When I heard about the death of Ian Walker my first thought was that if my life was a film, this would be the beginning of the ‘fundraise to save the Waverley montage’.
The film would end with the citizens of Edinburgh coming together to stop The Waverley being turned into another tourist-trap chain pub, saving the place that is arguably so important to the history of the Festival that so many of its neighbours cash in on.
It is difficult to know how this idea could become reality, because since the news broke any further information about the pub’s future has been scarce.
As such, I am writing in an attempt to register my feelings with the faceless Capital in whose hands its future currently lies.
The Waverley’s collection of Festival posters, which would be a huge loss in themselves, are a testament to its continuing support of the arts, not just during the Festival, but all year round.
I’ve been to gigs, performance art nights and stand-up shows there that were all brilliantly memorable, and the role the venue played in those events was unique and significant.
I’m not the only person for whom this place is important and definitely not the only person who would be devastated to see it go - or worse, taken over as part of an unsympathetic business venture.
Rather than have The Waverley Bar quietly taken away from us by the highest bidding pub chain, I would like to see it be taken over by the community. It could be run co-operatively and continue to be of relevance to the residents of Edinburgh, continue to support its grass-roots art and music scene.
I work in a pub and volunteer for an artist-run organisation, and can see how perfectly a co-operatively run Waverley Bar could span both scenes.
Given a chance, through a crowd-funding campaign it seems entirely achievable; I believe that there are enough people who would be in support of this to make it happen, so I hope this letter becomes the first shot of my ‘save the Waverley’ montage.
Timothea Armour, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh