CSq. defining the square
A wealth of Knowledge
A N INTE R V IE W W ITH RAY E NTW ISTL E
A MONUMENTAL MAN A GLIMPSE INT O T HE WO RL D OF A LEXA NDER ST O DDA RT
THE BEST ADD R E S S IN TO W N T HE ILLU ST RIO U S F O RMER RESIDE NTS O F C HA RLO T T E SQ U A R E
THE MAGAZINE OF THE CHARLOTTE SQUARE COLLECTION
CSq. Aerial view of rejuvenated Charlotte Square looking south east over Edinburgh by Jason Hawkes ©
CONTENTS A MONUMENTAL MAN A glimpse into the world of Alexander Stoddart
AN EL EGANT AND GRACEF UL PL ACE
Sheer architectural quality by Adam Wilkinson
T HE BEST ADDRESS IN T OWN
is dedicated to Charlotte Square, which lies at the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. The original vision for the Square was inspired by the explosion of intellectual and scientific accomplishments of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. Now a new vision is taking shape – a vision to re-establish the Square as one of Europe’s most prestigious business addresses for the world’s financial community. This magazine reflects the excitement of working in this beautiful part of the city.
A WEALT H OF KNOWEDGE Ray Entwistle talks about setting up SCOBAN
A FESTIVA L O F B O O K S, LIFE A N D U N EXP EC TED EN C O U N TERS The event that has made the Square its home
C IT Y T O C IT Y
24 BRASSERIE DE L UXE
Lunch is back on the menu
T HE CHA RLO TTE SQ U A RE C O LLEC TIO N
29 page one
17 An interview with Chris Cummings of TheCityUK
Which has its roots in Charlotte Square
With Lady Susan Rice CBE
T HE QUIET JAZZ REVOL UT ION
The illustrious former residents of Charlotte Square
C O FFEE A N D A C HAT
M Y EDIN B U RGH A variety of personal reflections
A MONUMENTAL MAN
WHEN I ENTER HIS STUDIO I’M STEPPING INTO THE 19TH CENTURY
FROM PAISLEY words by Jim Gilchrist photography by Reuben Paris
utside West of Scotland University’s Paisley Campus, the imposing bronze figure of John Witherspoon points from his red sandstone plinth. The one-time minister of Paisley’s Laigh Kirk became a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 and an early president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, where a twin cast of this statue also surveys the campus. At Witherspoon’s feet is modelled a pile of books – Newton’s Principia, volumes of Locke and Hume, founts of Enlightenment learning which permeate the work of the artist whose inscription can be discerned just below that sculpted book stack: “Alexander Stoddart, Paisley”. “I always write ‘Paisley’ when I inscribe something, because I work here and we have to advocate this unfortunate town,” Stoddart himself tells me in his studio, housed within the university complex behind the statue. Certainly, there’s not too much else being manufactured these days in this once prosperous textile town. However, that same Stoddart/Paisley signature now adorns four heroically monumental statues gracing the streets of Edinburgh – figures of philosopher David Hume, “father of economics” Adam Smith, Kidnapped protagonists Alan Breck and David Balfour, honouring their creator Robert Louis Stevenson and, most recently, the pioneering theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell. These could well be joined over the next few years by three more from the Paisley studio: figures of the architect William Henry Playfair in Chambers Street, national poet Robert Burns beside Hume in the High Street and – particularly relevant to Charlotte Square – a statue of Scotland’s great neoclassical architect Robert Adam, seated in classically draped splendour at the west end of George Street. He’ll be beside the square he largely designed, a counterbalance to Stoddart’s statue of the scientist Clerk Maxwell, who sits, clad in more contemporary garb, at the other end of George Street. The studio of Alexander Stoddart, staunch neo-classicist, Sculptor in Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen in Scotland and Paisley local hero, occupies two hangar-like spaces, crammed with a splendid disarray of often impressively scaled plaster figures, the walls festooned
with bas reliefs, while open rubber moulds lie on the floor like slightly sinister alien pods. Here sits the plaster original for one of Stoddart’s earliest commissions, another figure of Burns; there a windswept head of the bard Ossian; elsewhere a bust of the composer James MacMillan and panels for a private chapel. A wan patina of plaster dust coats everything. This is a place from which you might emerge looking like a ghost – a not inappropriate fancy, perhaps, as Stoddart believes adamantly that statues should not be erected to the living. It is for posterity to decide who warrants a monument or, as he put it in his letter to The Herald last year protesting vehemently against the local council’s proposals to “de-statue” George Square, “A statue is an embassy of the Dead amongst the Quick.” An animated and still boyish-looking 54-year-old in a billowing artist’s smock, Stoddart assures me that when I enter his studio I’m stepping into the 19th century, and he’s not joking. The 19th century, he tells me, was the greatest century, “followed by the worst,” he adds, with some feeling. For Stoddart gives short shrift to Modernism and its manifestations. “What really count are the aesthetics and sensibilities which descended from the 19th century, as a summation of what had been fought for over the previous 2,000 years to try and achieve a continent, iconographic body of work. What I’m trying to do is to carry on what the 19th century brought us and really try to add to it. “Not to improve on it, of course,” he then adds, smiling. You may not agree with all his views, but you cannot but be impressed by his fervour and erudition. Is it fair to describe him as a staunch neo-classicist? “In architectural traditionalism,” he responds, “an architect is expected to be able to work in a variety of styles. Because I’ve worked closely with architects, I too can work in different idioms. However, there’s one idiom I don’t work in, and that’s the wee fashionable idiom of the second half of the last century called modernism, which is a transient thing, a sort of incubus that sat on the chest of culture and said that it had solved all the problems of culture, doing away with style.” The result, he declares, can only be brutalism. He points to the larger than life classical female figure on which he is currently working. An allegorical figure of History, it’s in the French beaux-arts style and will be cast in aluminium to surmount >
> the entrance of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the sandstone original by William Birnie Rhind having been badly eroded. Stoddart has subtly updated the figure by giving her a Tara-style Celtic brooch and a poppy wreath in her hair to acknowledge the carnage of the First World War that ensued barely a quarter century after the original figure was installed. He explains how he and his student assistants build a figure up, initially from a small model, from which countless precise measurements are taken and scaled up, using a chassis or calibrated wooden box-frame, until the full-size clay figure is painstakingly constructed around a welded steel and wooden lath armature. Finally, a plaster mould is taken from the finished clay figure from which the casting – bronze or otherwise – is made at the foundry. Working in clay, he remarks, somewhat scathingly, doesn’t have the cachet of bronze – “because there’s no fire involved, no diabolical kudos. And because clay is so gentle it must in some way be feminine, pacifist and, quite literally, wet. But to work a clay model is terrifying and arduous.” s he talks, he is perched on a slightly shoogly table, spraying History with water and draping her with polythene to avoid her drying out overnight. Next to it a skeletal armature towers above us, destined to become a statue of the architect Playfair, planned as a companion to Birnie Rhind’s statue of William Chambers outside the National Museum of Scotland. Building up the clay on the armature, precisely upscaling the measurements from the model, is a painstaking business, he agrees. “Ideally you become trance-like when you’re doing it; you get into what athletes I think call ‘the zone’.” He cheerfully derides current expressions such as “creativity”. “We don’t believe in creativity in this studio. People ask you, ‘How do you approach the creative process,’ but it’s not like that. What you have to do is go into a quiet and trance-like mode where you’re not making anything up. “ You have to try to give up the self.” In an adjoining room, taped on the wall amid a litter of images, is a glowering mid-19th century photograph of Arthur Schopenhauer, the German philosopher who postulated a universe driven by a continually dissatisfied will, in which contemplation of works of art can give fleeting respite. His emphasis on “quietism” is a cornerstone of Stoddart’s outlook, and discussion of it leads on, with characteristic vigour, to “the metaphysics of philistinism”, his scathing dismissal of the conceptualist-orientated curricula of art colleges, and his insistence that some cultures – not least Scots Calvinism – are wilfully iconophobic . “Sculptors ... try to make work that sets up a mighty embassy in this hostile country called existence. That’s why statue makers in particular have such a hard time, because a statue is a still, dead thing, usually of a dead person, or
it should be, sitting amid the tremendous upheaval of, say, George Street. And the hurly-burly – what you might call the will – takes exception to its presence.” Mention of George Street, which Stoddart regards as “one of the greatest monumental axes in the world”, brings us to the project on which he would love to embark once the Playfair job is completed – a statue of Robert Adam at the street’s west end. He shows me a small bozzetto – a sculptor’s preliminary model – of the proposed monument, showing the architect, seated and classically draped, in the manner of Stoddart’s 1996 figure of David Hume in the High Street. This seems to have now entered into Edinburgh folk culture as students rub its big toe for luck in exams, while even locals have been seen holding children up to touch it. But will it make them any brainier, Stoddart wonders, dubious about this phenomenon. He met with “unbelievable vitriol”, even death threats, he says, after he clad the Scottish Enlightenment sage in classical robes. “But it’s not done lightly. When you put people in drapery you’re saying, ‘Listen, these people are bigger than our time.’ The concerns that people like Hume were thrashing out remain perennial.” Similarly with Adam, who, if funding and planning permission permit, will preside in classical robes, while side friezes on the plinth will depict him and his Enlightenment associates in 18th century costume – in contrast to Clerk Maxwell who sits at the east end of the street in contemporary costume, while his side panels depict the achievements of Newton and Einstein in classical allegorical terms. “So it all balances,” explains Stoddart. Once, and if, Stoddart can execute these final three Edinburgh statues – the Playfair one is set to go ahead, Adam and Burns still to find funding and permission, he says: “I can walk away from the city, although obviously if someone asks me to do another I would.” His work continues much further afield than Edinburgh – 27 major sculptural works for a new private chapel in Henley-on-Thames, for a start. “That’ll be work for me until my dying day, if I last that long,” he laughs. Then of course there remain his long-standing proposals for an epic national monument in the form of a 100ft long recumbent figure of Oscar, Ossian’s dead son from Fingalian legend, which he wants to hew from a granite hillside in Morvern. The project’s trustees hope to make some test drillings in the rock, although there have been, perhaps not surprisingly, objections from environmentalists. He has also been trying for more than 30 years to undertake a statue in Paisley of the legendary “Red Clydeside” MP Willie Gallagher. Edinburgh, though, has become this Paisley artist’s “fatal city. People there have been very good to me, allowing me to do much more than Glasgow ever did, although it’s not been an easy ride.” As he notes in his written proposal for the Robert Adam monument, “A statue is hard to make, but even harder to get to make.”
It is for posterity to decide who warrants a monument or as Stoddart puts it, “A statue is an embassy of the Dead amongst the Quick”.
For further details of Alexander Stoddart’s work, see www.alexanderstoddart.com
An Elegant and graceful place by Adam Wilkinson, Director, Edinburgh World Heritage
Edinburgh World Heritage is a charity funded by Historic Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and charitable donations with the role of conserving, protecting and promoting the cityâ€™s World Heritage Site.
Adam Wilkinson in Charlotte Square, photograph by Mike Wilkinson
Charlotte Square - plan of the Square to Frederick Street showing feus 1792 (detail) © RCAHMS
Charlotte Square, Drawn, engraved and published by J. and H.S. Storer, Chapel Street, Pentonville. c. 1820 (detail) © RCAHMS
Charlotte Squr. from west corner, Princes St. Photograph, George Washington Wilson c. 1900 (detail)
Charlotte Square owes its importance to its sheer architectural quality.
harlotte Square, Edinburgh, is, architecturally, one of the finest public squares in Europe. Its buildings at once represent the embodiment of a series of ideas about humans, architecture and city planning, the ideals of the Enlightenment and a continuity of thinking that survived from ancient times. It is an elegant and graceful place. Charlotte Square is one of the two principal spaces within James Craig’s First New Town, planned in the second half of the 18th century and built out over a twenty year period, Charlotte Square being the final phase of construction, completed in 1800. Over the period of the construction of the First New Town, the concept of “houses in an English style” (ie terraced housing) was developed, moving from the austerity and uniformity of externally plain but handsome classically proportioned grand houses in terraces, to designing the city block as a palace fronted entity, reflecting contemporary advances in classical and humanist country house design, principally by the Adam brothers. Charlotte Square represents the culmination of that thinking, with a series of beautiful palace fronted blocks in the spirit of Palladio and Vitruvius, disguising the terraced houses amongst them. This set the trend for major set pieces in the building of the other Edinburgh New Towns over the next 80 years. The Square is therefore important on a number of levels. It represents a period in the history of thought that continues to shape the world we live in today, and is a key part of the First New Town, still surviving virtually intact. It is a significant element of Edinburgh’s city centre and at the very
heart of its financial industry. Throughout the planning and execution of the First New Town, the council maintained a firm grip to ensure the design was carried through, creating a coherent planned city, which would go on to influence the design of other cities around the world. In Charlotte Square the original architectural concept remains completely intact. The city blocks of the Square form some of the most important terraces of classical buildings in the world, rivalling John Nash’s in London or St Petersburg’s. Recognition of the importance of the Square came early, with the first moves towards its protection taking place under the 1925 Town Planning (Scotland) Act, with the Edinburgh Corporation drawing up a scheme for its preservation, embodied in the Edinburgh Town Planning (Charlotte Sq) Scheme Order of 1930. The Square has gone through a range of uses over the years, with the most recent transformation being the move from hosting the city’s large legal firms to hosting an increasing number of its financial organisations. This highlights the attraction of the Square as a place of quiet dignity, and has guided its treatment by developers and landowners. For instance, the most recent development in the Square on Glenfinlas Street is, externally, a study of Georgian proportion and detail, understanding that to work in a different architectural language would reduce the overall value of the Square and hence the individual property. In terms of the current condition of the buildings of the Square, there are three critical entities in relation to ownership that have had a massively positive effect – firstly, the National Trust for Scotland, secondly, Dr.
James Craig’s plan of ‘the new streets and squares intended for the City of Edinburgh’, 1767
my edinburgh "Charlotte Square is a brand name in its own right, like Madison Avenue, Broadway, Fleet Street or Threadneedle Street. The name alone tells you what happens here - Charlotte Square means finance, professional services, and a rigorous yet reflective approach to business. It is Edinburgh through and through". Walter Scott and, most recently, The Charlotte Square Collection. All have taken the attitude that the maximisation of commercial floorspace is not a priority, understanding that value lies in the ambiance of the buildings and Square rather than in the provision of large non-descript office floorplates. A succession of single ownerships of groups of properties in the Square has meant that the overall attitude taken to the maintenance, repair and change of buildings around the Square has generally been conservative and long term, more akin to estate management with regular cycles of maintenance than the sporadic maintenance that often occurs with buildings under single ownership. Most notable amongst the historic owners was the Bute family, who restored Nos 5-7, before bequeathing them to the National Trust for Scotland. The legacy of this stewardship is that Charlotte Square is today a vital element of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. It not only plays a defining role in James Craig’s First New Town as the most intact original set piece, but also as an important manifestation of the fundamentally contrasting approach to town planning between the New and Old Towns, both in terms of the scale of the streets and the uniformity of buildings. Its completeness ensures that it makes a significant contribution to the authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage Site. As JM Reid’s 1963 ‘The Case for Charlotte Square’ neatly sums up: “It is one of Edinburgh’s irreplaceable possessions, and, unlike other places of the same rank, such as the Castle or Holyroodhouse, it owes its importance not chiefly to history or situation, but to its sheer architectural quality.”
s a conventional investment manager doing his best for his clients and his firm (anything else in my line of work gets you fined or jailed) I have worked in Edinburgh since September 1989, when my Charlotte Square career began in a dusty attic in Adam & Company’s office at No 22. The buildings here are stunning to look at and there is a great sense of history. This history is in the form of Robert Adam’s architecture and also the famous names who have worked in or around the Square. The ghosts of past leaders of Ivory & Sime, Stewart Ivory, Martin Currie, Baillie Gifford and many others lurk in every doorway. And, of course, the Square hosts the International Book Festival, the world’s largest and greatest book festival and an event which Thomas Miller Investment is delighted to sponsor. Charlotte Square is a brand name in its own right, like Madison Avenue, Broadway, Fleet Street or Threadneedle Street. The name alone tells you what happens here - Charlotte Square means finance, professional services, and a rigorous yet reflective approach to business. It is Edinburgh through and through. For all this, however, it is not quite my favourite part of the city. That has to be Holyrood Park – a lump of rock and green space in the middle of the city, our very own Central Park. It’s got a volcano, ducks, lots of grass, a Palace and a Parliament. What more could you ask for? Harry Morgan is Director at Thomas Miller Investment Ltd
A wealth of Knowledge It is a simple fact that clients want continuity: the ability to speak to someone who knows them and understands what they are trying to achieve with their money.
The chairman of Scotland’s newest potential bank explains the reason for starting out again in Charlotte Square. Ray Entwistle talks to Kenny Kemp about SCOBAN.
Photography by Anna Isola Crolla
ay Entwistle is looking forward by turning the clock back. He is passionate about creating a new private bank in Scotland – with a set of values that have almost been wiped out. His business, SCOBAN is now emerging as a new name in Scottish banking with its headquarters in tastefully refurbished offices at 9 Charlotte Square. It is unlikely you will see SCOBAN’S staff singing in glossy television adverts during the Coronation Street break; they are far more circumspect and endowed with the kind of traditional banking virtues which sadly were squeezed out in the rush to create large global conglomerates. Whilst Ray Entwistle is SCOBAN’S chairman, he is better known in Edinburgh’s financial circles as the former chief executive of Adam & Company, the discreet bank which handled the financial affairs of many well-heeled Scottish clients. As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, he is recognised as the private banker who grew Adam & Company, based in Charlotte Square, which then became an arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland. “It’s funny. People who run massive businesses often think they are more intelligent than those who run successful smaller businesses. In my experience, that’s often not the case – running a smaller bespoke business has a different set of demands,” he says. Much to the dismay of loyal clients, Ray decided to step back from banking after the government bail-out of Adam & Company’s parent. Exasperated former clients started phoning and emailing, encouraging him to return to the fray. Among the callers was Alex HammondChambers, the former chairman of Ivory & Sime, and a familiar face in the environs of Charlotte Square. The ‘Ray Must Return’ campaign
gathered a momentum with another enthusiast David Nabarro encouraging him to set up a new venture and Simon Miller, who worked closely with Ray for 16 years in his previous role, also joining the exciting challenge. So instead of a retirement tending the roses with his wife Barbara in his country home in Lauder, Ray realised there was one delicious challenge still worth undertaking. Alex, David and Simon are now non-executive directors of SCOBAN and very much involved in driving the quest for a new bank. “We expect our shareholders to open accounts and they will introduce their friends. We will target individuals we would like to bank with us. We’ll try and spoil them and ask to look after them. Not many banks make much of a fuss of their clients or customers,” says the immaculately dressed Surrey-born banker, who has adopted Edinburgh as his preferred place of work. Ray Entwistle has little time for the corporate-speak applied latterly by senior banking marketeers who enthused about “shifting products to customers” – as if banking was selling soap powder in a supermarket. “At SCOBAN, we talk about clients rather than customers and services rather than products. A product is something you sell to someone: a service is providing something that is useful. We are concentrating on service because we believe this is what people at a certain level in our society really want,” he says. A recent private banking survey by Duncan Lawrie, an English private bank, asked 1,000 high net-worth individuals if they wanted a return to old-fashioned values based on a face-to-face relationship with a banker: 76% of clients confirmed that this is what they wanted. It is a simple fact that clients want continuity: the ability to speak to someone who knows them and understands what they are trying to > achieve with their money.
“Traditional banking virtues sadly got squeezed out in the rush to create large global conglomerates.” >
“In private banking, continuity is far more important than anything else. You can hardly ever speak to a branch in most big banks these days,” he laments. SCOBAN now has 14 key staff, including Graeme Hartop, the former head of Scottish Widows Bank, as managing director, Jeremy Vaughan, as it's impressively well-connected London director, Andrew Mulligan, as finance director and Jeremy Fraser as Chief Compliance & Risk Officer. Everybody who has joined the team and who will be part of SCOBAN have done so because they believe in the culture of service. Each client will be served by a team of both senior and junior banking expertise. “That’s the continuity that people banking with us will be looking for. Some of the shareholders I have been looking after for over 30 years,” says Ray, who arrived in Edinburgh in 1977 to open the first Lloyds Bank branch in Scotland. “As part of the concept of SCOBAN, we want to be able to train young people in the way that we were all trained many years ago. We believe that the training of bankers simply doesn’t happen in the way that it used to. That’s not a good thing. So, before it’s too late, we need to instil in the next generation the very nature of what solid professional banking is all about,” he says. “This is why we are already giving work experience to five young
people during the summer holidays.” “When I look around, there are so many talented young people who are unemployed and need a start. I shall be absolutely delighted if in three or four years from now we’re employing 25 young people in this organisation and we’ve been able to create jobs.” “I shall be even more pleased, if we have generally been able to have returned banking to the status of a profession. “It’s all about training in direct debits, standing orders, international payments and what a customer actually expects from banking. We will have brought our young people in from a broad cross section of our community. We’re not an elitist organisation,” he assures. Was there really a need for a new bank? That was the first thing to find out. The SCOBAN team wrote to 250 former clients and friends in 2010 asking, do we need a new private bank? If so, we will write a plan and take it to the Financial Services Authority. The answer was a resounding ‘Yes’. Not only that, but the cheques rolled in to make it happen – not deposits but real financial support. Ray and his colleagues were hoping to raise the £500,000 needed for the initial scoping but they easily surpassed this raising £1.4 million. “We started receiving cheques from people we hadn’t even written to, saying they desperately needed a new bank. It was very heart-warming,” he recalls.
...big ambitions to build a new bank that rekindles the very best values that once made Scottish banking world famous. These early contributions were turned into shareholdings and since then another £6 million has been raised. But building a bank – no matter how small - is a major undertaking and requires major regulatory approval, solid reserves and proof that it will be able to operate successfully – and deal with risk robustly. To lend money and receive deposits, SCOBAN needs a banking licence from the Bank of England’s regulators, who have become very nervous about banking failures. Ray Entwistle has been able to use his wealth of banking experience to feedback to the regulatory bodies about the difficulties and barriers to new entrants into the sphere of banking. For example, the previous language of approval said “we are mindful of granting a banking licence”. Yet Ray Entwistle and his SCOBAN colleagues felt this was a rather lukewarm statement and needed to be more positive. The Financial Services Authority has handed over to two new regulators: the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) responsible for supervision of the soundness of a bank, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is all about protecting customers and treating them fairly. “Conduct is an important word in banking today after what happened in 2008. We have presented to the FCA and came through that very well indeed. We’re very pleased.” At the time of writing, Ray and his colleagues had just completed their Regulatory Business Plan with numerous attachments and had hand
delivered the documnets to London. "We expect to receive our banking licence before the year end and will then enter the mobilisation process with a view to opening our doors next spring. “We already have a number of people waiting for us to open. We will bank businesses but these will tend to be businesses that are run by our private clients. We are not going to be challenging in the SME market. The risk factor would be too high for our bank and frankly this should already be well served by the major retail banks.” The new Charlotte Square premises will remain the head office. “As we’ve grown in number, we have had to look for a different home. We decided to look at Charlotte Square and we knew that Number 22 [the former office of Adam & Company vacated by RBS] would be available temporarily. So this was rather ironic and fun. Now we have moved into No 9, which has been brilliantly refurbished. It is very exciting for us.” SCOBAN might be a small venture in 2013 but Ray Entwistle and his team have big ambitions to build a new bank that rekindles the very best values that once made Scottish banking world famous. “I sincerely hope that once our banking licence has been granted that important members of our business community will support us. Our ambition is to be the most respected private bank in the United Kingdom in ten years’ time.”
A FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, LIFE AND UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS
Enjoying the sun in Charlotte Square
Alexander McCall Smith signing for a fan
Julia Donaldson on stage
Jenny Brown, a founder and board director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival reminisces on the event that has made Charlotte Square its home.
Images supplied by Edinburgh International Book Festival
rowsing through the extraordinarily vibrant offerings of the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival, it’s hard to equate the world’s biggest celebration of books with its modest beginnings some thirty years ago. The leafy central venue of Charlotte Square Gardens may be the same, but the tents of 1983 resembled a scout camp compared to today’s magnificent tented village comprising theatres, atmospheric Spiegeltent, cafe and bar and well-stocked bookshops. That first skimpy programme boasted just 120 writers compared to a record this year of 800 writers from 40 different countries. Crossing the threshold then were 30,000 visitors; thirty years later the Festival welcomed seven times that number. When we started there were just three literary festivals in the UK, now there are an astonishing 300. Given the competition, what entices writers and readers back here year after year? The answer lies in the guiding philosophy, discernible from the outset but taken to new levels under Nick Barley and his predecessor Catherine Lockerbie’s directorships – the Festival’s deeply democratic nature, treating all writers with the same respect; the interchange of ideas between authors and audience; the joyous celebration of the written word by literary stars and debut talent, and the essential emphasis on inspiring the next generation of readers. And, of course the irresistible draw of Edinburgh itself, festival city par excellence, the first UNESCO City of Literature. The burgeoning of literary festivals happens at a time when the book industry is in a state of flux, with the rise of ebooks, piracy and internet sales. Despite the changes, it seems that the British are reading as much as ever: total book sales last year were £3.3bn. The sale of physical books was slightly down, but the figures were more than compensated by digital sales, up by 66%. Books (and bookshop readings) may be disappearing from the High Street, but the appetite to engage with authors in live debate has
never been greater. Away from the barrage of instant news information, writers can offer a more subtle perspective on everything from economic issues to wayward relationships, so our programme includes not only fiction writers and poets, but philosophers such as A C Grayling, scientists including Peter Higgs, historians – and even politicians if they have something new and urgent to say about our world, such as Al Gore on climate change. These are by no means one-way presentations, but participatory sessions, making the Book Festival one of the leading forums for debate and discussion. Rather than sticking to the tried and tested format of two authors on stage promoting their latest books, the festival pushes at the boundaries and seeks to innovate, such as the free late night Unbound events which offer eclectic literary entertainment, including authors performing stand-up comedy. And last year, the ambitious International Writers’ Conference brought together 50 world renowned writers and started a conversation in Charlotte Square on five themes, from censorship to the future of the novel. That conversation has been ongoing for a year, as writers at 14 further festivals from Cairo to Melbourne have added their voices to the debate about literature and its relationship to contemporary life. To celebrate the Book Festival’s 21st birthday in 2004, the then five directors in its history assembled for a photo in Charlotte Square Gardens. Our collective memory may be the nearest to an official history the Festival will ever have. Over the years, there have been many glorious moments as authors spark and crackle on stage: Christabel Bielenberg with Jung Chang, Carol Shields in conversation with Liz Lochhead, James Baldwin with James Campbell, and Norman Mailer and Andrew O’Hagan, separated by the Atlantic but memorably brought together for the Festival audience by technology. One of my all-time favourite events featured two octogenarians, diplomat Fitzroy MacLean and art historian >
I remembered meeting a visitor a few days later who commented she had been in the audience for Adams’ reading. ‘Mmm…dark,’ I offered by way of apology – ‘ Yes, and very handsome!’ she rejoined.
Rahul Bhattacharya at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
began to drink whisky for a living just over thirty years ago, when I lived round the corner from Charlotte Square in The Rutland Embassy. Thirty years on, I am working on my fifteenth book on the subject, deliver talks and tastings all over the world (twelve countries so far this year) and advise whisky companies about selecting casks. Among the latter is the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, whose Nosing Panels I have chaired since 1992 and whose comfortable club premises are just round the corner from Charlotte Square on Queen Street. Open to all, this club is a must for anyone moving to Edinburgh who has an interest in whisky (see smws.co.uk). The Malt Whisky Society was founded the same year as I started to write about whisky (1981), at which time there weren’t many bars in Edinburgh offering a wide range of whiskies. Two which did and still do - are the Canny Man’s on Morningside Road and The Abbotsford on Rose Street. The first, established in 1871, is still owned and managed by its founding family. It offers around 300 malts, and a vast range of open sandwiches at lunchtime - and is an Edinburgh institution. The Abbotsford, was redesigned in 1902, during the opulent ‘Golden Age’ of Scottish pub design, with a magnificent mahogany island bar. Good traditional food is served all day, both in the bar and in the restaurant above. During the 1970s and ‘80s, The Abbotsford was a favourite meeting place for writers and publishers, and may still be… Whigham’s Wine Cellars, on the corner of Charlotte Square and Hope Street, opened in 1983. Although principally a wine bar and bistro, it always had a good stock of whiskies, and was a favourite lunch haunt when I lived in Rutland Square. Charles MacLean is Scotland’s leading whisky expert, author and consultant. He gives masterclasses to whisky companies, clubs and individuals at his nosing rooms in East Lothian.
Steven Runciman discussing travel in the first half of the twentieth century. It was another era: Fitzroy recalled persuading his wife to jettison her ball gowns from the trunks before crossing the Himalayas on foot. One of the highlights was a no-show – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S Thompson’s failure to turn up at the very last minute, despite his publishers laying on every inducement possible in Scotland, from golf to grouse. His black leathered fans turned away meekly at the box office, muttering that they had never really expected him to come anyway. Not so the audience for the following event, historical novelist Dorothy Dunnett and Antonia Fraser. The avid Dunnett fans (to all appearances respectable women of a certain age) caused a near stampede at the box office when they discovered the event sold out. Technical hitches cropped up frequently in the early days – the sudden failures of power which plunged Garrison Keillor and Maya Angelou into darkness – and, memorably, Douglas Adams at the opening event of 1991. I remember meeting a visitor a few days later who commented she had been in the audience for Adams’ reading. ‘Mmm…dark,’ I offered by way of apology – ‘Yes, and very handsome!’ she rejoined. Many of the best moments inevitably happen offstage. Two memorable handshakes from past years seem to encapsulate that enduring generous international spirit of the Festival: one, a photo still on my wall, was the first meeting of Israeli writer Amos Oz, at the height of his fame, and Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, then young and still unpublished, in the centre of Charlotte Square. The other was the encounter, over breakfast, between the two stars of that very first 1983 programme. One proffered his hand: ‘Updike? Burgess – we have corresponded.’
“T his is not just a birthday,” said Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival of this year’s 30th anniversary, “but a celebration of an extraordinary generation of talent. The explosion of Scottish culture over the last 30 years has reverberated around the world and our writers, artists and performers have influenced all aspects of our lives.” page sixteen
COFFEE AND A CHAT WITH BOOK FESTIVAL CHAIR, LADY SUSAN RICE CBE WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL?
In 2001, the Board of the Edinburgh International Book Festival approached me about becoming Chairman. I asked why me? They said that they wanted someone who was known, with Board experience, ideally someone with a commercial or professional background……and who also read books. I chuckled and after a good deal of thought, agreed. At times, it’s been a lot of hard work, at times less. But, throughout, it’s been a great privilege, alongside a strong board and talented staff, to help steer what to us is the greatest of all literary festivals.
HOW DO YOU THINK IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the biggest festival of its type in the world and, many would say, the most influential. It’s grown into that position over time. Indeed, in the early years before I was associated with it, the Book Festival was held only every second year. The fact that there’s such demand – from audiences and from authors – to join us every year is a signal achievement. We have grown in number of events and number of authors. Last year we had 770 events and authors and thinkers from 46 countries around the world. The Children’s Programme has grown significantly and we now focus more and more on young or new adults. In recent years, under Nick Barley’s leadership, a wonderful spontaneous programme called Unbound > has been offered most evenings in one of the tents.
> Authors come and do something that is not on the programme – they might sing, or read out their poetry, or be part of a spontaneous discussion about something that interests them, or do some comedy – no boundaries here. There are many other ways the Festival has evolved and they all make it both more interesting and more compelling.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE BOOK FESTIVAL IN THE GARDENS SO SPECIAL?
In August, the streets of Edinburgh are busy, indeed buzzing. When you walk into Charlotte Square Gardens, you gasp with surprise. With the tents and walkways of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, you feel you’ve entered a secret village, a community. Covered wooden walkways in case it rains, numerous tents of different sizes and shapes, people with a coffee or an ice cream cone, sitting on the grass when the sun shines. Parents in the book tent buying their children books – I can’t think of anything more important than that. Authors – famous and otherwise – walking around and mingling. It’s the combination of the setting, the events themselves, and the shared bond that draws everyone together which makes this so special.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE MOMENTS YOU CAN SHARE?
It’s hard for me to highlight some special moments because there’d be so many to mention. On the most general level, what is so special is what I’ve just described about the ‘village’ in Charlotte Square. It evokes an extraordinary ambiance. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting, or simply introducing myself and welcoming, numerous writers. Some of these I’ve read and greatly admired and so it’s quite special to meet them. Others are less well-known, but no less compelling in what they think and say. One of the things that has struck me so often is that while writers write, many don’t typically find themselves on a stage in front of an audience. Some of our most notable authors are quite thoughtful about that experience and I feel I’m doing something useful if I sit down and have a bit of a chat with them before their event.
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO MEET SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS?
Because I work in August as well as every other month, I don’t have a great deal of free time. I hop over when I can, even briefly. And I spend a lot of time there at the weekends. I’ve met people such as Muriel Spark, Margaret Atwood, Philip Pullman, J K Rowling, and so many more. But meeting someone of note, while it’s nice, isn’t what my role or my passion for the Book Festival is all about. For me, it’s helping to support the entire Festival, the creative and tangible output from a wonderful team, supporting an environment where people of all colours and nationalities and religions and backgrounds come together, an environment where legitimate ideas can be aired and discussed, an environment that feeds the mind and prompts the imagination. It really is quite special.
WHAT DO THE VISITORS SAY TO YOU ABOUT THE UNIQUE SETTING IN CHARLOTTE SQUARE?
For those who haven’t been to Edinburgh before, I know that they notice the wonderful buildings that line Charlotte Square and understand that this is an historic part of the City of Edinburgh, trying to imagine what it looks like once the tents are gone. But, during the Festival, what people seem to love about the setting in Charlotte Square is the pace, the mixture of sometimes riveting events with a chance to relax, browse through books in the book tents, perhaps buy a book then ask an author to sign it. I’ve talked to people who’ve been racing around Edinburgh all day. Sometimes they go into Charlotte Square simply to sit down, get a coffee and relax for half an hour. Others love the fact that they can bring families there, and that people bump into others they know. The atmosphere is informal and cheerful – I think that’s what people like. Lady Susan Rice CBE is Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland
l ove Edinburgh. My love of competitive rowing started at George Heriot's School when I was 14. Hail, rain or shine, we would get out on the water of the Union Canal. I remember at times breaking the early morning ice with my oars, but it's a magical memory for me. These days I spend most of my time with the Team GB squad at the Redgrave and Pinsent Rowing Lake, Caversham, but my many hours on the canal were the starting blocks for my success. Polly Swann and her women's pair partner, Olympic gold medalist Helen Glover are world champion rowers winning three World Cup events in 2013 and are aiming to represent Team GB in the Olympics in 2016. She is currently raising sponsorship funds for a new boat.
have worked in the ‘Ox’ for just over seven years, although I’ve lived in Edinburgh for the last 20 years. The best part of my working day is overhearing all the witticisms and the great banter in the bar. While there are some well-known patrons, the Oxford Bar regulars come from all walks of Edinburgh life and I always get a laugh. There is nothing unusual about what I do, but I’m glad to be the one doing it! When I’ve time off I really enjoy a walk from Stockbridge to the shore at Leith along the Water of Leith. That’s my favourite part of the City.
PROFESSOR SIR TIMOTH Y O’SHEA
dinburgh is such a wonderfully diverse, vibrant and compact city that I never tire of exploring it. The fact that I can pretty much walk everywhere and be confronted by such a rich and varied architecture whilst doing so, are two things I really love about the place. I start my working day in the glorious leafy surroundings and Georgian architecture of Heriot Row. A short walk brings me to the bustle of main shopping areas: first to George Street, from where I can look back and admire the Firth of Forth and Fife, and then on across Princes Street. I glance up at the stately Edinburgh Castle on my right as I continue up the Mound and past the imposing façade of 19th century New College before reaching the Royal Mile. I always like to pause and look down the Royal Mile to the east, to see the sun rising in the mornings and, on summer afternoons and evenings, to soak up the thronging atmosphere of the crowds during the Festivals. On my arrival at Old College, a magnificent building that I never fail to be impressed by, and my office, it is a pleasure to enter the courtyard where I am greeted by the tranquil oasis that is the beautifully redeveloped quad. It is a lovely area where University staff, students and visitors now like to linger and enjoy. Close to my office is the University’s central area campus which is based around the Bristo and George Square areas, with the award winning Informatics Forum separating them. During a busy
week towards the end of both summer and autumn terms, Bristo Square becomes the focus of attention and the University’s Italian Renaissance style McEwan Hall is filled with excitement as another cohort of the University’s students graduate. After this, attention switches to the Fringe Festival, when many of the University buildings are transformed into Festival venues and a giant purple cow takes up residence in Bristo Square for the month of August, jazzing up the area no end. Also, Old College is but a short walk to meetings at the Parliament, and the pleasant surroundings of Holyrood Park. The University’s King’s Building’s campus is not far, and the Little France Estate and Easter Bush are only 30 minutes’ drive away, all of which have undergone considerable resource and architectural transformations in recent years. On my days off, I am but a short stroll away from the delights of the Botanic Gardens, Stockbridge and the Water of Leith, whilst further afield a brisk family walk in the beautiful Pentland Hills always helps to blow away the cobwebs. In short, Edinburgh offers me everything I could wish for in a city, and it never ceases to surprise me with a new view or, indeed, an interesting exchange on South Bridge!
"Edinburgh offers me everything I could wish for in a city."
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh
Kirsty Smith is the landlady of the Oxford Bar on Young Street
The homes of Charlotte Square have nurtured some of Scotland’s finest brains. Faye Lambley takes a tour around the square to point out some famous residents and the sites of interest. Queen Charlotte; Princess Sophia Charlotte of MecklenburgStrelitz, 1744 - 1818. Queen of George III Allan Ramsay Oil on canvass Scottish National Portrait Gallery
THE BEST ADDRESS IN TOWN
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, 1861 - 1928. Soldier (study for portrait in General Officers of World War I, 1914 - 1918, in the National Portrait Gallery, London) John Singer Sargent, about 1922 Oil on canvass Scottish National Portrait Gallery
While finance and commerce is the beating heart of Charlotte Square in the 21st Century – it has also been the home of illustrious and well-heeled Scots who have made their mark on the world. It has been connected to royalty, the lords and ladies of the court and political life, military leaders and ground-breaking doctors and physicians. It was the hub for the high society of Edinburgh’s New Town before giving way in the 20th century to the fund managers, investment trust offices and legal firms. ROYAL CONNECTIONS The Square was named after Queen Charlotte of MecklenburgStrelitz (1744-1818), the German wife of King George III. Married to the King at just 17, she was skilled in English, French, and Italian and enjoyed literature, dancing, music and botany. A young Mozart played for her at court in London and she was a patron of Johann Christian Bach, the son of JS Bach. She produced 15 children and as, directed by her husband, stayed well away from politics. She was the second longest-serving consort, after the Duke of Edinburgh, for 57 years. The magnificent statue of Prince Albert on horseback dressed in a Field Marshall's uniform that graces Charlotte Square gardens was unveiled in 1876 before a massive crowd which turned out for the ceremony. Commissioned as a memorial to Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, it was created by sculptor John Steell (1804 -91), who was knighted for his work on the day the statue was formerly unveiled by Queen Victoria herself. The memorial stands 30 feet high on a base of Peterhead granite which was executed by David Bryce (1803 -76). The figures around the base represent 'The Nobility' by William Brodie (1815 -87), 'The Army and Navy' by Clark Stanton (1842-94) and 'Labour' and 'Science & Learning' by D.W. Stevenson (1842 -1904). LORDS & LADIES The celebrated judge, legal reformer and literary figure, Lord Henry Cockburn (1779 – 1854) lived at No. 16 Charlotte Square. He was a prime mover in the foundation of the Whig Party and, as Solicitor-General for Scotland, was responsible for drafting the Scottish Reform Act of 1832, which introduced wide-ranging changes to the law of suffrage in Scotland. His memoir on the life and times of Georgian Edinburgh remains a vivid portrayal of city characters from Burke and Hare to High Court bench colleagues. His love of
Edinburgh lives on in street names, on buildings and through the Cockburn Association, established in 1875 to enhance the city and protect its historic and architectural heritage. A classic of Scottish literature, The Memoirs of a Highland Lady, was written by Elizabeth Grant, who “was born on the 7th of May 1797 of a Sunday evening at No. 5 N. side of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, in my father’s own lately built house.” The memoirs give a remarkable insight into both Georgian high society life and the early history of No. 5, one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. The Grants entertained visitors on the first floor, in grand reception rooms, while, as a child, Elizabeth would have spent her days in the nursery at the top of the building. THE MILITARY MEN Sir Douglas Haig (1861-1928), the son of John Haig, a successful Scotch Whisky distiller whose marketing slogan was ‘Don’t Be Vague, Ask for Haig’, lived at No. 24 on the South side of Charlotte Square. Having served in Sudan and the Boer War between 1899 and 1902, he became the youngest Major-General in the British Army in 1904 and was knighted in 1909. He went on to gain notoriety in the First World War as Commander of the Battle of the Somme when some 60,000 men died under his command in just one day. Douglas Haig was given a State Funeral at Westminster Abbey in London. Another military man of note was John Lamont of Lamont (18271912), who lived in No. 7 Charlotte Square, between 1870 and 1877. He was a Major General and the 18th Chief of the Clan Lamont. With his title and social status, he led an extravagant lifestyle which ultimately led him into debt. He eventually sold his house on Charlotte Square for £3,000. The house is now administered by The National Trust for Scotland.
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THE POLITICIANS Leading politicians of their day have found a residence in the Square. Today Bute House, No. 6 Charlotte Square, is now the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland. It is used to host foreign dignitaries and is the venue for the weekly meetings of the Scottish Government’s Cabinet, ministerial receptions and press conferences. It gains its name from former resident and a keen conservationist of the built environment, the 4th Marquess of Bute. The Marquess was responsible for much of the preservation of the north side of Charlotte Square and, at one time, the family owned numbers 5, 6 and 7, overseeing improvements and renovations. After the death of the 5th Marquess in 1956, all three homes were given to The National Trust for Scotland in lieu of death duties. Today, No 7 is known as The Georgian House and operated as a very popular tourist attraction. Another previous resident of No. 6 Charlotte Square was Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835), a prominent politician, landowner, agriculturist, statistician and ambassador. He bought the house in 1806 for £2,950.00. He is best known for sponsoring and organising the great social and economic survey, The Statistical Account of Scotland (Old Statistical Account), based on information collected from parish ministers and published in 21 volumes from 1791-99. He was the first president of the Board of Agriculture, founded a society for the improvement of British wool and was the first to introduce sheep farming to Scotland, contributing to the improvement of drainage, field enclosure and crop rotation. As a consequence of his ideologies, Sir John Sinclair can also be seen as a key figure influencing the Highland Clearances, which saw many people thrown off their crofts to make way for more profitable sheep farming. Sinclair sat in the House of Commons until 1811 and in 1805, was appointed commissioner for the construction of roads and bridges in the North of Scotland.
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THE SURGEONS AND SCIENTISTS The scientist and the surgeon have also made their homes in the square. Lord Joseph Lister (1827-1912) lived at No. 9 Charlotte Square, which was also the home of the medical pioneer James Syme (1799-1870). Lister became a professor of surgery at both Glasgow and Edinburgh University and married Agnes, Syme’s daughter. Lister and Agnes later moved to London’s King’s College Hospital where his international reputation as a leading medical clinician was secured. He became a professor of Clinical Surgery and later Governor at the King’s College from 1877 to 1893. He introduced the first antiseptic systems – using carbolic acid and sterile instruments - dramatically reducing the mortality rate from surgical procedures. Lord Lister was the first surgeon to become a peer in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Honours List of 1897. He was influenced by James Syme, also a pioneer in surgical procedures. When Syme was only 24, he performed the first amputation at the hip joint in Scotland. Before anaesthetics, he managed to reduce the time needed to amputate a leg to 90 seconds and experimented with this procedure by attempting to remove as little tissue as possible and reconstructing it. This may have been the first step towards plastic surgery, as we know it today. Another famous medical man was Sir Robert Philip (1857-1939), who lived in No. 45 Charlotte Square from 1898 to 1938. Graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in medicine, he became a scientist whose discoveries and management of tuberculosis earned him his place in history. A part of his research led him to lease a farm in Gracemount in 1921 to demonstrate the production of tuberculosis-free milk. Sir Robert Philip was knighted for his efforts in 1913.
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Alexander Graham Bell, 1847 – 1922. Teacher and inventor Photographer unknown Silver gelatine print 16.3 x 11.9 cm Gifted by Dr Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, son-in-law of Alexander Graham Bell, in 1937 Scottish National Portrait Gallery
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THE TELEPHONE INVENTOR The inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), was born at No. 16 South Charlotte Street, just off Charlotte Square. In 1870, his family moved to Canada before Bell moved to Boston to teach at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes a year later. His early studies focused on the mechanics of speech with the aim of helping the deaf communicate. But this fascination for speech led him to invent a mechanical device that could turn electricity into sound, making way for the first telephone. He received the French Volta Award for his achievements in the study of electricity and, in 1876, founded the Volta Laboratory in Washington where he continued his research on communication. Bell also became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society, and served as its president from 1896 to 1904.
THE PAINTER & THE TENNIS PLAYER One of Scotland’s famous colourists, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, occupied a studio at 130 George Street, just up from Charlotte Square. Reflections, known to have been painted there recently sold for £686,500 – almost £200,000 more than it was expected to fetch. He died in poverty in 1937 at just 57. Reflections is set in the stylish drawing room of Cadell’s George Street home and is part of a series of pictures painted by the lefthanded artist between 1913 and 1915 when he was sent to the western front in France. The white painted walls and black floor was a feature of the dramatic modernism of Cadell’s art in his pre-war period. Andy Murray was not the first Scot to win the men’s singles championships at Wimbledon. That particular honour goes to a former resident of 21 Charlotte Square, Harold Mahony. Harold was born on 13 February 1867 and raised in the Square. Apparently in possession of the same will to win as today’s champion, he triumphed in SW19 back in 1896 in a five-set thriller against fellow Brit, Wilfred Baddeley. Wimbledon Museum curator Honor Godfrey says Mahony was described as a mound of bone and muscle and fantastically fit, with terrific ground strokes and a wonderful backhand. He was a volleyer and considered by his contemporaries as someone with relentless stamina. For his victory, Mahony wore long white trousers, white shirt and tie, which were the order of the day in the Victorian era.
Charlotte Square is alive with history. A stroll around its central garden makes it easy to imagine past lives. But it is today’s residents, from the National Trust of Scotland and the First Minister through to global investment trusts and even great bars, that continue give the Square its status and sense of continuity. page twenty three
London has ronnie scott's and the 606 Club, New York has the Village Vanguard and Iridium, Edinburgh has... Whighams Wine Cellars
JAZZ REVOLUTION which has its roots within Charlotte Square
Graeme Knox(above) and Kevin Dorrian (below)
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Whighams Jazz Club takes place at Whighams Wine Cellars every Sunday evening from 8pm - 11pm. Admission is free.
es, the renowned Hope Street/ Charlotte Square Cellar Bar is transformed into one of Scotland’s top jazz venues every Sunday evening, drawing in a busy crowd of jazz enthusiasts and visitors for its weekly jazz club, which began life back in 2009 and is now widely recognised as one of the ‘go to’ venues for jazz music, not just in Scotland, but across the UK. Whighams Jazz Club was established by Edinburgh jazz drummer Kevin Dorrian and fellow jazz supporter Graeme Knox, both unashamedly regular Whighams patrons! Graeme takes up the story. “Whighams Jazz Club was born simply from the idea that we both felt Whighams would make an excellent venue for jazz. We’d often lamented that there was not enough jazz at the quality end of the spectrum, aside from what was happening at the Jazz Bar in Chambers Street, so I initially approached Whighams' owner Nicholas Henderson and he was happy to try us out.” We felt that a club “run by jazz musicians for jazz musicians”, where the emphasis was on creating a regular musical and social event for all members of the jazz community – old and young, amateur and professional, well-known or “up and coming” – could be both popular and successful, and critically, could help grow the jazz scene.” And grow it did, its success surpassing Kevin and Graeme’s wildest expectations. They felt that the best way to run this new venture was to keep the weekly programme invigorated with an evolving line up of ‘host’ performers – singers and musicians who took centre stage for the first hour of the three hour evening session, after which the stage was set for a jam and open mic session for singers and instrumentalists. Kevin adds: “From the outset back in 2009,
we ran the sessions fortnightly - enabling us to test the water and find our feet. We had to make sure we got the ‘model’ right. Within three months, we moved to a weekly format and, seeing what we were capable of delivering, Nicholas Henderson invested in a state-of-the-art PA (Public Address) system followed months later by a new professional upright piano. "Additionally, Whighams has since invested in “stage” lighting and other audio equipment to further enhance our offering. Marketing has been critical to our success and social media has played a prominent role. We have almost 900 members of the Whighams Jazz Club Facebook group, for example.” Meanwhile, a vast array of performers have appeared at or hosted at Whighams, including award-winning musicians like Brian Kellock, Fionna Duncan, Konrad Wisniewski, the late Tam White, Freddie King, Paul Harrison and Colin Steele. This also includes a dazzling array of international jazz stars including Grammy nominated pianist and musical director to Barbra Streisand, Tamir Hendelman, Benny Goodman Band saxophonist Herb Geller, and long-time Mel Tormé and Les Paul Quartet pianist and MD, John Coliani. A host of groups including the award winning Brass Jaw, Paul Harrison’s Sermon Organ Trio, Swing 2013, The Nova Scotia Jazz Band, The Brian Kellock Trio, and The Sound of Seventeen Big Band have performed at Whighams and the range of styles which have featured is equally impressive – with modern jazz, swing, bebop, Latin, western swing, Big Band, funk, gospel, trad, Dixie, gypsy jazz and blues all making an appearance, delivered by an extraordinarily diverse range of instruments and vocal styles. The Club has found itself a regular fixture on the jazz album launch scene and has also hosted several live album recordings.
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have been working in Edinburgh for 21 years and this is undoubtedly a healthy, entrepreneurial, innovative and ambitious city for financial services businesses. Edinburgh has a significant asset management community, with a breadth and depth that is world class. With many £ billions both managed and held in safe custody by companies operating in the capital, company management and fund managers from all over the world are drawn here. This offers us the opportunity to meet with and have access to many management teams and some of the financial sector’s key figures. For me, the best part of my working day is meeting a client or connection of the firm. All of us at Cornelian are hugely grateful for the trust and support we receive from clients. Along with successful performance numbers, creating a good impression counts. I once had a request from an overseas client who asked me to go to London to bid for a personalised car number plate at auction for him. An unusual request, but one which I readily agreed to do as we are a service business after all! I have two favourite places in Edinburgh. The first is Raeburn Place, home to the Edinburgh Academicals FC, a founding club of the SRU and the venue of the first ever rugby International in 1871 (Scotland beat England). Having played rugby for Scotland, sport has taught me a great deal, from the power of teamwork through to the fact that there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance. So memories of my early playing career at the Edinburgh Accies ground are very dear to me. The second has to be Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags. Both the walks and the views of Edinburgh landmarks (and beyond) are far more spectacular and varied than I suspect most residents realise. The landscape’s colours and mood in different weather conditions, particularly as the seasons change, are something to behold. Jeremy Richardson is Chief Executive Cornelian Asset Managers
CITY TO CITY CREATING A COMPETITIVE EDGE
Charlotte Square is recognised globally as a distinct destination with a reputation for financial services and asset management.
Kenny Kemp talks to Chris Cummings, the chief executive of TheCityUK.
he uk maintains its pole position as a leading place for global financial services – but cannot rest on its laurels, says Chris Cummings, the chief executive of TheCityUK, an advisory group promoting financial services in Britain. While London is the ‘Great Global’ city, Edinburgh still has immense standing as a financial centre, despite the issues faced by its key banks, says Mr Cummings, who has advised HM Treasury and was a senior consultant at PwC. “London remains Number One in the Global Financial Index – but that does not mean we can afford to be complacent. What it does mean is that we must recognise the draw of a London office for international firms, and use it to our advantage. You should always sell on the products that people want to buy, and then upsell on the products!” he says. Here Mr Cummings maintains that Edinburgh – and Charlotte Square – have a unique opportunity based on its history of financial expertise, its skills base and state-of-the-art connectivity. “There are certain parts of the world where everyone knows what you mean as soon as you mention the address, whether that is Park Lane in London or Silicon Valley. Charlotte Square is on that list of globally recognised locations. The recent regeneration of Charlotte Square means that the best of the historic is being combined with fabulous new facilities. It’s going to be terrific business draw for the area and for Scotland,” he says. Mr Cummings, whose father hails from Edinburgh, says: “I know the city’s heritage very well. While there are fabulous cultural facilities,such as museums, galleries and festivals, there are also great sporting, leisure and civic facilities. It’s a great place to do business too.” How is TheCityUK able to help Edinburgh? “The role of TheCityUK is to promote financial and related
professional services across the UK. It is about making the UK the most attractive place in the world to set up and grow financial and related professional services.” Mr Cummings points out various factors that give a place its competitive edge. He talks of the UK’s ‘historic basis of competitor advantage’, which relates to the time zone, between the United States and Asia, and English as the international language of business. “There is the culture of welcoming foreign investment and also a positive immigration policy which allows talented financial people to come and work in the UK.” For multi-national businesses, taxation – a controversial subject which has made headlines for companies such as Amazon, Google and Starbuck – is a key element of working in the UK. “It is also about having a taxation environment that is stable and predictable in a regulatory environment that wants to welcome new companies and make sure that regulation is clearly set out. Not too low but not so inhibitive that business can’t flourish.” With all this in mind, Scotland scores highly as a place to do business. “Scotland has a depth of talent pool which is hugely attractive to foreign companies looking to come into the UK. The question many ask is: can they access a deep pool of talent, what are the schools like and what are the universities like? Are there the top quality graduates that universities produce these days? And are there similar employers already operating there?” Mr Cummings says the investors are looking for ‘match fit’ people whenever they arrive in Scotland. “The X Factor is political support. What we hear from major foreign investors is whether they can enjoy a productive and useful relationship with local politicians and government, not only when they arrive but over the longer term. Businesses are more interested in the marriage than the courtship.”
Scotland has a depth of talent pool which is hugely attractive to foreign companies
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IN THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL MARKETS There is a hard core group of Scottish finance people on TheCityUK’s advisory council. “We are as concerned about jobs in Leeds, Manchester and in Scotland as much as in London. We work very closely with colleagues in Scottish Financial Enterprise, both Owen Kelly, the chief executive, and Ewan Brown, the chairman, and they are great allies and advocates,” he says. TheCityUK’s new chairman, Gerry Grimstone, has strong links to Scotland, as he is also chairman of Standard Life. Among other council members with Scottish links are Martin Gilbert, head of Aberdeen Asset Management; Colin Grassie, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank UK; David Nish, chief executive of Standard Life; Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of RBS; and Otto Thoresen, former head of AEGON UK. “Last year, McKinsey research showed that there are parts of the UK that are immediately attractive for major firms who want to invest, as London is a great shop window. Not everyone can afford to land in London, and that is why the UK story is so compelling because there are talent pools across the country.” TheCityUK has found that companies want to quickly grow their operations and this has led to ‘near shoring’, which often means financial custodial or administrative operations. In the past, companies have been offshoring jobs to the Philippines or India, now companies are ‘near shoring’ their operations across the UK, not only into Belfast and Manchester but into Scotland as well. “That has been one of the big success stories and we are looking at what policies the UK Government needs to put in place to encourage this trend to ‘near-shore’ these major companies. This is because London and the South-east are a relatively expensive part of the world. There are less expensive places to set up a business and we know that Scotland has a much lower cost base with a terrific talent pool and a great history of expertise in financial services.” Connectivity is not a global problem for Scotland either. Indeed the technology between Iceland and Scotland, which also connects to the United States, is described by Mr Cummings as ‘outstanding’. “Connectivity, from an IT perspective, is a message that Scotland heard and is responding too loud and clear. The international connections from Scotland around the globe are top of the range.” How does the constitutional question about Scotland’s future within the UK impact the financial situation? Mr Cummings says
that Scotland plays a very strong part in TheCityUK, with the Scots on the advisory council determined not let their homeland be neglected. “Of course, anything that creates uncertainty for business is not a good thing. But I’m sure a strong, democratic debate – examining all the issues - will come to its own conclusions about what makes the UK stronger in international terms,” he says diplomatically. www.thecityuk.com
Edinburgh Facts Among the ten largest cities in the UK, Edinburgh ranked joint second in 2012 for Foreign Direct Investment projects. (Source: FDI markets.com)
Output from the Financial and Insurance Services sector in Edinburgh grew by over 4% over 2008-2013. (Source: ONS)
Output per resident in Edinburgh is higher than any other UK city outside central London. (Source: ONS)
46% of Edinburgh residents are educated to degree level or above. (Source: Scottish Government)
The city has won a plethora of UK Best City Awards in the last decade including 12 consecutive Guardian/Observer Readers Favourite UK City awards between 2000 and 2011. In a new report from the Centre of Cities, Edinburgh is named one of the most economically resilient cities in the UK. The Cities Outlook 2012 found Edinburgh had the third highest proportion of highly skilled residents of any city in the UK. Edinburgh – ‘Best large city of the future’ and ‘best large city for FDI strategy’ .
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(Source: FT FDI magazine awards 2012/13)
International connections from Scotland are top of the range.
Brasserie de Luxe: lunch is back in fashion
I my edinburgh
’ve been working in Edinburgh for 10 years. Mine is certainly not your usual 9-5 job. I work within a very niche market of clients requiring private charter services, so, as you would expect, we fly some very interesting public figures from time to time and getting to meet these people makes my job really fascinating. For me there is nothing better than meeting for coffee, talking shop and turning that meeting into real business. But there is no place like home and my favourite part of Edinburgh is Stockbridge. I love all the choices of eateries, bars and coffee shops. I love Inverleith Park and the walk along the Dean River. The best thing about Edinburgh is that everything is so close-by. Elena Torres is the Managing Director of Execair Charter and the founder and director of Tartan Marmalade
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t has been rumoured that the business lunch is going out of fashion. Time poor business men and women have, of late, favoured the breakfast meeting: quick, to the point and on your way. Job done. And, of course, no fighting the drowsiness of a lunchtime glass of wine for the rest of the afternoon. A visit to Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in Edinburgh’s famous Caledonian Hotel at the west end of Princes Street and a fruit scone’s throw from Charlotte Square, is likely to change all that. CSq magazine invited Ann Maxwell, founder of the UK’s leading childhood epilepsy charity, the Muir Maxwell Trust, and the FT’s Scotland Correspondent Mure Dickie to test the food and the atmosphere. Best approached via the Rutland Street main entrance, the Parisian styled brasserie is a hidden gem that begs to be discovered. The interiors are cool and sophisticated - rather than warm and cosy - and a far cry from the days when this formed part of the Edinburgh railway station of the Caledonian line. Perhaps as a nod to the past, there is a sense of anticipation; of something new and exciting coming down the track. The Brasserie, and its fine dining sister Pompadour by Galvin, were opened by the Michelin-starred chef restaurateurs Chris and Jeff Galvin in 2012 as part of the multimillion pound transformation of The Caley into a luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel. It was the first time the brothers had travelled outside London with their French inspired cuisine. The menu didn’t disappoint. Paying homage to fresh Scottish produce, there was a lively selection to choose from. To start, Ann, the reigning Tesco Charity Mum of the Year, went for the Escargots de Bourgogne. She loved them. The freshness of the garlic and herbs stood out and, unlike other servings of this classic French dish, these were
not swimming in butter. Mure, who having spent 20 years living and working in the Far East confessed to having kept a list of all the strange and wonderful foods he had tried, chose the Steak Tartare Maison. As a starter, it was both substantial and perfectly tender. CSq tucked into the big, gorgeous oysters – ideal for sharing. The mains were equally delicious. We went for fillet of sea bream, sea trout and a chargrilled featherblade steak, a cut from the skirt of the cow that comprises two different types of meat. In terms of presentation, the trout won hands down with its tender pink flesh set against the vibrant green of the vegetables. The sea bream was a more subtle palate of the white fish, creamy butter beans and a touch of cherry tomatoes. The steak, on the other hand, was not for the faint hearted diner to look at, but its taste was sweet and tender and it was accompanied by the most perfect Pommes Anna – a crunch on the outside and soft in the middle. On to dessert and two of us were swooning over the Apricot Soufflé with lavender ice cream. Never had a pudding tasted so good. The slight tanginess of the fruit was melt in your mouth heaven, while the ice cream was as delicate as the flower itself. The Oeuf a la Neige, was a close second. The floating meringue on crème anglaise, sprinkled with pink praline crumbs was as soft as the snow it is named after. Our final selection was the Savarin of Raspberries. The sponge pudding was a more substantial end to the meal that the other choices, but Mure was not to be beaten and nothing remained on his plate. This was a truly “good lunch”. A discreet setting, great food and time to ‘blether’. Galvin Brasserie de Luxe offers a two course set menu for £16.50, a three course menu for £19.50 and an a la carte menu. We chose Gruner Veltliner, Weingut Wess 2012, the Vin du Moment to accompany the meal.
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CHRIS & JEFF GALVIN
e have always had an admiration and love of Scotland, with our stepfather from Loch Lomond, Chris getting married in Dumfries and the wonderful Scottish produce we have been fortunate enough to work with for almost forty years. When working at the Ritz Hotel as a commis, Chris often came into contact with Scottish chefs arriving in London who would talk about the best hotel kitchen in Scotland - The Pompadour at the Caley! It always sounded such a beautiful space and so when we were offered the opportunity to open one of our restaurants there, we were very excited. Edinburgh is very much on everybody’s radar in London as a great restaurant destination thanks to the brilliance of the chefs working there, such as Martin Wishart, Tom Kitchin, Roy Brett, Jeff Bland, Paul Kitching and Dominic Jack, amongst others (sorry if we have left anyone out because there are so many more talented chefs there!). Our first impression was that the city is made up of a wonderful tapestry of architecture, culture and atmosphere, and so, for any chef it is a very special place to put their style of cuisine on the table. It is a great place to visit because it is so welcoming and we have found that Edinburgh people have been very generous with their time and sharing the secrets of the city. It is very easy to travel in and out Jeff often comments that it is almost on a par with his commute to London! Chris and Jeff Galvin opened The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the autumn of 2012.
Charlotte Square Kenny Kemp takes a tour of The Charlotte Square Collection’s showpiece development “Number 28, Charlotte Square, Please!” I say to the taxi driver with relish. This is a big address: a re-set and polished jewel in the town. Ten minutes later the black cab pulls around into Edinburgh’s most prestigious square, it halts temporarily to allow some oncoming traffic and glides into a space outside this glistening and gleaming new office. The Georgian gas lamp stands sentinel and the gloss black doors, with its half-moon fanlight above, open to invite us in to this refurbished mansion. It’s up a flight of stone stairs and into a bright and spacious reception area. No. 28 now includes the former No. 29 and No. 27 on either side to give it an expansive and brilliant space along the south side of the Square. It is easy to imagine a welcoming face at the reception desk and the drawing room, with its massive lampshades and polished tables, buzzing with people arriving for either a financial seminar or a gathering of chief executives, while others, checking their mobiles, await transport to the airport. This is an address that mixes the best of Georgian Edinburgh with its high ceilings, ornate plasterwork, sweeping staircases, and traditional finish with the excitement and expectations of the new, where modern needs dictate pristine workstations that are wired to the world at large. From reception, you pass a large conference room on the right, nod to the lifts and into a space that is uplifting and surprising. This is the Wow
factor! Here is a 45ft enclosed atrium which allows daylight to penetrate into the heart of the building even on the most dreich of Scottish days. It is a community area where business brains will congregate for those break-out sessions where the best ideas are generated. Under a suspended polymer roof, the sandstone wall of the original building curves outwards giving a solid Scottish baronial feel. The textures of stone and glass are uplifting to the senses. Underneath the floor is a hidden garage for a number of vehicles, and above, serving the upper floors, is a suspended glass-ballustraded bridge. Moving into the ultra-modern Grade A office space, it is quiet with the ultra-efficient lighting and air conditioning zoned to cater for individual places. Here there is room to work with enough personal space to enjoy an interesting office environment with large windows facing out onto Hope Street Lane and back into the atrium. At first glance, this address hides its modernity. There are still plenty of touches to remind you that this remains a building steeped with heritage, an old safe in the wall, a glorious roof embellishment and a listed fireplace. But the designers, architects and builders have created a unique space which chimes with the needs of high-performing business teams. It allows people to think and to breathe, but it also meets every requirement for 21st century business. Not many refurbished buildings can manage that.
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I N S P I R I N G
E X C E P T I O N A L T H E
V I S I O N
O F F I C E
G E O R G I A N
C R E AT E
A C C O M M O D AT I O N
H E A R T
E D I N B U R G H
The Charlotte Square Collection is a managed estate comprising nineteen properties on Charlotte Square. The long-term custodianship of this portfolio enables the buildings and environment around the Square to be managed in a manner that reflects the high-quality expectations of the businesses that are attracted here.
The Collection provides a range of accommodation types, specifications and sizes to suit every business from the newly-formed start-up to the established corporate HQ. Regardless of your requirement, what sets us apart is the attention to detail and personal service that is provided. The people you deal with at day one will take an active interest in your business requirements over the coming years to ensure that you can focus on your business whilst we concentrate on providing the very best environment to ensure your future success.
West Side: Nos 12,13,14
West Side: Nos. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
12 and 13 can be refurbished to meet the precise needs of occupiers.
From individual floors available for immediate occupancy to entire townhouses available for future refurbishment. Current occupiers include Amati Global Investors, BNP Paribas and Allied Irish Bank.
North Side: No 9 Renovated to exacting standards, No. 9 is now occupied by SCOBAN, which has made Charlotte Square its HQ. South Side: Nos. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 The redevelopment of 26-31 is now complete, combining Georgian architecture with contemporary design. Space ranges from traditional townhouse to open plan. Cornelian Asset Managers occupy No. 30. No. 32 can be refurbished to meet the precise needs of occupiers.
Illustration by Genevieve Ryan www.genevieveryan.eu
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A V A I L A B L E
P R O P E R T I E S
N U M B E R
Completed in November 2013, this stunning renovation of the three central townhouses on the south side of Charlotte Square has, for the first time seamlessly blended the grandeur and timeless practicality of period townhouses with class-leading modern grade A office accommodation. Linked by a full height, light-filled atrium, the building provides an equal amount of period and new-build space, over 33,000 sq ft in total. The 2,500 sq ft central atrium is ideal for client entertaining, staff functions or simply a place to dwell. The specification has been carefully considered to ensure that everything possible has been done to create the finest working environment for staff and clients. The specification includes: LG7 lighting throughout, including bespoke contemporary lighting and feature lighting in the townhouses. Efficient VRF air conditioning (heating and cooling) throughout New lifts Under floor Cat 6 cabling and power provision throughout the period building High quality and high provision of male, female and disabled toilets Secure bicycle storage Showering and changing facilities Tea-preparation and kitchen facilities Designed to British Council of Offices Category A specification Environmental ratings of “Very Good” for BREEAM and “C+” for EPC.
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A V A I L A B L E
P R O P E R T I E S
N U M B E R
A single townhouse providing 3,860 sq ft (net) of office accommodation with beautiful public areas in addition. The generous vestibule leads to one of the grandest staircases of any building on Charlotte Square, crowned by an immaculately restored cupola casting light into the building at all levels, even at night thanks to the discrete feature LED lighting. Two private external garden spaces add to the uniqueness of this property. Redeveloped at the same time as numbers 28, 30 and 31, the building has been finished to the same exacting standard and high level of specification.
N U M B E R
N U M B E R
Two floors remain available in this townhouse on the south side of Charlotte Square, providing an ideal combination of open-plan working space and meeting rooms. Extending to 1,470 sq ft, the prospective occupier will benefit from the same high specification levels and generous provision of common parts and facilities.
This building acts as a more economical entrance point to residency on Charlotte Square and lease flexibility enables it to function as an ‘incubator’ for new high-growth businesses or for smaller established firms. Availability varies from time to time, so please contact our letting agents to discuss opportunities.
F U T U R E
A V A I L A B I L I T Y
The Charlotte Square Collection carefully manages its building stock to ensure that all potential occupational requirements can be catered for, from individual floors to entire townhouses and even combinations of buildings. We currently have several vacant properties that can be refurbished to meet the precise requirements of occupiers. These include: Numbers 12 & 13 approximately 10,550 sq ft Number 21 approximately 4,125 sq ft Number 22 approximately 4,725 sq ft Number 23 approximately 5,880 sq ft Number 32 approximately 5,000 sq ft
Angela Lowe CBRE Tel: 0131 243 4189 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick White CuthbertWhite Tel: 0131 202 1880 Email: email@example.com
The Charlotte Square Collection is developed and asset managed by Corran Properties Limited on behalf of Fordell Estates Limited.
This magazine has been edited by Kemp Communications and Indigo, designed by Wolffe and printed in Scotland. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, however caused. © 2013
M I S R E P R E S E N TAT I O N
Cushman & Wakefield and CuthbertWhite for themselves and for lessors of this property, whose agents they are, give notice that: 1: The particulars are produced in good faith, but are a general guide only and do not constitute any part of a contract. 2: No person in the employment of the agent(s) has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatsoever in relation to this property. 3: The property is offered subject to contract and unless otherwise stated all rents are quoted exclusive of VAT. November 2013.