Contingency plans to keep soaked city events in action

Taste of Edinburgh chefs Mary Contini, Paul Whitecross, Tony Sarton, Mark Greenway and Simon Lannon
Taste of Edinburgh chefs Mary Contini, Paul Whitecross, Tony Sarton, Mark Greenway and Simon Lannon
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OPERATION brolly and wellies is well under way.

With no end in sight to the constant rain and dreary drizzle, organisers of major events across the Capital are being forced to put contingency plans into place to ensure the Capital’s summer is not a complete washout.

Extra walkways are to be laid on the sodden Meadows to prevent the popular Taste of Edinburgh festival, which starts on Friday, becoming a mudbath while visitors are being advised to wear their wellies.

Even the Queen has been affected, with guests to the annual garden party advised to take the bus because of a waterlogged car park.

Those taking part in the Royal Mile parade on Thursday, meanwhile, will just have to grin and bear it along with spectators, with no special arrangements because of the downpour. Pipe bands will lead the march to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year following the Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral, where Prince William will be installed as a Knight of the Thistle.

Thousands of revellers heading to T in the Park this weekend are being advised to come dressed for the conditions and plan their journeys in advance.

Forecasters say July will continue as June ended with rain, rain and more rain. Last month, the Capital had more than 250 per cent of the average June rainfall, and Princes Street Gardens were again under water yesterday.

On the Meadows, organisers of the Taste of Edinburgh event advised people to wear wellies, but said they were making preparations to ensure the event was not spoiled. Temporary roadways will be built to allow vehicles access, and pedestrian walkways will also be built to protect the ground.

A spokeswoman said: “We’ve been in constant contact with the Meadows park officer and Edinburgh City Council about the effects of the rain and they’ve been providing guidance throughout. Like any event organiser running an outdoor event in Scotland, we plan for wet weather and have taken a number of extra precautions to protect the ground, including putting in temporary roadway for production traffic and additional pedestrian track way.”

Police issued a warning to those travelling to the garden party after land surrounding Holyrood became saturated with rain.

A police spokesman said: “We are supporting the royal household by looking at alternatives for their guests but our message to those attending is consider using public transport or arrange for someone to drop you off.

“The normal parking area is out of commission due to the ground being saturated after days of heavy rain and only the area set aside for disabled parking will be available.”

The T in the Park site is said to be in “good condition” ahead of the first campers arriving on Thursday.

A spokeswoman said: “We plan ahead in close consultancy with the Met Office so we are prepared on site to deal with all weather conditions should the need arise. As always, we ask people to bring suitable clothing for all eventualities – whether that be rain or shine.”


THE Met Office said the Capital could expect more rain over the next week.

Today it is expected to be cloudy with rain at first but brighter later.

More rain is forecast for early tomorrow, while conditions will stay showery on Thursday and Friday with a risk of thunder.

Saturday will be mainly dry with some sunshine, but feeling cool in the steady north-east winds.

June washout was one of dullest in years

IT’S official – last month was one of the dullest Junes on record, with just 119.2 hours sunshine, only slightly less miserable than 1987 when a record low of 115.4 hours was recorded.

The News last week revealed how Edinburgh had been washed out by more than 250 per cent of its average rainfall for June.

The UK also experienced the coolest June since 1991, with average temperatures of 12.3C (54F).

“Movements in the track of the jet stream, a narrow band of fast-flowing westerly winds high in the atmosphere, have contributed to the weather we have seen,” a Met Office spokesman said.

Many areas saw extremely high rainfall, with 83 out of 237 observation sites seeing records for rain broken. The Met Office said some sites had very short recording histories. However, others have been going for much longer, such as Otterbourne in Hampshire, which has been operating for 119 years.