John Gibson: ‘Grandad’ is taking a back seat

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The job’s been advertised since October but, so far, no takers. Bill Watt was the long-time lollipop man at the junction of the Dumbiedykes housing estate and Holyrood Road. “Grandad” to the pupils of the Royal Mile Primary School round the corner.

Illness last year forced Bill to take total retirement and for a while he was proper poorly. He’s at home locally and recovered.

Says Royal Mile headteacher Nicola Johnston: “Mr Watt was very popular with the children. We understand he’s much better now, enjoying full retirement.

“Also we believe the city council has had no response to the ad.”

Bill, featured in a Channel 4 documentary series, recalled the Egyptian tourists who photographed him, uniformed at the crossing. “They were fascinated by the British custom of the man using a stick to chase children across the road.”

Light fantastic

Marking the start of this momentous year, Saturday May 26. Momentous, that is, if you’re a member or fan of the Edinburgh Light Orchestra. It’s curtain up on the ELO’s 35th anniversary.

So it’s a big night at the Queen’s Hall and their main spokesperson, conductor James Beyer, can barely contain his excitement.

The programme has, as they say, something lightsome for everybody. From the soaps Coronation Street and Take the High Road to Gershwin and music from the Titanic. The special guest will be baritone Bruce Graham. Bruce can’t be bad. He’s a Watsonian.

Happy anniversary year, all. Tickets at the hall.