Bellevue’s Granny Thomson vows to dig in despite thefts

Granny Thomson in her garden. Picture: Lesley Martin

Granny Thomson in her garden. Picture: Lesley Martin

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She tends the flowerbed come rain or shine, creating colourful displays to delight local residents.

Granny Thomson has been the custodian of the mini garden on the pavement at Bellevue for more than a decade.

This Christmas tree was stolen on December 24. Picture: supplied

This Christmas tree was stolen on December 24. Picture: supplied

The well-known 74-year-old designs at least three themed displays a year, keen to brighten up people’s days while raising money for charity.

But despite her popularity, Granny Thomson – otherwise known as Christina – has been the victim of thefts and vandalism.

The retired nurse believes that the same culprit is responsible for the string of incidents at the flowerbed outside her Bellevue Place home.

The most recent case involved a 5ft Christmas tree she had installed being stolen on December 24.

I don’t want to let the kiddies down. I’m sure it’s a targeted thing. He’s not going to get me down. I can’t afford to – my health won’t let me.

Granny Thomson

But although the suspect could strike again, she has vowed to continue her green-fingered activities as she says they keep her active.

The grandmother-of-two, who also sells homemade tablet and soap at the flowerbed to raise money for various charities, said: “I don’t want to let the kiddies down. I’m sure it’s a targeted thing. He’s not going to get me down. I can’t afford to – my health won’t let me.”

Mrs Thomson, a carer for her husband Robert, 90, is also concerned that the same person is responsible for the disappearance of her cat, which went missing in September.

She said: “It’s malicious but he must have a lot of anger in him. I just wish I could speak to whoever it was and see what his motive was. The latest case must have taken a lot of effort.”

Damage caused by the thief. Picture: supplied

Damage caused by the thief. Picture: supplied

Mrs Thomson took on the flowerbed at Bellevue 12 years ago, when the pavement was altered and widened as part of a council traffic calming project. She stepped in when the raised bed became an eyesore, strewn in litter.

Her displays for Christmas, Easter and Hallowe’en have become a local tradition, while at other times of the year, characters from popular films have been known to pop up in the flowerbed.

Her figurine of Frozen lead character Elsa was disfigured, and papier mache models of Humpty Dumpty and Star Wars robot R2D2 were stolen.

Mrs Thomson, who suffered a heart attack six years ago, said: “It happens every time I do a display – I do at least three a year. It’s every time I do something. It’s spoiling it for all the kids, that’s the part I don’t like.”

She recently raised £500 for the campaign to bring four ex-circus lions to Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian. She is now raising cash for the retained firemen in Inverurie following the floods, and the Missing Cats Scotland charity.

Ian Mowat, chairman of the New Town and Broughton community council, said: “Her garden is much appreciated and is well-loved. We are very disappointed to hear of this.

“I would urge anyone in the community, if they see anything, to report it.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com