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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Greenyonder Tours for 2011

Jean, one of the tour guides and has great knowledge and enthusiasm about gardens, plants and Patrick Geddes 

It's spring again and Greenyonder Tours'  2011 programme will be opening on Easter Sunday with our walking tour Hidden Gardens of the Royal Mile, leaving from outside John Knox House at 2.30 pm.  This would be an enjoyable thing to do if you have visitors over Easter, or if you'd simply like to bring in the spring with an easy walk through plants, history, and new stories about today's gardens.  Royal Mile gardeners are really flourishing - there were two new gardens added last year, and the possibility of two more this year.

The public programme also features occasional tours: By Leaves We Live shows unexpected community gardens past and present around the Castle and Grassmarket, including some original research I've been doing into Patrick Geddes's children's gardens at the turn of last century. Medical herbalist Julia Cook will lead her very popular Healing Herbs in the City. What I love about Julia's tour is her love of all plants, and she'll share her medicinal knowledge about weeds growing through paving stones as much as beautiful plants in formal gardens.

NEW! Last year I took a few group bookings for summer evening tours and realised what a lovely time of day it is, so, for the first time, we're offering a programme of summer evening tours.  Every second Tuesday in May, June and July, we'll offer a range of tours starting at 6.30 pm.  Check here for our special offers - any four summer evening tours for £25 (a saving of between £5 - £11) or any three summer evening tours for £20 (a saving of between £2 - £8).  

The simplest way of checking which tour is on on which day is to use the tour diary.

We take group bookings at any time of year.  There is a wider range of tours available for group bookings, and they're at special group rates, so please do take a look at the website and pass on to anyone who may be interested.  I can post details in leaflet format too.

In the last newsletter I mentioned that I was writing a guide book on the Hidden Gardens of the Royal Mile.  Thank you to everyone who got in touch to give their support to this venture.  I've finished the research - now I just need to finish writing it!  I am still aiming to have it ready for sale in 2011. There, I've committed myself.

NB  Greenyonder will be on holiday between 2 - 22 April.  It is completely safe to pay for and book tours online as the receipt is sent to you automatically by PayPal.  However, I will not be able to process gift vouchers or cards between those dates.  I'll be checking emails once a week.

I look forward to seeing you and your friends in 2011.


 tel: 0131 444 1725

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Press Release for EOTDT AGM

Press release.......................Press Release....................
Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust Annual General Meeting 2011
Date: Wednesday 23rd March at 7pm
Venue: Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket
Speaker: Ian Cooke, Director of
Development Trusts Association Scotland

Contact: Sean Bradley, Chair on 07598 323440 & Catriona Grant, Secretary on 07717 204426

The Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust is throwing its doors open to the residents of the Old Town and Dumbiedykes on Wednesday evening for the Annual General Meeting of the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust.

There will be an election of the Directors and there will be reports on;

  • the Trust's Feasabilty Study to look at bringing the Canongate Venture on New Street, left empty due to failed Caltongate Project
  • setting up a Food Co-op to provide affordable fresh food in the Old Town
  • Granny's Green Garden Project supported by the Patrick Geddes Gardening Club

Ian Cooke of the Development Trusts Association Scotland will speak to the meeting about the process of transferring a local authority asset (or building) to a community organisation at less than the market value and what can be done to make sure that these transfers are sustainable. He will also look at the potential benefits of such transfers to community and councils alike.

Catriona Grant, Secretary of the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust said :

“ We are looking at different possibiblities in how the Old Town community can bring a local well loved asset like the Canongate Venture or another building into community use run democractically by the community”.

We are interested at looking at the Big Lottery Assets Programme and welcome Ian Cooke's contribution on how the residents of the Old Town and Dumbiedykes can take advantage of grants and initiatives so we can be our own developments that include residents, promote heritage, are environmental, suistainable and contribute to the economy of the Old Town”.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Allotments and wild food in the City Centre

Old Town Green Beans

Growing food in urban areas is not new, during the war the Meadows were turned into allotments.  However it is now in vogue to want to grow fruit and vegetables.  The Patrick Geddes Gardening Club are hoping to have a herb bed at the new garden to be grown at Granny's Green.  Herbs are grown in the Greyfriars Kirk graveyard.

Allotment at Lochend Close

There are mini allotments in the Old Town at Lochend Close and Coiyne House Close made with support from the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership and Edinburgh World Heritage Trust

A new edible hedge is to be planted at Pilrig Park read more here and in the New Town allotments are to spring up in an old gap sit read more here

Perhaps the gapsite at New Street could be made into an orchard or allotment or a community farm.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

JUMP Community Planning Workshop

The Lighthouse

DATE: Saturday 19th March 11am – 3pm
HE LIGHTHOUSE, 1st Floor, 20-22 West Harbour Road, Granton, Edinburgh, EH5 1PN

JUMP must now respond by creating a community response. To achieve this we are running a Community Planning Workshop. 

This is a free and voluntary activity open to all. 

Please notify us by email if you wish to attend

If you cannot attend - send us add your comments to contribute to what we can jointly achieve. 

Find google map here

Monday, 14 March 2011

New lease of life for Acheson House

Acheson House, Canongate

Great to hear that Acheson House is getting funding to do it up.  A bit sad to see the story in the local news paper tonight is "brothel to be turned into a museum" Acheson House has had a long history dating back to 1633 commissioned in 1633 by Sir Archibald Acheson, Charles I’s secretary of state for Scotland.

Acheson House was restored in 1937 for the 4th Marquess of Bute by Robert Hurd. You'll find Acheson House next to Huntly House, which is the HQ of the Scottish Craft Centre.

The inscription above the Canongate entrance reads -

‘O Lord in thee is all my traist’,
Read the Evening News article here 

Sadly Acheson House despite being renovated in the 20th Century is now on the Building At Risk register 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Annual General Meeting 2011 Wednesday 23rd March at 7pm

Annual General Meeting 2011
Wednesday 23rd March at 7pm
Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

The event will include a short presentation on Asset Transfer by Ian Cooke, Director of Development Trusts Association Scotland.

Ian will speak about the process of transferring a local authority asset (or building) to a community organisation at less than the market value, and what can be done to make sure that these transfers are sustainable. He will also look at the potential benefits of such transfers to community and councils alike.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Old Town Nursery on list of council closures

School Yards Nursery

As part of the £90 million cuts programme the Old Town is to loose one of its nurseries, School Yards Nursery School, it is to close at the end of the school year in July 2011.  Alongside School Yards marked for closure is Princess Elizabeth nursery at Prestonfield.  The council reckon they can save up to £200,000.  The children attending School Yards will be diverted to the Royal Mile Nursery.  Gillian Tee, Director of Children and Families pointed out that a nursery place attached to a school cost £3000 per child compared to over £5000.  This will be a sad loss to the Old Town.

Read more here and here

Council's consultation can be found here

HMIe Inspection report for School Yards Nursery can be found here 

HMIe Inspection report for Royal Mile Nursery can be found here

Sunday, 6 March 2011

100th anniversary of International Women's Day

The Gude Cause March in 2009

Happy International Women's Day

What is special about International Women's Day this year? 

This year, March 8, celebrated as  International Women's Day (IWD) marks 100 years of the declaration and observation of the first International Women's day. The first official celebration of Women's Day happened on March 19 in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The decision to observe an International Women's Day happened in 1910 at the second international conference of working women held in Copenhagen. At the meeting, Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women's Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day of Women's Day to press for various demands made by women. Zetkin's suggestion was unanimously approved and the decision was implemented for the first time the following year, in 1911. 

How did the idea of women's day develop? 

in 1857 on 8th March there was a march of women and children in New York, mostly made up of immigrant women and children demanding equal pay for women, the end of child labour and the right to join trade unions.  The march was met by police officers and thugs who assaulted them.  This date was remembered in years to come to commemorate these brave women.

Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a lot of turbulence in industrialised societies with women increasingly demonstrating against oppressive working conditions, poor pay and inequality. This also coincided with the rising demand by women for voting rights in various countries. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1909, the Socialist Party of America declared that February 28 would be celebrated as the first National Women's Day across the country. Until 1913, the last Sunday of February was celebrated as National Women's Day in the US. Fair wages and dignified conditions of work became the focus of many demonstrations by women. Russian women campaigning for peace on the eve of World War I observed their first IWD on the last Sunday of February in 1913. However, in 1913, a common agreement was reached and the IWD was transferred to March 8.   In 1917 in Russia it was IWD that women organised a strike for "bread for our children" and "bring our husbands and sons home from the trenches", whilst on strike they demanded that the men joined them....this was the beginning of the Russian Revolution.

How did the IWD become globally accepted

The United Nations designated 1975 as International Women's Year and the same year it gave official sanction to the IWD and began sponsoring International Women's Day events. All its member countries too started observing the IWD and women's group working for change in the status of women in these countries use the IWD to focus attention on issues about women's rights and to help push their agenda. 

How is the IWD celebrated? 

The IWD is observed in over a hundred countries. In many countries including Afghanistan,ArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarus, Burkina Faso, CambodiaCuba, Guinea-Bissau, EritreaKazakhstan,MoldovaMongoliaMontenegro, Russia, TajikistanTurkmenistanUgandaUkraineUzbekistanand Vietnam it is an official holiday. 

In ChinaNepal and Madagascar, it is a holiday only for women. In several countries, it is customary for men to give the women in their lives, mothers, wives, girlfriends or sisters, flowers and small gifts on the occasion. In some countries such as Romania it is also observed as an equivalent of Mothers' Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers. In Italy, men give yellow mimosas to women. In Russia and Albania too, yellow mimosas and chocolate are the most common gifts on March 8.

In Edinburgh's Old Town you can join Edinburgh Women's Aid, Shakti Women's Aid and Edinburgh Rape and Sexual Assault Centre celebrating IWD at the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre from 15:00 to 19:00

Find out more here