Public asked to cast votes for ‘defining’ Edinburgh object

Edinburgh is calling out for the public to share their ideas on what should be crowned as the
final object within Edinburgh's 101 Objects, a popular city attraction.
Edinburgh is calling out for the public to share their ideas on what should be crowned as the final object within Edinburgh's 101 Objects, a popular city attraction.
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From the iconic Balmoral Hotel Clock to the 99’ ice cream cone that originates in Portobello, the public has been called on to nominate the 101st object to complete a city-wide trail charting 1000 years of history.

Created as a celebration of Edinburgh’s heritage, culture and everyday life, the £90,000 campaign inspired by a British Museum exhibition, tells the city’s story in 100 lesser-known objects.

And today, 101 days since its launch, the trail’s organisers want the city’s residents to choose the 101st object to be included and share what objects they believe define Edinburgh.

Suggestions already made include Edinburgh’s original ‘chippy sauce’ and 99 Flake ice-cream cones sold on Portobello promenade, along with the old ‘Commie’ pool flumes and the iconic Balmoral clock.

There have even been a few nods to one of the capital’s most famous writers, with the nomination of a café loo graffitied with messages of love from wizarding fans within the ‘Birthplace of Harry Potter’ – otherwise known as The Elephant House café.

The panel of experts behind Edinburgh’s 101 Objects have also put forward a few suggestions from those that missed the cut for the original 100 to inspire entries. These include the much-loved Greyfriars Bobby statue, Andy Goldsworthy’s “Hutton’s Roof” at the top of the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh’s Slavery Map, which details the addresses of slave owners from the 1800s.

Nicholas Hotham, head of external relations at Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “Opening up nominations for the 101st object gives the public a direct say in our historical trail through the city.

“Everyone has their own unique relationship with Scotland’s beautiful and fascinating capital, which is why we’re asking locals and tourists alike to share what objects, for them, define Edinburgh.

“Whether this is a little-known playpark swing that brings back fond memories of their childhood, a well-known landmark not already on the list or their favourite artefact from one of the many museums, we want to hear about it.”

And the city’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross has got the ball rolling with a nomination close to his heart.

A keen bowler and curler and long-standing member of Corstorphine Bowling club, he has put forward Bowling Green Close, a tiny alley off the Royal Mile.

He said: “Can you believe that until the 19th Century, almost every Laird’s house in and around Edinburgh had its own bowling green?

“They were also to be found in most of the Closes leading of the Royal Mile, including Bowling Green Close which leads to Gladstone Court.

“The game of bowls owes its existence to the Scots and this hidden street serves as a local reminder.

“Over 400 years ago the people of Edinburgh made an appeal to the Lord Provost, urging the city to create a dedicated area for recreation and bowling along Candlemaker Row. But unfortunately, this request was turned down.

“If I had been Lord Provost in 1552, I would have been all for it!”

The public will be invited to vote for their favourite from a list of eight objects curated from submissions, after nominations close on September 4.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk