While boxing is sometimes known as a “gentleman’s sport”, it appears there are some residents of Edinburgh’s West End who beg to differ.
Bradley Welsh, who runs free boxing classes for some of the city’s disadvantaged children, told the Evening News he was surprised to find a note attached to his van telling him his vehicle was “lowering the tone of the area”.
He received the note after parking the van legally outside a £1 million property on Drumsheugh Place.
The authors of the note, “Brian and Bill”, also took umbrage with Mr Welsh’s trailer. They advised him to “keep it for the IND estate, not the Newtown [sic]”.
The trailer promotes Helping Hands – the charity group with whom Mr Welsh volunteers. However, the vehicle’s main purpose is to transport essential equipment used in the charity’s sport programmes.
Mr Welsh, who also lives in the area, shared his disbelief and a picture of the note on Helping Hands’ Facebook page, writing: “After 6 weeks of relentless work... It’s always nice to be reminded that we are doing good.
“We have offered to help #BRIANandBILL buy a Castle with private grounds to keep the peasants out of sight. Sometimes I just shake my head.”
The van is used for a community initiative that offers structured workshops in football and boxing fitness run by trained coaches to children aged eight to 16.
The popular sessions have attracted 3,600 children from deprived areas over a six-week period during the summer holidays and are partly funded by the likes of Social Bite, Boxing Scotland and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.
In 2017, Mr Welsh secured a role in Trainspotting: T2, thanks to a successful Guinness World Record attempt that saw him spar with 360 people in succession, including director Danny Boyle.
The boxer’s famous namesake and Trainspotting author responded humorously to the note, saying: “rumours I’m Brian are totally unfounded. Irvine Welsh (aka Bill)”.
Many hit out at the note on social media. There were even calls for buskers to descend upon the property in protest.
Christopher Patton suggested more of the same: “Just incase [sic] anyone in the trades wondering where’s a good place to park their van up for the weekend...”
Mr Welsh highlighted Edinburgh’s long-documented social disparity, saying: “I feel it’s a representation of where we are as a society – that there is a certain divide between people that feel they have the self-entitlement to act in such a way, and the people that we’re representing.”
Welsh said “the last thing” he wanted to do was upset anyone.
He said he had previously moved the trailer at the request of an elderly resident, whom he claimed had complained she could not see the garden.
He ridiculed the idea the trailer was parked to advertise their charity services in the affluent West End.
“It means absolutely nothing to me,” Welsh said, speaking of the inflammatory note.
“I’m committed to making a positive difference to the kids in Edinburgh.”