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The 1945 blast which shook central Edinburgh

ON THE night of 24 August 1945 the centre of Edinburgh was rocked by a colossal explosion which tore up 120 yards of Queen Street.

People & Places 5
The National Savings Bank at 150 Boydstone Road being demolished. Picture: John Devlin.

Fond farewell as landmark Cowglen savings bank demolished

IT PROVIDED generations of families in west central Scotland with steady employment and a bright career path, but Glasgow’s landmark National Savings & Investments Bank in Cowglen will soon be gone for good.

News 5
The former Ramsay Tecnical College building on Inchview Terrace. Picture: Bill Henry/TSPL

When the army took over Charles’ Portobello chocolate factory

WHEN successful Galashiels cloth merchant Charles Schulze decided to open Scotland’s first continental chocolate factory in Portobello, it should have been a triumph. But within just a few short years the venture would quickly melt into a tragic case of wrong time, wrong place.

People & Places 2
Madame Doubtfire outside her shop in 1973. Picture: Jane Glover

How Mrs Doubtfire was based on a Stockbridge shopkeeper

GROWING up in the 1990s, I was well acquainted with the Hollywood box office hit about a cross-dressing, half-Scottish nanny played by the sorely-missed Robin Williams.

News 11
Nirvana play in Edinburgh in 1991. Picture: Copyright Mary Boon.

Memories of Edinburgh’s most legendary gigs

THERE was a time when the city’s music aficionados didn’t have to stray too far to see their heroes.

News 22
Portrait of 
James VI King of Scotland about 1574. Picture: National Galleries of Scotland

The Prince and the imposter: was King James VI switched at birth?

JAMES VI and I, the Stuart king who ruled over all of Britain, uniting the crowns for the first time in history. But some say he wasn’t really a Stuart at all.

News 5
The interior of Drumsheugh Baths showing the 70ft pool. Picture: Kate Chandler

A trip back in time: Edinburgh’s exclusive Victorian baths

EDINBURGH’S luxurious Drumsheugh swimming baths have been a popular hotspot for well-heeled individuals for well over a century.

People & Places 4
Anderston Cross in the 1960s. Picture: TSPL

Areas of Glasgow lost to the M8

THE M8 provides a vital arterial link for the people and businesses of Central Scotland, but its construction left a deep scar on the nation’s largest city which has never fully healed.

News 13
The main hall for the 1886 International Exhibition filled half of the Meadows. Picture: Contributed

Surviving relics of the 1886 Edinburgh International Exhibition

MORE than 130 years since its closing night, traces of the Edinburgh International Exhibition of 1886 are easy to find if you know where to look.

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The Ben Nevis Observatory Hotel operated from 1885-1916. Picture: The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection

The hotel that once stood on the summit of Ben Nevis

STANDING at over 4,400 feet above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, and one of the last places in the country you’d expect to enjoy formal dinner, bed and breakfast.

News 4
Neil Guthrie's recreations of iconic scenes from the film Trainspotting have taken the internet by storm.

Trainspotting ‘then and now’ series proves online hit

A SERIES of innovative then and now photos recreating iconic scenes from the original Trainspotting film has gone down a storm on social media.

News 2
Scotland fans show their support versus Georgia. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The origins of Scotland’s most popular football chants

WITH melodies pinched from operas, church hymns, folk songs, nursery rhymes, and patriotic Cuban anthems about elderly peasant women from Guantanamo, the origins of Scotland’s favourite terrace chants are as diverse as they are fascinating.

People & Places 11
19th century view of Edinburgh showing Calton Jail in the foreground. Picture: Contributed

Calton Jail’s most daring escapes

IT WAS once described as “the poorhouse of all prisons, with the cold chill of a grim fortress”. No wonder then, that so many risked life, limb and future freedom escaping Edinburgh’s notorious Calton Jail.

News 1
Bessie Watson, aged 9, dressed for the Womens Franchise Procession and Demonstration in October 1909. Picture: The People's Story, Edinburgh Museums & Galleries

The incredible story of Bessie Watson: the youngest suffragette

SHE WAS the girl piper who joined the suffragette movement at its peak and attracted the attention of some of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.

People & Places 1
The 'Inner Ring Road' at Port Dundas pictured in 1972. Signage displaying the Ring Road was still present well into the 1990s. Picture: Stuart Baird/www.glasgows-motorways.co.uk

Glasgow’s unbuilt Inner Ring Road

IT WAS Glasgow’s most ambitious engineering project since the introduction of the railways, cutting the city in two and providing a vital link between east and west.

News 6
The famous opening scene features Renton and Spud running down Princes Street after stealing goods from John Menzies. Picture: Film4.

Five Trainspotting locations which have changed beyond recognition

IRVINE Welsh’s Trainspotting with its mean streets, drug-ridden council estates, and dodgy toilets showed the world a gritty side of Scotland’s capital they had never seen before.

News 4
Bill and Helen Teviotdale, owners of Casey's sweet shop on St Mary's Street, stand outside their shop in 2002. Picture: Rob McDougall/TSPL

Edinburgh’s lost sweet shops remembered by city’s residents

CHOOSE sweets, choose acid drops, choose jelly babies, choose a really big gobstopper. Choose sherbert dabs, kola kubes, parma violets, Edinburgh rock and liquorice straps in a wee paper bag.

News 11
Santa arrived on the Fair Isle by plane on Christmas Eve 1937. Picture: fairisleghosts.com

On Christmas Eve 1937: Santa Claus flies by plane to the Fair Isle

WITH his sleigh presumably sat in the garage, Santa was determined not to disappoint the children of the Fair Isle on Christmas Eve 1937 - travelling to the remote settlement by plane instead.

People & Places 3
Leckie's coal depot at St Leonards. Picture: Ron Leckie

Memories of Leckie & Sons: the Edinburgh coal merchants

When the weather outside was frightful they were the capital’s angels with dirty faces – the coal men who put the reek in Auld Reekie and the colour into people’s cheeks.

People & Places
Meeting Santa at his grotto is long-standing Christmas tradition across the world, but did it all start in Edinburgh? Picture: TSPL

Can Edinburgh claim the world’s first Santa’s Grotto?

ACCORDING to numerous sources the “world’s first Santa’s Grotto” appeared at Lewis’s Bon Marche department store in Liverpool, laying the foundations for a cherished Christmas tradition which would be copied around the globe - but is this really accurate?

People & Places
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