Leaders: ‘A splash of colour could work wonders’

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How many people double-checked their diaries after reading about plans to turn cobbles on the Royal Mile orange?

No, April Fool’s Day hasn’t arrived early. It’s a serious idea and one with the weight of history on its side.

Around 200 years ago, experts believe, the granite cobbles, or setts, were not the dull grey that we think of today. Orange was apparently the order of the day.

It might seem odd – bizarre even – to modern eyes, but maybe our forebearers were on the right track.

Let’s be honest, the Royal Mile can be a little dark and dreary, especially on a dreich February morning. All those tall, grey buildings block out the natural light, and don’t create any sunshine of their own.

Wouldn’t the Canongate be a lot more welcoming if it basked in a golden hue? It would be a great point of interest for all those visitors, who, after all, come to see the Royal Mile for its historic 
authenticity.

Besides, when Historic Scotland first announced that the renovated Great Hall at Stirling Castle would be golden yellow, there was widespread bemusement. Yet that is the historically accurate colour of the limewash used to coat the castle’s walls, and today it is accepted without a second thought as a bright spot on the city 
skyline.

A splash of colour could work wonders for perhaps the most unloved stretch of our most historic street.

Jumping to it

Talking of a golden glow, Tom Daley doesn’t seem to have lost any of his.

The teenager’s TV show, Splash!, may have been panned by the critics, but Tom is having the last laugh.

Not only did the 18-year-old former world champion’s “anyone can dive” reality show attract impressive audiences of 5.6 million viewers, he seems to have inspired a new generation to take up his sport.

The Commonwealth Pool is being besieged by sporty youngsters keen to step into his golden Speedos.

Isn’t this what we all had in mind when we talked about an 
Olympic legacy? Hundreds of young people keen to throw themselves into sport after watching one of their heroes in action.

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