Even the old Queen chipped in with £100

NOT direct from Broadway, from Innerleithen. And it's coming to Newhaven, Musselburgh, Dunbar and Eyemouth. Lament for the Little Boats, a musical/drama, is a true tale of a forgotten disaster when, in 1881, 129 fishermen from Eyemouth drowned in a North Sea storm.

It's Howard Purdie's creation, a playwright/poet based in Innerleithen. His Land & Sea Theatre Company enjoyed a sell-out run with it at the Fringe and, this month, a capacity one-nighter in the local parish church at the Peebles Arts Fest.

Suitably encouraged, Howard is planning a spring tour with a 50-strong cast including the Fisher Lassies Choir.

"I hope we'll be welcomed in six east coast fishing towns and the great stimulant is that we'll bring drama back into the Church. All our venues will be local churches and the narration will be done from the pulpit. That heightens the effect."

Dumfries-born Howard adds: "Research reveals that those doomed God-fearing fisherman had paid their 'Kirk taxes' direct into the Church of Scotland head office in George Street."

Did the C of S force the boats to sail? I wonder. The Eyemoth Disaster, as it was known nationwide, made such an impact that Queen Victoria personally donated 100 to the fund.

Scott's got it

SCOTT HASTINGS seemed the very man to formally declare Dunstane City open, considering its location at Roseburn, directly across the road from its parent Dunstane House opened ten years ago. Orcadian co-owners Shirley and Derek Mowat were rightly chuffed showing off Edinburgh's newest chic boutique hotel. Cracked rugby-steeped Scott:"Couldn't have asked for a handier spot. This is within a drop-kick of Murrayfield and staggering distance of Rose Street."

Afterwords . .

NOT a lot of people knew this, possibly least of all the Edinburgh-based Celtic supporters who saw their team confront visiting Danish champions Aalborg. The Danish city is twinned with Edinburgh, a joining-at-the hip in the Eighties after Lothian Region Council leader Keith Geddes and education councillor Elizabeth Maginnis went over for a look-see. Some people stick Aalborg and Dalkeith in the same bag.