Susan Morrison: Wave goodbye to Maxwell the runaway blimp

A Scottie dog mascot waves goodbye at the closing ceremony of the 1986 Commonwealth Games at Meadowbank
A Scottie dog mascot waves goodbye at the closing ceremony of the 1986 Commonwealth Games at Meadowbank
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Drove past Meadowbank last week, sitting shuttered and silent, forlornly waiting for the bulldozer and the wrecking ball.

It was never a bonny thing, was it? In my head it’s inextricably linked with alarming footage of Robert Maxwell wobbling along the track during the 1986 Commonwealth Games. Mr Maxwell was many things, most of them quite unpleasant, but a honed-and-toned track star he was not.

Robert Maxwell, the self-styled 'Saviour of the Games' makes a speech at the closing ceremony

Robert Maxwell, the self-styled 'Saviour of the Games' makes a speech at the closing ceremony

He rumbled along the running track like a sort of runaway blimp trying to take off. I’ve seen it in slow motion. It looks a bit like a lava lamp. It’s strangely calming.

Perhaps it was finally time for the old girl to go. A couple of years ago, I met a structural engineer who told me he wouldn’t so much as sneeze inside the place.

It was a good place for the community, and its loss will be keenly felt. There was a great programme of classes from taekwondo to Bodypump. They were well attended, by all accounts. Where will those folk go now, eh?

Well, I’ll tell you. They fetch up at my gym, the Leith Victoria Swim Centre. The best fitness centre in the city, in my book.

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This may come as a shock to some, but I am by way of being a bit of a gym bunny. I know. I make Robert Maxwell look like David Beckham. I rarely meet a calorie I don’t like. My body is beach ready, if that beach is Kincardine mudflats and the body that of a whale that took a wrong turning somewhere about the Bass Rock.

All that said, I love my Bodypump classes, and I’m something of a regular. For those who don’t know, it’s a class where you lift weights in time to music. Quite fast music, obviously.

You set up weights in your space, and by jingo, that is your space. I’m always at the back. That is my space. Lorna is next to me. That is her space. We’ve got Pam a wee bit along. That’s her space. There is balance to the universe.

Then they closed Meadowbank and fellow bodypumpers (no sniggering at the back there, please, we’re all grown ups here. Well, not me, obviously) joined us.

They set their stuff up in our spaces. Tension was high. Muttering was heard. Turf wars were breaking out.

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All’s well now in the gym. The old birds like me, Lorna and Pam squawked a bit and rattled our tail feathers, but the newcomers soon became part of the family, and taken under our wings. Honestly, David Attenborough would have a field day with the behaviour at the workout class.

Our new friends have their own special places now. So, if anyone else comes in and sets up weights there, we will all glare at them in solidarity.

I remember Gonks

Does anyone remember Gonks? Weird little plastic toys that looked like small cavemen with wild bushy hair. Much beloved of office workers for some reason, well, BT ones at any rate. You could even get tiny ones to put on the end of pencils. I won’t get graphic about where the pencil got shoved, but it still makes me wince to this day.