Remember When: Tune in to Capital’s buskers

Busker 'Bus Car Willie' playing the rubber bagpipes at The Mound in Edinburgh, July 1986.
Busker 'Bus Car Willie' playing the rubber bagpipes at The Mound in Edinburgh, July 1986.
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FANS say they are a vital part of the cultural melting point that is the Capital.

But the city’s buskers are facing growing criticism after a prominent critic and former museum boss threatened to quit his Grassmarket home of 30 years if the council don’t act over “nuisance” performers.

A busker plays the banjo for a long queue of people waiting to see the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition at the City Art Centre in February 1988.

A busker plays the banjo for a long queue of people waiting to see the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition at the City Art Centre in February 1988.

Julian Spalding, ex-director of Glasgow Museums, is due to meet with the city’s licensing leader next week to discuss his proposals to crack down on street musicians.

He has submitted proposals arguing for buskers to be licensed and suggesting some street musicians could even be auditioned if they want to play “designated sites” – as currently happens in London’s Tube system and the Paris Metro.

However, as our pictures show, buskers are often welcomed and appreciated.

Bus Car Willie was pictured on The Mound in July 1986 entertaining some happy children with his rubber bagpipes.

A busker playing the zither, with his dogs by his side, in Princes Street Edinburgh in September 1988.

A busker playing the zither, with his dogs by his side, in Princes Street Edinburgh in September 1988.

Stuart and Simon provided a musical background as train passengers emerged from Waverley station that same month.

Crowds queuing for the Gold of the Pharoahs exhibition at the City Art Centre in February 1988 were treated to a banjo-playing busker.

And a dog-owning busker with a zither was drawing attention in Princes Street in September that year.

Buskers in  Waverley Steps off Princes Street Edinburgh. Stuart and Simon busking with guitars at the top of Waverley Steps in July 1986.

Buskers in Waverley Steps off Princes Street Edinburgh. Stuart and Simon busking with guitars at the top of Waverley Steps in July 1986.