Edinburgh’s Greatest 100 countdown

Ned Barnie
Ned Barnie
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Five more names are revealed today in our countdown of Edinburgh’s 100 Greatest. Today’s line-up is famous for golf, football, swimming, architecture . . . and hot air ballooning

90 Graeme Souness

“I found myself in England as a teenager and my life has been away from Scotland apart from when I was managing Rangers. I should, however, work for the Edinburgh Tourist Board because I promote my home city at every opportunity. I make a point of telling people I am from the most beautiful city in Britain”

Graeme Souness

Three times champion of Europe

Born: May 6, 1953, Edinburgh

LONG before the Magnum PI moustache, the afro-perm and the European Cup trophies collected with Liverpool, Graeme Souness’ footballing odyssey began on the cobbled streets of Gorgie. He even rejected an opportunity to sign for Hearts as a teenager.

Souness grew up in Broomhouse and was playing for Tynecastle Boys Club when spotted by Tottenham Hotspur. He signed for Spurs and travelled south at 15, under the stewardship of legendary Spurs boss Bill Nicholson but left for Middlesbrough after only playing one game for the Cockerels. In an early sign of his supreme self confidence, he reputedly told Nicholson he was the best player at the club.

He was soon snapped up by Liverpool, the greatest team in England at the time, and went on to win five League Championships, three European Cups and four League Cups. He left Liverpool in 1984 for Italian team Sampdoria but came back to Scotland in 1986, taking up the player-manager role of Rangers at the age of 33. He made 50 appearances before retiring, aged 38.

Souness’ time at Ibrox was marked by success and persistent controversy. His most noteworthy act was the controversial signing of Roman Catholic Mo Johnston in 1989.

He returned to manage Liverpool in 1991, but inherited an ageing team and his rebuilding did not find success apart from winning the FA Cup. He had major heart surgery in April 1992, but led his players out at Wembley for the FA Cup final just days after leaving hospital. He later went on to be a manager abroad. He won 54 caps for

Scotland and played in three World Cups.

89 James Tytler

Did you know? To supplement his income, Tytler also bizarrely wrote a guide to Edinburgh’s prostitutes which rated their performance, looks and condition of their teeth

Hot air balloon pioneer.

Born: December 17, 1745, Angus

Died: January 11, 1804, Massachusetts

James Tytler was one of those extraordinary 19th century characters whose achievements really do make the mind boggle.

He was a Church of Scotland preacher and studied medicine before working as a ship’s doctor and returning to Leith to run a pharmacy. But when that failed – plunging him into debt – he embarked on an entirely different career, writing the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

In fact he edited the second edition, often spending hours every day hunched over his landlady’s washtub which he used for a desk, eventually penning 9000 pages and increasing the publication from three volumes to nine.

He earned a pittance for his efforts and supplemented his meagre income by working with Robert Burns,

writing lyrics for Scottish ballads.

It was while researching the encyclopaedia that he became fascinated with flight. Hot air balloons were newfangled gadgets which, for the first time, gave man the chance to fly. By 1784 Tytler had made aviation history in his pioneering Grand Edinburgh Fire Balloon, a barrel shaped, 40ft-high contraption, which he launched from a spot at Abbeyhill.

One attempt ended in misery when the balloon reached just 40ft before settling in a dung pile in Restalrig. Others were better – one flight soared Tytler to 350ft above the ground, offering him a view of Edinburgh only previously seen by birds.

He was Britain’s first aviator, but many regarded him as an oddball.

His political theories led to the publication of an anti-government leaflet which resulted in him having to flee to Ireland and then America to avoid arrest.

Burns summed him up as an “obscure, tippling though extraordinary body”.

88 Robert Rowand Anderson

Did you know?

Anderson designed the memorial to the 78th Highlanders on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle

Architect of the Portrait Gallery

Born: April 5, 1834, Liberton Died: June 1921, Edinburgh

ANYONE living in the Capital will be familiar with the work of Robert Rowand Anderson, even if they do not recognise his name.

One of Victorian Scotland’s most important and influential architects, Anderson was responsible for some of the country’s most lauded buildings.

His Edinburgh works include the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Edinburgh University’s Old College Dome, Medical Faculty and McEwan Hall.

The third child of a solicitor, he was born on April 5, 1834, most likely at his parents’ cottage at Fernieside, Liberton. He went to school at George Watson’s in 1841, and later took classes at the Trustees’ Drawing Academy, which would go on to become Edinburgh College of Art.

In 1857, he joined George Gilbert Scott’s office in London, where he developed a design style heavily influenced by Scott. He returned to Edinburgh in 1860 and, during his early career, designed many buildings for the Scottish Episcopal Church, including All Saints in Edinburgh’s Brougham Place.

He developed his general practice with designs including paired terrace houses in Inverleith Terrace and a Gothic tenement for John M Balfour in Balfour Street, Leith.

Two years later, he was made a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects – one of only two from Scotland.

In 1875, he drew up the winning designs for Edinburgh University’s graduation hall and medical school, a success which contributed to his election as associate of the Royal Scottish Academy. Over the next decade, his major works included the Central Hotel at Glasgow’s Central Station and a new Mount Stuart House for the Earl of Bute. The Italian Gothic style he used for that would be reflected in his design for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery six years later.

By the 1890s, his work

focused more on restoration. In 1902, he was knighted for his work at Balmoral Castle. By 1916 his health was failing but he founded the Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He died in 1921.

87 Tommy Armour

War hero turned triple major golf champion

Born: September 24, 1894, Edinburgh

Died: September 11, 1968, New York

Armour, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976, said: “It is not solely the capacity to make great shots that makes champions, but the essential quality of making very few bad shots”

Most golfers would settle for one major title; the fact Armour won three illustrates the impact he made in the game on both sides of the Atlantic.

Educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh, he served with the Tank Corps in the First World War, which almost ended his golf career before it had really started.

He lost his sight to a mustard gas explosion and surgeons had to add a metal plate to his head and left arm. But, during his convalescence, Armour regained the sight of his right eye and began to play golf in earnest.

His first big success came in the 1920 French Amateur, soon after which he moved to America and met one of the game’s greats, Walter Hagen.

After earning US citizenship, Armour turned professional in 1924 and soon started to make his mark at the top of the game.

He won the US Open in 1927, the USPGA Championship three years later and, in 1931, the Open Championship at Carnoustie. It wasn’t until 1999 – also at the Angus venue – that another Scot, Paul Lawrie, claimed the Claret Jug on home soil.

Armour won a total of 25 PGA Tour titles, including three Canadian Opens, and, after retiring from full-time professional golf, he carved out a new career as a coach, based at the Boca Raton Club in Florida.

He co-wrote a book entitled How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time and it became a bestseller. For many years, in fact, it was the biggest-selling book ever penned on golf.

86 Ned Barnie

Did you know?

Ned’s final swim across Forth was fuelled by rum to ward off cold

Channel swimming sensation

Born: 1896, Portobello. Died: 1983

WILLIAM “Ned” Barnie was probably more at home in water than out of it.

He was the first Scot to swim the English Channel when he made the crossing in 1950, aged 54. He followed that impressive feat the next year when he became the first man to swim it in both directions in one season.

It also meant he was the oldest person to swim the Channel, a record he held for 28 years.

A plaque on a tenement in Straiton Place, Portobello, declares “Ned Barnie lived here” – a stone’s throw from the Firth of Forth, which he made his personal swimming pool.

A science teacher by day, the rest of the time he was to be found in the water, either swimming or on his boat.

At one point, he was estimated to have completed a marathon 200,000 lengths of Portobello baths in a year.

In his youth, he was a winning competitive swimmer and a fearsome foe.

He took the Scottish amateur 880 yards freestyle in 1924 and 1925, managing to slice 18 seconds off his winning time.

He served in the First

World War and excelled there too, being awarded the Military Medal for bravery.

But it was his daily dips, often swimming from Portobello to Fisherrow, that made him a well-kent figure.

In 1924, he swam from Granton to Burntisland in three hours and 19 minutes, and swam it again in 1955 and then 1959.

Whatever the weather, he swam in the Forth – even in icy climes. He continued his bracing swims well into his 70s and swam right up to his death, aged 87.