Celebration of Leith brings free screenings, performances and walking tours to Edinburgh's Port, tomorrow

Screenings of rare historical footage of Leith, live performances and a series of free walking tours are just some of the attractions of a diverse day of events being staged in the heart of Edinburgh's port tomorrow.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:28 pm
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 5:22 pm
Tracey Griffen and Coco​ will be leading ​a m​​ood boosting exercise class

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All roads lead to the Shore and surrounding areas, when a day of celebration of all things Leith sees a programme of free events hosted by Leith For Ever, a community-led project born during lockdown.

Barbara Kerr, the event’s co-producer, explains, "It’s a way of bringing the community together. This is the first time we have been able to hold an event since the start of the pandemic.”Attractions tomorrow, September 18, include screenings of rarely seen films of old Leith projected inside the port’s Custom House on Commercial Street, followed in the evening by outdoor showings of the archive film, Cinescapes: Redrawing Edinburgh.

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Before the outdoor screenings in the market square, local musical duo Dowally, who recorded the soundtrack for the film, will give a live performance at 7.15pm, at which time there will also be a chance to meet the filmmakers.

Leith-born writer Alistair Rutherford, who wrote the script for the film, says, "Previously if you wanted to see any of this footage you had to go into the archives and watch it on a little screen. Now to see it outside and on buildings is tremendous.”The 15 minute film has a particular emphasis on Leith, whose people strongly resisted the amalgamation with Edinburgh in 1920. Rutherford, adds, "This is our story and our history. The core of this affected people emotionally and it still does.”

Cinescapes: Redrawing Edinburgh will be screened at 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm and 9.30pm.

Earlier in the day, at the ​Custom Wharf Stage, the ​programme ​​will include a performance by ​the local ​Citadel Arts Group, a discussion with boxing coach Michael Stawpert, and an interview with Leith author, Millie Gray.

​The full timetable for the ​Custom Wharf ​S​tage​ is: ​1pm​,​ Ben McPherson MSP​,​ 1.15​pm,​ War poems from the Leith Observer​,​ 1.35​pm,​ Readings from the Leith Anthology​, ​1.55​pm,​ Leith Victoria Boxing Club​, ​2.15​pm,​ Citadel Arts Group​,​ 2.35​pm​, Phoenix Choir​, ​2.55​pm​, Millie Gray​, ​3.15​pm,​ Tracey Griffen and Coco​'s​ ​m​​ood boosting exercise​ and, ​at 3.35​pm​, ​the ​Hindu Mandir Traditional Hindu singing group​.​ The stage will be hosted by Jennie Walker, host of the Living Leith podcast.​

F​ree walking tours will ​also ​take place throughout the day, including a Trainspotting tour of Leith by Tim Bell, a whisky tour hosted by Kask Whisky and a presentation about the river by the Water of Leith Conservation Trust.Walking ​t​ours​ will take place at the following times:​​ ​Leith Whisky Trail​ at​ 10.30am and 2pm​, ​Trainspotting around the Shore ​at ​11am and 3pm, Invisible Cities: Alternative Leith​ at​ 12pm and 2.30pm​ and ​the Water of Leith​ tour at​ 12.15​pm. An interior tour of ​Custom House will take place on the hour, between ​11am ​and​ 3pm​. ​

​Finally, between 10am and 4pm, visit the ​market​ ​stalls​ on​ Dock Place where you will find ​organisations such as Leith Festival, Empty Kitchens Full Hearts, Leith Community Councils, Police Scotland, Leith Boys Brigade​ and ​Trams to Newhaven​ all represented.​

​It seems the port is the place to be tomorrow, let’s hope it lives up to its nickname of being ‘Sunny Leith’.

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