Stunning new mural celebrates the great and good of Edinburgh and Leith

A stunning new mural is greeting drinkers in a popular Leith beer garden.

By Gary Flockhart & David McLean
Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 9:49 am

The new, colourful artwork has been painted on a wall in the outdoor seating area at Teuchters Landing pub at the Shore.

The as-yet-unfinished piece, which was created by Edinburgh-based street artist Shona Hardie, depicts the history of Leith, and features some of the old port's most recognisable faces and places.

Among them are Leith legend ‘Cowboy Joe’, who is pictured in a carriage driven by a headless horseman.

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A well-known character around the Kirkgate and Great Junction Street area, the late Joe liked to entertain local kids by pointing his bottle nozzles at them, and shouting: “bang bang, you’re deid”.

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Elsewhere, there is a Newhaven fishwife, the lighthouse, and a Leith Mela figure.

Late race relations campaigner, Saroj Lal, who made history in the early 1970s by becoming Edinburgh’s first BAME primary school teacher also makes an appearance in the mural.

The mural has been designed by artist Shona Hardie.

The accomplishments of Mrs Lal, who sadly passed away last year, have recently been hailed by the Scottish Government and she has been honoured by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) who have launched an award in her name.

Also depicted on the colourful mural, which is being sponsored by Leith brewer Innis and Gunn, is an inter-war era police officer holding a wine glass – a nod to the famous tongue-twister ‘Leith Police Dismisseth Us’.

Prior to amalgamation with Edinburgh in 1920, Leith Burgh Police had just shy of 175 officers who would prompt drunkards to try and successfully repeat the tongue-twister. Fail to adequately spit out the phrase, and the inebriated individuals could face a night in the cells.

There is even a YLT (‘Young Leith Team’) sign on a barrel, acknowledging the notorious local gang that has become part of Leith folklore.

The mural tells the story of Leith and includes lots of local characters.

John Tindal, landlord at Teuchters Landing, told the Evening News: “It's been wonderful to see it taking shape and we're just delighted to have a new mural that really celebrates the story of Leith and Edinburgh as a whole.

“The response to it has been just fantastic – our customers love it.”

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Local race relations campaigner, the late Saroj Lal, makes an appearance next to a Newhaven fishwife.

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Leith legend Cowboy Joe features on the new mural.
The YLT logo appears on a barrel.