Bringing it home

It’s been a while! Hello again. I’m as keen as ever to claim Trainspotting for Leith. It’s a local story. Leith disappears in the film, but it all started here. Read all about it in my piece in The Leither . Then see The Proclaimers take away A...

Writings of Leith

A centenary only comes along when you haven’t had time to get ready for it. Didn’t see it coming. That wasn’t the reason for missing the centenary of the amalgamation of municipal Leith with municipal Edinburgh in 2020. The centenary was in 2020, you...

The state of Scotland as 2022 dawns

Scotland – the state of play on the cusp of 2022 What State? We’re in a poor state. The SNP, always wanting to say things would be better in an “independent” Scotland and in government unbroken since 2007, has no interest in making devolution work well. Beyond its...

Leith: HQ of the Trainspotting Phenomenon

It was Harry Gibson (the play) and Danny Boyle (the film) who took the Trainspotting story away from Leith. Irvine Welsh’s focus was on the collapse of the community of Leith – the demolitions, the dispersals, the diaspora – into which heroin and HIV...

The Darting Salamander

It’s out, on the streets of Leith, a collection of writings marking the centenary of the amalgamation of Leith and Edinburgh in 1920. OK, we’re a year late, so it’s edition #101 and we’ll hit #200 in November 2120. Fifteen different voices, all...

The Irish in Leith

It’s not just the Hibs. It’s not just Stella Maris church and the first presbytery house in post-Reformation Scotland. The Irish built a good part of Victorian Leith streets, and they have one of the very few 19th century positive acknowledgements of their...

Scottish drugs deaths – denial of the problem

Just too late to join the row about the record-breaking illegal drug deaths in Scotland, here’s a letter I didn’t send to the press. Recent correspondence is quite right to point out that the cause of the scale of the Scottish drug-related deaths is...

Call this maintenance? Where’s the accountability?

Last week I sent this image of weeds the whole length of the gutter of our street, dense and up to almost 2 feet high, to my MSP and councillors. I asked them for a well-informed opinion on how it has got to this stage. Ben MacPherson MSP (SNP) said it was a Council...