Looking back at 2013: What a summer

William and Kate with baby George. Picture: Getty
William and Kate with baby George. Picture: Getty
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MAY

Andy Murray fans watch the 2013 Wimbleson men's tennis final in Festival Square. Picture: TS

Andy Murray fans watch the 2013 Wimbleson men's tennis final in Festival Square. Picture: TS

WE said farewell to Arctic Convoy hero Jock Dempster, who died this month aged 85, just days before he had been due to wear his medal in public for the first time.

The veteran from Dunbar was laid to rest in a coffin draped in the merchant navy flag.

Senior councillor Norman Work raised a few eyebrows with a suggestion that the £1.60 hike in night cab fares could be handled by “having one less drink”.

The trams were a long way from completion, but could there really be plans to take them to Dalkeith? Yes, it seems, as land has been set aside for a spur which would take them past the ERI and out to Midlothian. Don’t hold your breath, however.

Children enjoying the good weather. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Children enjoying the good weather. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Who could forget the story of Larry the lamb, who miraculously survived a high-speed motorway journey trapped on the grill of a Renault Clio? The inspired headline in that day’s Evening News: “Baa Baa Voom!”

A dramatic siege in a chemist shop on the Royal Mile saw staff and customers locked inside and held at knifepoint for three hours in a tense stand-off. It was eventually brought to an end safely when police entered through a rear door and used a taser to detain the suspect.

The much-loved Engine Shed project, which helps train young people with learning disabilities, was revealed to be facing a devastating cut to its funding, putting the whole service at risk. A Save Our Shed campaign was quickly formed.

The sudden disappearance of Arthur Williams, a rough sleeper in Leith, who had become known as Rastatramp raised concern locally. It later emerged the popular figure was safe and well, but had been taken to the ERI for treatment.

Lawrie Reilly. Picture: Jane Barlow

Lawrie Reilly. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hibs faced Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final, but despite a brave display again collected the runners-up medals. There was one winner in Leith, however, as Jamey Bowers was named the new Miss Scotland.

A shooting in Willowbrae, which left one man dead and one injured brought the month to a dramatic conclusion.

JUNE

Margaret Paterson, dubbed Madam Moneybags, and her ex-lover Robert Munro, both 61, were found guilty of operating a brothel and a nationwide escort sex business from a flat in the West End. The Evening News reported the case, including the claims of the girls who worked there over several pages as the evidence could not be revealed until after conviction.

There was fury at a 26 per cent pay rise for Lothian Buses’ chief executive Ian Craig. It emerged he had been given a 40 per cent bonus of £80,000 on top of his £183,000 salary, taking his total package to £265,000. The drivers – who earn around £25,000 – had to settle for a rise of around two per cent.

As Hearts entered administration, fans once again rallied round by snapping up season tickets to keep the club alive.

The Evening News Dish the Dirt campaign against dog fouling was boosted with the news that 12 extra wardens had been recruited to the city’s environmental team to patrol some of the worst affected streets.

And this month saw the Evening News win its campaign to preserve Edinburgh’s First World War training trenches as it was announced restoration work would be carried out on the site at Dreghorn Woods.

We had the news first that the new Forth bridge would be named the Queensferry Crossing; the Crown Office announced it would be appealing the sentence handed down to Gary McCourt over the death of cyclist Audrey Fyfe, and a body was discovered on Corstorphine Hill, sparking a major police investigation.

JULY

The nation stopped and held its breath . . . Andy Murray didn’t disappoint. The Scot ended a 77-year wait for a British winner in the men’s singles at Wimbledon with a spectacular straight sets win, which was watched by 3000 on the big screen in Festival Square.

The Lothians, meanwhile, was sweltering in temperatures hotter than Tenerife and Crete – but it wasn’t all good news. As the mercury soared to 28C, rail travellers found themselves stuck on trains “like ovens” as the heat caused major disruption.

A horrific accident on the A9 in the Highlands claimed the life of an Edinburgh mother and daughter this month.

Alex Salmond sparked a debate by declaring he wouldn’t be going to the Open at Muirfield because of its men-only rules.

City council chief executive Sue Bruce was under fire after taking on a second job with energy firm SSE and pocketing £32,000 of shares. And the Evening News revealed how almost half of the city’s saunas faced closure under a new police crackdown.

The Duchess of Cambridge sparked royal baby fever on July 22. The arrival of Prince George was celebrated across the country, with Lord Provost Donald Wilson saying he was looking forward to the future King’s first visit to the Capital.

The last of Hibs’ legendary Famous Five line-up passed away this month. Lawrie Reilly, hailed one of the best Scotland players ever, died at the age of 84, sparking calls for a permanent memorial.

AUGUST

Question: Where is the worst place in Edinburgh to take a nap in the sun if you are a tram worker? Answer: sprawled over a section of unfinished track. We featured the picture of the snoozing workers on the front page along with the predictable reaction.

The shocking deaths of a couple in the Scotsman Hotel sparked a major chemical alert. It later emerged the tragic Russian couple had died in a suicide pact.

A major fire ripped through the TGI Friday’s restaurant on Castle Street, with flames shooting 30ft into the air.

Edinburgh mourned the loss of one of its most respected politicians with the death of former Tory leader David McLetchie.

There was fevered speculation at Edinburgh Zoo about the imminent arrival of a panda cub. It was thought in August that Tian Tian may give birth within weeks. Alas, it was not to be. There’s always next year.

And the Evening News highlighted the problem of smoking around the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. We pictured staff and visitors puffing away yards from wards.

What would you say if a chippie charged you for ketchup, when offering Edinburgh’s favourite salt and sauce for free? Glasgow man Tony Winters said it was “racism”, complained to the council and so “saucegate” was born.