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Corstorphine the centre of your community

March / April 2013

Can you guess where this is?

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Welcome Message Welcome to the this month’s edition of The Hub: Corstorphine I don’t know about you but it seemed as though 2012 went by in a flash. So we vowed to take more time in 2013, to slow the pace down, to enjoy ourselves just a little more. Here we are then, half way through March, nearly a quarter of the way through the year and it’s been… well… incredibly busy. But in a good way. This is our second edition of the year and we’re introducing a couple of new features to add to our regular business spotlights and local stories. We have our first competition this month. A massive thank you to Martin Ward Photography for their creativity and for putting up a fabulous prize. You can win a superb photoshoot for you and your family worth over £400; all courtesy of Martin Ward. All you need to do is email us with your answer: with your answer. By the way, you can see the photograph on our Facebook page – just follow the link from You can read more about Martin Ward Photography and all our terms and conditions later in the magazine. Our second new feature is our Holiday Club. Each edition we’ll feature a different destination and we want to hear about your holiday experiences. Do get in touch and we’ll share your holiday snaps with the rest of Corstorphine; you might just inspire someone with your reminiscences. This edition: climbing Kilimanjaro. Do have a look at our Facebook page (and Like it, too) for more features, competitions and photographs. All the best…

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Follow us on Facebook

There are plenty of interesting facts about Facebook on the web. There are plenty of interesting facts about Facebook on the web. For example: if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world (behind China and India). Or how about his one? There have been 1.13 trillion ‘Likes’ since the feature was launched in February 2009. There are a few barbed cements, too. Here’s one of our favourites: ‘Do you want to make money from Facebook? It’s easy. Just go to your Account Setting, deactivate your account and go to work!’ Whatever you think about Facebook and the other social media ‘platforms’ you can sign up to they are here to stay. And they represent a new and different way of doing business.

Don’t believe us? Next time you’ve settled down for an evening in front of the television just look at the adverts: very few of them refer to websites any more. Most of them will, however, say ‘find us on Facebook’. Of course, there’s a reason for this… and that’s because so many people stay in touch using social media. Facebook is the most popular site for doing just that. It doesn’t replace more traditional communication like (heaven forbid) talking to your mates; rather it’s an additional tool to help people and businesses stay in touch, even though they may be separated by geography. And it’s free. Mostly. The Hub is working hard on its Facebook presence. Yes, The Hub has its own

Facebook page. Just visit and follow the link or search: The Hub: Magazine. You’ll find links and more information about each of The Hub’s advertisers. There are more photographs from many of the stories we cover in the magazine and you can enter this edition’s competition. We’d love to hear from you, too. Feel free to post links, ask questions, send us photographs from your part of town or of your hols as part of our Holiday Club feature. And check back regularly. You might well find special offers from our advertisers that will save you a pound or two. Remember: you can find us by searching on Facebook under The Hub Magazine… and don’t forget to click the Like button. It all helps to keep business local.

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Club Spotlights Gallery Art Club The Gallery Art Club by all accounts is a friendly and sociable group. Sure, art is key but it’s more about, well… having a go, really. And that doesn’t quite go far enough… it is about ‘having a go’ but it’s also about the freedom to express yourself without the worry that your work might be judged in some way. That’s not to say, if you decide to pay a visit, that you won’t have the opportunity to improve your skills. The group regularly brings tutors to teach new techniques, organises trips to galleries and exhibitions as well as different locations to paint and sketch. The group meets at Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre and is actively looking for new members. You can get in touch by calling Caroline Anderson on 0131 334 1475.

Corstorphine Floral Club Julia Newell of The Corstorphine Floral Art Club, has been in touch with some important news. The club is delighted to be holding 3 flower arranging workshops:

• • •

23rd March - hand tie bouquet & arrangement on a vase, 27th April - open wreath and funky oranges, 25th May - pedestal/table arrangement and arrangement on a bottle

All will be at the Drum Brae Library Hub from 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Cost per person, per workshop is £22.00, including all flowers, materials and tea/coffee. Workshops will be led by trained florist Shiona Stiven of The Secret Flower Garden, Barnton. The course will suit beginners or those with some knowledge of flower arranging. Pre-booking is essential. Please call Julia on 0131 516 7042 to Do you have a club you book a place. Please note a cheque to secure your place will be would like us to spotlight? required in advance of each workshop. Call 0131 603 5290

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Home Spotlight: Home Energy Saving the planet doesn’t have to cost the Earth. ‘If you really think about it,’ says Iain Noon from Home Energy UK, ‘creating your own source of power is a no brainer.’ We weren’t so sure, being sceptical by nature. Iain smiles as though he’s heard all the arguments against being environmentally friendly before. Instead of saying anything, though, he reaches into his bag and brings out a very thin sheaf of papers: his energy bill. Iain showed us the final figure. £55 in the depths of winter in Scotland! The figure sent us rushing for our own bill. We were shocked to see that our bill was almost exactly 5 times greater give or take a couple of quid. Okay, okay; Iain made his point brilliantly well. But surely it costs an awful lot to get your bills that low?

‘It can do,’ he acknowledges, sitting back in his chair. ‘But if a homeowner is clever and takes some proper advice there’s plenty of government support; from grants to really preferential payment terms.’ And advice is key. The renewable energy market is new and developing all the time. Technologies are improving rapidly and becoming more and more affordable. ‘Take solar panels,’ suggests Ian. ‘The solar cells we use are so much more efficient than they used to be. They will comfortably provide enough energy for your own use, even when it’s cloudy and dull.’ There are other technologies which Ian recommends: from domestic wind turbines to ground source heat pumps. In fact the choice is bewildering. Something the

government has recognised. Ian explains more about the new Green Deal being launched in April. ‘There’s a whole range of packages in the Green Deal. One of things we think important is that the industry is regulated and anyone giving advice has to be assessed and signed off as competent.’ Ian pauses to allow the significance of this to sink in. ‘It means that anyone giving advice has been trained to a particular standard and qualified to assess properties for renewable energy suitability. All of our Energy Assessors are there to save homeowners money and protect the environment.’ Home Energy UK are the nation’s renewable experts. You can get the benefit of free advice from Home Energy UK by calling them on 0800 389 8825.

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Home Spotlight: Scaffolier

Scaffolier (for the correct pronunciation think ‘chandelier’) is one of those truly different businesses that makes you think wow, what a great idea. Like many great ideas the Scaffolier concept was born out of necessity. Nik Plevan and Katharyn Barnett spent many, many hours and probably a fair bit of cash refurbishing their home. But they had a problem. There was one space which was making them scratch their heads. They just couldn’t find the right lighting for it. No matter how hard they searched the antique shops for a chandelier nothing quite fitted the bill. So, naturally, Katharyn decided to design her own lighting centre piece from old scaffolding pipe.

me the same thing! Well, I was looking around an old reclamation yard for some other things for our home and I saw this pipe lying about… and the idea just came to me.’ Like a light bulb going on? Sorry, couldn’t resist. ‘It was, sort of,’ says Katharyn seriously. ‘But once I had the idea, making it happen was relatively simple; I created a design and had Nik connect the scaffolding pipes together with pipe clamps before adding the electrical components and finally the crystals.’

We couldn’t quite make the leap so just had to ask the question: why?

We have to admit, the effect is stunning – a real mixture of contemporary and traditional with the crystal tear-drops creating real sparkle.

Katharyn laughs before answering. ‘Yes, Nik asked

From having a headache in their own home Katharyn and

Nik had the idea for a new business. They now design and create Scaffoliers, lamps and smaller pieces for other customers. Each piece is truly unique; a one off that no other home in the world will have.

We wondered why the concept has been so successful. Katharyn thinks for moment before answering. ‘Every room needs to have something special in it, otherwise it’s just ‘space’. A Scaffolier is really special.’ We 100% agree.

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Business Spotlight: On the Courthouse, Peebles with local girl Audrey Reid Peebles is only about half an hour from Corstorphine… just follow the A701 south after turning off the City Bypass. A little gem of a Borders town it is, too, with the River Tweed rolling right through its centre, a picturesque high street packed with independent shops and outdoor pursuits all around.

Audrey first moved to Loch Lomond for her work. It quickly became clear to her there was a business opportunity to be had. ‘I looked for a coffee shop to buy. I was spending all my time in greasy spoons or places that didn’t cater for business people who perhaps needed a venue for meeting clients or a place to work for an hour or so.’

As a place to do business it was certainly attractive to Audrey Reid who has just opened the Courthouse restaurant and bar in town.

At that Audrey shrugs her shoulders almost apologetically; ‘The rest is history,’ she says with a rueful smile.

atmosphere,’ explains Audrey. ‘Oh, and the food!’

And Audrey is one of our own: ‘Yes, I come from Corstorphine – I lived here for 24 years and raised my children here. I have very happy memories of my time in Corstorphine.’

So why Peebles?

‘Well, it’s early days as yet’, says Audrey with a massive twinkle in her eye. ‘We only opened a few weeks ago but so far I just couldn’t ask for more… we’ve been rushed off our feet.’

‘Well, I’d been looking for a new challenge for a little while and this venue in Peebles came up. I fell in love with the place and had to go for it.’ And go for it she has. Audrey has invested significantly in The Courthouse, her place in Peebles, creating a comfortable, welcoming and cosmopolitan location in the heart of the Scottish Borders.

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‘For me it’s all about the service and the

How have things gone so far?

As if to underline the point, just at that moment the door opened and another group of customers (Audrey prefers to think of them as friends) came in for drinks and something to eat. We’ll certainly be taking another run out to Peebles soon, perhaps at Easter, to catch up again with another of Corstorphine’s own.

The Courthouse Bar & Restaurant, The High Street, Peebles.

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Behind the Lens: Competition Win a Photo Noir Portrait Experience and 20” wall portrait worth £435 with Martin Ward Photography. The Hub: Corstorphine is delighted to announce our first reader competition and we’re doubly pleased that it’s in association with Martin Ward Photography.

Can you guess where this is?

All you need to do is identify where this photograph was taken. Here’s a clue: it was in or very near to Corstorphine! Okay, that may have been a bit unfair so here are four locations from you to choose from.

Can you guess where this is? >>> To enter all you need to do is visit the website: or write to us at 84 St John’s Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh, EH12 8AT. Don’t forget to leave your details so we can get back to you if you are lucky enough to win. Closing date for answers is midnight on 12th April, 2013. All correct answers will be put into a hat and the winner drawn at random on Monday 15th April. We will advise the winner of their success by email later the same day. And, sorry, only one entry per person!

A. St Margaret’s Park, Corstorphine

B. U

Tower, Corstorphine Hill


C. Looking down from Clermiston

D. P

Answer at: www.thehub-c

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Martin is one of the few portrait photographers who can provide you with more than just a family portrait. It’ll be your very own unique work of art. Martin from Martin Ward Photography has a formidable reputation for the range and


depth of his photographs. From romantic, natural wedding photography to outstanding portraiture, you can see a selection of Martin’s portfolio on his website (www. martinwardphotogrpahy) or on his Facebook page (follow the link from our Facebook page The Hub: Magazine). If you are the lucky winner what would you have Martin do? A fabulous family portrait perhaps? You and a loved one? Maybe you’d have Martin photograph your dog keep the prize for yourself and be treated as a model for a while, maybe being photographed in the timeless and elegant ‘Photo Noir’ style. It’ll be your call, so get your entries in to us straight away!

The images speak of emotion , depth and simplicity

Union park, Saughton

Path up to Corstorphine Hill site Balgreen Road

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MONEY SAVING TIPS BY EXPERT RENEE MACKAY Money saving tips aren’t always practical or even useful… I mean who’s got the time to ‘make your own cleaning products’. But here’s a really useful and practical tip that’s really easy to implement from Renee Mackay of TaxAssist Accountants. Last year in the UK our average weekly spend was £483.60 and huge proportion of that was in supermarkets. If you haven’t signed up already join the loyalty card schemes… all of them, not just the supermarket you use most. Then use supermarket vouchers and loyalty points against family days out instead of against your shopping. You get up to four times the value.

Look out for Renee’s Money Saving Tip next edition.

For advertising and features - 0131 603 5290 /

For advertising and features - 0131 603 5290 /

For advertising and features - 0131 603 5290 /

Business Spotlight: With Scott McAllister of LSM Architecture Scott McAllister is an architect. You might think there’s not much more to say than that, but you’d be wrong. You see, he’s thought very carefully about the service he provides to his clients. We were curious about how Scott approaches his work and how he manages to be different in a competitive market place. ‘Well, first of all,’ says Scott, ‘I use some really clever software. Of course, I produce plans to get planning permission and

Building Warrants but my software also gives my clients a 3 dimensional view of what we’re creating.’ He pauses for a second as if reflecting on why this is important.

‘For some of my clients it’s really important they get a sense of what we’re going to

create before a builder ever puts a spade in the ground.’ Scott works almost exclusively in the domestic market producing plans for anything from internal alterations to extensions and conversions to complete new homes. And Scott understands what’s important for his clients.

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‘For some people who maybe haven’t gone through a building project I do everything. I complete the designs, put the work out to tender, make sure there’s a contract in place and then manage the build.’ But what about clients who are more experienced? ‘Well, I tailor the service for those people. They might only want me to get planning permission and Building Warrants and I’ll do that for them.’ And this tailored approach to clients really seems to be working. Since he started out 3 years ago business has doubled every year and there is no shortage of new clients for Scott’s work, which he really appreciates.

Scott was very patient as he explained.

Scott has plans for the future, too.

‘The Passive House is a German concept… the idea is that once your house is built it doesn’t require much heating. You insulate really well, make it airtight – that sort of thing. Running costs are reduced and you have a more comfortable living space.’

‘I’m really interested in the concept of the Passive House.’

If you want to find out more about LSM Architecture you can call Scott on 0131 564 0750 or find them via our Facebook Page (The Hub: Magazine)

We’d never heard of it and said so.

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Lothian Thistle Football Club

We interview club member, Mike McGuire Having grown up ‘down south’ I can well remember the footie results being read out on a Saturday. Sure, the results from Everton or West Ham were interesting, but it was when the Scottish fixtures were announced that I really started to listen.

It was the names, you see… clubs like Hamilton Academicals and Queen of the South always sparked my imagination. Lothian Thistle Football Club sounds like one of those names I used to hear on the BBC. Real life is different, though. They’re a team from our neck of the woods,

playing their home games at Saughton Enclosure. Mike McGuire who is involved with the East of Scotland senior side got in touch to tell us more. The club was founded in 1969 by Tom Allison as the works team of Lloyds Finance. A year later he left Lloyds who wouldn’t let him stay on as manager. So he founded Lothian Thistle, taking many of the players with him.

repeatedly). ‘Most British clubs are a few years behind the curve’, says Mike. If you are interested in playing, getting involved or simply supporting the club get in touch with us via the Facebook page (The Hub: Magazine) and we’ll pass your details to the club.

These days there’s a bit less politics involved and the club has successful youth teams under the name Hutchison Vale as well as the senior side. Mike is interested in fitness (the ability to run for a period of time) and conditioning (the ability to run fast and do it For advertising and features - 0131 603 5290 /

For advertising and features - 0131 603 5290 /

Holiday Spotlight Welcome to the first of The Hub: Corstorphine’s Holiday Club features. Each addition we’ll focus a different holiday location to see if we can inspire you in some way. However, our Holiday Club will be a little different. Firstly, our features will be based on real life not holiday brochures. That means you’ll get the warts and all picture of each location we feature. That means we need your help: if you’ve been on a fabulous (or terrible, for that matter) holiday and you’d like to let other people know about it just get in touch. No need to write anything, just call us (0131 603 5290) or email us at and we’ll put together a feature based on your experiences.

Our first feature comes from our very own Richard Lambert and his recent trip up Mount Kilimanjaro…

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it mm

On the way to Kibo

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Kilimanjaro: the highest peak in Africa It seemed like a good idea at the time, when we first talked about it. Half way up the final ascent, in my fourth hour of plodding along in pitch darkness it was no longer fun… but I’m starting the story in the middle. Renee (my wife) and I wanted a challenge but decided that camping wasn’t really for us and so plumped for the Marangu route up Mount Kilimanjaro, which at 19,340 feet is the highest peak in Africa – five days (four nights) staying in huts seemed like a doddle. And so the first three day’s hiking were. I can’t say we’re the fittest people in the world but we spent a little time in the gym and did plenty of walking up

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Corstorphine Hill. The first day from the start of the walk to Mandara Hut through rainforest was strenuous, but not too strenuous.

We left Kibo at midnight so we could walk on frozen scree. Needless to say it was pitch dark and I walked in a pool of light three feet in diameter cast by my head torch for nearly six hours before arriving at the summit.

The huts themselves are pretty small, just room for four people to share and not much else. They are certainly no good if you are claustrophobic.

At the time I remember feeling only relief but now, from a month’s distance, I loved it and would go back tomorrow.

All food, utensils, your clothes and even gas for cooking are carried up the mountain by porters. You only need to carry a day bag with wet weather clothes, your lunch and three litres of water.

So, my overall impressions: it’s not about fitness, anyone with moderate fitness can do it: it’s altitude sickness that will stop you. Although the Marangu is relatively civilized with huts you still won’t be showering for five days. But if you want a real challenge then I would recommend Kilimanjaro to anyone, any day of the week.

The second day saw us hike from Mandara to Horombo Hut through alpine moorland. The third day saw us arrive at Kibo Hut – we were now at serious altitude (about 15,000 feet) and some were suffering from altitude sickness.






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The Hub: Community Website Our website continues to grow and develop But, once again, we need your help. If you run a business… Of course, our site provides a platform for local businesses to advertise and we’ll continue to expand that side of what we do. If you have a business you’d like to advertise on line we’ll do a few things that are a little different from the ‘usual’ directory listing.

For example, it’s not just a line on a web page you get with us… we use your logo which allows anyone looking at our site to see more about you than usual. Then there’s a click through to a splash page. A splash page gives you the opportunity to explain more about your business than a normal advert on a listing directory and it links to your website, too. If you don’t have a website we can build a site for you – just ask us and we’ll sort out the rest.

Finally, if you are a Hub: Corstorphine advertiser we’ll link through to your advert so your customers can learn even more about you. If you are a regular reader… If you are a regular reader of The Hub: Corstorphine, we’d be really grateful if you would do three things for us. First of all please do take a few minutes to explore the site. We have listings of local businesses, outlined some of the village’s history and are building a collection of pictures depicting days gone by. There are even some semi fictional short stories about key dates in the history of our place. We’d love your feedback and also your suggestions about what else we can add to our site to make it a real resource for Corstorphine. If you do look up a business on our site please tell them where you found their details. Secondly, we’re still adding to the services we’re providing. The next addition is our Holiday Club. We want to feature different

holiday destinations – not the usual sugar coated offerings you might get in a brochure, but real warts and all experiences that you’ve had. Just get in touch with us – a call would be perfect – and we’ll talk about your holiday experience before working it up into a special feature. We’d love to get some photos from you, too. You never know – you might inspire someone to book the trip of a lifetime or even save them from a very expensive disaster.

Finally, please visit our Facebook page – you can follow the link from the website and click ‘Like’. The more Likes we get the more we can help local businesses. Thanks a million for all your help – it’s very much appreciated.

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The Hub - Corstorphine March 2013  

The Hub - Corstorphine March 2013