Heap of good reasons to celebrate the city’s 900th anniversary - Susan Dalgety

St Giles Cathedral Moderator George Whyte celebrates the 900th anniversary of the church and citySt Giles Cathedral Moderator George Whyte celebrates the 900th anniversary of the church and city
St Giles Cathedral Moderator George Whyte celebrates the 900th anniversary of the church and city
​I have never met Councillor Dan Heap and to be honest I am not sure I want to. The Scottish Green councillor for Sighthill and Gorgie sounds like a right killjoy.

At a recent meeting to discuss the arrangements for Edinburgh’s 900th birthday party, Cllr Heap warned that the council shouldn’t be spending any money on a “knees-up” to mark this special occasion.

“We can’t be having a party in the City Chambers or whatever to celebrate this,” he intoned, in the best spirit of Ebeneezer Scrooge. God forbid indeed that the city council cracks open a few bottles of cheap white wine to toast this momentous anniversary.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Whatever next? If those profligate ne’er do wells on the city council get their way, next thing we know one of them will suggest an annual international arts festival and goodness knows where that will end. Celebrating Hogmanay with a street party no doubt.

Puritans like Dan Heap make my blood boil. I bet he celebrates family moments such as significant birthdays. Get-togethers are an important part of family life, even if it is just a cup of tea and slice of cake to mark granny’s 70th – though I am hoping for vintage champagne at mine.

And a city as ancient as Edinburgh is just one big rumbustious extended family, full of stories of villains and heroes, tragedy and moments of great joy.

Of course the city council should be spending money on a party to mark 900 years of civic pride. I can’t think of a better use of public money than inviting representatives from our city’s diverse communities, from business and the arts, our universities, yes even our parliament, to join together to honour Auld Reekie.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The money spent on a party wouldn’t make a dent in the council’s budget. It wouldn’t pay for another teacher or fill in any potholes. It wouldn’t buy more than a few centimetres of yet another cycle lane.

And Edinburgh’s 900th birthday is not an “administrative” event as the Greens have suggested. It is a significant milestone in the life of one of Europe’s most historically important cities which surely deserves a party.

And Cllr Heap, on the night, you can always say you’re washing your hair.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.