Maureen Child blogs

Dear All

I have decided I am going to overcome my later-life-developed fear of heights and abseil down the Forth Rail Bridge in aid of one of my absolute favourite charities, Thistle based in Craigmillar.

It wasn’t my idea, but Elaine and Fiona in the Thistle fundraising team thought I really could and should give it a try and the event is months away – on Sunday 12 June.

I set up an online giving page for donations this week, which is in the early stages of development:  I’m looking for sponsors, of course, so I don’t chicken out. All donations go to a great cause doing great work improving people’s health and wellbeing, right in the centre of Craigmillar.

While we’re on about challenges, if you don’t fancy an abseil, there’s always a Fire Walk on offer!  Thistle are still looking for brave people to take on the challenge of a Fire Walk on 3 April.

People can do it to fundraise or just for the experience. The website link is or people can contact Fiona Fitheridge on 0131 656 9936.  Go on – you know you want to!  At least you won’t have cold feet – by the end.

Fancy a free curry? Anyone who is interested in outdoor learning project Stravaigin is invited to go along to Castleview Community Centre (also known as Sandy’s) on tomorrow Friday 4 March from 5.30pm-7.30pm to discuss what they might be able to put on next year.

A pot of chicken curry will be on the go and an archery taster session if they have enough interest. Please contact Stravaigin on 0131 661 4064, if you would like more information.  More here:

The planning application for a new St John’s RC Primary School will be submitted soon.  There is a drop-in information session at which parents and neighbouring residents will be able to view and discuss the final plans for the school with the design team.

This session has been arranged at St John’s RC Primary School on Wednesday 9 March.  Drop in any time between 5pm and 7pm.  All welcome.

A reminder that this Saturday is Portobello Market Day, from 9.30am until 1.30pm in Brighton Park on Brighton Place. A free check by Portobello’s very own BG Cycles. Next market is on Saturday 2 April when there will be lots of Easter fun.  More here:

And after that, there’s a cleanup of the Brunstane Burn organised by Portobello Timebank.  All are welcome to join in.  See here:

Full Cirqle & Friends invite you inside to see what we have been working on during the last couple of months at Baileyfield.  Saturday will be a fun-filled evening of performances from acrobats, jugglers, aerialists and more!

Doors 6pm Show 6:30pm – 8.30pm. Book your space here and pay for your ticket when you arrive:

The EDI Group Ltd is hosting a community consultation event on Tuesday 8 March at the Kings Manor Hotel, Milton Road, to introduce its masterplan vision for ‘New Brunstane’.

The event is a drop in session taking place from 3pm until 8pm. More here:

The Portobello Toddlers Hut are holding a family fundraising ceilidh on 30 April.  More here:

Portobello High School is continuing to seek information on former pupils and their many successes in life and memories of school. The whole school is working hard to prepare for the move to a new school building.

Those preparations include responding to many requests for opportunities to remember the years spent in the current building, which opened on 1 December 1964. A programme of celebrations starts with a music concert on Thursday 28 April.

The old school building will be open to the public for guided tours on the afternoon of Friday 3 June and from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 4 June.  Classrooms will be fitted out with memorabilia from each decade of the life of the building, and visiting former pupils will be encouraged to share their memories and/or sign their names on displays.

Further information and details will be posted on the school website, or you can find out more by contacting the school directly.  More here:

This is what is happening at Edmonstone, if you’ve passed that way recently:!/gilmertoninchcc/photos/a.373515799463467.1073741830.372749969540050/591296684352043/?type=1&theater

You can pick up some really fun things on social media.  I really liked this from new Asset Based Community Development website:

Their cartoon sums it up here:  And who says you need a car to go shopping?!  I liked this too:  Why #quaxing is trending globally with cyclists | Teach Me |

Portobello Conservation Area Character Appraisal is under review.  You might like to contribute to this? More here:

One of the newly renovated wooden benches, the one outside Popeye in Portobello got badly damaged and has gone back to Inverleith Workshops where they are confident it can be repaired.  It might take a couple of weeks before it comes back.  We think a vehicle must have bumped into it, but if anyone has any further information on how it happened, do let us know!

A few people have asked me what is happening after seeing the demolition of the former Appleyard’s Land Rover Garage, just before you reach the traffic lights at Portobello.

Planning consent was granted for applcation No. 14/04780/FUL | Development of 60 bed care home with ancillary facilities including a cafe, library, activity spaces and externally a new car park and access. | 99 Inchview Terrace Edinburgh EH7 6TJ: Link here:

The Velvet Easel Gallery is opening a new mixed exhibition ‘In Light, In Shade’ which opens on Saturday 5 March between 10 and 5pm. This exhibition features many new artists to the gallery as well as new work by artists already successfully working with us.

Refreshments will be served throughout the day. In Light, In Shade will run until 26 June 2016 and the gallery opening hours are: Thursday – Saturday 10 – 5 and Sunday   12 -5 The Velvet Easel Gallery exhibits a broad range of original art including paintings, prints, pottery, glass, ceramics, jewellery and cards and provides an ideal venue to shop locally for unique, unusual and quality purchases and gifts.

Remember that WWF’s Earth Hour is on Saturday 19 March at 8.30pm.  You can help Scotland to do its bit.  Other resources can be found here.

In the first month the Borders Railway generated more than 125,000 passenger journeys and 17 steam train journeys sold out during the first six weeks of operation. That’s really encouraging given two of the stations – Brunstane and Newcraighall – are in our area.

You can view the guide at and more information about the partnership can be found at

I have had a number of queries about the new bus shelters, not all of them positive about the degree of shelter, size, seating and positioning. These shelters belong to JC Decaux not the Council and this is their modern standard of shelter.

The financial deal which the Council struck with JC Decaux means a considerable saving in the Council Budget, as (of course) they JCD get advertising space.  I have a map of how far JCD have got to in the current contract, if you want me to email it to you.

In a few’ high demand’ stops, the Council installed an additional shelter hard up against the first one.  The Portobello High Street shelter opposite the police station (for example) will now be reviewed in collaboration with JC Decaux and I’m told it might be possible for them to install extra capacity.  But – even so – it won’t happen until at least the current JCD programme is done and dusted.

Some good news as Police Scotland caught housebreakers red-handed recently. Story here::

Three more photos from the history of Portobello archives I picked up this week:


Portobello Beach, 1900 and Portobello Beach in 1957

A tram about to pass the George Cinema Portobello High Street in 1953!/lostedinburgh/photos/a.251802618210762.62536.162922127098812/1064293960294953/?type=1&theater

That’s all for this week.

Best wishes


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Chronicle Online

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