John Gibson: A Weegie’s in charge on George St

Graeme Barclay, manager at the George Hotel. Picture: comp

Graeme Barclay, manager at the George Hotel. Picture: comp

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To die for. The job he has always wanted. And now, by God, he’s got it! Graeme Barclay has been installed as general manager of the George Hotel.

Graeme’s been there and done it. Has the T-shirts to prove it. All as GM. Two stints in Aberdeen, Reading, Ballater, Selfridges in London and he arrived this month direct from running the five-star St David’s in Cardiff.

“I’m no stranger to Edinburgh. My first full-time job in hotels was here at the Crest in Queensferry Road in 1985.

“Besides, I’ve Scottish associations in that I was born and brought up in Barrhead, near enough a Weegie, as is my wife, product of Johnstone in Renfrewshire.”

Lorraine’s also in the business. She’s a housekeeper. That’s how they met. She’ll be coming up from Cardiff and they’ll settle on Edinburgh’s fringe.

Meantime, Graeme, 46, has plenty on his plate after a 
£21 million spend at the George these past eight years, 249 rooms and 200 staff. “This is the highlight of my career, an honour and privilege to be in charge,” he froths.

I can well understand his elation, coming from a Glaswegian.

Little to cheer

Saw it with my own eyes, I swear, on the front page of a national newspaper, the headline “Scots drink more alcohol than the English”.

Well, who would have guessed? It’s a sobering thought and we should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves.