Australian company Elders IXL, were planning a merger with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries in 1988. S&N employees at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh celebrate the news that the bid had failed in March 1989.

These 15 photos will transport you back to Edinburgh in 1988

With the release of The Proclaimers’ second album, 1988 was the year that sunny Leith was put on the map forevermore.

By David McLean
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:46 pm

Containing hits I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and Letter From America, Sunshine on Leith was the album that propelled brothers Craig and Charlie Reid to international fame and recognition.

But it was also a turbulent year that saw the nation mourn two awful tragedies: the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the skies of Lockerbie.

The fizzy lager was flowing in Fountainbridge in March 1988, with the news that Aussie firm Elders IXL’s plan to merge with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries had failed. The highly-controversial bid had seen demonstrators travel down to London to make their feelings known.

In sport, Scotland’s absence from the Euros was certainly a sore point, but at club level there was joy for at least one half of Edinburgh as Hearts romped through the 1988/89 UEFA Cup competition, eventually succumbing to German cracks Bayern Munich over two legs at the quarter final stage.

The year also witnessed two notable unions taking place, one in politics, the other in a certain Australian soap opera.

March 1988 saw the merger of the SDP and the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats, while 20 million television viewers across the UK tuned in to watch Scott and Charlene, played by real-life former lovers Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, tie the knot in Neighbours.

Watch this space for more memories of Edinburgh from 1988.

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