A glimpse at Gathering

the area and its history.


What is it? Gathering is a fully-fledged follow-up to last year’s Stirling 700 programme and is the central belt’s newest and most vibrant cultural festival. Does it have a catchy tagline? ’The contemporary meets the traditional’. Meaning what? The festival is attracting some top names as well as looking at

Who is appearing? Musical highlights are jazz legend Trevor Watts, trad from Sheena Wallington and top folksters Tartan Amoebas; top comedy comes from Ed Byrne and Phil Kay; theatre groups 7:84 with Caledonia Dreaming (above) and Red Shift with Hamlet; kids’ entertainment from Winnie the Pooh and the Mad

What's the big idea? Gathering aims to put and keep Stirling on the cultural map by attracting big name acts and visitors aplenty to the area.

I The Gathering, until Sat 18 Sep. Various venues, Stirling, info: 01786 443113.



Scottish Geology Week Fri lO—Sun 19 Sep. Various venues, info: 01738 444177. Scottish Geology Week is a nationwide concern, and aims to spread some words about our turbulent physical past. Among the events in and around the capital are geology trails around the National Museum of Scotland, some loosely geology-based movies at the Lumiere, excursions to Calton Hill and a rock and fossil roadshow. There is also a prize going for The Most Beautiful Beach In Scotland.

Charity Event

The Visionary Experience Sat 18 Sep, 10am—4.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50). Portobello Town Hall, info: 466 1463. The Visionary Experience kicks off with an exhibition of the healing arts, with profits making their way to help Waverley Care’s support for children and families affected by HIV and AIDS. The early part of the day sees some of the country’s finest exponents in tarot, reiki, massage and aromatherapy. The second half at the Town Hall is a benefit concert. Starting at 7.30pm, it features soul diva Subie Coleman, ex-Silencer Jinky Gilmour and bebopper Freddie King. Your host is the event’s organiser, Mark Calvert.


Volcano Tours Wed, Fri, Sun until Sun 26 Sep, 2pm. £5 (£4/£2.50). Holyrood Palace Car Park. Info: 555 5488. Discover Edinburgh’s volcanic past and explore the natural and human history of Holyrood on this guided walking tour.

Shows Scottish Home Buyer Show Sat l8—Mon 20 Sep. Royal Highland Centre,

Ingliston, 333 3036. Everything the potential buyer or seller needs to make the right decision is under one roof this weekend, with advice and practical help from a variety of sources.

Computer Fair Sat 18 Sep, lOam—3pm. £3 (£2); children under £12 free. Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, 333 3036. All your hardware, software and system requirements.


Andrew Fletcher Of Saltoun Commemoration Sat 11 Sep, 3pm. Parish Church, East Saltoun, by Pencaitland, 556 1836. Andrew Fletcher (aka The Patriot) was an 18th century opponent of the Union of the Parliaments of England and Scotland. Each year the Saltire Society remember him by laying a wreath at his tomb and follow this ceremony with a speech by a distinguished speaker. This year Murray Pittock, Professor of Literature at the University of Strathclyde, will give an address on Scottish Nationality in the Age of Fletcher.


Brass Rubbing Centre

Chalmers Close, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 556 4364. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Free, but there is a charge for making a rubbing. Situated in the apse of a Gothic church dating back to 1460, the centre houses a selection of church brasses and ancient Pictish replicas - as well as lots of crayons so you can get rubbing.

Camera Obscura

Castlehill (Royal Mile), Edinburgh, 226 3709. Mon-Fri 9.30am—6pm; Sat & Sun 10am—6pm. £3.95 (£1.95—£3.15); family ticket £11.50. Pick up a pedestrian in your hand at this attraction, which gives

visitors a real-time, 360’ image of the city. There is also an exhibition devoted to holographs and photography on the lower floors.

Craigmillar Castle

Niddrie Mains, Edinburgh, 661 4445. Daily 9.30am—6.30pm. £1.80 (£1.30); children 75p. For a real taste of history, take a drive out to this ramshackle old castle, which although not quite as intact as Edinburgh Castle, is far more atmospheric and the scene of much plotting during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh, 225 9846. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm). £6 (£2—£5). Although much of the castle ’s medieval character was lost when it was converted into barracks in the 19th century, continuing excavations aim to redress this. Other attractions include James lV’s famous cannon, Mons Meg, lots of military silverware and, of course, The Stone Of Destiny, used to crown Scottish kings since time began.

Georgian House

7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 225 2160. Mon—Sat lOam—Spm; Sun 2-5pm. £4.40 (£2.90). Experience a period Georgian house, giving a taste of life in Edinburgh when the New Town was built.

Gladstone's Land

477b High Street, Edinburgh, 226 5856. Mon-Sat lOam-Spm; Sun 2—5pm. £3.20 (£2.20). Restored to the splendour enjoyed by the merchant classes in the 17th century, Gladstone’s land gives an authentic representation of life in the medieval Old Town at this time.

Gorgie City Farm

51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, 337 4202. Daily 9.30am—4.30pm. Free. Set up in 1982 on a derelict council rubbish site, the farm is now home to a host of farmyard animals and equipment, as well as organic and herb gardens.

Huntly House

142 Canongate, Edinburgh, 529 4143. Mon-Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Packed with historic artefacts, this restored 16th century mansion tells the story of Edinburgh’s past and its people, and houses important collections of Edinburgh silver and glass, Scottish pottery and shop signs.

Museum Of Childhood

42 High Street, Edinburgh, 529 4142. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Founded in 1955, the museum has five public galleries with all manner of archive material and old toys relating to childhood through the ages. From antique dolls to 19805 computer games, there’s plenty here to send you off on a trip down memory lane.

Newhaven Heritage Museum Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh, 551 4165. Mon-Sun noon-5pm. Free. Memorabilia and reconstructed scenes tell the story of Newhaven and its sea- going heritage, from its origins as a naval dockyard to its continued use as a fishing


Portobello Swim Centre

57 Promenade, Edinburgh, 669 6888. Mon-Fri 7am—9pm; Sat & Sun 9am-4pm. A swimming pool in the traditional Victorian mould (it was originally opened in 1901), Portobello Swim Centre has recently benefited from a complete refit, courtesy of council and lottery money. It now houses up-to-the-minute sports facilities as well as a pool and authentic ’liirkish Bath facilities.

The People's Story

Canongate Tolbooth, 163 Canongate, Edinburgh, 529 4057. Mon-Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Situated in the Canongate Tolbooth, the sights, sounds and even smells of Edinburgh folk from the 18th century onwards are faithfully reproduced.

Writers Museum

Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh, 529 4901. Monsat 10am-5pm. Free. A treasure-house of items relating to three of Scotland’s most famous writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.



The Gathering Until Sat 18 Sep. Various venues, Stirling, info: 01786 443113. The contemporary and the traditional collide in this new festival for the central belt. See photo caption.

TechFest Fri 17—Mon 27 Sep. Various venues, Aberdeen, info: 01224 274194. Shows, lectures and hands-on events for anyone into the realm of science and technology. The opening event at the Music Hall (Fri 17) gets everything off to a flying start with a compilation of the best bits from the festival, while later on you can enjoy Pyrotechnics In The Park (Sat 18), Forensics: The Whole Truth (Mon 20), Batwalk (Sat 25) and the Family Activities Weekend (Sat 25 & Sun 26).


RAF Leuchars International Airshow Sat 11 Sep, 8am-6pm. £7.50—£10 (£5—£6). RAF Leuchars, St Andrews, 01334 839000. Compare and contrast the raw power of today’s fighter jets with the style and grace of the World War II models in the country’s foremost aircraft extravaganza. In addition to all the action in the skies, there are stalls, a funfair, classic car rally and craft fair for those who prefer the ground beneath their feet.


Stirling Castle Extravaganza Sun 12 Sep, 12.30—4.30pm. £5 (£3.75/£1.50). Stirling Castle, info: 0131 668 8830. Spectacular weaponry is on display with falconry, craft stalls and a traditional cookery demonstration helping to take you back in time.


Bo‘ness 8i Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness Station, Union Street, Bo’ness, 01506 822298. £7.50 (£3.50—£5.50). Visit the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s collection of locomotives and railway memorabilia before taking a trip on a steam train along the Firth of Forth to Birkhill, where guided tours of the local fireclay mine are also available.

Queensferry Museum

53 High Street, South Queensferry, 331 5545. Mon, Thu, Fri & Sat 10am-1 pm & 2.15—5pm; Sun noon-5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Free. The natural and historical heritage of Queensferry is explored, from its roots on the medieval pilgrimage trail to the building of the Forth bridges and the wildlife of the Forth estuary. You can also check out the burry man, an effigy which forms part of the Lammas celebrations to this day.

Weaver's Cottage

The Cross, Kilbarchan, 01505 705588. Daily 1.30—5.30pm. £2 (£1.30). This typical 18th century weaver’s cottage houses a collection of period equipment and domestic utensils, as well as photographs of local artisans if you visit at the weekend (Fri-Sun), you’ll also have the Opportunity to see a weaver at work.

9-23 Sep 1999 THE LIST 75