Review of the Year: September - December

September saw the nation go to the polls to decide the Independence Referendum. Pic: David Cheskin/PA Wire
September saw the nation go to the polls to decide the Independence Referendum. Pic: David Cheskin/PA Wire
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Referendum fever grips the nation while there is justice at last for World’s End victims


The month of Scotland’s destiny. The eyes of the world were on Edinburgh as the country prepared for the most important vote in 300 years.

The polls predicted it would go right down to the wire, but in the end it was perhaps more comfortable for the No camp than expected. One thing was clear, however – the political landscape in Scotland had been changed forever.

In the wake of the result, First Minister Alex Salmond announced his resignation.

There were other things happening in September, though.

The Ryder Cup took place at Gleneagles featuring Dechmont’s Stephen Gallacher and ended in victory for Europe.

The city council unveiled its initial budget plans including hiking parking charges, care home fees and axing some community Christmas decorations. Ho ho ho.

The Evening News revealed a leaked report put the cost of fixing Edinburgh’s potholed roads at £260 million.

Also this month, a hunt was launched for missing Edinburgh University academic Fergus McInnes, who disappeared after flying to Switzerland for a conference. He remains missing.


Three senior directors lodged complaints against Lothian Buses chief executive Ian Craig citing his abrasive management style. An investigation ensued. Much more was to develop.

Staying with public transport and October saw the strange case of the disappearing bus stops in the night. The city council called in the police after stops were ripped up in an apparent dispute with Clear Channel which had lost the lucrative contract to provide and operate advertising on the shelters.

At last! October 18 was the date all technology fans in the Capital had been waiting for as the new Apple store finally opened its doors. True to form, queues appeared outside at stupid o’clock to be the first into the new shop.

The attack on Chinese takeaway owner Jie Yu shocked the community in Pilton this month.

West Calder’s Five Sisters Zoo launched a £150,000 bid to bring two lions rescued from a French circus to West Lothian.

Billy Connolly played to sell-out audiences at the Usher Hall.

Hospital food was put under the microscope again thanks to a particularly unappetising picture of what might have been corned beef hash being tweeted from the Western General.

The cost of saving the Capital’s iconic Ross Fountain was put at £1.5m, the ERI was put on alert for possible Ebola cases and Chris Hoy became a dad – much earlier than expected – when son Callum arrived 11 weeks early.

Edinburgh’s Young Fathers were the surprise winners of one of the most prestigious music awards on offer when they scooped the Mercury Music Prize.


After 37 years and 30 days, there was finally justice for Christine Eadie and Helen Scott.

Serial killer Angus Sinclair was convicted, the first under Scotland’s new double jeopardy powers. Sinclair, who will die in jail, was sentenced to 37 years.

More strife at Lothian Buses as chairwoman Ann Faulds, who had headed the investigation into Ian Craig, quit having demanded he go. He stayed. The city council parachuted in its own director and put transport leader Lesley Hinds on the board to try to get things back on track.

Back on the trams and a new bid to take it to Leith as originally envisaged – and much further in the future. A business case is in development, watch this space . . .

Alistair Darling, Edinburgh South West MP, who led the Better Together campaign during the referendum, announced he was to step down from the Commons.

Edinburgh’s historic Speculative Society, which has its roots in the Scottish Enlightenment, was put on notice that it would have to start admitting women or quit its plush Old College rooms.

Edinburgh’s tram inquiry, headed by Lord Hardie, was given tough new powers to compel witnesses to give evidence after some were somewhat uncooperative. The threat of six months in prison should do the trick.

Easter Road legend Pat Stanton was unveiled as heading up the new BuyHibs fan bid to take over the club. Plans were unveiled for a surfing adventure park in a Ratho quarry and Black Friday madness came to Edinburgh.


Will the tram inquiry get to the truth? Lord Hardie revealed he expected to have two million pieces of digital data, 200 boxes of documents and submissions from members of the public. No timescale has been revealed for a verdict.

The recently vacated St Paul’s church in Muirhouse was destroyed in a blaze.

Friends of tragic Liberton schoolgirl Keane Wallis-Bennett recorded a charity single in her memory which at one point outsold Taylor Swift on iTunes.

Jenson Button and Mika Hakkinen lit up Princes Street Gardens with a supercar spectacular as part of a campaign against drink-driving.

The Evening News launched its Christmas Appeal encouraging people to spread the word about the Shockingly Easy defibrillator drive in memory of Jamie Skinner.