Remember when: We follow the leaders

French President Francois Mitterand visits Edinburgh Castle in 1992. Picture: Johnston Press
French President Francois Mitterand visits Edinburgh Castle in 1992. Picture: Johnston Press
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IT came as something of a surprise to passengers at Waverley Station back in October 1942 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill stepped on to the platform.

With little fanfare or fuss, the leading politician made – for obvious wartime reasons – a low key arrival in the Capital, where he was to attend a ceremony at the Usher Hall to be granted Freedom of the City. As word spread of his presence in Edinburgh, shops and business rushed to hang out flags in his honour as he was taken to the Castle by car to meet more than 500 members of the Edinburgh Civil Defence services, as pictured here.

Helmut Kohl on North Bridge. Picture: Johnston Press

Helmut Kohl on North Bridge. Picture: Johnston Press

It is unlikely that former US President Bill Clinton will have made his arrival to the city this week in such a modest way. But as he delivered the keynote speech at the Scottish Business Awards last night at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, he joined a long line of leading political figures to have stepped foot on Capital soil, receiving a warm welcome from locals and visitors alike.

Such a welcome was given to Nelson Mandela when he arrived in Edinburgh in October 1997 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, hosted by the Capital. Pictured here with then Lord Provost Eric Milligan at the Caledonian Hotel, he thanked the people of Edinburgh for their contribution to his struggle for liberty as he was granted Freedom of the City.

In December 1993, it was the turn of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to arrive in a windswept Edinburgh. Owing to a delay with their flight, Mr Gorbachev and his wife Raisa were 25 minutes late for a reception at Bute House.