The Edinburgh Reporter August 2022

All the news about Edinburgh as it opens its arms to welcome back the festivals

All the news about Edinburgh as it opens its arms to welcome back the festivals


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Lochend scores

New 3G pitch is a big

winner with kids

Silver screenings Stadium reborn Virgin territory

Film festival returns to

St Andrew Square

New £47m Meadowbank

facility up and running

New city hotel opens in

former registry office

Striker signs on

Shankland can deliver

goals for Hearts

Page 4 Page 8 Pages 12-13 Page 17

Page 22

August 2022


Time to put

the banners

out in our

Festival City


John L Preece

Flying the flag

for the


FERGUS LINEHAN (pictured left) is

the current Director of Edinburgh

International Festival, (EIF) although

he is to move on after this year’s 75th

edition. Linehan is the Irishman

behind all manner of large scale

opening events and opened up the

“official” festival to more

contemporary music during his

tenure .

And this year is no different. The

free ticketed opening event MACRO

takes place at BT Murrayfield on

Friday 5 August at 9.30pm. The

acclaimed Australian circus and

physical theatre company Gravity &

Other Myths will be joined by First

Nations dance company Djuki Mala,

the National Choir of Scotland and

Scottish musicians including Aidan

O’Rourke, Brighde Chaimbeul and

Kathleen MacInnes for the one night

only event.

It is Sydney in Australia which is

calling to Linehan and his family and

we wish him well. He gives up his role

to newly appointed director, the

world renowned violinist, Nicola

Benedetti, CBE, who will make her

own changes.

With 87 events, 160 performances

and more than 2,300 artists in EIF,

Edinburgh will be a world focus for

top class music, opera, dance and

theatre as well as the thousands of

Fringe shows. And we are putting the

flags out to welcome them all back.

More Festival news on P18


Planning News

Plans have been submitted for the council’s

affordable homes development at Wester

Hailes where the former Health Centre stood.

The 73 homes are designed by EMA

Architecture + Design.

Student flats at the former

Yeaman Place scrapyard

An application has been lodged to change

the use of the premises at 28 Rose Street from

shop to food and drink with the possibility of

public house use. The application will be

determined by 2 September.


THE PRIME Minister that was Boris

Johnson has faced the Leader of the

Opposition over the despatch box for the

last time at Westminster. On his departure

from the Commons - where to me he never

really seemed wholly at ease - all

Conservative MPs stood to applaud him -

except former Prime Minister Theresa May.

Not many of the previous four Prime

Ministers has been very welcome in

Scotland, but at least Mrs May came here

during the 2017 campaign just two days

before Britain went to the polls - and just

two years before she herself announced her

departure after failing to deliver Brexit. Her

audience consisted of Tory activists and

members of the press, and the visit was to

an empty removal warehouse in Granton.

But when Prime Minister Johnson visited

the First Minister at Bute House he

disappointed any waiting photographers

and members of the public by departing

through the back door.

Whoever is in charge from next month

will have their work cut out to keep the

country’s lights on this winter. The cost of

living is one thing, but the war in Ukraine

another factor in decreasing the amount of

natural gas available to Europe and the UK.

Surely there has never been a better time

for Scotland to step up its contribution to

the renewables industry? Meantime

Edinburgh is forging ahead building the

tram extension to Newhaven and new

office blocks at Haymarket - already prelet

to Bailie GIfford which is one of the biggest

contributors to our city’s festivals.

Despite any increases in Covid cases,

the festivals are here and the quiet of

the city some two years ago already

a distant memory.

It is always difficult to choose what to see

but we have picked out just a few shows

that take our fancy on our What’s On pages

from page 18. If you enjoy a show then do

tell us about it - we are happy to receive

even short reviews to share with our

readers. I hope you enjoy the festivals.

Phyllis Stephen, Editor

Black Sheep is planning a move into

Haymarket. The coffee shop which has an

Edinburgh base at St James Quarter is

applying for a licence to fit out one of the 1

Haymarket Square retail units. Bailie Gifford

has already leased 280,000 square feet of office

space in the Grade A accommodation for a

period of 20 years.

The grandstand used in Chariots of Fire is

to be refurbished by ESMS (Erskine Stewarts

Melville Schools) at Inverleith Playing Fields.

Plans have been submitted by Fletcher

Joseph Associates on behalf of CA Ventures

for a £20 million 148 student flat development

in four blocks at the former Yeaman Place

Bringing the news to you...

THERE ARE 7,000 copies of the Edinburgh Reporter distributed

through a network of city businesses and public buildings.

The paper is also usually distributed at Stockbridge Market on

the first weekend of the month.

You will find copies at Farmer Autocare, Summerhall, Art & Craft

Collective, EICC, LifeCare on Cheyne Street, Coffee Angels, Rose

Theatre Café, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western

General Hospital, and some city supermarkets.

If you can, then please subscribe to have your copy delivered to

you each month. It helps us to cover the overheads of bringing

the news to you in print and online.

We distribute door to door on some selected streets. If you

would like us to include your street then please suggest it to us.





scrapyard. This will involve the demolition of

existing buildings and will include associated

active travel routes, landscaping and cycle

parking. Planning ref 22/03556/FUL

An innovation hub - part of the £1.3 billion

Edinburgh and South East Scotland City

Letters to the editor

Telling stories with Mary’s Meals

Dear Editor,

Around the International Day of

Friendship Mary’s Meals is

celebrating heart-warming stories

of hope and camaraderie from

around the world.

Mary’s Meals is a charity that

serves nutritious school meals in

twenty of the world’s poorest

countries. The promise of a good

meal attracts hungry children into

the classroom where, instead of

working or looking for food, they

can gain an education.

As your readers will know, the

classroom is also where lifelong

friendships are made. Friendships

like that of Fridah and Annette,

from Zambia.

Fridah’s life changed forever when

she fell ill with an undiagnosed

illness, losing all ability to move and

communicate. Luckily, she has a

For advertising and

editorial enquiries

please email:



reporter.co.uk Donate anchor.fm YouTube

Region Deal - will be built on land next to

Queen Margaret University in East Lothian.

The hub will develop new types of food and

drink and will have laboratories and offices.

The plans for the £40 million project were

approved in June 2021 by the committee who

oversee the spending of the fund.

wonderful friend in Annette.

The two girls attend school

together, where they eat Mary’s

Meals. Despite the challenges she

faces, Fridah is determined to get

an education. She uses her toes

to write and turn the pages of

her books.

Fridah dreams of becoming a

professional footballer when she is

older. With our nutritious school

meals giving her the energy to learn

and play, and a good friend like

Annette by her side, we hope she

will achieve her dream.

It costs just 8p a day to feed a

child with Mary’s Meals, meaning

every donation – no matter how

small – will make an enormous


Thomas Black, Head of major giving

and partnerships, Mary’s Meals.


About us...

We write about news relating to the Edinburgh area. If you

have any news, or if you would like to submit an article or

photograph for publication then please contact us

Editor: Phyllis Stephen

Designer: Felipe Perez

Photos: Martin P McAdam





07791 406 498



It’s barking mad!

Residents take action to ensure the £50,000 street trees survive

Rage at Porty’s

towering infernal


ALMOST 90 objections have been lodged

by residents, businesses and heritage

groups opposed to a 66ft telecom tower

being built in a historic conservation area.

Residents are anxiously awaiting a

decision by The City of Edinburgh Council

on the proposal to install a 5G mast and

large three cabinets outside 275 and 277

Portobello High Street.

Described by local MP Tommy

Sheppard as “visually intrusive” the mast

would stand 23ft higher than the modern

apartment block and be located less than

five metres from private gardens.

Ward councillor Kate Campbell said

she was concerned that proper

consideration had not been given for

other sites and she does not believe the

application meets council policy on a

number of grounds.


A FREEDOM OF Information Request to The

City of Edinburgh Council disclosed that the

council planted trees at a cost of almost £50,000

but these may be left to die as there is no more

money to pay for someone to water them.

The council confirmed in 2017 that 14 Corten

Steel tree planters were bought for installation

on Leith Walk at a cost to the local authority of

£18,532 plus VAT.

The local authority then bought trees -

£8,119.82 plus VAT and also allocated £19,750

plus VAT for a five year maintenance plan to

cover soil and watering. The trees were moved to

Leith Links at Hermitage Place, the bottom of

Easter Road and Duke Street from Leith Walk

during the tramworks.

Leith Links Community Council carried out

emergency watering and asked the council for

action. But locals have risen to the challenge,

particularly on some very hot days.

John Donoghue, a local resident, has

unofficially adopted the ten trees nearby and

waters them each morning. He said: “I saw the

trees dying in the extreme weather and I thought

it was really sad. I thought somebody should do

it and then realised I could. So I got a big jug

and started to water the trees. Even after a week

the trees turned a little greener and started to

recover. The three at Tesco are just too far away

for me. I like nature and birds but don’t have

any special knowledge about trees.”

While I was taking photos of the trees, Ellie

Mills and her daughter Sula (12) arrived with

water for the Duke Street trees. Ellie does have

expert knowledge as she works as a landscape

architect. She said: “I am passionate about the

environment and climate change. To me trees are

one of our biggest defences against climate

change. We live nearby and kept seeing the leaves

on these trees turning brown when we cycled

past, and decided to do something about it.”

Ellie explained that the Arboriculture

Association offer advice on their website about

how people can help by watering street trees on

their way to school or work.

Cllr Katrina Facccenda said: “I have been

trying to find out who was responsible for these

trees for a number of weeks since I noticed what

a poor state they were in and I tweeted to

Edinburgh Help. Leith Links Community

Council members took things into their own

hands and watered the trees.

“The FOI request seems to point towards no

one currently taking responsibility for the trees.

My questions are why was the maintenance work

out-sourced to start with when we already have a

highly skilled workforce looking after parks and

gardens in Edinburgh, and how can we deliver

our ambitious targets on tree planting in

Edinburgh if we cannot look after a small

number of trees?

“Community action is always to be applauded

but there has to be a line drawn when we are

relying on volunteers to water city trees and

clean up the city’s streets. If the council cannot

deliver these basic municipal services on current

budgets both Scottish and UK governments need

to step up and give us the funding, we need.”

Cllr Mandy Watt, Depute Leader of the

Council said: “Trees in planters will always

John Donoghue, Ellie and Sula Mills

have all begun watering the

nearby trees

require maintenance of some kind. My

understanding is that there is a community

activist who is watering the trees (10 out of 13)

and has kindly adopted them. In autumn a lot of

community groups clean up leaves too. We have

Friends groups who help the council a lot.

People in Marchmont also help by watering the

trees there but there has to be a balance between

communities taking pride in their surroundings

and what should be done by the council. But I

am grateful that communities get involved in

their local neighbourhoods.

“We need trees but perhaps properly planted

street trees would be better and we should try

and make room in our budget for that.”

It appears that the trees will not be moved

again. A council spokesperson said: “My

understanding is that the planters that were

moved from Leith Walk will be staying in the

Easter Road/Leith Links locations with new

planters being installed on the route as part of

the final landscaping designs.”

The council’s Forestry Service said that trees

in planters are not their preferred solution.

A spokesperson said: “Trees need purpose

built pits which they can become independent

in once they establish. Hopefully some

permanent tree pits can be incorporated into

the final tram designs.”

Trams to Newhaven removed 87 trees along

the route from York Place but will plant 167 trees

with more than 13,500 shrubs and 1,800

herbaceous plants to comply with the Code of

Construction Practice’s 2 for 1 policy. The

contractor will maintain the trees for two years

before handing over responsibility to the council.


She said: “There doesn’t appear to be

full information about alternative sites

that have been explored. Portobello is

a conservation area, and so I would

expect all options to be explored which

would cause the least intrusion on

the streetscape.

“The proposed location is right in front

of an existing residential development, it

is placed slightly off centre and will tower

over the existing building. There is no

reference to consideration of landscaping,

design or careful siting in relation to the

visual impact of the mast in the

supporting statement.”

Portobello Amenity Society have also

objected, stating: “There would appear to

be no consideration by the applicant that

this site is within the Portobello

Conservation Area and the assessment of

other suitable sites seems confusing. For

instance, two sites were dismissed as

being too close to residential properties.

However, the proposed site is similarly

close to residential properties.

“The mast will also be a huge visual

intrusion and will be seriously detrimental

to the character and appearance of this

part of the conservation area. All of the

properties opposite, nos. 254 to 284

Portobello High Street, a mid-19th century

block of shops on the ground floor and

flats on the first floor are listed, and the

mast will be detrimental to the character

and appearance of these listed buildings.”

Other objectors include campaigning

community group Action Porty and the

Cockburn Association.


Scots must

have a choice


Emma Watson midfielder with

Rangers FC cut the ribbon at

her former club

Level playing field

New pitch means a bright future for Lochend Football Academy


FOLLOWING A fundraising campaign which

began only last year, the players at Lochend

Football Academy stepped out onto their newly

laid 3G pitch recently as part of an official

opening ceremony when sponsors and funders

were invited along.

The new pitch installed by Sportex Group

has replaced a 12-year-old surface which had

become almost unplayable, and will ensure a

new sustainable facility for the next decade.

And in good news only just officially

confirmed the OneCity Trust has made a

further £5,000 available to the academy from

the 2022 OneCity Trust Main Grant funding

programme. This will be used for their project

to provide free football camps and coaching

sessions for children.

David Pollacchi, a member of the committee

and one of the team coaches, has been firmly at

the helm of the funding effort which has

resulted in the lush new green surface now in

place at Lochend.

He said at the opening ceremony: “When we

started about 14 months ago to speed up our

efforts to replace the pitch, we didn’t realise

how much people were willing to help and

support, and we would never have been able to

do it without that help. We now have a first

class surface in place to support a community

of high deprivation for at least the next ten

years or so.

“As we move forward we continue to do

things better and to work with partners who

share our common community ethos. I’m

absolutely delighted to announce that we are

partnering with Farmer Autocare to help the

younger children in the Academy and at local

schools. Pride of place now at the Academy is

the “Farmer AutoCare proud sponsors of

Lochend Academy board”. We are absolutely

thrilled with that. We really have a gem of an

academy here at the heart of a wonderful

community and thanks to all the help we’re

well placed for the future.”

David used the occasion to thank everyone

from the club bookkeeper Gill to Elaine at the

OneCity Trust, The Scottish Football

Partnership Trust, Graham Croucher of The

City of Edinburgh Council, Jen Malone and

Karen McConnell of the SFA, Viridor Credits

through the Landfill Trust, Microsoft and

Benevity. Social Bite, Dr Susan Brown of

Edinburgh Napier University for her help in

getting undergraduate coaches to Lochend,

Sportex for the pitch and Farmer Autocare for

their strip sponsorship. He even kindly gave

The Edinburgh Reporter a mention for kicking

off their media coverage last year.

David told The Edinburgh Reporter the pitch

cost £68,000 in total to replace the entire


He said: “Manufacturers Sportex have been

really helpful throughout the entire process. I

think this allows us to have a future. The

previous pitch was not in a fit state, so for the

next ten to 12 years we have a sustainable

facility in place. That allows children from the

area to enjoy football and hopefully we can

bring more players through who will achieve

the levels that the likes of Emma Watson has at

Rangers FC, and Adam Khan has at Hibernian

FC and others at Falkirk and St Johnstone too.

The future looks bright.”

WITH THE Tory leadership contest now

down to the final two, the candidates vying

for Number 10 have been offering us their

case for the union. When asked about his

commitment to Scotland, Rishi Sunak

boasted that as Chancellor he set up an

economic campus in Darlington and even

graced the town with a personal visit. The

fact that Darlington, is 85 miles south of

the Scottish border was apparently lost on

Rishi, despite it being barely ten miles from

his own constituency.

The multi-millionaire, former hedge fund

boss has promised to run the country like

Thatcher, which is sure to endear him

further to Scots. Sunak’s only challenger,

Liz Truss, despite her childhood in Paisley,

views the ‘Iron Lady’ as a personal hero, and

has flatly refused to agree to a second

independence referendum if she becomes

Prime Minister.

Whatever your view on the constitution,

it is simply not acceptable to deny Scotland

a right to choose its own future, especially

when conditions have changed so much

since 2014. The significant and increasing

democratic deficit that Scotland faces in

the UK is the topic of the latest in the

“Building a New Scotland” (www.gov.scot/

newscotland) collection of papers,

published by the Scottish Government.

“Democracy through Independence”

outlines how Westminster controls the key

levers of power that can address our most

pressing challenges.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that the

Tories have not won an election in Scotland

since 1955. Perhaps that goes some way to

explaining their candidates’ ignorance of

Scottish geography and their lack of

respect for our democracy. Irrespective of

who is chosen as the new Prime Minister,

the need for Scotland to be given the

opportunity to make a different choice has

never been more urgent.

City of Edinburgh Council slow to reduce speed limits


Local Democracy Reporter

THE CITY OF Edinburgh Council is still

waiting to implement reduced speed

limits on dozens of roads across the

capital – four months after the work was

supposed to be completed.

The plan to bring in new speed

reduction measures in 57 locations by

the end of March has suffered several

delays, reportedly due to a ‘lack of

resources’ – with just seven introduced

by the council so far.

The delayed programme of road

safety changes is mainly lowering speed

limits to 20 mph.

Among the streets that were due to

have this is place by the end of the first

quarter of this year were Abercromby

Place, Braid Road, Broughton Road,

Lochend Road, Portobello High Street,

Restalrig Road South and Craigentinny


The wider raft of new speed reduction

measures will eventually include 91 new

20mph zones and three streets -

Builyeon Road, Cammo Road and

Freelands Road – reduced to 30mph.

The council said it is anticipated that in

addition to the seven lowered speed

limits already in place, including on

Fettes Avenue and Orchard Road, 25

more streets will have measures in place

by the end of September.

Transport and Environment Convener

Cllr Scott Arthur said: “I share concerns

about this delay, it is one of many across

the Transport and Environment remit. I

hope that from August TEC will be able

to provide transparent and open scrutiny

of project delivery to help ensure

schemes have adequate resources to be

delivered on time and on budget.”


Creative culture

Gorgie Street Art Sculpture Trail is an Edinburgh first


GORGIE COLLECTIVE is a community arts

and cultural heritage organisation led by a

volunteer committee and members are artists

and art lovers from Gorgie and beyond.

The body delivers public artworks and free

creative workshops for adults in Gorgie.

Chair, Katriona Gillespie, said: “We are also

passionate about creative placemaking,

improving public spaces and protecting the

cultural heritage of our community.

“Our artists have created Edinburgh’s first

ever Street Art Sculpture Trail, bringing

sculptural artworks by local artists to public

spaces in our area. “

Gorgie Collective (GC) is a community-led

and community-embedded organisation.

Their leading artists have socially engaged

practices and are committed to bringing high

quality art and free creative opportunities to

the local community.

Katriona continued: “Gorgie-Dalry is one of

the most culturally disengaged areas in the

whole city, and we have been historically

overlooked and under-resourced by The City of

Edinburgh Council. Gorgie Collective

advocates for equality of access to the arts for

everyone in our city, and we also support our

local creative community through important

policies such as ensuring that artists are paid at

the correct rates as recommended by the

Scottish Artist’s Union for their work.

“We promote the benefits of creative activity

for health and wellbeing. There is a growing

Artist Mike Spring

at work on a


evidence base demonstrating the

benefits of public artworks

for individual mental health

and wellbeing, as well as

creating a sense of place.

Through our work, we

seek to create more

welcoming and

stimulating public spaces

that can be enjoyed by

people of all ages.

“Making art more

engaging and accessible is an

important priority for our

artists. Because all our sculptures

are located in public spaces, they

are completely accessible and can be

visited at any time, so we encourage

people to get down to Gorgie to

appreciate them first hand.”

GC is one of the grant recipients of the

Creative Communities programme, a national

programme funded by The Scottish

Government. The organisation considers

improving accessibility to the arts as very

important and their volunteers work hard to

raise funds for their activities. All of their

events are free for local residents and the public

artworks are viewable any time.

The artworks are located at several locations

around Gorgie. You can find sculptures in

different medias such as concrete, stone,

ceramic, brass and resin by seven different

artists on the Street Art Sculpture Trail.

A map is available on the website www.

gorgiecollective.com to help everyone find the

works, or just have a wander around Gorgie

and see what you can discover.

Katriona concluded: “Gorgie Collective is

continually expanding the trail to bring fresh

artworks to new audiences. We ran a sculpture

competition last year and our competition

winner, Mike Spring, who lives in Gorgie, has

just installed several beautifully observed cast

concrete portraits on the trail. These sculptures

were inspired by and in tribute to the people

of Gorgie and the series is entitled ‘Pieces

of Gorgie’.

“We’re excited to be transforming our public

spaces in Gorgie one public artwork at a time!

Watch out for our first sculptural benches -

hopefully to be installed this autumn.”

Rollin’ back the

years in the Pans

HISTORIC Environment Scotland

(HES) has provided £4,500 funding

supporting the heritage of Prestonpans

Town Hall.

HES has provided funding to support

projects that bring to life the memories

local people have of the building and

events that have taken place there: from

soup kitchens during the miners strikes to

tea dances and Bay City Rollers concerts.

Local people are invited to share their

stories and photos of events and activities

at the Town Hall which will be captured on

wall displays in the Town Hall Reception,

made accessible online and published

in a book.

A full-scale costumed re-enactment of

the Victorian opening ceremony will take

place this month marking 125 years since

the hall was opened.

Cherry chairs human rights committee

MP FOR Edinburgh South

West, Joanna Cherry QC , has

been appointed Chair of the

Committee on Human Rights.

Ms Cherry said: “Delighted to

have support of cross-party

colleagues in taking up this

position while Harriet

Harman MP is chairing the

Privileges Committee. We

have some important work to

do scrutinising the Bill of

Rights and protecting Human

Rights which are

fundamental and universal.

The UK Government is

seeking to repeal the Human

Rights Act 1998 following the

Conservative Party’s 2019

manifesto commitment to

update the law. The

government also wishes to

rebalance the relationship

between the UK courts, The

European Court of Human

Rights (ECHR) and Parliament

while remaining a party to

the ECHR. A previous public

consultation attracted 12,000

responses and now the

Committee has issued a call

for written submissions of up

to 3,000 words by 26 August.


Rescue bid fails

It’s the end for The Prentice Centre despite council offer of help


THE PRENTICE Centre in Granton is

to close, despite The City of Edinburgh

Council approving a possible rescue package

of £50,000 to help keep the facility open at a

recent meeting.

The West Granton Community Trust

(WGCT) which employs three members of staff

threatened that the centre would close and that

the trust would be wound up after discussions

last month. But the promised finance from the

council was apparently not enough to keep the

trust going.

In a statement the trust has advised that

the Prentice Centre will be permanently

closed saying: “It has been reported in the

press that The City of Edinburgh Council were

considering providing us with a one off grant

of £50,000, however with no confirmation of

the process to secure this funding nor the

timescales involved, the Trust has been left

with no alternative but to proceed with the

winding up of the Trust.

“This is to ensure the orderly transfer

of the premises to another charitable

organisation and to meet our responsibilities

to our tenants, staff and the community.

“Given our current financial situation and

with no guarantee of long-term funding for

staff and overheads, we can no longer operate

as a Trust. Following the suspension of

activities at the Prentice Centre on 1 July, there

will be no further access for community use.

Staff will remain on site until mid-October to

care for the building and to manage the process

of winding up the Trust.”

Cllr Cammy Day said: “I’m surprised to have

heard of this news with only a few days notice.

I understood the Prentice Centre had funding

in place for the remainder of 2022. This isn’t a

council-funded centre but we have agreed to

offer a one off emergency grant of the

organisation can be sustainable longer term.

Prentice Centre is the heart of West Granton

and I hope we can all work together to rebuild

and continue its presence in the community.”

Cllr Vicky Nicolson said: “My feeling is that,

like Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre for which I

recently attended the Management Committee,

local organisations like the Prentice Centre,

which are not City of Edinburgh Council

Community Centres, feel that having to

struggle to find funds for running costs and

wages takes its toll and even a reprieve of

£50,000 feels like prolonging the inevitable

as the same situation will arise again in the

near future.

“I have agreed to make contact with council

officers on behalf of Drylaw Neighbourhood

Centre (DNC) to ask about how to proceed

with both advice and about the funding. I will

also meet with the management to help them

look at how they can deliver a greater range of

youth work as anti social behaviour from

young people in Drylaw/Telford is presenting

an issue locally. In addition, I enquired whether

they will let DNC to Edinburgh Western SNP

branch in August for our branch meeting to

bring in some revenue and introduce new

people to their facility.”

Cllr Stuart Dobbin said: “At the June Council

meeting I was able to get an addendum passed

to provide funding to the Prentice Centre,

sufficient to take them through to the end of

the year, subject to Council review.

“I am hugely disappointed that the timing

didn’t work and in line with their fiduciary

duty, the Trustees have confirmed their

decision of late June in line to close.

“However, I am relieved and encouraged that

the building will remain as a community asset,

one that I will continue to support. I will do

everything I can as a ward councillor to

support local efforts to establish a new

organisation in the Centre to pick up the

crucial work done here.

“Given the challenges and impact of the

pandemic over the past two years and the

current cost of living crisis, we cannot afford to

lose Community facilities in the West Pilton

and West Granton neighbourhood.”

The Edinburgh Reporter contacted the Chair

of the West Granton Community Trust, Mr

Gerry Forry, for comment.


Best foot forward

Charity invites fundraising action at a pace to suit everyone



Memory Walk over the weekend of

16 to 18 September and all Scots are invited

to take part.

The walk can be completed in any way

participants choose - all they have to do is find

somewhere that has a special meaning and

walk here at a time of their choosing over the

weekend. The tagline is Your Walk, Your Way.

The distance is not important and can be a

lap of the garden or many kilometres

depending on ability. And the walk is fee to

enter although the idea behind it is to raise

funds with family and friends.

Those taking part can set up their own

Memory Walk page on the online Facebook

group where they can share their reasons

for taking part and the details of what they

are doing.

Kirsty Stewart, Alzheimer Scotland

Stakeholder Engagement Executive Lead,

said:“I am delighted to be welcoming back

Alzheimer Scotland’s annual Memory Walk.

“Now in its fifth year, it is a great opportunity

to bring the dementia community together; to

be able to connect, celebrate, raise awareness,

Getting together to raise funds

for Alzheimer Scotland

remember loved ones and show support for

people living with dementia, their family

members and carers.

“It’s only with the help of our incredible

supporters that we can continue to be there for

people living with dementia and their families.

“This event always brings with it a sense of

hope, reinvigoration, and community that I

can’t wait to get involved with again this year.

I look forward to seeing those that regularly

support our Memory Walks, and hopefully

meet a few new faces, too.

“Together we can make sure nobody faces

dementia alone.”

To sign up to Scotland’s Memory Walk, visit:


The Edinburgh

Award 2022

NOMINATIONS ARE open until 15 August

2022 for the prestigious Edinburgh Award.

This has been running since 2007 to

celebrate people who have made a really

unique contribution to the capital.

Last year’s winner was a case in point -

Fergus Linehan, the Director of the

Edinburgh International Festival was

nominated for his creative work in the field

of arts and culture.

The panel of judges is chaired by the Rt

Hon Lord Provost, Robert Aldridge who

said: “Edinburgh continues to be a leading

light in many fields, both nationally and

internationally, and this is down to the

character and achievement of our citizens.

“The Edinburgh Award represents an

opportunity to celebrate the people who

make Edinburgh the fantastic city we

see today.

“By nominating someone you can help

us showcase these people and give them

the recognition and praise they deserve.”

It’s time for an


ALL 288 STAY cables on The Queensferry

Crossing will be cleaned over the next

three months, to mitigate “ice accretion”

The decision to clean the cables on all

three towers was made after laboratory

tests at the Jules Verne Climatic Wind

Tunnel in France showed that cleaning

the cables meant that it took longer for

wet snow to stick to the high density

polyethylene stay pipes around

the cables.

Rope access technicians abseiled from

the north tower to clean the cables by

hand to test the theory.

Now a machine has been trialled that

can be winched up the cables to jet-wash

them remotely.

Private schools did not lose any money during the pandemic

INVESTIGATIVE journalists at The

Ferret have established that the

country’s leading independent

schools were worth £12.3 million

more in 2021 than in the previous

year - despite any pandemic effect.

In Edinburgh, around a quarter of

children and young people are

educated privately at 18 private

schools. The Ferret examined the

accounts of 37 independent Scottish

schools finding that 26 had increased

their net total assets compared to the

previous year, despite claims from a

body representing these schools that

Covid-19 had cost the independent

school sector £40 million.

The net assets of Fettes College and

George Heriot’s School increased by

£1 million each.

The number of pupils who receive

a subsidised place at a fee paying

school is a key measure to retaining

charitable status, but at Fettes College

just 31 of its 791 pupils received

bursaries to cover all fees. A nonresidential

place at Fettes costs

£32,760 per year.

Lindsay Paterson, professor of

educational policy at the University of

Edinburgh said: “The wider public

benefit of the private schools should

be taken much more seriously by

policy makers. There needs to be

more sharing of resources, teachers,

and inclusion of students in networks

that extend to both the public sector

and the independent schools.

“My challenge to the private

schools and to Scottish policy makers

is this, use these newly stored

resources which The Ferret has

pointed out to build educational

bridges between the private and

public sectors.”

The growing resources of private

schools contrast with the long term

decline in spending on state

education. A key tax break for

independent schools was due to be

removed two years ago but was

delayed to April this year due to the

pandemic. Now schools pay

commercial rates as part of a change

to property taxes, but are exempt

from income tax, capital gains tax and

corporation tax.

A spokesperson for Fettes College

said: “There are two main reasons for

our growth in net worth. We had an

increase of pupil numbers year on

year due to demand and an increase

in the percentage of boarders. During

the pandemic we were able to pivot

quickly to ensure our students

benefited from ongoing engagement

and continued structured learning. As

a result we saw an upturn in

applications from families wishing

their children to join our school.

“Fettes is committed to broadening

access to the school by offering

means tested financial support

towards the payment of school fees

known as a bursary. Our bursaries can

cover up to 110 per cent of fees

payable depending on the financial

circumstances of the applicants.”


Film fest in the City

Blockbusters to be shown on a big screen in St Andrew Square



FESTIVAL (EIFF) is back to its original timing

from 12 to 20 August, rubbing shoulders with all

the other creative programmes on the Fringe

and at the International Festival.

There is a full programme of 87 new

features, 12 short film programmes and two

retrospectives at EIFF, bookended by the

Opening Gala Aftersun and the Closing

Gala After Yang.

The new Creative Director Kristy Matheson

is at the helm ensuring that more

than half of the international feature

films have female directors or


Films will be shown at the

Filmhouse, Cameo, Everyman, Vue

Omni, and of course outdoors in St

Andrew Square Garden for the middle

weekend’s Film Fest in the City.

If you just cannot choose from the

extensive film festival programme then

Film Fest in the City is for you. Films are

chosen from you over the three days and it is

an outdoor, free and non-ticketed event. Our

choices? Paddington on Friday at 11am,

2001: A Space Odyssey on Saturday at 8pm

and Shrek at 11am on Sunday.


Kristy Matheson said: “We are delighted to be

able to present such a fantastic programme of

free events for Edinburgh residents and visitors

alike to enjoy on our opening weekend. These

great films correspond with our wider EIFF

themes – our celebration of female directors and

Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, among others

– and we are sure everyone will find something

in the programme that they will enjoy. See you

in August in the beautiful surroundings of

St Andrew Square for a weekend of pure

cinematic entertainment!”

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive and Director,

Essential Edinburgh: “The shared experience of

enjoying a good film out in the fresh air is hard

to beat, so we’re delighted to bring this hugely

popular event back to Edinburgh city centre.

“We want to provide an occasion to be

enjoyed by people of all ages and tastes, which

will cost nothing to attend. The outdoor cinema

has always been a firm favourite with locals for

over a decade with the stunning backdrop of St

Andrew Square Garden. We can’t wait to see you

there and welcome you to enjoy a film as well as

the retail and hospitality offering throughout

our city centre.”

Robert Howat

as Rob Roy

heralding the

return of Film

Fest in the City

The outdoor

film festival has

always been

popular with


Tuns of choice

at Porty Vault


A BREWERY specialising in sour beers

has hit the sweet spot with the opening

of a new bar in Portobello.

Vault City Brewing, supported by £45,000

raised by crowdfunding, has enjoyed a

busy first month since it opened its doors

in the former Skylark in the beach town’s

High Street.

Porty Vault has 36 taps featuring 24

of the brewery’s own double-fermented

fruit flavoured beers with the remainder

fonts featuring guest beers, wines

and mead.

An authentic American smoker

imported specially produces a range of

“slow and smoked” BBQ style foods and

snacks with vegan options. Vault City

Brewing head of marketing, Richard

Wardrop, said: “Our brewery is only a

short walk from Portobello High Street

but opening the Porty Vault feels like we

now have a real connection with the

community. We enjoyed a really strong

start with people from Portobello out in

force supporting us.”

The bar and smokehouse is also

enjoying a “mini pilgrimage” with

customers from Vault’s other bar - The

Wee Vault at Haymarket - heading down

to Portobello.

Richard added: “We’ve seen quite a few

people from our Haymarket tasting room

make the trip and hopefully it means

there are a few more people wandering

about Porty taking in a bit of the seaside.”


Vault City describe their beers as “fruit

forward” with the beers fermented

initially with yeast and culture, followed

by a second fermentation with up the

40% fruit content adding the distinctive

flavours and colours.

Most popular so far has been Cloudy

Lemonade and Strawberry Sunday

beers - both of which are available in

iced slush versions for takeaway on hot

sunny days. The beers range from a

typical 4% ABV all the way up to the

powerful Kärleksmums Imperial Pastry

Stout at 12% which is described as

having chocolate, coffee, coconut and

vanilla flavours.

Porty Vault plan to introduce guest

cask beers in time and there will be

future collaborations with other

breweries with tap takeovers.




coming up rosé


A LARGE CREW and cast of

extras assembled in Moray Place

and a couple of nearby streets

with horses and carriages a main

part of the cast.

The production being filmed

is called The Debutante and

some scenes have already been

shot at Carolside in the Borders.

The production is a TV drama set

in 1890s New York, although the

horses and carriages used

carried the name of a men’s

tailor in London. It is reported

that the drama is produced by

The New Town transformed

into a dramatic film set

TV show The Debutante filmed at Moray Place

The Forge Entertainment known

for Elizabeth 1 from 2005. The

company has also worked on

Channel 4 productions such as

the popular series Skins.

Get on the bike bus

Spokes Porty back the right of all children to cycle to school

A TOUCH OF OZ is adding fizz to a

rejuvenated Portobello High Street with

the opening of Smith & Gertrude wine bar.

Taking its name from a crossroads in the

vibrant Fitzroy district of Melbourne which

is famed for its food and wine, husband

and wife team Duncan and Amy Findlater

are building on the success of the bar’s

seven-year-old Stockbridge sister.

The couple moved to Portobello

18 months ago and came to realise that

a quality wine bar would be welcomed

by locals who wanted a good night

out without having to travel into the

city centre.

With 150 bottles on offer, including 25

wines by the glass, Smith & Gertrude is

proving an instant hit. There are plans to

hold small wine tasting sessions and a wine

and cheese book club in autumn.

Duncan said: “Business has been better

than expected and our hunch that people

with young families would prefer to hang

about Portobello than go into town is

playing out. We are getting groups of

people in at concentrated times between

5-10pm and then, unlike Stockbridge, it

gets a bit quieter, so we are guessing these

are young families who have to be up at

the crack of dawn.”


CHILDREN LOVE bike buses, and they are

becoming a regular sight in the city. There are

now at least six running in Edinburgh. Bike

buses involve children riding to school in a

group with adult ride leaders on roads that

would normally be too dangerous for them.

They are usually led by volunteers and parents,

and are often supported by the Council, local

police, and cyclists from across the city who

help to keep the children safe. All bike bus

organisers undertake careful route planning

and risk assessments.

The first bike bus to set up in Edinburgh was

Sciennes Primary School in 2013. The school

had two successful walking buses, and, when

a quality bike corridor was brought in by the

Council, a couple of people keen to help

children cycle saw the opportunity for a

bike bus. With a supportive head teacher and

parent council, and agreement to fund two

cycle trainers to help, the bike bus was born

and is still going strong. It led to a significant

increase in the numbers of families and

children cycling.

The inaugural James Gillespie Primary

School bike bus was held in March 2019. It was

an incredible success, with 162 people taking

Adults accompany kids

on the Bike Bus

part. Led by Blackford Safe Routes, the travel

group of the parent council, it too is still going,

providing help and guidance to other schools

such as Canal View, as well as making

successful deputations to the Council to

provide material support for bike buses.

The Davidson Main’s Primary School bike

bus started as a local action linked to Pedal

on Parliament in 2019. A hundred people

turned up. It was so popular that the organisers

kept it going. Its success seeded further bike

bus activity in Blackhall Primary and

Corstorphine Primary.

Juniper Green Primary School is the latest

addition to the list, starting in June this year.

One parent at that ride described it as a

fantastic initiative, saying that his seven-yearold

child enjoyed a fun, safe and healthy ride

to school.

School bike buses are brilliant for everyone

involved. Children get to practice their cycle

training, chat to each other on the way, make

new friends, and enjoy the excitement of riding

in a large group. Adults new to cycling build

confidence and swap some of their car trips for

bikes. School neighbourhoods benefit from

reduced air pollution and traffic congestion.

Will more bike buses appear? While bike

buses are joyous events, the need for them is a

sad indictment of transport infrastructure and

policies which have promoted car dominance

over walking, wheeling, cycling and public

transport. Until our transport infrastructure is

suitable for children to cycle to school without

needing the safety of an organised group, bike

buses, for those with the time and commitment

to organise them, are here to stay.


Popular sellers in the first month have been

a sparkling demi sec Gamay, lots of rose

because of the hot weather, and chilled

Beaujolais and chardonnay on tap. Open

Wednesday to Sunday, the hours could be

extended depending on demand.

Duncan added: “On holiday in

Melbourne, we were sitting in Smith

Street having brunch and looked over at

the crossroads sign and thought that

would be a cool name for a bar if we ever

opened one.

“There was no big grand business vision

behind this, we just thought there might

be enough like-minded people in Porty

who would like to have a nice place to

sample good wine and cheese. When we

opened in Stockbridge, we were adamant

that was it and it would be a one-off album

and we would put our life into that, but

Portobello came about it just made sense.

“We have a small tasting room

downstairs for up to 12 people and we

plan to have visiting wine producers,

tasting sessions and to start our wine

and cheese book club probably from

about September.



Some people say this is the best view they’ve

seen of the new St James Quarter and hotel




For advertising

and editorial

enquiries please

email us on:










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

Go along to this beautiful wee shop

filled with Italian handmade goods

and see how much they’ve taken off in

their Summer Clearance Sale.

Bag a bargain in store at 44 Dundas

Street or online - all will be parcelled

up with turquoise ribbon.







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







Ardgowan Shipwright - winner of the

Whisky Masters and described by the

company’s own whiskymaker, Max

McFarlane, as “a sumptuous dram”.

Next day delivery standard for orders

placed before 1pm. £4.50 shipping or

free for orders over £100.


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

has its Festival Show running until 3

September featuring Julie Dumbarton.

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.



If you build it...

...they will run

Phyllis Stephen takes a

quick lap around Edinburgh’s

£47million Meadowbank

Stadium development

There will be little in the way of

ceremony until later in the

summer, but the new

Meadowbank Sports Centre has

opened its doors - albeit a little

later than planned - and it is a

welcome sight.

Gym bunnies and athletes have missed the

convenience of Meadowbank while the old facilities

were demolished to make way for a new £47 million

sports stadium. The former Meadowbank closed in

December 2017 when rebuilding began.

The running track has been resurfaced in

readiness for athletes who train there and there are

state of the art facilities on offer to Edinburgh

Leisure customers.

Meadowbank is owned by The City of Edinburgh

Council and managed by the charity, Edinburgh

Leisure. The new state-of-the-art stadium and

indoor facilities will support physical activity, sport,

health, and wellbeing in Edinburgh for generations

to come. At the same time it has been considered

important to remember the legacy and heritage of

the old Meadowbank built for the Commonwealth

Games in 1970.

The new venue supports accessible participation

This facility will make

a huge contribution

to the public’s health

and wellbeing


Chris Watt

and has improved indoor facilities including two

multi-sport games halls with seating, three fitness

studios and a gym with three times the number of

exercise stations. There are car parking spaces and a

two storey cycle store.

Edinburgh Leisure’s Chief Executive, June Peebles,

said:“Donald Goldsmith, the manager at

Meadowbank, and his team are incredibly excited

(as I am) about the new Meadowbank.

“The old Meadowbank held memories for many

people, but for anyone interested in physical activity

in the city this is a big moment. The difference in the

new building is that many of the facilities are

This huge investment

will provide countless

opportunities for

Edinburgh citizens

to be active

purpose built for the activities. In the new

Meadowbank there is state of the art equipment

in a bigger gym for example. The activity mix is

much the same but the quality of the facilities is

very much improved.

“For me the big message is that this is a fantastic

facility. It will make a huge contribution to the

health and wellbeing of people in Edinburgh. It will

allow people to develop in their own sports. My

message is please come and see Meadowbank and

come and use it. There are activities for everyone of

all ages and stages and we are looking forward to

seeing everyone.”

The basic facilities for track and throwing are in

place, but some further infrastructure would be

needed to run any Commonwealth Games in the

future. Edinburgh Leisure’s Ageing Well programme

might even use the track for some of their walking

groups in a safe space with a view to using the café

to socialise afterwards. The café, right at the front of

the Meadowbank building, is open to everyone,

even if they are not using the gyms and halls.

Ms Peebles leads a team of more than 100 people

at Edinburgh Leisure and their offices are now in

Meadowbank. She said that she is delighted to be

back in an office along with her colleagues who all

have access to the gym and other facilities before

and after work.


Council Leader Cllr Cammy Day said: “The City of

Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day said: “We

are delighted with the new Meadowbank Sports

Centre - I believe it will be one of the best facilities

for community and club sport in the country. I hope

the fantastic and top of the range facilities will

encourage people to get more active and more often.

I was very impressed when I was given my first look

and I’m confident members old and new will be too.

“Participation and accessibility are at the heart of

the centre, and it will bring huge physical, mental,

and social benefits to generations of local people for

years to come. There is a packed programme of

activity and range of classes for all interests and

ability. Meadowbank has been an iconic part of the

Capital’s sporting history and I’m in no doubt that

the new Centre will build on this legacy.”

sportscotland contributed £5 million to the

financing of the new facilities. Chair, Mel Young,

said: “Meadowbank Sports Centre has been a

sporting and social hub for so many people in the

Edinburgh area over the years. Thanks to this

incredible £47million refurbishment, people of all

ages and abilities will be able to reap the benefits of

newly refurbished facilities. The re-opening of

Meadowbank will provide the local community

with access to a state-of-the-art sport and physical

activity centre on their doorstep, creating significant

participation opportunities. This collaboration

between The City of Edinburgh Council,

Edinburgh Leisure and sportscotland is a great

example of partnership working developing

genuine opportunities that will help make sport,

and physical activity a way of life for local people.’’

Old Meadowbank

THE OLD MEADOWBANK Stadium was built

at a cost of £2.8 million in 1970 after a three

year construction project, and was the first

venue to host the Commonwealth Gams twice,

(the second time in 1986).

The stadium originally had a capacity of

16,500 including the terraces. When the terraces

were decommissioned it held up to 7,500.

The 1970 games were the first to be called The

Commonwealth Games as they were originally

called the British Empire and Commonwealth

Games. The 1970 event also required the Royal

Commonwealth Pool to be built.

“We have now entered the long-awaited

year” wrote Sir Herbert Brechin, Chairman of

the 1970 Games, “and are about to welcome to

our homeland of Scotland, and our capital city

of Edinburgh, many of our kinsfolk from the

Commonwealth, who will be revising their

native land or visiting for the first time as

descendants of our own people.

“We present the British Commonwealth

Games, confident that the arrangements

for all our visitors will be such as to make

New Meadowbank has all of this...

• An outdoor eight-lane

athletics track with a

499-seat stand and

outdoor throwing and

jumps area

• A 60m six-lane indoor

athletics track and jumps


• Two multi-sport halls

with fixed and moveable

spectator seating

• A hall for trampolining

and dance

• A gym with Life Fitness

equipment, dumbbells

up to 50kg, Watt bikes,

SkiErg, row and Cybex

SPARC machines

(capacity – 90)

• Two fitness studios which

include world-renowned

Les Mills programme of

classes, smart tech bars

and weights

• The fitness class timetable

will open with 92 classes

• Combined bumped

plates weighs in the gym

– 2927.5kg

• Combined dumbbell

weight in the gym –


• 40+ pieces of resistance

the occasion a truly memorable one.”

A copy of the 1970 brochure was kept

in the Duty Manager’s office and was a

fascinating relic of its era.

It contained adverts from cigarette

manufacturer, John Player, the kind of

advertising which is now banned. At the

time Kirkcaldy still led the world in linomanufacturing

and apparently Y-fronts

were new and exciting for men. The idea of

sporting events as a means of redevelopment

seems familiar.

The 1970 Games were declared a huge

success unlike those held in 1986 headed up by

Sir Robert Maxwell who pledged up to £2

million but actually only paid over £250,000..

Since the UK refused to sever links with

South Africa many African, Asian and Caribbean

countries boycotted the games leading to a

description of the event as an “all white affair”.

The 1986 Games opened with a deficit of

around £4 million and, although creditors were

asked to forgo around half of the debt, it took

three years to clear.

and free weights


• Two squash courts

• A combat studio for

martial arts

• Two 3G (synthetic)

pitches, including one

with a 499-seat stand

• A hospitality Suite and

event-hosting facilities

• Cafe and meeting rooms

• A Cycle Studio (capacity

– 30) with Life Fitness IC7

bikes and ICG myride

and Les Mills RPM classes


Employees celebrate

45 years of business

Spinning plates

at Bothy Coffee


A bespoke service

Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative keeps the wheels turning


IT IS JUST OVER 45 years since three friends

who shared a love for all things cycling decided

that together they would set up a workers’

cooperative. They were Chris Hill, Gerry

Murray, and Morag Ogilvie, and they believed

in a fairer way of doing business.

Founded in 1977 as a single shop in

Edinburgh, “Recycles” was born and later

renamed as Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative.

The company is one where the workers have an

equal say in the business, and profits are shared

equally among the employees.

Now almost half a century on, Edinburgh

Bicycle Cooperative has five shops in Scotland

and Northern England, including Edinburgh,

but their founding principles remain the same.

After working with the Bike Coop for a year,

each employee is invited to become a member

with an equal share in the business and a vote

at their AGM. This shared business model has

ensured that the Bike Coop has stood the test

of time and that it continues to be a great

company to be a part of.

The UK’s longest running bike cooperative is

known for a lot of firsts, including being the

first in Scotland to stock mountain bikes back

in 1984, creating their own bicycle brand

“Edinburgh Bicycle” in 1985, launching one of

Europe’s first cycle shop websites in 1996,

stocking “Revolution” bikes in 2003 which can

still often be seen all over the UK. More

recently the Bike Coop has been supporting the

growth of the e-cargo bike as a cheaper,

healthier, and more sustainable form of

transport for individuals and businesses.

Today, the bike industry is really in the

spotlight. With electricity and fuel prices

soaring, cycling is a great way to help people

financially, physically, and mentally. And with

an ever-rising interest in supporting

homegrown businesses, especially ones that

truly care about their team members, the Bike

Coop’s employee-ownership model is even

more valued than it was back when it started.

Community is a big part of what it means to

be a cooperative. That is why Edinburgh

Bicycle Cooperative’s shops are open seven

days a week offering free bike safety checks and

advice on anything from beginner’s cycling tips

to saddle fittings. They also rent out smoothie

blending bikes to schools to teach children and

adults about healthy living, and to charities to

help with fundraising. With Covid restrictions

lifted, they hope to be offering their popular

bike maintenance classes again soon to help

build cycling confidence and life skills.

What really makes the Bike Coop stand out

is the honesty and expert knowledge of their

staff. They build a relationship with each

customer to ensure that they find their perfect

bike. Offering all types of bicycles, including

Many people have worked for the co-op over the years with

thousands of bikes sold or repaired. Pictured above, the

shop in 1977 and (left) the staff in 1985.

road, gravel, mountain, hybrid, folding,

cargo, e-bikes, and kids’ bikes, from carefully

selected, high-quality brands such as

Specialized, Giant, Liv, Kalkhoff, Whyte,

Brompton, Tern, and Frog.

The Bike Coop also offers advice on

servicing and all the gear to go with your new

bike, so that you can be sure that you’ve got

everything you need to pedal off on your

next adventure.

DISCLAIMER - Yes - The Edinburgh

Reporter is a customer.

FLEUR WOOLFORD opened up the

police box at the top of India Street in a

new venture born during the pandemic.

An Edinburgh resident for more than 25

years, she is more often seen spinning the

discs in Ibiza at Soul Heaven every

Saturday, but took to a quieter pace of life

in the New Town where Bothy Coffee is

now creating a stir.

Unable to travel to the Balearics for the

last while, Fleur decided instead to set up a

coffee shop in the police box at the end of

Heriot Row which is otherwise a bit of a

coffee desert.

Now she opens her police box to a

growing clientele every weekday 8am

to 12.30pm - and the first coffee is on

the house.

But she still runs Soul Heaven from a

distance and, unable to contain herself to

just the world of coffee, Fleur is also

bringing house, disco, RnB, HipHop,

Funk,Afro, Dancehall, Boogie Balearic

music genres and soul music to Scotland.

Soul Castle is an event staged by Soul

Heaven at Carlowrie Castle on 17

September with music and food stalls, arts

and crafts in the garden and an after party.

The party will continue from daytime to

night-time with three rooms of music.

Tickets on Eventbrite.

Challenge fund

for innovators


opens for applications to its new fund on

3 August. The call is for innovators

requiring financial help in addressing

climate change issues, mainly in rural

Scotland, but it will help to meet net zero

targets. The fund will award up to £50,000

in grants as well as business advice, and

will support new social enterprises. The

SIC is delivered by Firstport on behalf of

The Scottish Government building on

COP26. Social Justice Secretary Shona

Robison said: “Scotland has a proud

history of innovation, and the Social

Innovation Challenge can play an

important role in helping us achieve our

net zero ambitions.”




Liz Lochhead’s acclaimed adaptation of the classic drama





Medea © Peter Dibdin

Charity No SC004694

10–28 AUGUST





Café review: Connoisseurs Coffee Club

By Charlie Ellis


Compiled by David Albury

Spilling the beans

A different kind of coffee shop where they know what they’re doing

CONNOISSEURS Coffee Club is one

of a number of excellent specialty

coffee places to have opened in

Edinburgh in the last two years.

It opened in March 2022 on Duke

Street, near the foot of Leith Walk.

If any single street exemplifies the

radical changes undergone by Leith in

recent decades, then it must be Duke

Street. Traditional pubs dominated

until relatively recently. The street is

increasingly a destination for those

seeking classy gastro pubs and

eateries. Connoisseurs Coffee Club

joins places such as the Lioness of

Leith and Faceplant, which serves

plant-based food. Baking specialists

Twelve Triangles also have a branch

on Duke Street.

With its crisp white and mint green

interior, the Connoisseurs Coffee

Club exudes a chilled, minimalist feel.

It has echoes of the ‘Op art’ of Bridget

Riley. The La Marzocco coffee

machine which they brew their

espresso on, has the same colour

scheme. Connoisseurs Coffee Club

uses beans by Santu, which are now

being used by a number of cafes

across Edinburgh. These include

Santu’s own little coffee bar on the

Canongate. Connoisseurs Coffee Club

uses Santu’s ‘coffee number 1’, the

Adelfo Casagrande, which has fruity

and sweet tasting notes and produces

an espresso with a balanced body.

Connoisseurs Coffee Club selected

Santu because of its consistency,

which allows them to produce

high-quality coffee throughout the

year. The coffees we had bore witness

to this; particularly tasty and with

excellent balance. The fruity notes

were evident but not overwhelming.

The premises of Connoisseurs

Coffee Club are shared with a

barbershop (Connoisseurs Barber

Club) in the back. For the chatty and

engaging barista manager, it’s “a

crossover that I’m surprised more

people don’t do”, something of a

natural combination. As well as

espresso based drinks, the

Connoisseurs Coffee Club also serves

batch brews, teas by Pekoe Tea (who

have recently set up a new shop

nearby, at the Foot of the Walk) and

hot chocolate.

In the warmer months of the year,

Connoisseurs Coffee Club also serves

a selection of iced coffees. They also

offer a range of baking to complement

the drinks. With a number of highly

rated specialty coffee places in the

vicinity (including a large new branch

of Artisan Roast, Hideout Cafe, and

Williams and Johnson at the Custom

House), competition is pretty fierce.

On the other hand, the increasing

availability of high quality

specialty coffee in the area may

increase demand.

The Connoisseurs Coffee Club is

well placed to take advantage of this

shift and the rapidly changing

character of the area.

Connoisseurs Coffee Club

106 Duke St, EH6 8HL


1 Spread seed (5)

4 Indicator or gun-dog (7)

8 To give life to something (7)

9 Go in (5)

10 Reject, breathe out (5)

11 Person who buys and

sells goods (6)

13 Immature (6)

15 The study of morals (6)

18 Preserve a body from decay (6)

20 Underground stem of potato,

for example (5)

22 Reddish-brown dye (5)

23 Roads lined with trees (7)

24 North American wolves, also

called prairie wolves (7)

25 A show of cowboy skills (5)


1 Divvy up the proceeds (5-3)

2 Talk in a quiet voice (7)

3 Speak in a slow,

lazy manner (5)

4 Attractive (6)

5 Vague, not precise (7)

6 Name of a book (5)

7 Very unusual (4)

12 Coffee made by forcing steam

through beans (8)

14 Farm worker, or an ignorant

person (7)

16 Arriving flight, coming in

to land (7)

17 Greasy streaks (6)

19 Cash, coins and notes (5)

20 Belonging to others (5)

21 Very smart and elegant (4)


Across: 1 Sowed, 4 Pointer, 8 Animate, 9 Enter, 10 Expel, 11 Trader, 13 Unripe, 15 Ethics,

18 Embalm, 20 Tuber, 22 Henna, 23 Avenues, 24 Coyotes, 25 Rodeo.

Down: 1 Share-out, 2 Whisper, 3 Drawl, 4 Pretty, 5 Inexact, 6 Title, 7 Rare, 12 Espresso,

14 Peasant, 16 Inbound, 17 Smears, 19 Money, 20 Their, 21 Chic.

Cocktails on the deck


and Lounge at 99 Hanover

Street, will showcase some of the

biggest names from Scotland’s

club scene in a series of live DJ

sets during August. Music will be

in the hands of Edinburgh’s

Nasty P, who has supported a

number of artist from Beyoncé

and Jay Z on their on the run II

tour, Arrested Development to

Ghostface Killah and KRS-ONE,

Roots Manuva, Rakim, Talib

Kweli and Earl Sweatshirt.

Glasgow’s Ewan Chamber, DJ

collective RMN.BTS and

Edinburgh’s Scott Elliot will also

form part of the top DJ line-up,

as well as some 7” vinyl


Sets will run from Tuesday to

Friday from 4pm to 1am, and

Saturday and Sunday from 2pm

to 1am throughout August.

Superico Bar and Lounge will

be turning up the volume with

days and nights of DJ sets,

offering a wide and varied mix of

funk, hip hop, reggae, Latin, soul,

cool covers and world beats on

its state-of-the-art sound system

and turntables.


Culinary delights in the capital with Juliet Lawrence Wilson

Elegant surroundings are

a feast for the eyes

Liking a Virgin

New hotel chain hitches up in former Victoria Street registry office

IF WOW FACTOR is what you’re after, head to

the new Virgin Hotel and pop your excitement

cherry. Located in the old India Buildings on

Victoria Street, once Edinburgh’s main Registry

office, some of you might even have gotten

married there. But don’t let that put you off.

First impressions were outstanding. I was

greeted from my taxi by a woman with such

pzazz, chutzpah and sexiness that she made

Jessica Rabbit look like Mary Berry.

Unfortunately she was only there for the

opening and works on Virgin Voyage cruises. I

can see shares of Fisherman’s Friends going

through the roof with gals like that on the high

seas. I loved that the grand stair from street

level didn’t reveal the drama hidden within.

The first-floor gallery with its circular domed

ceiling was a fresh welcoming space. Whilst the

structure of the building is something of a

maze, they’ve cleverly used this to their

advantage by creating pockets of interest and

stunning design wherever you turn. From the

Commons Club Bar with its sophisticated

elegance, the more botanical Eve, an all day

dining area come entertainment zone which

will feature DJs, comedy and cabaret with late

night dancing, to The Scarlet Lounge, where

plush gold fittings and sumptuous red velvet

takes decadence to new levels – the sort of

room that only truly wicked people should be

allowed into.

It’s all foreplay to the bedrooms, a tribute to

urban luxury. Even old swingers would feel like

hip young things here. The red Smeg mini bars

are stocked full of locally produced spirits and

beers, with ready made cocktails The lighting is

seductive and they’ve even written a welcome

note on the dressing table mirror in their

signature red lipstick. The whole effect is classy

and elegant but most of all fun.

I could have wandered around the building

for ages and happily spent an hour relaxing in

the library space. Virgin are keen to promote all

the hotel has to offer to non residents and hope

to be a hotspot for locals wanting a big night

out or a reflective afternoon coffee. My main

mission of the evening was to taste the menu at

the Commons Club Restaurant. Sat in an airy

space with a view of the open kitchen, the

surroundings married with the fresh, vibrant

appeal of the menu. Executive Chef Steven

Wilson has catered to all tastes without

compromising on adventurous cooking. A

Tartare of Hand Cut Highland Roe Deer with

Capers, Infused Charcoal Oil, Macadamia and

Juniper Egg Yolk was utterly sublime and the

flavours perfectly balanced the gaminess of the

venison. Pan Seared Gigha Halibut in a Light

Shetland Blue Mussel and Saffron Velouté was a

triumph of delicate and decadent bedfellows.

Virgin Hotel has hit the note of being

welcoming to all but having an exclusive club

feel. The idea of cocktails, dinner, lounging,

dancing and staying-over is extremely enticing.

If any venue is going to counter Edinburgh’s

rather staid side, this is surely it.


Belhaven Smokehouse

Abode is a stayer

I HEADED out for a heatwave drive to

East Lothian to, if nothing else, enjoy

the one space I own that features air

conditioning. I always endeavour to

pop into Belhaven Smokehouse shop

and came home with their beetroot

cured cold smoked salmon. The

quality is quite exceptional, the texture

being night and day from anything

even slightly inferior. Like J-Lo and

Ben, beetroot and horseradish is a love

story that never dies so I served mine

with some blinis and a sauce of one

part mayo, one part horseradish sauce,

a light dusting of lemon rind and

squeeze of the juice. I topped my cute

little stacks with a couple of capers.

For those of you who don’t fancy a

journey to Dunbar for your fishy fix,

visit belhavensmokehouse.co.uk for

local stockists and online sales.

IF YOU’D predicted 20 years

ago that Leith Walk would turn

into a continental style drinking

and eating boulevard, you’d

have been laughed into the

docks. Despite the gradual

creep of gentrification and the

dismal sight of the neverending

tram works Leith Walk is

still a street full of atmosphere

and action. My pal and I spent a

fun but relaxed evening in the

lively Abode Bar where we

nibbled on a reasonably priced

platter of East Coast Cured

charcuterie with Mellis Cheese

(at £17). This bar has delightful

staff, a great selection of wines,

not to forget sangrias and

spritzes galore to keep you cool

this summer.




Dance to be free

Famed Ukrainian ballet company will celebrate their 20th year at the Fringe

FREEDOM BALLET, the renowned

Ukrainian company, will journey from Kyiv to

celebrate their 20th anniversary at The

Edinburgh Festival Fringe and are believed to

be the only Ukrainian company performing at

the Fringe this year.

The company was created by Artistic

Director, Olena Koliadenko. Her rich directing

experience includes working with Cirque du

Soleil in Canada, an award-winning musical

film on the life of Ukrainian singer Tina Karol,

and a Eurovision Song Contest entry. Notably

in 2020, Olena produced an immersive

performance for disabled children requested

by the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska,

wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The show is called Ballet Freedom and

will be performed at the Edinburgh

International Conference Centre (EICC)

as part of The Pleasance line-up. It was

performed for the first time in Kyiv after

the Russian forces invaded.

The decision to stage the performance in

Kyiv was a difficult one. The day before the

show opened, the performance in the Molodyy

Theatre was interrupted several times when

air raid sirens sounded and the audience had

to take cover in the bomb shelter.

Artistic Director Olena Koliadenko said:

“We needed to breath the air of Freedom at

least one more time on stage in Kyiv, to give

the audience an escape, strength of spirit and

to help let go of the accumulated darkness.”

With many of their female performers

fleeing the country with young families at the

outbreak of war and the company scattered,

Freedom Ballet looked to cast dancers who

had remained in Ukraine. To their delight,

they found that every dancer who auditioned

had a long-held dream of one day joining

Freedom Ballet.

Olena Koliadenko said, “This has shown us

that the war, no matter how terrible and cruel

cannot deprive us of our dreams.”

Kostiantyn Hordiienko, soloist and

choreographer with the Freedom Ballet,

describes their casting process as openminded.

Kostiantyn said: “The process is very

important. We turn into one big antenna, and

want to feel the whole range of emotions,

hear every sound of the soul, and see the

truth in the body of the dancer.”

The result is compelling. The fictitious

characters fuse with the dancer’s own

personal story giving an honest performance

with emotional intensity and the occasional

element of comedy.

The company of 13 artists, who are

currently spread across Ukraine, Poland,

Hungry and Romania, have launched a

crowdfunding appeal to help bring them to

the Fringe in Edinburgh.

This outstanding dance collective is excited

to share their astonishing, passionate and

sensual ballet. Ballet Freedom is about the

moment when you come to terms with your

love, your loss and your life - when you can

truly see yourself in the mirror.

Ballet Freedom at EICC 4 - 28 August at 9pm

and 12 - 13 August at 4pm (No performance

24 August). Tickets from pleasance.co.uk


New deaf arts festival

There will be many events designed to build bridges between deaf and hearing audiences


bring a whole new artistic and

cultural experience to deaf and

hearing audiences in August.

It offers everything from drama,

comedy and cabaret to magic, tours

and exhibitions.

One highlight will be a five hour

Deaf Rave in an underground car

park at St James Quarter. The

clubbing event will feature a host of

DJs including DJ Chinaman, MC

Geezer, DJ Ceri Karma, Jia McKenzie

and Billy Reid along with dance acts,

signing singers and rappers.

Unique in Scotland, the festival

runs from 12-19 August, and

celebrates deaf culture, language and

heritage – things that Edinburgh has

in abundance.

The event is organised by Deaf

Action, the first deaf organisation in

the world. They were founded in the

city in 1835 and have been based in

their premises on Albany Street

(where many of the festival events

will take place) since 1889.

Highlights will include:

• Perspectives with Gavin:

International standup Gavin Lilley

shares his experiences as a deaf

person navigating a hearing world.

• SPILL YOUR DRINK: Deaf cabaret

from Glasgow’s Solar Bear theatre

company which works with deaf

and hearing performers.

• The Funny Punny Magic Show:

with Tricky Ricky.

• Once Upon A Raindrop: Cheerful,

funny, magic show for toddlers

with sensory games and magic


There will also be a deaf history

exhibition, screenings, workshops

and more – for more information

head over to Edinburgh Deaf

Festival’s website.

Performances will include a mix of

deaf and hearing artists, and where

appropriate will be interpreted

and captioned.

The festival will also feature

activities as part of Scotland’s Year of

Stories 2022, which spotlights,

celebrates and promotes the wealth of

deaf-led stories inspired by, written,

or created in Scotland.

For more information, please visit


Tickets at www.edfringe.com


One of the performers taking part

in Edinburgh Deaf Festival is Craig

McCulloch. We caught up with him

to talk about his career and the

new festival.

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an actor who happens to be

deaf, brought up and based in

Falkirk. I graduated from Royal

Conservatoire of Scotland in 2018,

and was part of the first cohort on

the ground-breaking BA

Performance in BSL/English course.

Since graduating I have worked as

an actor, associate director,

assistant director, translator, BSL

consultant and workshop leader.

What show you are taking part

in at the Edinburgh Deaf Festival

and what’s your role?

I’m co-hosting a cabaret-style show,

Spill Your Drink which is produced

by Solar Bear, at The Blackwood Bar

(Deaf Action) on Albany Street. It’s a

fantastic opportunity to showcase

amazing deaf talents. This is my first

time as a host and I’m looking

forward to putting aside my acting

hat, though I can’t promise I won’t

perform as it’s in my nature. Some

advice for audiences - hold on to

your drinks!

Why is the festival valuable and

what could it achieve?

This has been a long time coming.

We needed this festival to bring

everyone together and enjoy

theatre, especially with

accessibility. At the Fringe it’s

exciting to see random shows but

not all are accessible and I hope we

can change that. This festival

belongs to us and is for those who

want to learn more about deaf

culture, language and heritage.

It gives mainstream audiences an

opportunity to learn about our rich

deaf culture. We welcome people

to join in and learn because we

want to break barriers and create

a bridge between deaf and

hearing people.

What can be done to create

more opportunities for deaf

performers and audiences?

There isn’t enough deaf

representation in theatre, TV and

film in Scotland. There’s not

enough opportunities or funding

to create or write stories and

develop them into shows. We want

to play many characters, not just

roles specifically for deaf actors. I

don’t want to be seen as a box to

be ticked. I want to be seen or

heard as Craig McCulloch, an actor

or theatre-maker creating original

work. I want to be able to have

those conversations with directors,

theatre-makers, casting directors,

producers and start creating more

opportunities not just for myself

but others too.

Fun for everyone

A diverse range of events on offer from family entertainment

to accessible tours of the city - and deaf karaoke


on providing family-friendly

live entertainment – something

that parents with deaf children

often struggle to find.

There’s the chance to join

Stephen Robinson, aka

DeafMimo, for a mimed

children’s storytelling event.

DeafMimo is a Charlie

Chaplin-loving performer with

impressive facial expressions,

comical movements and a

hilarious show suitable for deaf

and hearing audiences.

Tricky Ricky, four-time

winner of the Scottish

Children’s Entertainer of the

Year Award, will stage The

Funny Punny Magic Show

Magic Show with Sunny the

Bunny for a riot of silly stunts

and crazy magic.

Once Upon a Raindrop

allows you to jump on a

parachute with kangaroos in

Australia, have a snowball fight

with Polar bears in Antarctica

and race with giraffes in Africa.

This is a cheerful and happy

walkthrough show with magic

tricks and sensory games for

toddlers, where they help an

adventurous raindrop find

her home.


Edinburgh has so much to offer

visitors, but if you can’t hear

the tour guides it can be a

challenge to get the most from

the experience.

So Deaf Action has organised

tours so that deaf people, and

those with hearing loss, can

enjoy Edinburgh Castle, The

Botanics, Gladstone’s Land and

the National Museum’s hit

exhibition Anatomy: A Matter

of Death and Life.

There will also be a tour of

Deaf Action’s beautiful Albany

Street headquarters to view

the exhibition and a chance to

hear stories from the Deaf

History Scotland archives.


A Night on the Tiles, with

Scottish deaf artist Klarissa

Webster, is a workshop inspired

by the iconography and

patterns representing Deaf

culture, which explores deaf

heritage in Edinburgh through

stories, symbolism and the

sense that we are all somehow

part of something greater.

There will also be a screening

of the Royal


of Scotland’s


production The

Coat, which was

filmed during


And for those who enjoy

being part of the action there’s

always Deaf Karaoke and of

course a pub quiz.

Charlie Chaplinloving




For Zoe

RSNO will pay tribute to the late Zoe Kitson, performing

the world premiere of a new work by Sir James MacMillan

THE RSNO WILL perform Sir James

MacMillan’s new composition before Mahler’s

Third Symphony, conducted by Music

Director Thomas Søndergård.

The concert on will be the Orchestra’s

penultimate performance at this year’s

festival. For Zoe, a piece for strings, harp and

cor anglais, was commissioned by Kat

Heathcote and Iain Macneil in memory of

Zoe Kitson, who was RSNO Principal Cor

Anglais from 2006 until 2014. Zoe sadly

passed away in February this year, aged 44.

RSNO Board Member Kat Heathcote and

Iain Macneil are long-term supporters of the

RSNO and commissioned the new work to

honour her memory.

After leaving the RSNO in 2014 Kitson

went on to hold the position of Principal

Cor Anglais at the Royal Liverpool

Philharmonic Orchestra. A brilliant

musician, she was known to colleagues and

friends for her courageous playing and loyal

and generous spirit.

Kat Heathcote said: “Zoe’s playing brought

great joy to us during her time with the

RSNO and we were privileged to get to know

her a little just before she left for Liverpool.

This resulted in our subsequent sponsorship

of the RSNO’s current Principal Cor Anglais,

Henry Clay, in memory of another very dear

friend and music lover who was lost too soon.

James MacMillan writes beautifully and

poignantly, and Henry’s playing is sublime

- we feel this is a fitting tribute to someone

who brought us the precious gifts of music

and friendship.”

RSNO Chief Executive Alistair Mackie

said: “I am grateful to Kat and Iain for giving

us this opportunity to acknowledge the

significant contribution that Zoe Kitson made

to the RSNO in her time with the Orchestra

and to the wider music community. Across

the UK orchestras and musicians are

extremely close, and a tragic loss such as this

is profoundly felt by many. We are grateful to

James MacMillan for composing this new

work and offering this moment of reflection

and celebration of Zoe’s life.”

Feeling the energy

One family’s life-changing journey from Pakistan to life in 60s Glasgow

Lubna Kerr


TICKBOX IS THE first play that I

have written and performed. It’s a

semi-autobiographical story about

migration and the impact it has on

physical and mental health.

Why does a person feel inspired

to write a play about their life? A

question I often reflect on.

I ask myself, is it to tell the truth,

to alter the pre-conceptions about

Pakistani people or to entertain?

The real answer is that I love being

on stage, hearing the audience’s

response and feeling their energy.

It brings me joy and I hope the

story will make you feel the same.

Tickbox is a story about our

family life when we first came to

live in Scotland. My parents hd a

comfortable middle class life in

Pakistan, but when my father was

invited to study at Strathclyde

University, for a PhD in chemistry,

life changed for everyone.

In December 1965 the plane

landed at a very bleak and cold

Glasgow airport. My father

brought his wife and two very

young children (with a third on

the way) for a better life for all.

However the stress, racism and

discrimination (unknown to them)

would have an impact on

everyone. This is our unique

untold story, yet it’s everyone’s

story and embraces the spirit of

the Fringe with a diverse storyline

and performer. Summerhall is the

perfect venue for this bespoke,

one-woman show.

I started writing this play in

2019, not knowing how important

migration and its impact on health

and wellbeing, would be in 2022.

Performing at the Fringe is a

career high point that every

performer wants to achieve. There

is no better place to raise the

profile of the topic and the play.

I feel this play needs to be seen

by anyone who is affected by

migration, who knows people

affected by it, and anyone affected

by stress, discrimination and

injustice. My parents were

philosophical about the situation.

As an older woman, who came

into the arts much later in life, it

has been a struggle to get

appropriate support and

recognition. Having had a heart

attack a few years ago, taking on

something that adds extra stress

to my life was a risk, but one worth

taking because of the joy that it

brings me.

There are so many shows in

Edinburgh, in what feels like the

first year, to raise the profile of the

play, is really important to me.

As a Scottish-Pakistani female,

who has taken emotional risks to

write this very personal play, I

hope that it inspires people to

write their own story.

We met many characters living

in Glasgow, I invite you to watch

me bring them to life, in my

one-woman play.

This play needs to be seen all

over the world and Edinburgh

Fringe is the best stage to start.

Summerhall (Venue 26),

16-28 August, tickets available at



A tough act

The true story of the gay spy, drag queen and

WWII Resistance hero Major Denis Rake

YOUNG EDINBURGH heroin addict Paul

Boggie was at death’s door but pulled back

from the brink and ended up as a soldier

guarding the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Actor and playwright Tony McGeever has

turned Paul’s acclaimed autobiography Heroin

to Hero into a one-man play to be premiered

during Army@TheFringe.



life story

It’s an unsparing, inspiring rollercoaster ride

through the struggles of a man wanting to

escape addiction in a system that hinders

rather than helps.

The play (also called Heroin to Hero) aims to

raise issues, bring hope and potentially

change lives.

Tony grew up in Bonnyrigg, worked at

Dundee Rep and has appeared in TV shows

such as Doctors, In Plain Sight, Accused

and Shetland.

Having seen the impact drugs on Scottish

communities he saw that Paul’s story offers a

way forward.

Tony said: “When I read the book the

light bulb went on. It leapt off the page

like a theatre piece. It had to be told to a

wider audience.”

Hepburn House (Venue 358), 5-28 August,

tickets www.edfringe.com


WHEN WORLD WAR II secret agent Major

Denis Rake was sent into occupied France he

was told to remain inconspicuous – to blend in.

So he became a drag queen, entertaining

Nazi troops in a Parisian nightclub.

The ruse worked and Rake, who was an

actor before the war (starting his career as a

child acrobat in a Belgian circus), successfully

obtained valuable information and radioed it

back to London.

It’s a true story and one that fascinated

writer Paul Stone who, as a drag queen

himself, had an affinity with Rake.

He said: “For some people the idea of

going on stage is terrifying, and I know

myself that appearing alone on stage as a drag

queen feels especially isolating. But going out

there in front of a room filled with Nazi

officers would take stage fright to a whole

new level.

“Denis Rake was an incredibly brave man

– his story shines a light on the contribution

made by the LGBT community to victory

over the Nazis in World War II.”

His show, For Queen and Country, is on

at the Fringe this year as part of Army@


Paul’s interest was sparked by hearing war

stories from his own grandfather.

He said: “Growing up gay I’d assumed that

my contribution to the war effort would have

been cooking or kicking my heels up in a

concert party. I was surprised to discover there

was considerably more to the LGBTQ+

community’s contribution than we’ve been told.”

Paul eventually took part in the BBC series

Secret Agent Selection: WW2. It’s a living

history programme where modern-day recruits

are put through the spy training of Churchill’s

Special Operations Executive (SOE).

From there he discovered the story of Rake

and became determined to make it more

widely known.

In his play the role of the spy is taken by

Neil Summerville and sees the ex-soldier

reflecting on his life and adventures as an

older man, towards the end of his career.

And what a life it was. Rake was

imprisoned and tortured by the Nazis but

escaped with the help of a priest.

Despite being given a training role in

Scotland, he insisted on returning to France

and worked with the heroic resistance and

SOE operative Nancy Wake. They helped pin

down Nazi troops to prevent them from

opposing the D-Day landing forces.

The production has won four-star reviews,

including from Broadway Baby, and

WhatsOnStage describes Summerville as “a

wonderfully nuanced performer”.

It’s a witty, delightful show about true

heroism. And it’s likely that Rake himself

would have enjoyed it; his greatest passion

was the stage, and despite having been

awarded many medals the idea of having his

story told through theatre would probably

have seemed a great honour.

After being demobbed he became valet to

Hollywood actor Douglas Fairbanks Jnr,

modestly never discussing his war record.

But the lure of the stage was always there

and he returned to entertainment, often

performing on cruise liners.

Something of Rake’s carefree spirit comes

through in the words he wrote to his former

SOE boss Maurice Buckmaster: “I know I’m

crazy, but I started life like that long ago and

must end the same.”

For Queen and Country, Army@TheFringe,

Hepburn House (Venue 358) 5-7, 9-14 August

tickets www.edfringe.com

A place of magic


Things is a place where

nothing is remembered

forever; a place of magic

– where the magic

sometimes goes wrong.

It’s also the beautifully

imagined setting for Utter

Mess! a Fringe worldpremiere

from Franko

Figueiredo’s StoneCrabs

Theatre Company and

Japan’s Busu Theatre.

Funny and superbly

performed, it follows a

company of artists who

are attempting to create a

clown show but can’t recall

the details.

Not knowing what’s what

or what point is, they

overcome all challenges

with a joyful spirit. Inspired

by the stories of Kyoko

Nakajima, it features

British-Portuguese actor/

singer Inês Sampaio (above)

who earned four stars from

Diva magazine for her

Fringe appearance in

Franko’s 2019 production

The Trial. Franko has faith in

the human spirit and Utter

Mess! explores why.

The playwright says: “I

believe that if we shared a

common space with other

cultures; danced, sang and

shared stories, we would be

so busy enjoying each

other’s company that we

could end all conflict.”


Hearts net striker

Can latest Jambo signing Lawrence Shankland rack up the goals?


HEARTS’ FANS keeping an eye on the

Lawrence Shankland transfer saga will be

delighted the Beerschot striker has finally

agreed a three-year-deal at Tynecastle.

On paper, this looks like a very good

signing, however some Scottish football fans

have voiced concerns about Shankland’s

supposedly poor goals tally in Scotland’s


Delving a little deeper into his season in the

Premiership at Dundee United you will see that

his stats are not as bad as they first seem.

First of all, Shankland’s record that season

was 8 goals in 32 games. Okay, it is not the best

record a striker has ever had, but it is definitely

not the worst.

Secondly, Shankland played in a Dundee

United team that scored the fewest goals in the

league that season (32) and finished ninth in

the league.

The Dundee United manager at the time was

Micky Mellon, who was a manager who liked to

defend from the front. It is worth noting that

the Dundee United goalkeeper, Benjamin

Siegrist kept 12 clean sheets that season, only

Allan McGregor and Joe Lewis kept more.

To cut a long story short, Shankland

spearheaded a United side that lacked creativity

and in Mellon they had a manager who was

more interested in defending than attacking.

In contrast, a move to Robbie Neilson’s

Hearts could be the perfect move for the

striker who turns 27 this month. The pair

have previously worked together and with

great success.

Shankland was the top scorer in the 2019/20

Championship season that saw United

comfortably secure the title and return to the

Premiership under Neilson’s management.

Moving on to his new teammates, Hearts

created and wasted so many chances during

SWF add practical experience to the team


(SWF) have recruited new staff

with practical experience of

the game ahead of the new

2022/23 season.

Youth coach and former player

Kim Guthrie has been appointed

to administer the new national

Championship and League One

competitions as Club &

Competitions Coordinator, while

football referee Fraser Joss joins

as SWF’s new Lead Administrator

and Financial Support Officer.

Former Stirling Uni and

Boroughmuir Thistle player

Guthrie played for Rossvale in the

2021/22 Championship season

and coaches children from 18

months, and Joss has refereed

Kim Guthrie

their successful Premiership return, but with

Shankland leading the line this is unlikely

to continue.

Barrie McKay, Liam Boyce, Jorge Grant, Josh

Ginnelly, Gary Mackay-Steven, and Alan Forrest

will be just some of the players hoping to supply

Shankland with the appropriate service and that

is before we mention Hearts’ attacking full backs

in Nathaniel Atkinson and Alex Cochrane who

will be bombing forward and firing crosses into

the box for the striker.

Scotland internationalist Shankland is

undoubtedly a born finisher in the box and that

is where you would expect he will score the

youth games while completing

his MS in Sports Management at

Stirling University, as well as

coaching junior tennis.

SWF CEO, Aileen Campbell,

said: “I’m delighted that Scottish

Women’s Football can draw on

the practical experience of Kim

and Fraser as we continue to grow

the women’s game in Scotland

and the stature of our new top

tiers the Championship and

League One.

“Kim brings a vital player’s

perspective to the way we

develop Women’s Football from

the grassroots up, while Fraser’s

experience both as a referee and

a coach in other sports will give

us a fresh take on the running of

our leagues.”

Kim Guthrie said: “This is a

period of unprecedented growth

in the women’s game and I’m

delighted to step up from playing

to help make the new

Lawrence Shankland

majority of his goals at Hearts, but at United he

displayed his footballing brain to score from all

areas of the pitch, most notably when scoring

from his own half at an empty Tannadice against

St Johnstone.

To sum up, the argument that Shankland can’t

score goals in Scotland’s top-flight is lazy and

also unproven at this stage.

The team he has just joined is incomparable

in terms of creativity to Mellon’s United and if

he can stay injury free you wouldn’t bet against

the Scot becoming the first Hearts player since

John Robertson in 1992 to score 20 goals in a

single season.

Championship and League One a

success. Both leagues will be

exciting and competitive contests,

and I’m pleased that the clubs

from across the country have

committed to player well being as

part of the criteria to join. I can’t

wait to get stuck in supporting

further growth in our game.”

Fraser Joss said: “I’ve been

actively involved in the grassroots

game as a referee and have seen

first hand the unique culture and

atmosphere created by the girls

and women’s game in Scotland.

My new role at the SWF combines

my interests from university and

sport and I’m really looking

forward to supporting the growth

of Women’s Football in Scotland.”

Good news for


CORSTORPHINE Athletics Club is

celebrating some good news after

becoming a registered charity.

The Saughton-based team, formed in

1986, secured the status following the

lengthy 18-month process which was then

rubber-stamped by members at its AGM

last month.

Officials hope the Scottish Charitable

Incorporated Organisation title will enable

them to eventually employ coaches for

community sessions and help boost the

club’s funding avenues, with businesses

now entitled to tax breaks for donations

and sponsorship involving charities.

ClubTogether Officer Harry Baird said:

“This is a real landmark for Corstorphine

and shows how we are progressing as a

forward-thinking, family-friendly club.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring or

donating to Corstorphine Athletics Club

should contact Harry Baird on

corstorphinecto@gmail.com or Chris

Peggie on secretary@caac.org.uk

You Can wins

lottery funding

THE SCOTTISH Children’s Lottery has

funded Edinburgh Leisure’s You Can

project with a grant of £10,000. This

programme uses the power of sport and

physical activity to support care

experienced young people from 14 to 26

improving their health, well being and

quality of life.

There are 1,300 children and young

people growing up in the care system.

Many face obstacles such as the cost,

low confidence or just not having the

right equipment.

Every Monday morning Taylor goes to

the gym with instructor, Gemma. Taylor

said: “Before I started working with

Gemma, I struggled with poor mental

health, low confidence, and difficult

relationships with my family. I spent a lot

of time alone in my bedroom rather than

going to school.

“I look forward to the gym. Even if I’m

not feeling 100%, I’ll never miss a session.

When I’m feeling low, my Gran reminds me

about the rush of feel-good endorphins I

get after I exercise, and I know she’s right.

And I am more likely to go to school .”



Easter Road

Josh Doig bids addio to Leith and looks

forward to his new challenge in Italy


FROM BEING RELEASED by Hearts to facing

some of the top players in the world, it’s been

an eventful three-years for the highly rated

youngster Josh Doig.

Doig joined the Hibs Academy in the

summer of 2019 after becoming surplus to

requirement with city rivals Hearts.

A loan spell with Queen’s Park saw

favourable comparisons made with Scotland

captain Andrew Robertson who also started off

with the Spiders.

And he hit the ground running at the start of

the following season under Jack Ross.

In total he has played 78 times for Hibs,

scoring one goal against Hamilton Academical.

His form quickly caught the eye of top teams

and earlier this month he joined Hellas Verona

in what the club say is “a significant sevenfigure


“The full terms of the 20-year-old’s

departure will remain undisclosed,” said

Hibs. “The fee received will be one of the

highest sales figures the club has ever received,

with the deal also including add-ons and a

large sell-on agreement.”

Scotland Under-21 cap Doig was under

contract until the summer of 2026.

“I am nowhere near the finished product,

nothing like that,” said Doig in a farewell

interview with Hibs TV. “I have so much

learning to do and Serie A is a big leap for me.

“Some of the players playing there at the

moment are world-class players and for my

development that was the next move that felt


“I don’t want to look too far ahead but to

play at the highest level for the rest of my career

is something I want to do.

“The only way you can improve yourself is by

leaving that comfort zone and I will definitely

be doing that but hopefully in the long run it’s

the best decision.”

Verona, managed by former Crawley Town

boss Gabriele Cioffi, finished ninth in Serie A

last season.

Ian Jacobs

Superb fishing this summer at Harlaw Reservoir


THE FISHING AT Harlaw Reservoir in

the last few months has been superb.

The colour of the natural fly and in

turn the angler’s fly has now changed

with black, especially black lures,

being at times less productive, but will

still catch fish.

Midsummer, bright sun and warm

weather heralds a change to both

trout and the angler. As the water

temperature rises, fishing becomes

challenging and requires a more

versatile approach. The view is that

fish feed deep down on the reservoir

bottom. More likely, trout find a depth

where they are comfortable, and

temperature, oxygen levels and light

conditions are best.

The trout will be fast to react to

changing conditions when flies are on

the water surface and the sun is not in

their eyes. In these conditions dry and

subsurface flies will account for a lot of

the fish being caught, particularly

early and late in the day.

I have learned to enjoy summer

fishing and not worry about failures

- only missed chances. At this time of

year if I am fishing small lures, I will use

fly patterns such as Yellow Dancer,

Orange Dancer, Orange Fritz, Whisky

Fly or damsel nymph. I will nearly

always have a small black lure such as

a rainbow dancer, hot head dancer,

cormorant or Viva on the cast of two

flies on the point. Orange is certainly a

colour for lures in high summer with

yellow a close second choice.

Apart from the colour and hook size

of the angler’s fly, it is about finding

the correct depth of water where the

trout are active. In warm water

conditions trout tend to feed less and

may become quite sultry. Unless fish

are active on the surface, the correct

depth for feeding fish is found by trial

and error along with experience.

A Harlaw, on a bright warm windy

day, I started using a floating line with

five metres of nylon and two small lures.

I fished for an hour with only a few

plucks at the fly. I then changed to a fly

line with six to seven metres of sinking

tip and the same cast – nothing.

I replaced the black lure on the tail

with an orange dancer and had four

fish in an hour, only two of which were

landed. The largest was 1.9 kg - a nice

four pounder.

Fishing at Harlaw and Threipmuir: Full

day permits £25 with a three fish limit.

Full day catch and release £20.

Evening permits from 5pm £20 with a

two fish limit. Permits ONLY online


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