A PENSIONER described as the champion of Corstorphine Hill who helped scupper a planned housing development by Edinburgh Zoo has died.
Eddie Price, a former British Airways worker and the chairman of the Friends of Corstorphine Hill, passed away at the age of 71 following a short illness.
During his time with the organisation, he was instrumental in fighting the controversial zoo plans and helped restore the area’s historic walled garden, turning it into an award-winning community attraction that is now used on a daily basis.
Corstorphine and Murrayfield councillor Paul Edie, who helped Mr Price set up the friends group, was among those to pay tribute.
“Eddie had served as the chair of the Friends of Corstorphine Hill since we set it up nearly 12 years ago,” he said.
“From day one he took charge and over the years the group grew to become one of the largest and most respected conservation groups in the city.
“All of this was done under Eddie’s leadership. Right from the start he was in the driving seat. “
He added: “When East of Scotland Water decided they wanted to build giant water tanks on the Meadow, off Clermiston Road, Eddie led the charge against it.
“In battling the zoo proposals to build on greenbelt and the nature reserve, Eddie was there leading from the front.
“Gregarious is such a good word to describe Eddie. He was a generous and warm-hearted man who could never do enough for you. Passionate about the causes he believed in – he was so committed to them.
“Corstorphine has lost a great champion and protector of our open spaces.” Mr Price was born in Leith, although his family moved to Sighthill when he was still a child and he attended Tynecastle High.
Despite being an ardent Hearts fan, friends say that he was never precious and was happy to attend Easter Road for games if there was likely to be a good game of football.
After leaving school he went to work for British Airways at Edinburgh Airport as a member of the ground staff.
He was also known for his charity work, organising huge fundraising barn dances on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with the money used to fund holidays for terminally ill children.
Mr Price even convinced colleagues at the airline to give up their holiday time to accompany the children.
He took early retirement in 1998, aged 58, and soon became involved with establishing the Friends of Corstorphine Hill, after attending a meeting arranged by Mr Edie.
As chairman of the group, he helped to expand its membership and worked to improve the community area, repairing pathways and picking up litter.
The group was also involved in the restoration of a historic walled garden.
Fellow group member Eddie MacLennan said: “Eddie was such a great inspiration, and he was always thinking ahead. While others might be looking at what we were doing that day, he was always planning for what we needed to do to improve things even more.
“He was so happy working on the walled garden, and he really was the driving force behind it.”
Mr Price is survived by his wife Margaret, two children and three grandchildren.