Retired Edinburgh civil servant Bob Lawson is spearheading a project to restore the Leith Boys’ Brigade Company War Memorial at the foot of Easter Road.
The Memorial was erected by the ex-members of the Company and unveiled in 1925. Initially it commemorated those who lost their lives during the 1914-18 War but later names were added to remember those lost in the 1939-45 War.
The Memorial takes the form of an ornate cast-iron lamp stand with gilded highlights, standing on a plinth bearing the names of the fallen. Unfortunately the lamp head has deteriorated in recent years due to water ingress causing severe rusting of the metalwork at the base of the lamp which has had to be removed for safe keeping. Metalwork restoration to the head of the lamp is essential.
The aim of the project was simply to refurbish the memorial; however after closer examination it became clear that patching and making good the corroded metal and paint work would be no more than a cosmetic exercise.
In order to pay due respect to such a splendid and possibly unique memorial and to the names of the fallen, a complete restoration will hopefully be carried out in time for the 100th anniversary of the declaration of War on 3 August.
Removal of the entire memorial for specialist cleaning, painting with modern preservative paints and renewed gilding will completely restore the lamp to its original splendour and ensure that it will stand as a supreme memorial light for many years to come.
In round figures, the total cost of complete restoration is around £9,000. Of course a cheaper patch and make good for a few years job could be done. But this would not pay due respect to the names nor to the craftsmen who designed and moulded the cast iron work.
An important aspect of the job is that the City of Edinburgh Lighting Department have offered to provide a time switch and LED bulb for the lamp so that it will be lit in sequence with the street lighting throughout the year. This will make for a memorial Beacon at the junction of Easter Road and Lochend Road for time immemorial.
Grants are available from various sources for the repair, maintenance and restoration of war memorials and historic monuments. An application for grants is being made but if successful these will not cover the full amount.
In the meantime efforts are being made to contact ex-members, families and friends of the Boys’ Brigade in order to seek their support. Sponsorship is also being sought from Companies or individuals would want to support this cause and to promote their Company Logo and list of names when the restored monument is finally in position and re-dedicated
Bon told The Edinburgh Reporter: “Quite apart from having worked with veterans of both World Wars and been associated with various events in Flanders over the years including ceremonies at the Menin Gate in Ypres, I feel very strongly that it is important to maintain our heritage in terms of social history, maintenance of buildings, monuments, culture, works of art and literature.
“This particular monument fulfils many of these objectives. I don’t expect everyone will agree but I hope that next year will awaken the people of Leith and the wider international community to the supreme sacrifice made by many millions of servicemen and women over the centuries in the cause of freedom and the folly of wars. That they will think not only of the war dead but of the broken families, the refugees and the continuing atrocities being committed throughout the world today.
“In 2014, when wreaths are laid at memorials everywhere, instead of standing with bowed heads, I would ask people to look up, to read the names and to remember them. Just in case of any doubt. This is not the glorification of War or in praise of triumphalism but simply to remember and to live and work towards a better world where nations work together, talk to each other, reach a better understanding, overcome prejudices and act responsibly. We are all “Better Together”
An interview with Bob can be heard here.
In addition, 72 year-old Bob, who was at one time a telegram boy in Stockbridge and a postman in Leith, has also been researching the names on the memorial, with the assistance of Church Elder Joanne Baird who is a budding genealogist, and Company Registers going back to 1911 and photographs from 1888 to 1920 have been recovered.
It is his intention to hold a reunion for ex members where the photographs will be displayed, prior to next year’s anniversary.
As well as this project, Bob raises funds for Erskine Hospital by playing the bagpipes. At the moment, he is not asking the public for assistance, however potential sponsors would be welcomed.
He can be contacted at email@example.com
The Edinburgh Reporter wishes Bob well with his efforts on behalf of this worthy cause.
CYCLES AT THE READY: EDINBURGH M&S STORES PREPARE FOR £1.5M CHARITY CHALLENGE
- M&S Gyle and Kinnaird employees taking part in the Britain’s largest 24 hour endurance event-
Marks & Spencer is gearing up for its biggest fundraising to date, with Edinburgh M&S staff joining over 1,400 M&S colleagues taking part in its BIKE 24 charity cycle challenge on Friday, 21 June 2013.
With the aim of raising £1.5million for five leading charities, M&S employees from its stores and offices across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are backing the cyclists as they prepare for M&S’s unique fundraising event this summer.
Colleagues from two M&S stores in Edinburgh will be taking part in BIKE 24, a ‘Le Mans’ inspired 24 hour endurance event taking place at Rockingham Motor Racing Circuit in Corby. Employees will compete in teams of four, with a cyclist from each team on the track from 5pm on Friday, 21 June until 5pm on Saturday, 22 June. In addition, 23 experienced solo riders are also competing individually and will stay in the saddle for the whole duration of the challenge.
Each lap of the circuit will help M&S to raise crucial funds in support of its five charity partners: Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Action Medical Research, the Marie Keating Foundation, Action Cancer and Prostate Cancer UK.
The Edinburgh M&S stores employees taking part are:
• Edinburgh Gyle Centre: Bruce Burgess, David Murray, Aaron Michael Spicer, Gavin Neill, Michael Forrest, Kurt Russell, Illesa McClusky, Jennifer Winning, Lauren Victoria Rhodes, Ryan O’Donovan and Steven Food
• Edinburgh Kinnaird: Connor Godsell, Chris Cowan, Derek Kidd, Fraser Nicol, Gayle Christie, Jen Cassidy, Rory Dyer and Michael Scott
In addition – and in further support of the challenge – employees at M&S stores in Edinburgh have begun fundraising efforts by holding a staff bake sale, a sponsored walk and offering bag packing for customers. Other fundraising activities taking place across Edinburgh include quiz nights and staff cycling on exercise bikes in-store.
Aaron Spicer, store manager at M&S Gyle Centre, Edinburgh, said: “Following the success of British cycling last summer, the nation has really taken the sport to its hearts. With more than double the number of participants this year, we’re delighted that our BIKE 24 charity cycle challenge will be bigger and better than ever. That’s why we’ve set an ambitious target to raise £1.5million for these five truly worthwhile charities.
“We’re looking forward to getting behind each of the teams as we take part in a number of fun in-store activities for both staff and customers to help to reach the target.”
BIKE24 is part of the Your M&S Charity Challenge, which will see a host of fundraising activities taking place at all M&S’ UK and Irish stores from the beginning June to the end of August. Customers can donate online via the Virgin Money Giving page, http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/mandscharitychallenge, which contains further information on fundraising taking place across the UK as well as links to sponsor cyclists.
Submitted by Joanna Buggy
Hutchison Vale won this year’s Craig Gowans’ Memorial Trophy beating a strong Celtic / Rangers select 6-5 in a hard fought and entertaining game in front of a large crowd at Saughton Enclosure on Sunday.
The day started with an under 10s six a side round robin tournament which was won by Currie Star, before the main event kicked off at 2pm. Spectators were treated to the unusual sight of three sets of strips on the pitch, as the former old firm players wore either Rangers or Celtic strips, depending on who they played for.
The Select were managed by former Celt Darren Jackson, who also played for both Edinburgh teams in a long and eventful career. His team included John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, Jackie MacNamara, the current Dundee United manager, Bobby Petta, and Mark Burchill from Celtic and Dave McPherson, Scott Nisbet, Alex Rae, Ronnie Yule and John Macdonald from Rangers.
Hutchie Vale also included former MSP Tommy Sheridan who played for Ducla Pumpherston in the tournament three years ago.
Alex Rae opened the scoring, before Hutchie Vale fought back and equalised before half time. Hutchie Vale made two popular substitutions after the break, with Craig’s brothers Dean and Darren making an appearance in the famous black and gold strip their brother wore with such distinction. Both however admitted that they were nervous as they are more at home on the rugby field, but despite their apprehension both performed well.
Hutchie then took a deserved lead, and Mark Burchill equalised, before three second half goals in the space of five minutes, including a spectacular 25 yard effort from John McNally looked to have sealed the victory, however, the Old Firm ‘never say die’ attitude saw them pull three back to level the score.
With time running out, it looked as though a penalty shoot-out was on the cards, but a last minute Hutchie Vale goal saw the game end 6-5 in their favour.
The result however was not the most important aspect of the day, and once again, a large turnout ensured a significant sum raised for the worthy cause.
The Edinburgh Reporter caught up with former Hibs captain and manager John Hughes who was the Falkirk boss when Craig was killed during a training ground accident.
John is a great supporter of the Memorial Fund set upon Craig’s name and was keen to speak of his memories of the teenager who still inspired him to this day. The interview can be heard here.
Also in attendance was Andrew Dickson, who last year cycled across Australia raising money for the fund, and Hibs star Leigh Griffiths along with former Hearts defender Darren Barr who was a team mate of Craig’s at Falkirk. Unfortunately, Celtic skipper Scott Brown and Grant Stott had to call off at the last minute.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson also made an appearance along with Maureen Harrison, the Chief Executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation who said:-“Although I never had the privilege of meeting Craig, I always feel like I knew him, as so many people have told me so much about him. It is clear that he was a wonderful young man indeed and I am sure he would have been very proud to know that the gifts made in his memory are helping children in the Lothians.
On behalf of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, I would like to thank the clubs, the celebrities, the sponsors and players, referees and everyone who made this event possible and such good fun! We can never thank Sheila, John, Dean, Darren and Lyndsay enough for their incredible inspiration which leads to the involvement of so many generous people.”
After the game, a number of donated items were raffled for the fund, including a signed Falkirk strip and ball, a £50 bouquet of flowers, a golf putter, a night at the Minto Hotel, a camping kit, two gym memberships at Edinburgh Leisure, a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label whisky, Go-Car racing and many more.
The Fund was established in April 2007, the motivation at the heart of this venture was to ensure that the memory of Craig would be used as a driving force for good.
To launch the fund, seven of Craig’s closest friends ran the Edinburgh marathon. Following the success of that venture, a 5-a-side tournament was held with 32 teams from across Scotland competing.
Many other charity events have been organised in support of the fund, including a sportsman’s brunch, a Disney themed fancy dress 10k run, and a gruelling cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
In addition, four charity football matches have taken place. In 2009, Hutchison Vale played Tynecastle, in 2010, they played Ducla Pumpherston, in 2011 they played a Scotland Select and last year they played a Hibs/Hearts select.
The fund to date has raised in excess of £44,000 and has funded projects through the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, Children 1stm CHAS and various others. More specifically, money has helped toward new community projects which aim to offer help and support for children from deprived areas of Edinburgh and the Lothians out with hospital settings. The fund has also contributed toward state of the art educational facilities and two minibuses for disabled children, which were parked behind the goals as a reminder to everyone of the fantastic work done by the fund.
The annual Craig Gowans Memorial football match will take place this Sunday between Hutchison Vale FC and a Celtic/Rangers Select, kick off 2:00pm.
The Memorial Fund was set up in the memory Craig, the young Falkirk footballer who was died on 8 July 2005, when a net catcher he was instructed to move during a training session struck an overhead cable. The seventeen year old was only two weeks into his professional contract with the Bairns when the tragedy occurred.
As well as being a talented footballer, Craig was a straight A pupil and talented artist at Stewart’s Melville College, where he won the School’s Athletic Championship. He also had an unconditional offer to study Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art, but chose a career in football.
This is the fifth such game, with all money raised going to the fund in Craig’s name, which to date has raised thousands of pounds for good causes.
Former Celtic stars, Darren Jackson, Simon Donnelley, David Elliot, Jackie McNamara, John Hughes and Mark Burchill will team up with former rivals from Rangers, Ronnie Yule, Scott Nisbet, Bob Malcolm, Charlie Miller, Dougie Bell, and John MacDonald. Former Hibs defender Steven Tweed and midfielder David Farrell will make up the numbers.
Gordon Parks Daily Record Sports Journalist, Mark Martin Forth One Presenter, Ian Maxwell General Manager Partick Thistle, David Bailey Forth One Presenter, will also make an appearance, along with Craig’s brothers Dean and Darren who will play for Craig’s old team Hutchison Vale.
Last year’s game, which involved a Hibs / Hearts select, along with runners in the Edinburgh marathon raised £6317.77 for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
Last November, The Edinburgh Reporter highlighted the generosity of the charity when members of Craig’s family handed over the keys to a specially adapted minibus to be used by the children of Calareidh, a community-based house situated in Bingham which provides long term care and respite breaks to children and young people with complex disabilities across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Craig’s father John told The Edinburgh Reporter: “The day starts with a kids tournament about 10-10.30am which finishes about 1pm. The Stewarts Melville Pipe Band will then make an appearance, and Chaplin’s Disco Bus will also be there. This is the fifth year and we are hoping for a big turn-out. We are always a bit apprehensive in advance but hopefully the weather will be fine. All money raised will go to the Friends of the Sick Kids Foundation and last year we helped buy a minibus for Calareidh. It keeps Craig’s name to the fore, and he is always at the front of our thoughts.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at http://www.justgiving.com/The-Craig-Gowans-Memorial-Fund or http://www.edinburghsickkids.org/press-and-news/gallery/craig-gowans-memorial.html
Fans who like their football fast and furious should check out the Street Football Festival which is currently underway at the Ross Bandstand. So far the lowest scoring game only had 12 goals and the weather is perfect for both spectators and players alike.
The Edinburgh Reporter caught up with one of the players, 22 year-old former student from Zambia, Kelvin Sinyemu who was taking a well-deserved break on the side-lines as his team, Street Football 2 prepared for the top of the table clash with rivals Street Football 1.
Kelvin said:- “I am really enjoying the experience, plus it’s good exercise. To be honest, I’ve been average and could have done better although I have scored three goals so far. I joined the Street Football last year and so far have completed my coaching certificate with them. I would definitely encourage others to get involved.”
The festival is on until Sunday, with the competitions taking place as follows:
10am – 2pm EDINBURGH YOUTH CUP
5 Edinburgh Youth Projects compete in the group stages with the top 4 progressing to the semi-finals on Sunday.
3pm – 7pm EDINBURGH CORPORATE CUP
6 Edinburgh Businesses compete in the group stages with the top 4 progressing to the semi-finals on Sunday.
DAY 2 – SATURDAY 15TH JUNE
10am – 2pm EDINBURGH PRIMARY SCHOOLS CUP
8 Edinburgh Primary Schools compete in two groups of four with the top 2 from each group progressing to the semi-finals on Sunday.
3pm – 6pm EDINBURGH U13 GIRLS CUP
5 Edinburgh Girls’ U13 teams compete in the groups stages with the top 4 progressing to the semi-finals on Sunday.
DAY 3 – SUNDAY 16TH JUNE SEMI-FINALS AND FINALS DAY
10am – 11.30am EDINBURGH YOUTH CUP SEMI-FINALS AND FINALS
12pm – 1.30pm EDINBURGH CORPORATE CUP SEMI-FINALS AND FINALS
1.30pm – 2.30pm HIBS/HEARTS LEGENDS SELECT
2.30pm – 4.00 pm EDINBURGH PRIMARY SCHOOLS CUP SEMI-FINALS AND FINALS 4.00pm to 5.30pm EDINBURGH U13 GIRLS CUP SEMI FINALS AND FINALS.
Help Brianna plant a tree for every metre of the bridge!
On 16 June 2013 beginning at 10:30am, 10-year old Brianna will attempt to unicycle across the entire length of the Forth Road Bridge. For every metre of the bridge, in total around 2,500m, she is trying to raise €1, which will be used to plant one tree by the children’s initiative Plant-for-the-Planet.
Brianna became a member of the global network of children, Plant-for-the-Planet, during the 3rd Academy to take place in Edinburgh, in April 2013.
At Sciennes Primary School, children from five different schools had come together to learn about the climate crisis. But rather than just listening and learning, the children are trained to become Climate Justice Ambassadors, to stand up for their future and become active themselves.
Some ambassadors decide to plant trees, some visit other schools and spread the world. Brianna decided she would like to unicycle across the Forth Road Bridge as a fundraising activity.
Find out more about her plans and help her to reach her goal on the Better Place website.
The Plant-for-the-Planet Children’s Initiative began in January 2007, originating from a school report on the climate crisis by Felix Finkbeiner, then 9 years old. At the end of his presentation, Felix put forward the vision that children could plant one million trees in every country in the world to balance carbon emissions. In the years since, Plant-for-the-Planet has evolved into a global movement with thousands of committed children across the world – world citizens committed to climate justice by achieving an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a unified distribution of these emissions among all of humankind.
Plant-for-the-Planet has had a democratic structure since March 2011. It has two elected Global Boards, one for children aged 8-14, and one for youth aged 15-21; each consists of 14 children with representatives from eight world regions.
Since taking over responsibility for the Billion Tree Campaign from UNEP in 2011, the children have set themselves a new goal of planting 1,000 billion trees worldwide by 2020. With such a giant CO2 storage facility, 10 billion tons of CO2 could be offset, buying us valuable time to permanently reduce our CO2 emission. We will meet our goal if every global citizen plants 150 trees. So far, over 12 billion trees have been planted across 193 countries. In the United Kingdom Plant-for-the-Planet collaborates closely with the Woodland Trust.
Submitted by Sebastian Hemmann
This year’s Sick Kids Friends Foundation Teddy Toddle & Summer Fair takes place tomorrow at Meadowbank Stadium 12 to 4pm and promises to be even bigger, better and fancier than ever! This year the Teddy Toddle is fancy dress for toddlers & their favourite teddies so you must come along to show off your best dressed ted!
This is a fantastic day out for all the family with something for everyone including shopping, fundraising stalls, food, fairground rides, crafts, face painting, dancing, music, storytelling, drum workshops, science demonstrations and the incredible Sing in the City choir who will be there singing their hearts out and expecting you all to join in! Look out for Storm Troopers & other Star Wars characters, the official Panda mascots from Edinburgh Zoo and Mickey & Minnie Mouse who will be there to toddle with you.
This is one of the Sick Kids largest events of the year and has steadily grown over the last 10 years. It is also one of Edinburgh’s biggest children’s charity events and provides the perfect way for little people to give something back and raise funds for the Sick Kids in a fun and easy way. Last year the Summer Fair & Teddy Toddle made an incredible £23,000 for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and this year they want to do it again!
The Summer Fair opens at 12 noon with the Teddy Toddle taking place at 2.30pm. Entry fee for the Teddy Toddle is £5 per toddler (teddies go free!) and the suggested minimum sponsorship is £20, and every penny will help make the Sick Kids even better!
For continuous updates on what will be happening on the day please go to their Facebook page or check out the website
Registrations are still open so contact Vicki or Linda on 0131 668 4949 or email Victoria.E.Watson@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk for registering for the Teddy Toddle or any other enquiries!
Save the Children’s shop on Morningside Road will be celebrating its first birthday this weekend.
Since opening last June, the shop has generated over £72,000 of income for the charity and shop volunteers will be celebrating the occasion with customers this weekend by holding a number of events.
There will be a tombola with prizes donated from over 15 local businesses and a special sale on stock with some items being sold for just £1. Customers are also invited to write messages of support for the shop and volunteers on bunting to decorate the shop.
Susie Dunstan, Save the Children Regional Retail Manager, said:
“The Morningside shop has been a fantastic addition to our other three shops in Edinburgh and it’s become a favourite with locals.
“The people of Morningside have been really generous with their donations and an incredible amount of money has been raised in the 12 months it’s been open.
“The money raised from our shops goes towards helping vulnerable children around the world as well as here in Scotland.
“All of our shops are run entirely by volunteers and while we have a great team working in Morningside, we’re always looking for more people who can give a few hours of their time to help run the shop.”
Kim Radtke, Volunteer Shop Leader, said:
“We’ve had a great first year in Morningside and we’d love to see our customers come along this weekend and join our celebrations.”
Events will be running Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 June. Anyone interested in volunteering at the shop can get more information by dropping in at 390 Morningside Road.
As part of Leith Festival 2013 the Leith Community Fundraising Organisation (LCFO) headed by Gerry Freedman are delighted to announce that CCLASP have been chosen as the main charity for the funds raised.
CCLASP (Children with Cancer and Leukaemia, Advice and Support for Parents) is an Edinburgh based children’s charity, set up in 1994 to help support children and groups of families, to express and share the feelings, anxieties and the horror of having a child with a life threatening illness.
The big project at CCLASP is to raise £55,000 for a bus to transport families for hospital visits etc. and they still require another £25,000 to reach their target.
A fundraising day will take place on Saturday, with the first event being a charity walk, and former Hibs star Paul Kane, a well-known figure in Leith and a patron of CCLASP has through his football connections attracted legends such as Lawrie Reilly, Pat Stanton, Mickey Weir, Jackie MacNamara, Ralph Callaghan and many more to support and possibly participate, in the walk.
The walk starts at the walk-way at Leith Academy Car Park at 10:30am and follows the route along the walk-way and will finish at Leith Links (approx. 1 mile), which means that no roads will need to be crossed.
Anyone wishing to participate should contact CCLASP office at 0131 467 7421 for sponsor form. If you would like to donate please log on to www.cclasp.co.uk and donate.
Later there will also be two football matches at Leith Links, with the first one being a Leith Athletic game between ex and current players at 12.30pm when all players will pay to play for charity.
The second game will be between LCFO charity team against the Hibs legends (2.30pm) and if you would like to bid to play against the Legends’ email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also bid to manage the Legends for this game, with bids going to the same e-mail address.
The 67TH Edinburgh Taxi Trade Children’s Outing took place yesterday. This is an outing organised and funded by taxi drivers and offers a day out to the beach for children with special needs, life-limiting conditions and terminal illnesses.
The taxis are all decorated with balloons or decked out as floats. They assembled at the ice rink car park at Murrayfield Stadium where judging and presentation of prizes took place for best float taxi, best balloon taxi, best fancy dressed driver and best fancy dressed child.
The taxis then left Murrayfield at 10 o’clock heading under police escort through the city and along the coast to Yellowcraigs beach for a fun-filled afternoon before heading home about 4pm.
Organisers representative, Keith Bell said:- “A few weeks ago, Tom Gilzean’s electric wheelchair and stolen and vandalised and as Tom had fundraised for the cause over the years, they were going to donate funds to replace it.”
“However PoppyScotland stepped in to organise this, so we decided to invite Tom along for the day. He was collected from his house by our Chairman, Alex Lyons, and then when we got to Murrayfield, we surprised him with his own Rolls-Royce for the journey down to Yellowcraigs and back.”