Comment: Would you recognise a Leith Baldie?

Do you know what a Leith Baldie used to be?

Saturday, 29th October 2016, 3:29 pm
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 8:55 am
Ex-cabby Derek Carroll has invented a board game celebrating Edinburgh's rich heritage

If you were walking down the street and you heard someone shout that out today, you wouldn’t have to turn around to know what the head of the person behind you looked like. But if you know that it was a 19th century term of a type of fishing boat then you have probably already read our story on page three today. Either that or you are a real social history buff.

Cabby Alan Moir who tested out the new Taxi board game can be forgiven for not knowing that – after all he knew everything else we threw at him in an impromptu test of his local knowledge.

The game – inspired by creator Derek Carroll’s 12 years working as a taxi driver in the Capital – is a great fun way of exploring the history and folklore of the city. It’s another reminder of just how rich our heritage is in the Capital. It is not just the famous stories of the Castle, Flodden Wall, Greyfriars Bobby and Mary Queen of Scots, and so on. This is a city with a story – quite literally – around every corner.

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Even the street names in many parts of the city offer an intriguing peek into our past. Whale Brae with its echoes of the city’s past as a busy whaling port is just one of those that rewards a little inquiry. The origins of Cockburn Street in the Old Town have an equally colourful explanation, although one that relates to its past as a red light district and are not fit to be described in a family newspaper. There are many other examples, too numerous to mention here.

Then think of the plaques – the blue ones, the brass ones and all the others – that you pass every day when you walk any distance through many parts of Edinburgh. Try going on one of your usual walks and keeping your eyes peeled, chances are you will spot one you hadn’t noticed or had forgotten about. This is a city that is always worth exploring.