Memorial plan on Sean’s home turf

Sir Sean Connery walking through Fountainbridge with his wife Micheline last year
Sir Sean Connery walking through Fountainbridge with his wife Micheline last year
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A CELEBRATION of the life and work of film legend Sir Sean Connery would be created outside the site of the former Edinburgh housing estate that he grow up in, under plans unveiled today.

A statue and information about his career are among the options being considered by the developer behind the regeneration of the former Fountain Brewery site at Fountainbridge.

It is hoped the plan to create a new Sir Sean “destination” could see visitors flocking to the site from around the world to capture a bit of the history of one of the UK’s best-known actors.

The proposals have been welcomed by national tourist chiefs, who said it is an “exciting idea” to celebrate a “son of the city”.

Robin Blacklock, senior development manager at Grosvenor, one of the developers of the new Springside scheme, said: “Sir Sean’s birthplace in Fountainbridge provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his achievements and put the area on the tourist map of Edinburgh, Scotland and the world.

“Sir Sean visited the area last year and unveiled a plaque in his honour, adjacent to the area where he was born. We are now hoping to build on this by exploring further opportunities to create a viable destination for Connery fans to visit. We are currently in discussions with VisitScotland to discuss our ideas, which include information boards and public art.

“It is a very exciting project which will give Fountainbridge a huge impetus as part of the area’s overall transformation as a vibrant city centre quarter. We would of course consult with Sir Sean at an appropriate juncture.”

Sir Sean’s childhood home was located at 176 Fountainbridge, which was subsequently condemned and demolished in the 1960s by the expanding Scottish and Newcastle brewery operation, which has now become Springside.

The Bond star visited the site of his former home during a trip to Edinburgh last year and hailed the transformation of the area. He spoke of how he looked forward to the remainder of the old brewery being demolished.

A coffee shop has already been created in the ground floor of the former St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Society building where Sir Sean once worked as a milkman.

At the age of 13, his early beat covered Gardner’s Crescent, Fountainbridge and Morrison Street, and he earned 21 shillings a week – equivalent to £1.05.

He left the area in 1948 to join the navy – then went on to enjoy one of the most successful careers of any British actor.

Manuela Calchini, regional director for VisitScotland, said: “An attraction celebrating Sean Connery as a son of the city sounds an exciting idea and we look forward to more dialogue about this with the relevant partners.”

mblackley@edinburghnews.com

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