The Edinburgh Reporter May 2022

Local news from Edinburgh

Local news from Edinburgh


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Cleaning Up

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

Pages 22-23

May 2022

Martin P McAdam



A work


of art in


Chris Rutterford shows

off his latest work on the

front of the building

New look at an

old electricity



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

Mary’s Meals


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.

Phyllis Stephen


Dear Madam,

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


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

the numbers

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

editorial enquiries

please email:



reporter.co.uk Donate anchor.fm YouTube

Dear Madam,

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

About us...

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

Ukraine fundraiser

Young entrepreneur smashes her fundraising target

Fundraisers, Maia

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.

Remakery wins

Queen’s Award


honoured with a Queen’s Award for

Enterprise, recognised for its excellence in

Sustainable Development.

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

Edinburgh junction


Cllr Cammy Day

On the 2022

campaign trail

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

Junctions Review.

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


propose a

Dutch design

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

and comfortably.

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

immediate priorities

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

helping hand.

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

elected councillors.

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


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.


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

circular economy.

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


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

across Scotland.

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

Unionist Candidate.

Jeremy Balfour


All friends together

Martin P McAdam

More money

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

last December.

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

Scotland (CHAS).

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

record total.”

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

ten years.

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.


Starting charges

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.


Mariua Falconer

Heart of Portobello

Plans to revive the Town Hall moving along this year


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.


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.


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.


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.



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


Connecting people

The Edinburgh South

Suburban Railway

sets out its case for

an urban rail revival


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.

Leithers taking

a look at litter


#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

Victoria Bridge.


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

public consultation.


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).


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,

The occasional

passenger train

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.



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.


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



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!


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

raise awareness.

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.


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.


the seeds


Flash brooches

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

and orchards.

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

into vines.

“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

James Higgins

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

published online:



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

to that.

“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


Ken Baillie

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

contemporary issues.

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

great graduates

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.







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.







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

independent news.


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

birthday cakes.

Open 7 days 10-4pm

1 Brandon Terrace EH3 5EA

The charity rescues reunites and

rehomes any animal in need, and

works tirelessly to secure happy and

loving forever homes. New trustees

include David Field CEO of Edinburgh

Zoo and Matt Smith of THINK.

0131 669 5331


Bespoke tailoring for men. Craig’s

focus is on making the highest quality

personally tailored attire that others

will aspire to. His pyjamas and dressing

gowns will make your video calls or

working from home very stylish.

0131 226 7775 • 45 Thistle Street

EH2 1DY • craigbankstailoring.com

Beautiful wee shop on Dundas Street

packed to the gunwales with lovely

Italian goods all handmade. Lynne

parcels them with great care in the

shop’s trademark turquoise tissue

and ribbons. Their new must see

website is online now.







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

Saturday 11am-4pm.


A unique gallery and gift shop in

Edinburgh’s Southside - a cornucopia

of all forms of art. Buy handmade art

and craft from independent artists.

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

probably find it for you.”


0131 629 9123

Same location. Same facilities.

Great new name. The Eric Liddell

Community welcomes you.

Rooms for hire and office space for

registered charities.

0131 447 4520

15 Morningside Road EH10 4DP







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.

Appointments essential.

Tel 0131 556 4478

2a Broughton Place EH1 3RX


The floating café with outdoor seating

is owned and run by Lindsay and sits

just next to the Leamington Lift Bridge

on the canal. With their range of

smoothies and coffees accompanied

by macarons and a host of other treats,

it is not to be missed.


You may know about Leith (Saturdays)

and Stockbridge (Sundays) Markets

but did you know that you can order

online and pick up all of your shopping

at once? Using the NeighbourFood

site you simply choose what you want,

pay and then collect your shopping.


The Torrance Gallery on Dundas Street

will be offering a varied programme 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.




All photos Martin P McAdam

It’s an


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

as important

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

confrontational since

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

and garages?

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

needed again.

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

Javaid Akhtar

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

in case’.

"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

children’s goods.


Meet eat and

drink Italian

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.

And independent.

“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.

Chamomile in

new hands

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

business consultant.

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.”





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Café review: GAIA DELI

By Charlie Ellis


Compiled by David Albury

It’s a taste

of Italy

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

Italian coffee.

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

inferior quality.

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

fruit smoothies.

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


Left, Robertson’s

Ayrshire Brined Pork


Right, Chocolate


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

whole new


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

seaweed cone.

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



A force of nature

A film about the life of Ricky Demarco

highlights the need for a permanent

home for his important archive

Marco Federici

Demarco Digital Archive


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

Richard with

Joseph Beuys

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

seven decades.

“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

to 6pm.

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

career pathways.

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.

Facebook: northedinburghfest



Catherine Simpson

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

psychological recovery.

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


Right, Henri-Jean

Guillaume Martin

(1860 - 1943)



takes its


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

I look.

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


Art in

Work of

the park

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

just recently.”

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

the animals

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

neurological conditions.

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


Ian Jacobs


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

six finish.

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

Hibs’ fans.

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

in 1924.

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

both clubs.

The losing team’s representative who is

in attendance has to make the long walk

to hand over the relevant trophy to the

winning club.

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

demanding game.

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


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,

was Hibernian.

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

the Jambos.

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

back-to-back derbies.

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.

Hearts boss,

Robbie Neilson

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,

Robbie Neilson.

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

or not.

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.

Ian Jacobs

Lockdown highs and lows

Alastair Stupart’s book looks at pandemic football and relegation



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

post-match reflections.

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

own photos.

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

Christmas 2023.

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