle
lanes would also improve pedestrian comfort
while making the junction a more attractive
place to cross.
Separate cycleways with dedicated crossing
phases would be usable by people of all
ages and abilities, critical if we are to enable
those who want to cycle to be able to safely
The proposal would need to be modelled,
but it has the potential to maintain capacity for
industrial and commercial vehicles while
supporting the Council’s target of 30%
reduction in car kilometres by promoting
active travel. Aspirational active travel links in
the outline proposal have been included for
current and future housing developments
A ghost bike at the junction signifies
that a cyclist has died there
around Sir Harry Lauder Road and Seafield
Road to encourage sustainable travel.
This is one of many large junctions in
Edinburgh that are not safe for cyclists. The
council’s Major Junctions Review must result in
significant improvements for those walking,
wheeling, and cycling. Spokes Porty expects the
council to fund and implement all the changes
required at these junctions, with a permanent
solution at Portobello being the top priority.
MY STEP counter hasn’t seen so much
action for some time, although I do aim for
10k a a day. But 30-40,000 steps is quite
something. Our new intake of councillors
will be a fit bunch, to start with at least. If
there’s one thing all candidates can thank
elections for, it’s helping keep us active.
It’s been hugely refreshing to be out and
about in the wards we serve as councillors,
hearing local issues, meeting local people
and community groups. It has reminded
me that I need to spend more time locally
than in other meetings.
I’ve seen the stairs in Granton that need
refurbished, and I will be asking officers to
join me in a walk around the community
to agree an action plan and decide
I’ve spoken to many people who are
using food banks and who are worried
about the real impact of increasing
energy bills, with no support from
government to make any real meaningful
It’s these people all of us need to
support. Our recent budget gives support
to families and young people in school.
This direct financial support gives a little
I’ve seen the huge number of local
people using our fantastic open and green
spaces, the new cycle and walking route I
got installed at Lower Granton Road/
Wardie Bay busy with walkers and cyclists
and the ever popular Wardie Bay, full of sea
swimmers, families and groups of young
people enjoying our city’s coastline. An
opportunity for us to do more at Granton
Waterfront, Wardie Bay and all along
Edinurgh’s fantastic shores.
It’s not all rosy in the Forth Ward. I have a
regular case load of issues. It’s not
acceptable that stairs need to be properly
cleaned, and painted, that some owners
won’t pay their share, nor that small
numbers of people think it’s ok to dump
rubbish in shared spaces or blight our
green spaces with fly tipping.
The election will bring a new intake
of councillors. Let me say to all of those
standing down, whatever their political
party, thank you for giving up so much
of your time, for some of you decades of
your life, to public service in our capital
city of Edinburgh. Politics isn’t often a
thankful task, but I know the efforts and
time we all put into these roles as locally
Finally, to everyone who is standing, best
of luck. Oh yes, very finally - do Vote
Labour on 5 May.
Cllr Cammy Day
What will your
vote get you?
Promises galore in the parties’ manifestos
By PHYLLIS STEPHEN
WHETHER OR not the 2022 council elections
will be affected by national politics remains to be
seen, but the council is responsible for more than
700 services in Edinburgh, affecting each and
every person living in the city to some degree.
The usual talking points are things like bins,
potholes and social care, but many have said that
the amount of funding that Edinburgh receives
from The Scottish Government is less than the
national average. Most parties have asked for
“full and fair funding” so that the council can
deliver the services it is required to.
Edinburgh Conservatives say that the Scottish
Government has “systematically and
destructively underfunded local councils”, with
Edinburgh often receiving the lowest block grant
per head of population of all 32 local authorities.
The Communists’ Manifesto says that proper
funding for councils is needed, saying that the
SNP and Green government has cut real council
funding by £377 million despite the Scottish
Government’s own 2020/21 budget being
underspent by £580 million.
Edinburgh Labour ask for The Scottish
Government to “give our city the powers and
resources it needs”, and to give powers back to
local council level.
LOADS OF RUBBISH
Rubbish collection and opportunities for
recycling are often the subject of complaints.
The current administration plans to create
new communal bin hubs in the World Heritage
Site of the New Town, as well as in Leith. This
has been both a surprise to many residents and a
bone of contention.
The Cockburn Association in their manifesto
say that the council’s plans for new waste hub
collection are “lacking in design integrity” and
are insensitive to the areas within which many
are placed. They want greater attention to
aesthetics and heritage considerations for all
projects in public spaces.
Edinburgh Conservatives want to spring clean
the city. They say they will cut through complex
layers of management and redirect resources to
basic frontline cleansing and maintenance with
an enforcement team to deal with fly-tipping,
dumping around bins, litter and dog fouling.
They will introduce a graffiti taskforce to clean
up public spaces and end the £35 per year brown
bin charge for garden waste. They will scrap the
special uplift charge to reduce fly-tipping and
will review the need for the “costly and
ineffective” bin hubs which are proposed for
communal bin areas. They suggest putting
communal bins underground, and will retain
gull proof bags in the New Town. They will also
pull up the weeds on streets with a clear
timetable of action and will improve the
schedule to maintain litter bins - enhancing the
reporting system with QR codes on bins.They
will clean the gullies regularly and also scrap the
booking system at recycling centres.
The Greens will take robust action against fly
tipping with extra environmental wardens to
tackle litter, graffiti, dog fouling and will support
community clean ups - pressing The Scottish
Government for further powers if needed. They
will improve bin collections and recycling, and
increase street cleaning carts in neighbourhoods.
Edinburgh Labour promise to take steps to
extend food waste collections to all homes,
reduce plastic waste going to landfill by
encouraging schemes such as reusable nappies
and period products, and they will investigate
ways of recycling plastic film. They will put extra
resources into waste collection to increase the
frequency of emptying street bins and also
undertaking street cleaning.
Liberal Democrats will “deliver clean local
environments” and they support the Scottish
LibDems campaign for the introduction of a
new restitution order. The proceeds of this will
help victims with the cost of cleaning up
fly-tipping. They will support measures to
reduce waste and embrace the development of a
The SNP will spend an extra £10 million on
street cleaning and waste collections over the
next five years, improving action on graffiti
partly by creating more spaces for street art and
murals. They will increase recycling rates
through education campaigns, improve the
recycling service and the enforcement against
businesses which dump waste illegally. They will
also address litter and fly-tipping and support
locals who wish to clear weeds without using
pesticides. They would like a local levy on
wasteful packaging for home delivered items.
None of this answers whether this is a load of
hot air, or some real action will result of course.
Read more of our extensive council election
coverage online - including live from the count.
A vote for your community
THE UPCOMING Local
Council elections provide a
unique opportunity for the
people vote for a legislative
body that can be focused on
local issues that affect the day
to day lives of constituents.
They are not voting for policy
priorities that will focus on
other areas in Scotland, but
rather solely for the interest of
their immediate community.
We in the Scottish
Conservative and Unionist
Party believe that councillors
should have a laser focus on
the communities that they
serve, rather than be
distracted by national politics.
That is why we are committed
to delivering on your local
priorities in your communities
Here in Edinburgh, we have
had five years of SNP
leadership with nothing
positive to show for it. From
chaos on the roads to a lack
of social care, the legacy of
this session is nothing but
failure to deliver on the
priorities of local people.
On 5 May, we here in
Edinburgh have a chance to
send a clear message to the
SNP that we will not stand for
a council that is more
interested in the legislative
priorities of Nicola Sturgeon
than the residents of this
great city. We can send this
message with a vote for your
Scottish Conservative and
All friends together
Martin P McAdam
to play with
Jakob Assarsson front right with his
team of volunteers at Dalry Cemetery
Community group clean up Dalry Cemetery
JAKOB ASSARSSON founded the Friends of
Dalry Cemetery during lockdown - the perfect
time to explore a garden cemetery. Now, thanks
to their hard work it is a thriving community
greenspace and wildlife haven. Dalry was
opened in 1846 as a private garden cemetery, by
the Metropolitan Cemetery Association (also
owners of Newington Cemetery). Originally
known as Dalry Necropolis, it was designed by
architect David Cousin, who also designed
Warriston, Dean, Rosebank, and Newington
Cemetery. At its height it hosted an average of
three funerals a day and in total there are more
than 27,000 people buried there.
Now, 700 monuments have been laid flat,
either for safety reasons or by vandals. The first
burial was that of Elizabeth Douglas, age 27,
on 14 July 1846. Her monument was re-stood
Notable residents include Sir Alexander
Burnes, explorer and diplomat; Sir Neil Douglas,
British Army officer and Waterloo veteran; and
Anne Jane Cupples, writer and science
Clare Macpherson partner
with Thorntons with Diane
Alton from CHAS
populariser. There are 26 Commonwealth War
Graves Commission graves, mostly from the
First World War. All are now marked with cast
iron poppy bird-baths.
He said: “I had been litter-picking in the
cemetery for a few years. Then I saw a post on
the Gorgie/Dalry Neighbours Facebook page,
organised a community litter pick and it
developed from there.”
Friends of Dalry Cemetery have been active in
the last two years removing litter, planting trees,
installing bird and bat boxes and bins, and
making Dalry a welcoming space for the living
and a respectful place to remember the dead.
“We now have between five and ten regular
volunteers and there are more who come along
as and when they can.
“We’ve received grants from The City of
Edinburgh Council Bereavement Services, Big
Hearts Foundation, and abrdn. We have also
raised smaller amounts via our Facebook group,
Text to Donate, and membership sales.
“All of the plots are now sold, but the cemetery
is still open to burials if someone has the Right
to Burial document for a plot and there are
spaces remaining in the plot. There have been
11 burials since the Edinburgh Cemetery
Company was dissolved in 1978, ten of which
were since The City of Edinburgh Council took
over in 1988, and the most recent burial only
took place in 2015.”
Tidying and gardening sessions are held every
Sunday from 2pm to 4pm, meeting at the central
stairs. All equipment is provided.
Lawyers take up the reins of charity ball
CITY LAW FIRM Thorntons is
the new headline sponsor of
the fundraising ball for charity
Children’s Hospices Across
The Rocking Horse Ball will
be held at Prestonfield House
next month. In 2019 when it
was last held it raised £136,000
to help the charity provide
support for families of children
with life shortening conditions.
This year the Wizard of Oz
theme will be used to raise
even more much-needed funds.
There will be a range of
entertainment for guests to
enjoy including performances
from MGA Academy and music
Thorntons partner, Clare
Macpherson said: “The annual
CHAS Rocking Horse Ball is a
fantastic fundraiser which
supports families across
Scotland in need of CHAS care.
We’re proud to pledge our
support of the 2022 event
which we hope will raise a
IN THIS YEAR’S budget for Edinburgh,
Labour councillors secured £425,000 for
the upgrade of playparks across the city.
This demonstrates the priorities of our
brilliant team of councillors who are
always focused on their local
communities, rather than defending the
big fibber, Prime Minister Boris Johnson,
or obsessing about Nicola Sturgeon’s
plans to divide Scotland.
I’ve been putting pressure on council
officials about the state of our playparks
for a long time, and with extra
investment now secured, I can report
that improvements are now agreed.
Inch Park play area has been in
appalling condition for years, and I am
delighted that works are starting to
upgrade the facilities.
The play area at nearby Glendinning
Crescent was completely removed during
the pandemic with no replacement, but
works will start by the end of this month
on installing a new play area where local
children can play.
In another part of the city, my council
colleague, Joan Griffiths, has been
working for years to get a new play park
at Loganlea - and she has also managed
to deliver this.
The amazing facilities include a flying
fox, which I’m sure local kids will love.
Joan is a true local champion and has
worked so hard to secure the play park.
Unfortunately, delivering these
improvements in Edinburgh has been
made so much harder due to savage SNP
Government funding cuts during the last
The SNP promised it would replace and
upgrade every play area at the last
election, but quickly abandoned that
promise as soon as Nicola Sturgeon was
re-elected – which I think is just typical
of the SNP.
While the nationalists dither and delay,
Labour councillors and parliamentarians
will continue to fight to improve play
parks across Edinburgh for every child.
BY IAN MURRAY MP
FROM 1 MAY The City of Edinburgh
Council begins to charge for using the
electric vehicle chargers on the city streets.
Charges will be displayed and revenue will
be used to increase the number of chargers
in Edinburgh, which have already
expanded by 81 since March.
Heart of Portobello
Plans to revive the Town Hall moving along this year
WHO ARE PORTOBELLO CENTRAL?
A group of local people that came together in
early 2020, in response to a call from the City of
Edinburgh Council for ideas for Portobello
Town Hall, closed in face of substantial
repairs. We are now Portobello Central
SCIO, a charity.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Right now the Town Hall is a dark, dead,
brooding presence ignored by most, instead of
being a proud, key destination contributing fun
and fervour to our community.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
The Town Hall used to be the centre of life in
Portobello. We think we can restart that and do
much more. There is strong support for flexible
community management of the Town Hall but
we know it has to more than cover its costs to
survive. A Scottish Government fund provided
£350,000 for major repairs, starting in June, and
the venue will open for business at the end of
2022. We have professional reports on how it
can be refurbished and extended to modern
standards – which will require major funding,
but we think it both possible and essential for
life in Portobello. We want the Town Hall to be
centre of life, fit for 50 more years.
WHAT FORM DOES YOUR CAMPAIGN HAVE?
We look outwards from the Town Hall to ensure
a future supporting a lively community. In
lockdown we conducted major consultations
online and used social media to the full. We
have played a part in the development of 20
Minute Neighbourhoods. People must see
Portobello as a place to have a full life without
travel. We published “Porty Food Map: The
Traders’ Stories” celebrating the High Street and
Prom as great places for food and drink.
HOW CAN PEOPLE READING THIS
Become a Member to help us show funders we
are deeply rooted in the community. Volunteer
– we need a lot of help. Think about your next
event, family celebrations, birthdays, weddings
(marry on the beach and dance in the Town
Hall?). Wrestling, roller-blading, rock music,
dance of all kinds and craft fairs - all possible.
Imagine a new space for your activities – it’s a
big hall. Get in touch!
Stepping out for Ukraine
SCOTLAND’S leading professional tango
dancers, Jenny and Ricardo Oria, helped
raise more than £1200 for Ukrainian
refugee charities with a special dance
demonstration attended by tango fans
from as far afield as Brighton, Aberdeen,
Dundee and Glasgow.
Recognised as two of the UK’s foremost
teachers of Argentinian tango, Jenny and
Ricardo took to the floor at a milonga
(social dance) held at the Charteris Centre
in Edinburgh’s Pleasance.
Monies raised from door takings,
donations and a raffle were handed to
representatives of UNICEF and DEC90 to
be forwarded to Ukrainian charities.
Dance organiser, Kim McFarlane, said:
“We were delighted Jenny and Ricardo
were able to give up their time for a
fantastic evening of tango and help up
raise more than £1,000 to assist the
Ukrainian refugee crisis.”
A weekly tango practica is held at St
Ninian’s Hall in the Charteris Centre, 138
Pleasance, each Thursday (7.15pm) and a
monthly milonga takes place every fourth
Friday in the larger and recently
refurbished Binks Hall, the next one being
8 May from 8pm, entry £8 cash only.
Jenny and Ricardo’s in-person tango
classes, for beginners, improvers,
intermediate and experienced dancers,
have recently resumed. The 12-week
Tango Basics beginners’ course is held at
Nicholson Square Methodist Church Halls
and the couple would particularly
welcome more leaders to even up the
balance between leaders and followers.
For information on all Oria Tango classes and
the popular Norteña tango weekend festival
on 4-5 June visit www.oriatango.com
15% discount on all shipping and packing materials when quoting code PS101
8 NEWS CAMPAIGNS
The Edinburgh South
sets out its case for
an urban rail revival
WHO ARE YOU?
I’m a railway formally called the Edinburgh
Suburban & Southside Junction Railway but
colloquially called the #EdSouthSub. I opened
in 1884, I am still here today but sadly only
used for freight and occasional empty passenger
services as my stations closed in 1962. The
route of the remaining #EdSouthSub spans
from Murrayfield in the west to Newcraighall in
the east. Historically there were stations at
Gorgie, Craiglockhart, Morningside, Blackford,
Newington, Duddingston/Craigmillar and
Niddrie along this section of dual track railway.
a look at litter
WHO ARE YOU?
#SOSLeith is a small group of local
resident volunteers concerned about
issues of litter, water quality, sewage, silt,
conservation and heritage in and around
the lower basins of the Water of Leith. We
formed in 2019, primarily to take action
about piles of rubbish forming at the
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The #EdSouthSub provides an existing cross
city segregated public transport corridor
avoiding the city centre, which could be useful
to many from Edinburgh, the Lothians and
beyond. This is because the route passes several
shopping, education, healthcare and residential
destinations. This double track route is
currently open, has a speed limit of 40mph and
it is still maintained to this day by Network Rail
Scotland. Therefore if the stations were
reopening (or new ones constructed in new
locations) these could be cheaper and less
carbon intensive than building new on-road
infrastructure from scratch, helping reduce
transport related carbon emissions by recycling
existing infrastructure with limited on going
cost to Edinburgh Council (CEC). The
#EdSouthSub could be utilised by services
provided by either of the following modes:
• Scotrail Trains to connect South Edinburgh to
the wider National Rail network and recent
EGIP improvements. Providing faster
journeys elsewhere in Central Scotland &
beyond e.g. Morningside to Glasgow perhaps,
thus reducing congestion on the A720/M8/M9
whilst also providing direct east/west cross
city journeys e.g Edinburgh Park to Brunstane.
• TramTrains to join the Edinburgh Trams
network from Haymarket providing routes to
the Airport or Newhaven to South Edinburgh
as well an east/west link across Edinburgh.
• or a combination of both, as seen in
Rotherham, Karlsruhe and other areas.
Taking into account CEC’s City Centre
Transformation, proposed electrification of the
line planned by Network Rail Scotland in the
coming years and not least the Climate
Emergency declared by Edinburgh, Scottish
and UK governments in 2019, it seems this
project would be a great opportunity to put
these words into action. However, very
frustratingly, the City Mobility Plan 2030
didn’t include the reopening of stations – even
though the #EdSouthSub was the most
requested suggestion by respondents to the
WHAT FORM DOES YOUR CAMPAIGN HAVE?
There is an active Twitter account @edsouthsub
which has the latest comings and goings on the
route. This also helps people to engage with
statutory consultations that may affect the lines
future. There is also a petition to support
reopening stations (with +4,900 signatures) with
the aim of getting passengers back onboard.
There are supportive Facebook groups who also
provide wider engagement. This campaign
appears to have raised awareness of the line, its
potential and was acknowledged at the CEC’s
Transport & Environment Committee in
February 2021. This is building upon the work
of Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG).
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
A reinstated regular passenger service that
connects communities in the areas along the
route to the rest of the public transport
network, as a viable alternative to the same
trips by car. It is our belief that the most
sustainable public transport investment is
achieved by reutilising infrastructure such as
the #EdSouthSub. For example the Borders,
makes it through
Alloa or Leven lines reinstatement all prove
this proposal could be viable. South, East and
West Edinburgh are underserved by rail
meaning many medium to long distance trips
are by default easier and faster by private car.
Providing a truly viable alternative without the
need for journeys to Waverley or Haymarket
stations would help achieve several local and
national government targets.
This includes but is not limited to:
• reducing car miles driven by 20%
(30% in Edinburgh)
• net zero carbon emissions
• improving air quality
• creation of 20 minute neighbourhoods
• improving road safety for vulnerable road
users and improving reliability of buses by
getting private cars off our streets.
HOW CAN PEOPLE READING
THIS ARTICLE HELP?
Speak to local council election candidates
about the line and vote for those that support
the #EdSouthSub, email your local MSPs
asking them to support a Feasibility Study or
sign the petition sharing it with anyone else
you think might be interested. Finally try and
spot a train in the #EdSouthSub, take a photo,
tag and share it online.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
We hope to protect and enhance the
area and we are prepared to challenge
authorities, businesses and landowners
if something is not right for the
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
We feel that we need to celebrate, value
and fight for what we have at the Shore.
In an area with so little green space, we
have to cherish our “blue” space!
WHAT FORM DOES YOUR CAMPAIGN HAVE?
It takes a variety of forms, including our
social media presence on Facebook and
Twitter, from handing out free litter
pickers to lobbying and corresponding
with politicians and bodies such as
Scottish Water and the Scottish
Environment Protection Agency. We’ve
organised petitions around litter and
sewage and held a public meeting to
We’ve designed booms that help deflect
water-borne litter. We stock flower
containers on The Shore, and last autumn
erected an information board at the
historic Rennie’s Lock Bridge. Current
campaigning highlights sewage and silt.
We’ve had help on this from students at
Edinburgh University and we’re in the
process of linking up with universities to
do some practical research.
HOW CAN OUR READERS HELP?
Like-minded volunteers need to take a
proactive role and be able to respond
quickly to fast-moving events. Contact
your elected officials and make them do
the job they are supposed to be doing
for you and your neighbourhood. And
take a litter-picker with you if you’re out
for a walk.
for good cause
Martin P McAdam
Roots of Peace charity celebrates 25
years by planting a tree at the Botanics
ON A DRIZZLY Edinburgh
morning, Californian Heidi
Kuhn was all smiles as she
planted a water hickory tree at
the Royal Botanic Garden
Edinburgh, accompanied by
the Regius Keeper, Simon
Milne, and Her Serene
Highness Princess Angelika
Jarosławska Sapieha of Poland.
The tree records the 25th
anniversary of the charity
which Mrs Kuhn and her
husband founded – Roots of
Peace – which aims to turn
mines into vines.
Landmines remain a
grave threat to people all
over the world and the charity
replaces these with vineyards
Mrs Kuhn explained that she
has Scottish ancestry with
ancestors born in 1701 in Old
Kilpatrick who then sailed to
the eastern seaboard of the US,
moving to California through
the Panama Canal. She said: “It
is the greatest honour to be
here to invoke peace at a time
in our world when we need to
turn swords into ploughshares,
guns into shovels, and mines
“I hope with this incredibly
symbolic tree to plant peace on
the terra firma of my homeland
of my ancestors.”
From left to right: Heidi Kuhn,
Simon Milne and Princess
Angelika Jarosławska Sapieha
HAME FUNDRAISING Flash brooches are
available online and the proceeds will
support the work of Sunflower Scotland.
These beautiful brooches have been
made by Dunbar-based LoullyMakes
Handmade in Scotland as a small token of
solidarity - a meaningful, wearable emblem
of support. These are now available to buy
and will also support Sunflower Scotland
get vital supplies through.
Handmade using Lochcarron of
Scotland’s newly designed “Hame” tartan,
in combination with ribbons of Sky Blue
and Grain Yellow, the brooch is
embellished with a golden Sunflower
Charm, and the colours and national
flower of Ukraine on a gold coloured
brass kiltpin base.
100% of ALL income generated by the
sale of these Flash Pin Brooches will be
donated directly to Sunflower Scotland.
A Tartan Day Scrapbook
Preparing for worship at the Kirking of the Tartans are (l-r) Commander Robert Currie, Scotland’s National Chef
Gary Maclean, Angus Robertson, MSP and Chris Thomson, Scottish Affairs Counsellor
Currying favour with visiting Scottish VIPS
COMMANDER ROBERT Currie was chosen
to receive the US National Tartan Day Award
this year recognising his accomplishment for
promoting Scotland in the US. This is an
extract from his Tartan Week scrapbook
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 (TARTAN DAY)
Our final night in Washington was marked
with an exceptional Tartan Day reception at the
Metropolitan Club. I enjoyed the welcome
remarks by Stewart D. McLaurin and the Rt.
Hon. Angus Robertson, Scottish Cabinet
Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and
Culture. Robertson very generously included a
mention of my Tartan Day Award.
He said: “I want to take the time to recognise a
few familiar faces in the room who have gone
above and beyond, year on year, to help us
celebrate and promote Scotland.
“For example, Bob Currie, who this year was
awarded the National Capitol Tartan day award
for his stellar contribution to the Scottish
American community. I was reading in The
Edinburgh Reporter - my local newspaper
- when news broke of his award, that 2022
marks the 40th Anniversary of Bob’s first trip
to Scotland. His commitment to keep on
promoting the impact of Scots in the US to this
day makes him a more than worthy recipient of
the award – congratulations Bob.”
The club was the perfect setting for informal
networking between US and Scottish diaspora,
leaders in business and the arts. Drinks
provided by the Distilled Spirits Council of the
US, performances included the OZScot dancers
and the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums.
He’s a great Fellow
Chancellor Prue Leith
with her poster boy
Professor Ken Baillie is honoured by the Royal Society Edinburgh
PROFESSOR Ken Baillie, Professor of
Experimental Medicine, University of
Edinburgh, is one of the 80 new fellows named
by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). His
research into finding an effective treatment for
Covid-19 is a natural extension of all of his
work of the last decade looking at genetics as a
way to treat life-threatening conditions.
Baillie, who is also a consultant in the
intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary of
Edinburgh, said: “It is a great honour and I am
absolutely delighted to be appointed a Fellow.
The RSE has a long history of impacting the
academic and cultural life of Scotland and
it will give me the opportunity to contribute
“We’re using genetics to try and find better
ways to treat critical illness - all the diseases
that we see in intensive care. During Covid-19,
all of that has been accelerated, and we’ve made
some discoveries that are quite important.
“Because our study was already running, we
were able, within five months of the outbreak
hitting the shores of the UK, to find four
human genes associated with severe disease,
and one of them pointed to a particular
treatment to suppress the immune system in a
particular way. It was included in the recovery
trial - the UK’s nationwide trial of treatments
for Covid and it is effective.
“Our approach is to work out ways to treat
your own immune system. It sounds quite
counter-intuitive, but the patients we see in
intensive care with Covid-19 - and actually
almost certainly with other problems like
sepsis, or even flu - a big part of why they’re
sick is that the infection has somehow triggered
their immune system to start damaging their
own organs like their lungs.
“So taking the infection away is a good way
to stop that. We’ve been developing treatments
to stop your immune system from destroying
your organs, without switching it off completely
and allowing the infection to run riot.
“At the beginning we just had to guess what
treatment might be effective, but it feels less
like guesswork with each passing month and
with new data coming forward.”
The RSE already has around 1,700 Fellows
who are some of the greatest thinkers and
researchers in Scotland today, and the new
group will add to its work addressing many
The list also includes singer songwriter and
former member of the band, Eurythmics,
Annie Lennox, OBE, Mark Logan the former
Skyscanner Chief Operating Officer and
Professor Marc Turner Director of the Scottish
National Blood Transfusion Service.
Fifty years of
THIS YEAR Queen Margaret University
(QMU) celebrates its 50th anniversary of
drama and performing arts education. To
mark the occasion, Prue Leith who is
Chancellor of the University, viewed an
outdoor exhibition in University Square
which celebrates some of the alumni
who have gone on to have careers as
actors, performers, writers, directors,
producers, cultural managers and
entrepreneurs. These include comedian
Craig Hill who is a notable man about
town in Edinburgh, and a graduate of the
university. He studied Drama at QMU. Hill
has a show - I Aways Knew I Had it in Me!
at Just the Tonic Nucleus during this
year’s Fringe from 4 to 28 August.
CANDERSONS SWEET SHOP
LEITH WALK POLICE BOX
LOVE YOUR BUSINESS
BIRTHLINK THRIFT SHOP
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
continuing 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 this shop
on Gilmore Place knowing that they
will find a loving 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.
DI GIORGIO’S CAFFE & BAR
EDINBURGH DOG & CAT HOME
CRAIG BANKS TAILORING
Subscribe today and have your own
copy of The Edinburgh Reporter
delivered to your front door from
next month. - in a compostable
envelope. A small payment of £3
a month will help to support local
Di Giorgio’s have a variety 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. Do ask about their
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. Their new must see
website is online now.
THE COBBLED ROASTERY
INDEPENDENT WINE COMPANY
BIRCH TREE GALLERY
ART & CRAFT COLLECTIVE
ERIC LIDDELL COMMUNITY
Vlad and Scott have a unique style at
48 Thistle Street with great coffee and
above average chat and chess. 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 from winemakers
direct. Oleg and Elvira visit every
vineyard. Free UK delivery - same day
delivery to Edinburgh available.
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
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
Same location. Same facilities.
Great new name. The Eric Liddell
Community welcomes you.
Rooms for hire and office space for
0131 447 4520
15 Morningside Road EH10 4DP
BROUGHTON PLACE HAIR
For the whisky lovers buy awardwinning
Ardgowan Shipwright online
- described by the company’s own
whiskymaker, Max McFarlane, as “a
sumptuous dram”. Special offer
includes free shipping and a slate
coaster while stocks last.
Luxurious, elegant salon with a very
happy and friendly atmosphere where
the aim is to make your experience
relaxing, enjoyable and glamorous.
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 as
ever. New Spring Exhibition until 28
May. Winners of 2021 Prestige Awards
Best Independent Art Gallery. Join the
gallery’s mailing list to be kept up to
date with details of each show.
FEATURE THE RT HON LORD PROVOST
All photos Martin P McAdam
As the Rt Hon Lord Provost Frank Ross
approaches the end of his term in office
Phyllis Stephen looks back over
the last five years with him
The Rt Hon Lord Provost Frank Ross
is approaching the end of his term
in office when the elections take
place in May.
He is rightly proud of the honour
which was bestowed on him five years
ago when his political group, the SNP,
were elected to lead the coalition. He
has enjoyed it - although the formal in person activities
were curtailed somewhat during the pandemic.
One thing that has been a true perk of the job was
enjoying a heated seat in the Royal Box at BT Murrayfield
at international rugby matches sitting alongside the patron
of the SRU, The Princess Royal.
The Rt Hon Lord Provost is Edinburgh’s civic head, an
ancient office dating back to the 13th century, and the
incumbent is normally chosen every four years from the 63
elected members of The City of Edinburgh Council. The
Lord Provost is the Convener of the Council and continues
to carry out the normal duties of an elected member, while
at the same time remaining non-political. The Lord Provost
is also Her Majesty The Queen’s personal representative in
the lieutenancy area of Edinburgh.
We sat down in the Lord Provost’s room in the
City Chambers where I had followed him five years
ago to take the first photograph of Cllr Ross when
he had just been installed as Lord Provost and Lord
Lieutenant, and looked back over the past five years.
The Lord Provost said: “It has been a tremendously fast
five years and very full on - I had not appreciated just quite
how full on it would be. It is your life for five years. Of
course you have to remember that you have a dual role -
as Lord Provost and as Lord Lieutenant of the capital city.
With the level of royal activity here it is another experience
and opportunity - but then you are also a ward councillor
at the same time.”
Within 24 hours of being installed the Lord Provost
was conducting his first Ceremony of the Keys at
Holyrood Palace with the Princess Royal - and joked
about the experience “I had no clue what I was doing,
or why I was there”.
But he heaps praise on his team of city officers and office
staff who have worked hard to keep him right. He said:
“Without the great team that I have had behind me here in
the last five years especially during the first twelve months
it would have been very difficult. Within the first two years
were were averaging 1,300 civic events each year. It was
fantastic getting to meet people and go places that you
would never have had the opportunity to do, but then
Covid came. It curtailed a lot of the physical activity but
did not diminish the amount of work that we were doing.
We went online very quickly.
“As Lord Provost you are directly involved in many
organisations as a trustee, patron or chair of more than 100
Attending the Sir Walter Scott
pageant above in full regalia
Right: Beating Retreat
with Col Sgt Richard Kerr
of the Band of the Royal
Regiment of Scotland
The office of Lord
Provost is not a
political one, but it
helps on overseas
trips where it is seen
organisations in the city. During normal times I would
have been out visiting these groups, but going digital for
two years actually allowed me to access more organisations
than I would have done by carrying out civic visits. In
many ways that was a good thing. Doing all the headline
events like the Tattoo, the Ceremony of the Keys and the
Riding of the Marches is fantastic, but actually a key
element of the job is getting out into the community and
meeting people - the people who are doing fabulous work
behind the scenes and who are dedicated to their own
communities. It is very nice to turn up with the bling on
and get photos taken and give the various bodies the
oxygen of publicity, but actually just having a conversation
over Zoom or Teams and giving them recognition meant
just as much to the people involved.”
During the first couple of years the Lord Provost visited
China several times, travelling to several cities and building
on the work he had done previously as Economy Convener.
“We have done fantastic work with China setting up an
incubator in Shenzhen and mirroring that in Leith,
swapping high tech digital companies and that gave us a
tremendous base to build on.”
One of the early visits was to a huge event in the twin
city of Xi’an, and while the UK was the country of honour,
the Lord Provost explained that Edinburgh was given half
an hour to speak to the 2,500 delegates in attendance -
three times as long as other UK cities and areas like the
Northern Powerhouse, showing the capital’s importance.
He said: “People may think these twinning events are
just ceremonial, but they are not - especially when you are
abroad. Perhaps our perception of them is that they are
more administrative or “tribal” but not overseas. We punch
way above our weight. Our new economic strategy no
longer allows us to twin, but Shenzhen approached us
saying they wanted to be associated with Edinburgh. And
that has led to a lot of work on the back of that with
universities, Edinburgh Airport, the chambers of
commerce. A trade mission might turn up, but if it is not
led by someone who at least appears to be a political figure
then it is not really worthwhile. We may know that the
office of Lord Provost is not a political one, but it helps on
overseas trips where it is seen as important.
“We are heavily involved with Eurocities despite Brexit,
and I went on visits to some of our other twin cities like
Krakow and Florence.”
The Lord Provost is also in charge of full council
meetings running the business with 63 councillors present.
I suggested that this is quite a spectacle - and the Lord
Provost agreed but also said that it is quite taxing more so
when online. He said: “I have about 80 people to keep
control of when the meeting is online. I do object to those
who are attending the meeting but who turn their cameras
off, as I don’t know as the chair of the meeting whether
they are listening to the debate or even there. One of the
advantages of a physical meeting is that you can at least see
people even if they are not participating. Some people do
During Covid we
have become more
we don’t meet in
person. We have lost
out in not having
people in the City
Sharing a love of the game
with Olympic curler Bruce
Mouat at Curl Edinburgh
not turn their cameras on at all at online meetings which
I think is rude.”
The technical team at the council has now worked out a
way of councillors voting remotely which is much more
efficient than roll call votes - with each councillor being
asked in turn which way they were voting. This took ages
and so the electronic voting is much better all round.
But the Lord Provost is forthright about what is expected
of a councillor. He said: “I think councillors have a duty to
physically attend - it is only one day a month that
councillors have to attend full council and I think we have
lost out in certain ways by not having people in the City
Chambers now. And I bemoan the loss of the Members’
Lounge where councillors have coffee and can read the
papers. It is a perk of course but it gave an opportunity for
councillors of all parties to have those more relaxed
conversations. During Covid we have become more
confrontational since we don’t meet in person - that is not
just me thinking that. People have told me that watching
council meetings is not really a pleasant experience.”
The one thing that the Lord Provost really regrets was
missing the remembrance service for HRH The Prince
Philip which he was unable to attend as he was selfisolating.
He said: “I was the only Lord Lieutenant in the
whole of the UK who was invited to attend – because of the
Edinburgh connection. So not to be able to attend was a
low point for me.”
It is more difficult to pick out just one or two high points
out of the many events which he has attended. But he
recalled sailing under the Forth Bridge aboard HMS Queen
Elizabeth standing up in the crow’s nest as one of the
moments which he really enjoyed personally. The council
has loaned a dinner service to the captain of the aircraft
carrier bearing the Edinburgh crest, so that wherever the
ship is in the world the connection to the capital remains.
Another memorable occasion was the opening of the
Queensferry Crossing in September 2017. when both Her
Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Philip both attended
- even though Prince Philip had officially retired by then.
The OneCity Trust is the city’s social inclusion charity,
and the Lord Provost has hosted several Burns Suppers to
raise money for it. He explained that the charity “empowers
communities to do what they want to do”. Some of the
grants may be quite small amounts of money but they
make a huge difference to the people who receive them.
He ended by saying it has been an honour to hold the
position and to put his own stamp on the prestigious role,
but concedes that it is time for someone new to come into
the position and to make it their own. He said: “It will be
strange but of course there is no guarantee I will even be
elected. All I’m doing is standing for election in May.
I have already been a councillor for ten years now –
probably longer than I first anticipated, but I have
community projects in my ward which as local
councillor I would like to finish.”
Packing a punch
Specialist Leith Walk team make it their business to care
IF YOU ARE thinking of sending a really
valuable item and just don't know where to start
- then head for the experts on Elm Row.
Working from Leith Walk has had a few
challenges during the period of the tram works,
but Javaid Akhtar is a very cheery individual,
and happily enthusiastic about his thriving
business which he set up there eight years ago.
He has recently increased staff numbers at
Pack and Send by two new employees to help
keep up with demand at one of only two Pack
and Send outlets in Scotland.
Pack and Send literally does what it says
- you arrange for something to be delivered to
them - or they will pick it up anywhere in
Then the creativity begins - their time served
cabinet maker, Darren Kilbride, will produce a
beautiful precision made wooden box for your
precious item if that is what is needed.
And when their specialist packers have used
enough bubble wrap and other packing
materials to keep it safe on its journey, the
parcel can be sent using any number of couriers
anywhere in the world by carrier - with a full
warranty and at the best price.
So, if your sculpture is worth say £20,000
then Javaid and his staff will make a lovely
wooden box for it to travel in to its destination.
And if anything unfortunate occurs en route,
the firm offers a full guarantee.
Javaid said: “We specialise in what we do. The
high value of the items we send is often a
concern for people who want to despatch them
and that is where we come in."
Gary Neill, sales manager with Pack and
Send, explained that the firm has been targeting
auction houses, artists and art galleries as a
source of new business. In particular he said
that they had made more headway with
independent commissioning artists who either
create a specially demanded painting, sculpture
or piece of furniture.
He said: "The artists create something and
then they need to send it. This is where they
have a dilemma because the work can either be
very valuable or very delicate. The art just can't
be rolled up and popped in a tube for the
journey. Our USP is that we cover our work if
something horrible happens. Some of the art in
our packages is worth tens of thousands of
pounds. Provided we pack it, we will cover it if
it gets lost, stolen or damaged. This is where a
lot of people have difficulty and normally would
send something with a courier, but it is not
necessarily insured or covered."
Gary also explained that the company
manages to get discount rates from big name
courier companies owing to the volume of
business they put their way.
IT is one of the main items which Pack and
Send have moved over the last year or so. When
offices were emptied during lockdown it was
Declutter with myTOT app
DO YOU HAVE old baby
items clogging up your attics
Some expensive buys for the
smallest ones in the house are
little used and simply too good
to throw away. And the problem
is not restricted to parents - there
are grandparents who are
hoarding spare buggies and high
chairs in case they may be
Kenneth Bell, one of the
founders of myTOT, explained:
"It became clear to me when
I looked at my own mum's house
just how much baby and toddler
equipment she was storing
there. It was worth thousands
of pounds. She needed the
room, and we no longer needed
left to Pack and Send to wrap up the IT
equipment left behind and send it out to
various members of staff - and then do the same
in reverse when people came back to work. The
work kept them busy enough, but they also
helped students move back home.
Javaid said: “During the pandemic -
particularly at the beginning when students
were taking themselves home in droves rather
than endure isolation in a university hall of
residence - we were boxing up their belongings
and shipping them home. Now we still offer the
service - but we prefer that the students come
and buy a box or two, pack them and return
them to us - where they will find that the cost of
buying the box is deducted from their bill to
send their stuff home - anywhere in the world.”
the stuff she was keeping 'just
"Using our app she has been
able to offload the good-as-new
items for someone else to enjoy.
If you have any baby things which
are too good to throw away, then
myTOT would like you to register
with them. You can earn some
cash while having a spring clean.”
myTOT is a parent-powered
marketplace where users can
buy and sell quality second
hand, handmade and unique
Meet eat and
NEW RESTAURANT, La Bocca, is being
created at 108 Raeburn Place in
Stockbridge, formerly home to ROLLO.
Director John Donnelly said: “We have a
shared vision for an innovative Italian
dining experience born out of and inspired
by the best osteria.
“In the heart of Stockbridge, in its
most prominent position. A destination.
“La Bocca will be passionate and
knowledgeable about the food and drink
we serve. We will speak proudly about its
origins, the way it’s sourced, prepared and
presented. Our food will compare with the
very best in Edinburgh or Italy, and we
take great pride in that.”
Eat good small plate Italian food made
from fresh, locally sourced produce,
sharing plates and selected mains.
Drink fine, but affordable, Italian wines,
beers and signature cocktails. The
restaurant team is assembling, and plans
are to open the doors this month.
JUSTINE MITCHELL, owner and founder
of Chamomile Sanctuary the luxury day
spa at Edinburgh’s West End, has
confirmed the sale of the award-winning
beauty business to The Secret Beauty
Garden for an undisclosed sum.
Chamomile Sanctuary was opened
in 2010 by the former lawyer and
Justine said: “Making the decision to
sell Chamomile was extremely difficult.
I have loved building the business and
working with the wonderful team of
therapists alongside a loyal client base
however the time is right for both
Chamomile and me.
“The past couple of years have been
challenging for everyone. During that
period I have developed a wider business
portfolio and, sadly, Chamomile no
longer fits the way it once did. However,
having taken time to ensure that a new
owner would appreciate the brand and
the values we have created I am
confident that the team at The Secret
Beauty Garden are well placed to help
move it to the next stage. I am so grateful
to the staff for their loyalty and support
and, of course, to our wonderful clients
whom I will miss. I wish everyone well.”
email us on:
16 FOOD AND DRINK
Café review: GAIA DELI
By Charlie Ellis
Compiled by David Albury
It’s a taste
Gaia Deli proves a true gem with the
best espresso says Charlie Ellis
A HIGHLY popular eatery for a
number of years, Gaia Deli on Leith
Walk is also the number one
destination in the city for authentic
In specialty coffee circles, Italian
coffee is often denigrated. Italian
coffee production is dominated by the
big multinational brands (Lavazza,
Illy etc). This commoditised model
doesn’t fit the artisanal mould of the
specialty scene. Many believe that the
dark Italian roasts remove some of
the subtleties of coffee and create a
rather uniform flavour. Also, the
presence of a percentage of robusta
beans (which can assist in producing
a better crema) in many Italian blends
is often seen as evidence of their
However, when made well, Italian
coffee has a distinctive character. At
best, it has a rich bitterness balanced
with chocolatey notes. Sadly, it’s rare
to find Italian style coffee made well
in the UK. All too often it is regarded
as a cheaper alternative by cafés who
are not particularly serious about
what they serve and lack skilled
baristas. There are some exceptions,
and Gaia is an outstanding example.
Run by three generations of the
Dragotta family (originally from
Sicily), Gaia serves superb food in a
wonderfully welcoming and bustling
environment. The place has a lovely
communal feel and the décor is
unpretentious. The range of languages
and accents you hear in Gaia shows
that it is in the heart of cosmopolitan
Leith, while the number of Italian
customers is a testament to the
quality and authenticity of the food.
Their daily pasta specials are
consistently delicious with their
Parmigiana of aubergines particularly
recommended. They also serve a
good range of salads, paninis and
soups; something for every type of
weather! Their deli counter offers
imported Italian hams, cheeses,
sausages, and cured meats (Parma
Ham etc). They also stock essential
Italian provisions, including pasta,
jars of tomatoes, high quality olive
oils, biscuits and coffee. And during
the warmer months of the year Gaia
also serves some excellent, refreshing
The coffee (using Kimbo beans) is
consistently superb: rich, smooth and
strong, with an enjoyable long finish.
Their double macchiatos balance the
potent espresso shot with a dollop of
frothy steamed milk, creating a
wonderfully forceful but smooth
drink. One of these will revitalise you
on the gloomiest, dreichest
Edinburgh days. Gaia is a true gem of
a food and coffee destination and
certainly Edinburgh’s best place for
true Italian espresso.
Gaia Deli, 32 Crighton Place,
Edinburgh EH7 4NY
7 One who manages money
for a club (9)
8 Material from which jeans are
usually made (5)
10 Not the normal sort of thing (8)
11 Not transparent, not allowing light
to pass through (6)
12 Against, opposed to something (4)
13 Plan or timetable (8)
15 Come down (7)
17 Song originating from the
West Indies (7)
20 Put into words (8)
22 Jump over, often with force (4)
25 Adjudicator in cricket,
for example (6)
26 Period with 366 days (4-4)
27 Declare (5)
28 Open box used for cooking in front
of a fire, originally from Holland (5,4)
1 Wooden box (5)
2 Make slightly wet (6)
3 Formal party (8)
4 Member of orchestra who plays a
large stringed instrument (7)
5 The art of recording coats of arms (8)
6 Imagine in the mind’s eye (9)
9 Upper class, fancy (4)
14 Misshapen, ugliness (9)
16 Wheeled Roman vehicles,
used for fighting or racing (8)
18 Agreement to join forces
with others (8)
19 Envious (7)
21 Chilled (4)
23 Carelessly, in an untidy fashion (6)
24 Humped animal (5)
Across: 7 Treasurer, 8 Denim, 10 Atypical, 11 Opaque, 12 Anti, 13 Schedule, 15 Descend, 17
Calypso, 20 Vocalise, 22 Leap, 25 Umpire, 26 Leap-year, 27 State, 28 Dutch oven
Down: 1 Crate, 2 Dampen, 3 Function, 4 Cellist, 5 Heraldry, 6 Visualise, 9 Posh, 14 Deformity, 16
Chariots, 18 Alliance, 19 Jealous, 21 Iced, 23 Anyhow, 24 Camel
A new catch each month
EAST COAST, the Musselburgh
seafood restaurant has a new
line-up of dishes which will
change each month.
Head chef Andrea Bertazzolo
from Edinburgh, is in charge of
the new selection of dishes
which will be offered alongside
their seafood, pasta, gnocchi and
risotto. In May specials will
include a mixed grill of Scottish
langoustines, scallops and
salmon. Andrea has been a key
ingredient for the success of East
Coast since the restaurant
opened in 2018. He takes his
cooking inspiration from the
lakes, mountains and sea around
the north of Italy, as well as his
mother’s traditional, homecooked
food that he remembers
from his childhood.
Food from his home region of
Piedmont in Italy is heavily
influenced by classic French and
Swiss cuisine. The slow cooking
movement is also a big part of
food culture there which has led
him to develop his passion for
fresh, local, seasonal produce
with big, bold, rich flavours.
The Feast of
Charm and class are in abundance at Cannonball
Above, there are
many cocktails to be
Ayrshire Brined Pork
Six Courses with Amuse Bouche and Bread £65,
Matching Wines £40 • Contini.com/cannonball
I HAVE TWO Edinburgh tourist hobbies, one is
not helping them find their AirBnB and
suggesting a local hotel instead, and on the
more benevolent front, offering to take a photo
of both of them together - with their fancy
camera. The fear on their faces followed by
blessed relief when I hand it back. Priceless.
A trip to Cannonball, on the literal doorstep
of the Castle was a good tourist spotting outing
and a lactose burn glute hike to get there.
People who live in Ramsay Gardens probably all
have great bottoms. Cannonball, owned by
Edinburgh’s premier hospitality couple, the
Continis, could have become a tourist trap, but
instead offers an experience of the best Scottish
ingredients and hospitality. It’s a refreshing
approach when it comes to The Royal Mile.
I’m dining with my dear friend Stella, who I
adore for a myriad of reasons, but not least
because she sweetly indulges my other hobby,
that of giving unsolicited advice. A 17th century
building, set over three floors, Cannonball has a
proper, solid Old Town feel with the cosy
comfort of wood and tweed. We begin the
evening with cocktails in the bar and a
Cannonball Martini, made with the restaurant’s
bespoke Edinburgh Gin, slides down a treat.
Ascending the stairs to the main restaurant
the aroma from the kitchen is beyond inviting,
like all your most memorable home cooked
meals blended into one. We’re here to try the
Feast of Scotland tasting menu and begin with
an amuse bouche of Slow Cooked Rabbit on a
Mushroom Brioche. Amused we were, and
delighted. It was some start, swiftly followed by
fresh from the oven bread and whipped
Edinburgh Butter. Sensibly we paced ourselves
for we were soon presented with the “stick to
your bones” East Lothian Potato Soup, Crispy
Shallots and Saffron Potato Skin Powder. I
definitely want to eat this smooth elixir on
every cold day.
The courses kept coming: Grilled Peterhead
Plaice, Wilted Chard, Shetland Mussels and
Mace Broth, Robertson’s Ayrshire Brined Pork
Fillet with Phantasie Spring Greens, Ramsay’s
Smoked Bacon Jam, White Neep Purée and
Crackling. The menu hollers quality, just about
every ingredient having provenance and their
flavours shine through. Although there’s clearly
some expert cooking going on there’s never an
overgilding of the Lily. Naturally there’s a
vegetarian option for every course.
A Morangie Brie with Dried Fruits was a
gooey warm up and stretch for the final furlong:
Chocolate Cannonball with Stem Ginger
flambéed in whisky. A dramatic end to a
stunning meal, with the view from our table
taking in the sunset behind the castle. There’s a
reason I always recommend Cannonball to
people entertaining guests from abroad,
it showcases all Scotland has to offer with
charm and class.
Juliet Lawrence Wilson
opens up a
THE FIRST TIME I tried sushi was
probably at a Yo Sushi at Gatwick
airport. You may scoff, but the
gimmick of rotating conveyor belt
food brought Sushi to the masses and
certainly introduced my ten-year-old
to the joys of Maki.
Bentoya will challenge any
misconceptions you have about
Japanese dining being “not for you”.
Saki, the manager and her staff are
warm and welcoming, possibly
buoyed on by the cheery Japanese
pop music filling the air. The menu is
extensive and exciting. Sushi lovers
will be delighted with the adventurous
offers and there’s plenty of hot Ramen,
noodle and tempura options.
We tried some succulent Chicken
Yakitori Skewers and Prawn Tempura
to begin. The Yakitori was full of flavour
and the Tempura as light as an angel’s
wing. My daughter devoured salmon
and avocado Maki and her ultimate
favourite Temaki: a rice, fish and caviar
Saki recommended a Sake, Kikusui
Junmai Ginjo featuring fresh
Cantaloupe, Banana and Mandarin
notes. A smooth, refreshing drink to
sip with my favourite dish, Salmon
Tataki. The freshness of the sesame
seared salmon with ponzu and mango
salsa was a taste of summer.
An extremely generous portion of
Soba noodles in house sauce arrived
last . By that point we realised we’d
over ordered and Saki thoughtfully
packed them to go. They were, even
the next evening, some of the tastiest
noodles I’ve ever had.
The minimal ,but cosy space was
enjoying a buzz on a Monday evening
and a rather fun time was had by all. A
misconception is that Japanese dining
is expensive but I’d say Bentoya is
excellent value for money. The quality is
top notch and the portions very
generous. If you haven’t tried Japanese
food before Bentoya will open up a
whole new world.
Bentoya.com • 13 Bread Street
18 WHAT’S ON
CULTURE • LITERATURE • EVENTS • MUSIC • MUSEUMS...
A force of nature
A film about the life of Ricky Demarco
highlights the need for a permanent
home for his important archive
Demarco Digital Archive
By RODDY MARTINE
FROM GROWING up in wartime Scotland
and the fledgling years of the Edinburgh
Festival to becoming Scotland’s greatest
ambassador for visual and performance art, the
name of the Leith-born and educated
Italo-Scot Richard Demarco, CBE, is
synonymous with inspiration, creativity and
controversy. A force of nature unto his ninth
decade, this self-taught impresario has never
shirked the unthinkable, the seemingly
impossible in pursuit of the Road to Meikle
Seggie, that mystical magical cultural landmark
of deepest Kinross from which, he insists, all
roads merge into a world of discovery.
Generations have come and gone since 1963
when he co-founded the Traverse Theatre and
first of his Demarco Galleries but that same
passion endures. For the past ten years, some
might say not before time, the award winning
film director and producer Marco Federici has
been working on RICO (The Richard Demarco
Story), a thought provoking documentary on
the life of this unrepentant maverick.
This was the man who in 1980 chartered
the sailing ship ‘Marques’ and engaged the
great Orcadian author, George Mackay Brown,
to steer it through Hebridean waters he had
only previously written about. It was Demarco
who transported festival audiences to
performances of Macbeth on Inchcolm
Island in the Firth of Forth, and brought the
Free Stage Theatre of Minsk to Kirkcaldy to
perform The Scottish Play on the ruined
ramparts of Ravenscraig Castle.
Richard Demarco’s track record is such that
the Scottish establishment has simply never
known how to tame him while others, Poland,
France, Italy, Germany and Romania, have
showered him with honours. In 2013, he was
nominated for the European Citizen’s Medal.
Federici has successfully recruited very rare
archive footage from the estates of some of the
legendary creative giants of continental Europe,
among them the legendary German genius
Joseph Beuys, Polish theatre director Tadeusz
Kantor, and Romanian artist Paul Neagu. A
contemporary flock of disciples also bear
testimony with friendships ranging from the
Serbian performance artiste Marina
Abramovic, journalist Andrew Marr, actor
Brian Cox, and Chair of the Arts Council of
England Sir Nicolas Serota.
RICO won the audience prize for "Best Doc"
at the Central Scotland Doc Fest, with a "Best
Director" Award at the Warsaw and Valencia
Fusion Festivals. The film has also made the
"Official Selection" at the Toronto Independent,
Liverpool International and Yale University's
New Haven Doc Fest. Independent screenings
during this year's Edinburgh Festival are being
scheduled with national television and
streaming for wider audiences later in the year.
Marco Federici insists he was motivated to
make “a film that brings a greater
understanding, albeit still an introduction in
many ways, to the sheer scale of Richard
Demarco's astonishing contribution to Scottish
and international culture in a courageous,
uncompromising career that spans the last
“After watching the film, the first question
Ricky at 90 plus is often out and about at
Edinburgh events - but never without his camera
we should be asking ourselves is ‘How did he do it?’
Thousands upon thousands of artists, exhibitions
and performances. So many lifetimes of work are
encapsulated into one.”
Federici’s documentary sets out to peel away the
flamboyant persona of "Ricky", as he is widely
known, and offers him the space to become "Rico"
(his mother's nickname for him). This, according to
Federici, enables Demarco to articulate his often
moving philosophy concerning our co-existence
with art and science, our responsibilities to nature,
and "those that are yet to be born".
We are also reminded of just how fragile his
unique archive of documents and memories
remains, currently sheltered at Summerhall, the
Edinburgh events venue (www.summerhall.co.uk),
but in desperate need of the necessary investment to
conserve as a totally unique and important record of
Scotland’s cultural significance in modern times.
RICO: The Richard Demarco Story is on Facebook.
Heading north for a community festival
THE NORTH Edinburgh
Community Festival (NECF) will
take place in West Pilton Park and
the West Pilton Neighbourhood
Centre on 7 May from noon
The day will offer fun and free
entertainment with learning and
upskilling at its core.
This will be a platform for
Emergency Services, Local
Colleges, Community Groups,
Local Organisations and
Employers to give young people
an insight into the work they
do and show them possible
Willie Black, NECF Planning
Committee Chair said: “I think this
is going to be tremendous, and
everybody in North Edinburgh
will be encouraged to think that
maybe bad days are behind us.
A walk from Muirhouse to Pilton
will take place at 12 o’clock and I
want everyone to come along.”
Music from the Tinderbox
Orchestra and local bands, and
lots to eat and drink.
ONE BODY: A
Saraband • £9.99
In One Body, Edinburgh
author Catherine Simpson, pictured
right, shares her breast cancer
experience from diagnosis to trying
to process the news, from deciding
how and when to tell people, to her
experience of treatment and its
effects, from initial physical recovery
to the just as difficult and ongoing
She does not shy away from
expressing the disbelief and fears in a
forthright manner as well as the
reactions from others, sometimes
supportive, sometimes crass, usually
well-intentioned. I absolutely agree
with her when she says she hates
cancer and its treatment being
described as a battle or a fight.
That so infuriates me as it suggests
that those who do not recover
Above, Vision of the
Sermon by Paul
Gauguin (1888, oil on
Left, Berenice by Henri
Martin (1885, oil on
(1860 - 1943)
THE NEWEST painting to join the
collection at National Galleries of Scotland
(NGS) is an unusual one. The work by
French artist Henri Martin who died in 1943
is now on display, the first by Martin to
become part of a UK collection.
The painting is of a young woman
betrothed to her obsessive cousin Egaeus
who became (unusually to say the least)
fixated on her teeth. But before the marriage
the young woman Berenice dies from a
strange wasting disease, often falling into a
trance before her untimely death. He grave is
later found disturbed and Egaeus wakes to
find a shovel and a box with 32 teeth in it.
NGS Director of European and Scottish
Art and Portraiture, Christopher Baker, said:
“It is a rare treat, albeit quite an uncanny
one, for us to acquire such a mesmerising
and unusual painting. This is a key addition
to the collection because, while we have a
world-renowned holding of impressionist
and post-impressionist works, we have very
few portraits and paintings that explore
literary themes from the period. Berenice
has great appeal, and we are sure it will
be a hit with our visitors, both through
its magnetic power and the gruesome
tale it illustrates. This is a gothic horror
story in paint.”
This work - Berenice (1885) is an early
example of Symbolism an art movement
with writers and paints focusing on ideas
and imagination rather than naturalistic
representations of the real world.
Other works by artists who were part of
the movement which you can see at NGS
include Paul Gauguin's Vision of the Sermon
(1888), one of the most popular paintings in
Scotland’s national collection. Once hailed as
the first symbolist painting, Gauguin’s
picture is regarded as a major example of
Post-Impressionism and a key work in the
history of modern art.
Visit the Scottish National Gallery
at the Mound EH2 2EL
Open daily 10am -5pm
just didn’t try hard enough.
Laced throughout are reflections
where Catherine looks back at her
memories of her body from her
Lancashire childhood. Being of a
very similar age to her, I identified
with so much here. In fact, it’s
actually quite telling that I was
reading about experiences I had,
that people just didn’t talk about
at the time, particularly around
those teenage years when periods
start, which often happens
earlier now for many girls.
I remember the scrutiny of
Princess Diana’s figure and those
adverts about AIDs. Like the author,
I have experienced childbirth,
menopausal symptoms and that
constant concern about the way
The desire for a suntan in the
mid-80s when people were starting
to go off abroad and my family
didn’t, led to me getting burnt on
the back of my legs on a sunbed in a
Morecambe hotel, and quite possibly
having sunstroke I felt so bad.
I think we are perhaps better at
talking about our bodies now thank
goodness. I certainly can talk to my
own daughters about things I was far
too embarrassed to talk with my
own mum about. That’s not a
reflection on my mum but more
about how society was when
I was growing up. I think this book
will be so important in enabling
conversations to start, in normalising
what can happen to our bodies.
I’m sure Catherine Simpson
wouldn’t want me to call her brave
but I do think this is a brave piece of
writing. It’s blunt, frank and often
funny, despite the difficult subject
matter. One Body is outstanding and
utterly compelling. I picked it up and
didn’t put it down until it was
finished. One Body is a book women
of every age should read – and men
too for that matter.
Joanna Baird, Portobello Book Blog
In Braidburn Valley Park Phyllis
Stephen talks to Paul Bailey of the
Friends Group who commissioned
mural artist Chris Rutterford
Meeting Chris Rutterford
by chance on Thistle
Street a few years back, I
have since then admired
his artwork, but he has
recently become quite
famous for brightening
up the Colinton Tunnel
and making it a real destination.
The Friends of Braidburn Valley Park (FBVP ) hope
to create something similar with the new work he has
created for them. Mr Bailey said: ”We got a grant from
the council and so, using some of our own funds we
were able to get it done. Chris contacted the school
and pupils painted parts of it there. You can see that
most of it is painted on hardboard. Then Chris and
Andrew laid it out in a car park to see how it would
look when eventually placed on the walls.
“I like the badger best I think, but I also love
certain details like the tiny rabbit on the rear added
As this is a working substation the decoration on the
doors had to be carefully worked out so that they can
still open easily.
Mr Bailey also explained that Chris was interested
in decorating the walkway into the park from
Greenbank Crescent, but local residents would have to
agree to that.
I have always lived in the
Southside, starting in Currie and
Colinton, so a lot of the areas
I am changing are local to me
Chris with some of the
Firrhill High School pupils
Any future stages of the project will depend on more
grant funding and the Friends are happy to apply for
that for some other parts within the park itself, and
hope to involve some younger children next time.
The work sits high above the valley and is visible
from the A702 which passes along the park’s high
eastern boundary just below the Braid Hills Hotel.
The Friends commissioned Chris, knowing that he
had already created a Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS)
based mural in the Colinton Tunnel. There are also
links to RLS here with Fly Walk where RLS travelled
between his home in Swanston into the city.
Chris added: “The Friends liked the community
aspect of it. In the tunnel we worked with primary
school children and also with some teenagers. We have
aspirations to do more here, but wanted to start with a
bang and show the quality of what we would like to
make, so this mural was made along with the
Advanced Higher pupils at Firrhill.
“I had worked with them previously and the
teachers know I am a “benevolent hirer” who will
come and get the best out of the kids. Tracy Graham,
Head of Expressive Arts at Firrhill High School,
basically doesn’t quite know I managed to get three
months of work out of the kids in three days.”
He continued: “We were there for a good time, not a
long time. Professional drive and energy and being
serious about having fun is one of my things.
“I have always lived in the Southside, starting in
Currie and Colinton, so a lot of the areas i am
changing are local to me.
“I think what I really do is bring soul to places, and
this is a beautiful park, but they had allowed this
building to become dilapidated. Then they point at the
kids and say its their fault. But I have to ask what have
they done for 40 years?”
The Friends asked Chris to do some ”blue sky”
thinking before the project began. He believes the park
Chris Rutterford left and below,
with his dog Rona, and Paul
Bailey, Chair of Friends of
Braidburn Valley Park
Bottom, sisters Sophie aged
7 and Phoebe Allan aged 3
love the new mural with all
Martin P McAdam
could become an attraction in itself with a walk along
the valley floor. But he said : “The entrance from
Oxgangs should be changed to become more inviting
like the one at the Morningside end. There is another
building there which is covered in graffiti. This park
should have theatre and it should have soul.”
Chris not only directed and designed the hugely
popular Colinton Tunnel, he also decorated a four feet
tall hare for the Big Hare Trail which was sold to raise
funds for Leuchie House in East Lothian.
The eleven sculptures were sold and raised
£115,000 for the tenth anniversary of the independent
charity which provides respite care for those with
Chris’s hare called Hare Tae Golf raised £22,000
of that total.
He has almost completed a project for the 150th
anniversary of Reading Football Club. He is creating a
visual fan mural with portraits of the Royals football
supporters on the outside of the West Upper Stand at
the Madejski Stadium. Fans sent photos for Chris to
work from creating an individual portrait.
Chris said he may also have another tunnel in his
future, but we shall have to wait and see when those
plans are further down the track.
What now for Hibs?
Following Shaun Maloney’s shock exit
who could be next at Easter Road?
100 years of Royal
Scots Golf Club
By NIGEL DUNCAN
By JOHN HISLOP
FOLLOWING the departure of Shaun Maloney
after four months in charge, what now for Hibs in
the wake of the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by
city rivals Hearts?
Chairman Ron Gordon said in a statement:
“Our hope in appointing Shaun Maloney as a
young, highly regarded coach was that he would
help us take the club forward, but ultimately it
didn’t work out. We thank Shaun and his
coaching staff for all their hard work and efforts
and wish them all the best for the future.”
The former Celtic and Scotland midfielder left
his post as Belgium’s assistant manager to succeed
Jack Ross in December and after initial
excitement from the Hibs’ fans at the prospect of
a “Belgian” style of football at Easter Road, it
quickly became apparent that many of the players
at his disposal were not suited to the possession
style of football.
Hibs have only won one league game this year,
and a 3-1 league defeat against Hearts the week
before the semi-final consigned them to a bottom
A disastrous transfer window which resulted in
only two of his seven January signings being
selected for the massive semi-final against Hearts
did not go unnoticed amongst the long-suffering
Maloney’s team selections and substitutions
were also criticised by supporters, although to be
fair he had a number of injuries to contend with.
Having said that, the attitude of the players
despite the result seemed to have bought him
time and a poll of Hibs.net the fans forum
immediately after the game went narrowly in
Shaun Maloney’s favour.
So the sacking clearly came as a surprise to the
39-year-old who claimed that he knew “exactly”
what was needed for his side to be able to
compete with Hearts next season.
Speaking after the final whistle at Hampden, he
said: “I have known for quite a while the areas
where we need to be better to give us an
opportunity to fight for top six, top four, Europe. I
have known that from very early on.
“I have worked extremely hard with the players
we have, young players, but we all have to make
sure that come the summer, come pre-season, we
are a lot stronger in certain areas, so that when we
have performances like this, we take advantage.
“The money we have, we have to spend it
wisely this summer, and we have to be a lot, lot
different at the start of next season.”
Maloney will not get the chance to implement
his plans with backroom staff Gary Caldwell,
Valerio Zuddas and Brian Doogan also leaving
with immediate effect.
Former skipper David Gray will take caretaker
charge for the remainder of the season with
support from Eddie May and Jon Busch.
Suggested replacements so far include Celtic
coach John Kennedy, former Celtic boss Ronny
Deila who is currently in charge of New York,
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes, Ross
County manager Malky Mackay, Michael O’Neil
who is currently Stoke boss or highly rated Kjetil
Knutsen, the Bodo Glimt boss.
More controversial suggestions include the
return of former boss Neil Lennon who is
currently managing Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus.
Or how about a Kevin Thomson and Scott
Brown partnership? KT led Kelty Hearts to the
title and his big pal Scott Brown is a free-agent?
THE ROYAL Scots Golf Club (RSGC)
celebrates its 100th anniversary this year
with their centenary match at Glencorse
Golf Club near Penicuik, the course which
allowed the first event after the club was
instituted on 17 March 1922.
The club welcomed 97 members in its
inaugural year and was one of many
organisations within the Royal Scots Club.
The first Captain’s gold medal was
struck in 1924 and a Hole & Hole medal
was presented by J K Graham in 1922 for a
competition that is still played today for
the same silver medal.
Members originally only came from
Royal Scots regimental members of the
Royal Scots Club in Abercromby Place,
however, when the Institute of Directors
(Scotland) and other organisations took
office space at the club, in Edinburgh’s
New Town, they were also allowed to join
the society golf club.
The RSGC have a long history of
competitive matches against another old
Edinburgh golf society, The Corstorphine
8:30 Golf Club, which was instituted
The “8:30” club took its name from the
time of the train from Corstorphine to
Waverley which carried the original 12
members to work each morning.
The matches are home and away,
playing for the model of the train and the
other is a model of a Royal Scots Pikeman.
The train and the pikeman form the
centre point at an annual dinner, cup and
medal presentation held separately by
The losing team’s representative who is
in attendance has to make the long walk
to hand over the relevant trophy to the
Edinburgh Uni water polo team victorious
Luca D’Adderio, (capt), Guy Broadhurst, William Moores, Dominique
Zahra, Filip Hannel, Finlay Nesbitt, Rory Nesbitt, James Melville,
Matthew Seward, Nikos Zavitsanos, Ramon Fernández Mir, Alexander
Aitken, Thomas Cameron, Yalin Gulen and Alasdair Campbell (Coach)
THE MENS Water Polo team at
Edinburgh University is the first
Scottish university team to win
the British Universities & Colleges
Sports (BUCS) Championship.
Under the leadership of
Edinburgh captain Luca
D’Adderio and coached by
Alasdair Campbell, the University
of Edinburgh’s men’s water polo
players were victorious, making
them the first Scottish team to
win the prestigious title.
The team finished the league
phase in top spot, with a 100%
winning streak. This result gave
the men home draws in the play
offs, culminating with Edinburgh
beating Durham 21-13 in the
quarters, and Sheffield Hallam
10-9 in the semi finals.
The team has only been in the
final on two previous occasions
so this has indeed been an
historic season for them.
The final was played in
Nottingham against the home
team, and what should have
been a neutral fixture quickly
turned into an “away” day but the
Edinburgh team won 15-10, after
a 7-1 half time score.
Edinburgh’s points were
mainly scored by Finlay Nesbitt,
who scored six, and although a
team in the pool is made up of
seven players, there are thirteen
including those on the bench.
Players are regularly swapped in
as it is a very physically
Right wing Guy Broadhurst
and Luca explained they have
trained with the team three times
a week, in addition to strength
and conditioning sessions and
swimming as often as they can to
maintain their fitness levels.
A ‘special’ season for Hearts
Hearts are now a major force after journey to top three and cup final
By JAMIE MCINTOSH
HEARTS WILL face Rangers in the 2022
Scottish Cup Final on 21 May after seeing off
their Edinburgh rivals 2-1 at Hampden Park.
It cannot and will not be underestimated
just how important that victory over Hibernian
was for Hearts.
After securing third place the week before
the semi-final, all that stood in the way of
Hearts and group stage European football,
The men from Leith put up a good fight, but
ultimately came up short again against their
rivals at the national stadium.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has regularly
spoken about making this season a “special”
one, but whatever happens in the final this
has already been an extraordinary season for
There was a lot of pressure on the team in the
lead up to the semi-final, as they went into it as
favourites, coming out on top in the first of two
Against Rangers however, they will be the
underdogs, just as they were in 1998, and that
might just suit them.
Hearts have nothing to lose in the final. If
they win it then great, but the real final was
actually the semi-final.
That victory will net millions of pounds for
Hearts when their European matches come
around next season.
It is the first time in 18 years that Hearts have
reached the group stages of a European
competition, and 15 years since a Scottish side
out with the Old Firm achieved that feat, with
Aberdeen being the last.
Hearts have done well in recent months to
tie down their top players on long-term
contracts, and the next person that should be
putting pen to paper has to be manager,
The transformation at Hearts in the last year
is nothing short of remarkable and with his
contract up next summer, he is surely
deserving of a new deal as his reward.
This time last year, Hearts’ fans were
protesting outside Tynecastle for his removal,
but now he will go down in history as one of
the club’s most successful managers, regardless
of whether he delivers a Scottish Cup victory
It was a gamble to stick with Neilson last
summer, but that victory over Hibs, has surely
now banished the minority of those who were
against Neilson remaining, and who struggled
to forgive him for surrendering a 2-0 lead to
Hibs as the Hibees went on to lift the Scottish
Cup in 2016.
The manager has passed every test he has
been set this season. and with the financial pull
of European football to come, Hearts have the
opportunity to try and pull away from their
rivals and establish themselves as the third
biggest team in the country.
Lockdown highs and lows
Alastair Stupart’s book looks at pandemic football and relegation
By OLIVIA THOMAS
WITH A FOREWORD Ian Murray MP,
the former Chair of Foundation of
Hearts, this is one fan’s light-hearted
look at the pandemic and lockdown
fortunes of Edinburgh’s Heart of
Midlothian FC and their supporters.
Hearts is the biggest fan owned
football club in the UK.
The time period covered begins in
March 2020 with Heart’s Covid
enforced relegation to a lower
Then the subsequent summer of
disquiet and “civil war” in Scottish
football, before the season finally
started in October with no fans
allowed due to the continuing
There is a game-by-game account
detailing the build up, the press
coverage, performances, results and
There are plenty of football
statistics, humour and trivia/facts
(principally Hearts but also other
clubs, grassroots game and the
Scottish national team).
All profits from the sale of the book
will go to Foundation of Hearts.
Stupart is a first time author,
Edinburgh born and bred, and he
says he always wanted to write a
book. He has written this one largely
as a result of lockdown, and used his
Set against the Covid-19 pandemic
the light-hearted read examines how
fans managed to follow Hearts while
coping with lockdown (beer, mates,
empty stadiums, stress, streaming,
Zoom parties and the rest).
At the same time Scottish football
fans came to the fore to rally support
both for their clubs and themselves
through the dark days of the
pandemic. The book touches on
mental health, fan ownership, the
importance of community and the
good that sport can do for us all.
It would not be a Hearts book
without making fun of Hibs and so
there is a chapter called “Hibsed It”.
Stupart’s second book is already
written for next Christmas.
“We came by railway - 45 years of
Jambo away days” and Stupart
intends to complete the trilogy by