Looking At Edinburgh

2 November 2008

Portobello Public Baths: upstairs

Filed under: buildings, photos, reflections — Tags: , , , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

green floor, blue walls

Portobello Public Baths were designed by Robert Morham, working for the Edinburgh City Architect’s Department of Edinburgh Council, in 1898, as part of the agreement that Portobello should become part of Edinburgh (on 1st November 1896). They were opened in 1901. Through most of the century they used to have a sea water pool and a fresh water pool (in the 1980s I used to belong to a sub-aqua club that used the sea water pool on Monday nights for training), but both pools are fresh water now. The Turkish baths were original to the building and are magnificent.

This photo is available on Redbubble: Shadows reflecting.

30 October 2008

Mandela Square that never was

the statue of mother and child

In 1986, the UN Security Council recommended to the member states of the United Nations that they “prohibit the export to South Africa of items which they have reason to believe are destined for the military and/or police forces of South Africa”.

Back then, Nelson Mandela was in jail – he had then been in prison for 23 years. Edinburgh City Council was planning a new square in Lothian Road, and a faction on the Council had resolved to call it Mandela Square, in his honour. (They lost the vote – the new square, which faces the Usher Hall, was named Festival Square, after Edinburgh’s International Festival – which was then to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year, 1947-1987.)

Ann Davidson won the competition run by the Council, and her statue “Woman and Child” was made to represent and to honour all those killed or imprisoned for their stand against apartheid. The woman and her child stand in front of a sketch in bronze of a shanty. The statue was unveiled on 22nd July 1986 by Suganya Chetty, a member of the African National Congress then living in exile in Edinburgh.

For those who don’t remember, Mandela was released on 11th February 1990, nearly 27 years after he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 12th June 1964, and on 26th April 1994, the first free elections were held in South Africa: Nelson Mandela became President of the country that had imprisoned him for fighting against apartheid. It still feels like current events to me – but I suppose to many people reading this blog, it’s… history.

The message at the base of the statue, “Victory is Certain”, came true.

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2 October 2008

LRT buses: a space defined

LRT buses - the wheelchair space
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11 August 2008

Waiting for the bus

…and waiting …and waiting …and waiting…

taking you to work in 2011

You know, really the worst thing about the chaos on the streets is that while Edinburgh Council claim “A high-quality, modern and efficient tram network is being created for Edinburgh and is scheduled to be running on the Capital’s streets by 2011” – I haven’t met anyone who actually believes that. (more…)

17 June 2008

The Prince Regent Street Waterfall

On Monday 9th June I was walking down Prince Regent Street, and I noticed a stream running down the gutter.
Prince Regent St waterfall

So I tracked it uphill to its source:

Prince Regent waterfall source

And a couple of days later, walking down Prince Regent Street again, I took a photo of the drain all the water was falling into.

Prince Regent waterfall drain

Over a week later, the water is still running, and it’s now overflowed the drain and forms a delta where Prince Regent Street runs into North Junction Street:

Prince Regent Street waterfall delta

Up at the source, the water has by now washed away part of the tarmac covering the old cobbles:
Prince Regent Street waterfall source

It’s quite impressive that just leaving a water main to run unchecked and unmended for only eight or nine days can do this much damage. I wonder how much longer Edinburgh Council will leave it to run?

11 April 2008

You won’t believe what’s happening at Leith Victoria

Buggy park at Leith Victoria full up

From a flyer I picked up in the women’s changing room: “The creche is closing. Let Edinburgh Leisure know you think it’s wrong. KeithJackson@edinburghleisure.co.uk. Phone 0131 650 1001.”

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