ALEXANDER McCall Smith has written an exclusive short story for walkers taking part in a ten-mile night walk to raise money for a cancer charity.
The story called Maggie’s Line, is about an imagined Edinburgh underground and features characters from his world-famous 44 Scotland Street books and will be presented to walkers as a memento of the evening.
The Edinburgh-based author will lead the countdown for hundreds of walkers at the start if the first Maggie’s Cultural Crawl Edinburgh on 25 September.
McCall Smith said: “Maggie’s Culture Crawl Edinburgh provided the perfect inspiration for a short story with the event venues, and indeed the remarkable city itself, proving to be worthy material for a journey round a mythical Edinburgh Underground.
“I hope the story now inspires the intrepid Culture Crawlers on their night time adventure. I hope too, that it underlines the help they are providing to a charity which offers such crucial support for people with cancer as well as for their family and friends.”
The walk, sponsored by Brodies LLP, gives walkers out-of-hours access to some of Edinburgh’s well-known landmarks and best-kept secrets.
The tour includes locations across the capital such as the Royal Mile, law courts at Parliament House, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Fettes College and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Online registration for the event is open until 23 September.
People can register on the night, but only cash payments will be accepted.
The event is inspired by the important role art and design play in Maggie’s Centres and the programme of support that they offer – in the buildings and gardens and the art inside the Centres, as well as in the creative writing and art classes which are part of the programme of support delivered by Maggie’s professional staff.
Andrew Anderson, centre head of Maggie’s Edinburgh, who will be attending the event, said: “After ten years of spectacular events in London it’s wonderful to have a Maggie’s Culture Crawl taking place right here, taking in the sights and cultural gems of Edinburgh.
“As a charity Maggie’s Edinburgh relies on donations to continue to develop our unique, high quality programme of support. I really hope the local community gets behind the event to help us support as many people affected by cancer as possible, as well as their family and friends, across the Lothians.”
The first Maggie’s was opened at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh in 1996 and was based on ideas by the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, who died from the disease in 1995 but believed people should not “lose the joy of living in fear of dying”.
There are now 17 Maggie centres at major NHS cancer hospitals in the UK, and one in Hong Kong.
Maggie’s centres offer a unique environment, designed by some of the most significant and original architects in the world.
All are built with an appreciation of how environment can affect wellbeing.