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Grow Stronger Together - Free Brunch - 18th March

posted 11 Mar 2017, 02:27 by Alistar Frater

Do you live in Gracemount, Gilmerton, Moredun or 

Do you care about building a greener, better and financially stronger community that works for everyone?

Come and have a free brunch on us on the 18th March and tell us how we can help you do this!

Grow Stronger is currently a community-led food growing initiative run by Transition Edinburgh South at Gracemount Walled Garden. Up until now we have focused on tackling the issues of healthier eating and producing fresh food locally. But the time has come for us to develop and find new ways of improving health, the environment and opportunities in our community… and we need you to tell us how you want us to do this. So come and talk to us!

Where? Gracemount Mansion, 47 Gracemount House Drive, Edinburgh EH16 6FD

When? Saturday 18th March, 11am – 2pm 

What’s on the menu? A delicious (free) home-cooked brunch, the chance to learn about what we’ve been doing so far and to share your views on how we can Grow Stronger Together.

Attendance at the community consultation event is free of charge (and so is brunch!) and open to EVERYONE. If possible, please let us know you’re coming by emailing Sandra Brown at or through our Facebook page or Twitter @transition_e_s 

Edinburgh Fair Trade Festival 2016

posted 11 Feb 2016, 02:05 by South Edinburgh Net Admin

Join us at Southside Community Centre on Saturday 5th March for the Edinburgh Fair Trade Festival, part of our Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations. The Festival brings together Fair Trade stalls, speakers, delicious free refreshments, music, storytelling and Fairtrade producers. The event is free, for all ages and will also host singers from Edinburgh Choir and have the accomplished Kenyan Scottish storyteller Mara Menzies enchanting attendees with her wonderful tales.

Southside Community Centre is at 117 Nicolson Street, EH8 9ER and the event runs from 10.30am to 2.30pm.   All are welcome.

Marchmont & Sciennes: Christmas tree lighting

posted 27 Nov 2014, 06:55 by South Edinburgh Net Admin

Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council are having a Christmas tree lighting event on Saturday 6th December at 4pm at the junction of Marchmont Crescent and Warrender Park Road.

Salvation Army shop needs helpers

posted 25 Jan 2013, 01:27 by South Edinburgh Net Admin   [ updated 25 Jan 2013, 01:35 by Alistar Frater ]

An Edinburgh charity shop opens its doors to the public next month and although it is on track to welcome the first eager bargain hunters, the shop is still in need of more volunteers to help run it.

Salvation Army Trading Company is set to open a shop at 65 Newington Road on 31 January 2013 at 10.30am. The shop will sell quality donated goods including clothes, accessories, bric-a-brac and household goods, with all profits gift-aided to The Salvation Army to help fund its valuable work throughout the UK.

After months spent collecting donated items, the is set to open with a host of designer bargains, which include a pair of Jimmy Choo boots, a Lladro ornament, an original Toskana leather coat and a Missoni designer handbag.

Although preparations are underway in terms of fitting out the shop there is always room for more helpers and the team is holding a volunteering open day on Wednesday 30 January, between 10am and 3pm, so that those interested in becoming a volunteer can come and learn more about what’s involved, as covering manager Maggie Hope explains:

“We rely heavily on the generosity of our volunteers, who are key members of the team in all our shops,” says shop manager Maggie Hope. “There are lots of different jobs that need doing from sorting through the donated stock to window dressing and helping customers with their purchases. We are also looking for volunteer drivers with their own transport to help pick up donations from people’s homes in the area. Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn new skills or brush up on old ones and a lovely way to give something back to community you live in. As well as knowing that giving your time will ultimately help The Salvation Army’s work throughout the UK including homeless services, elderly care, professional addiction services, family tracing and much more, you’ll also be helping people in the community who rely on shops like ours for quality goods they can afford. And it can be a lot of fun too!

“So if you think you can spare any time at all, from a few hours to a few days a week, please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. You don’t need any experience, although if you do have some retail knowledge we can definitely put it to good use.”

“We are also always grateful to accept donations from the public, whether it’s clothes, shoes, accessories, bric-a-brac or homewares. In fact, we know that items of small, portable furniture like nests of tables, stools and chairs are in demand at the moment so they would also be gratefully received. The only things we ask are that the items are clean and in good condition, and that no electrical items are included as we cannot safety test them.”

For more information on becoming a volunteer simply pop into the shop between 10am and 3pm on Wednesday 30 January or email For more information on Salvation Army Trading Company and all its shops, visit

Submitted by Kerry-Rose O’Donnell

Source: Edinburgh Reporter

Hairdressers living in fear of extortionist following vandal attack

posted 20 Nov 2012, 04:46 by Alistar Frater

Jade O'Neill and Michele Moyes outside the hairdressers in Howden Hall Road. Picture: Neil Hanna
STAFF at a hairdressing salon are living in fear of a suspected extortionist who has subjected them to a year-long terror campaign.

The most recent attack saw the front of the Heads ‘n’ Things salon in Howden Hall Road daubed in a red paint on Tuesday night.

The catalogue of destruction has included the doors of the premises being smashed three times and its windows twice since last Christmas.

The salon’s owner, Jayde O’Neill, believes the same man is responsible for each of the attacks, after she refused to hand over £5000 in protection money.

Ms O’Neill spent £4000 on CCTV for the salon and her home after the trouble began, but the cameras mounted on the front of the business were then stolen.

The 23-year-old has also dealt with direct threats and menacing phone calls.

She said: “We’re being driven to despair, but we won’t let this guy beat us.”

The suspect, who is in his early 50s and lives locally, is believed to have ties with two gangsters who tried to mount a protection racket in the Gilmerton area in 2010.

The Gardeners Arms pub in Drum Street was closed down by owner Scottish & Newcastle after its frightened staff refused to help the police investigation while other local businesses were also targeted. It later reopened under new management.

Ms O’Neill, who set up shop three years ago after receiving help from The Prince’s Trust, said she was threatened in the salon for the first time last November 8 by the man who demanded £5000 or her business would be hit. She revealed the man had been charged with the extortion attempt last year, but was not convicted in court due to a lack of evidence.

Her colleague, Michelle Moyes, 42, who is the beauty therapist at the salon, said: “These problems have been going on for a year. This man was asking for money or bad things would happen to the business, and when Jayde refused it all started.

“We’ve had windows smashed twice, the door smashed three times. Jayde got CCTV cameras for the salon after the first extortion attempt and those were smashed, too.

“We’ve had the sign stolen from the front of the shops a couple of times. One time the sign was found discarded in a garden in The Inch.

“The man was caught on CCTV vandalising the shop before the cameras were smashed, but the police said the images were not clear enough to arrest him.

“He’s used the name of the two gangsters who went after the Gardeners Arms, telling Jayde they would also cause her problems.

“Now all this red paint has been thrown at the shop. One of our clients saw the paint on the window at around 9pm on Tuesday night so it must have happened before then.

“The windows haven’t even been fixed since the last time they were smashed in the summer. It got to the point where it wasn’t worth repairing them.”

Ms Moyes said she and Ms O’Neill were refusing to be beaten by the terror campaign.

She added: “We are not afraid to work, but we are scared about what we will find when we come in each morning.

“We’re also worried that some clients might see the damage and stay away. The red paint has been running all over the pavement and the road and people may just avoid us.”

In another recent incident, the business received an 
anonymous phone call on Hallowe’en, warning the staff to stay away from the business as “something was going to happen”.

Ms Moyes said a police car was stationed outside the shop for the night and the warning proved to be an empty threat.

She added that the force had put the shop on a “high-priority alert” status, where responses to any incident are given urgent attention.

A police spokesman 
confirmed officers have been called to a number of incidents.

He said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating following a vandalism to a business premises in Howden Hall Road.

“The incident happened some time between 2.30pm on Tuesday and 6.30am on Wednesday.

“Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact police immediately.

“Local officers are now conducting inquiries to establish whether this incident is linked to previous crimes reported at the address.”

The Gardeners Arms was shut down in October 2010 after being targeted by a protection racket.

Detectives quizzed its landlord, David Hay, and bar staff over the extortion campaign run by a member of a notorious local family and his 

The pair made threats against employees and demanded cash at the pub, forcing it to close for three days in September 2010 while police investigated.

The pub employees refused to assist officers amid fears for their personal safety.



Parents spark capital sales boom with student flat buying

posted 20 Nov 2012, 03:06 by Alistar Frater

Marchmont is among the areas where homes are being snapped up

Rich parents buying up homes for their undergraduate children has led to a spike in property sales in parts of the city.

According to figures provided by ESPC, total sales across the traditional student hubs of Marchmont, Bruntsfield and Newington are 21.6 per cent higher through the first nine months of 2012 than they were in 2010.

The boost has been provided by parents of university students as they look to secure accommodation for their children while making a long term investment, according to research by estate agents and solicitors Warners.

Many students rely on the “Bank of Mum and Dad” to cover their rent and for undergraduates taking a four-year course in the Capital, this means parents could face a potential bill of around £18,000.

Coupled with the traditional shortage of student accommodation, this is resulting in a growing number of parents purchasing properties for their children.

The problem was again highlighted earlier this year when Edinburgh University oversubscribed its student halls at the start of last term, leaving 21 people living in local hotels.

Scott Brown, Property Partner at Warners, said: “What the Edinburgh University issue demonstrates is that there is an ongoing requirement for properties in prominent student areas and highlights the solid investment opportunity that this represents for people looking to purchase buy-to-lets.”

But not everyone is happy with the rise in student properties. Grahame Cruickshank, 68, a freelance historian who has lived at his Warrender Park Terrace flat for 34 years, said: “I am the only person in my stair who is not a student.

“For the past 12 to 15 years Marchmont has been dominated by students – there’s no social cohesion.

“I’m lucky if I have a dozen full nights’ sleep a year because of the noise of the students coming back home at night.

“Some of them are friendly and socially responsible, but most of them do not want to know and regard me as some sort of oddity – ‘why are you living in flats full of students?’”

Alistair Philps, chairman of Marchmont and Sciennes Community Council, said: “This is an issue that has been discussed for years, we need to get a balance and try to have a mixed community.”

Mr Philips added that much of the concern had been over the number of flats with HMO licences – which are required where three or more unrelated tenants are in one property.

“It’s not just students who live in HMOs, some are housing young professionals.”

Southside and Newington Councillor Cameron Rose said: “The growth of the universities has put pressure on space, but the growth is welcome and we need to provide more accommodation for students.

Gilmerton Christmas Fair - Saturday 24th November 2012

posted 20 Nov 2012, 02:30 by Alistar Frater

Everyone is welcome to the Gilmerton Christmas Fair and Christmas Light Switch-on to be held from 2pm-5pm at Gilmerton Community Centre.
  • Christmas Arts & Crafts Stalls
  • Lantern Making Workshops
  • Face Painting
  • Christmas Carols
  • Local History
  • Café
  • Christmas Lights
  • Tombola
  • Art Exhibition
  • Live Music
  • Big Play Bus
  • Festive Foods
  • Relaxation
For information phone Pauline on 0131 664 2220.

Woman escapes suspicious flat fire by jumping out of first-floor window

posted 4 Aug 2012, 03:02 by Alistar Frater

A dog has died and a woman taken to hospital after a suspicious fire in the stairwell of a building in Edinburgh.

Fire crews were called to Captain’s Drive just after 9pm on Thursday after flames broke out on the top landing.

A woman in her 20s jumped out a first floor flat to escape the flames.

She was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and an abrasion on her head.

One of the flats was home to three dogs. One died in the fire and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier had to be treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

A man in his 40s was also treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses and said they were treating the fire as suspicious.

Detective Sergeant John Graham said: "The fire broke out on the top floor landing and spread to threaten properties in the stair.

"Some of the occupants were forced to jump from a first floor window to safety, while another resident was rescued via ladder by the fire service.

"At this time we are appealing for any information that can assist our inquiries, in particular anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in or around the building prior to the fire breaking out.

"Anyone else with any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0131 311 3131 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source: STV News

Party yourself into shape at Gracemount Leisure Centre

posted 5 Apr 2012, 06:22 by South Edinburgh Net Admin

The Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, dance fitness-party.  Feel the music and let loose.

Charity Zumbathon at Gracemount Leisure Centre.  Help us raise money for Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support by coming along and dancing your socks off.

Friday 20th April 2012

Aqua Zuma: 9.00am-9.45am
Morning Zumbathon: 9.30am-11.00am
Evening Zumbathon: 6.30pm-8.00pm

To book your space please contact Gracemount Leisure Centre on 0131 658 1940.  Bake Sale and Raffle on the day.

Vandals cause £10,000 damage at Prestonfield Primary School

posted 1 Mar 2012, 08:46 by Alistar Frater

Police have appealed for information after vandals caused £10,000 worth of damage to an Edinburgh school.

Twenty skylights were smashed on the roof of the courtyard at Prestonfield Primary School.

The damage was discovered on Monday morning by a member of staff. It is thought that the vandals had struck overnight.

A police spokesman said: "This has been an act of mindless destruction, which has resulted in expensive damage."

The Lothian and Borders force wants to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area, or who can help identify those responsible.

Source: BBC News

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