Friends of Roseburn Park (FoRP) asked residents in 2016 what they’d like to see in the park. Since then we’ve helped deliver some of the things residents wanted– the toilet block conversion to a café, the log bench, a better new play park, a new mural, new trees, BBQ slabs and benches and so on. We now want to refresh that vision. For that we need your help!
We are distributing 2,500 paper survey forms to the homes around Roseburn Park. We are also collecting views on the same questions online at tinyurl.com/roseburnparksurvey .
Can you let us know what you think of the ideas we’ve put forward– and add any you think we need to consider? We’ll use your feedback as the basis for grant applications.
We look forward to answering your questions at the launch, to which we’d like you to bring your completed forms to. If you can’t make it, please drop your forms through the Armoury door letterbox opposite, at 13c Riversdale Crescent before 13th August, please.
PARK FLOODS- AS IT IS SUPPOSED TO! We think the snowmelt from the Pentlands has contributed to this. It’s good to know the flood defences in Roseburn Park are doing their bit. This is the highest it has been since the flood of April 2000. It would need to get 2 or 3 feet higher to reach the new cafe, thank goodness!
There is always room for more volunteers to help on the Board; if you’d like to put your name forward, please let us know by emailing FriendsOfRoseburnMembership@gmail.com. We have Board meetings on Zoom every six weeks, on a Wednesday night.
A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY! We are planning a Xmas disco- the Platinum Jubilee one was such a success that we want to do a re-run. The date will be Thursday 15th December, cost £5, with kids half-price. It is likely to be held at the Masonic lodge, Roseburn Gardens. Tickets from Art et Facts in Roseburn Terrace or come on the night at 7pm. There is a bar – and playing the platters that matter will be our DJ Jeremy Thoms. Dancing for all ages – until 11pm.
Adopt a Tree; Plant some Bulbs
New baby trees will be planted in Roseburn Park and along the Water of Leith to replace the ones which were planted by the flood prevention works, but have since died (they were not staked or planted properly). Would you like to adopt one of these trees to help ensure its survival, just by watering it when it’s dry? See our poster at: http://www.friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk/files/2022/09/tree-watering-poster.pdf
We also need volunteers for our Roseburn Park Task Force, which would mean a couple of hours on the odd weekend; our next task is in planting bulbs in the grass to make it look pretty in the spring. Again, if you are interested in helping, please contact the secretary.
From the Masonic Disco on 2nd June- the masons at Caledonian Lodge No 392 donated buck’s fizz and chocolate:
Prepping the site:
Key volunteers Sheila, Sandie and Alex
Putting up the bunting
And on the Day of the Party:
Around 600 people attended
Event co-ordinator Pete Gregson
Val Forbes’s Memorial Rose
John Yellowlees announces the Roseburn Park Walking Guide by Rosie Bell, assisted by John Riddoch
Andrew Sharpe of Edinburgh City Star Majorettes wowed the crowd with his virtuoso juggling
Volunteer Alex as Queen Elizabeth II
The 150th Craigalmond Scouts tea stall, with the bouncy castle behind
Laura Dunbar with more buck’s fizz from the Mason’s- for the raffle- at the FoRP Information stall
Osman from the Village Cafe in Corstorphine sold coffee and cake
Ping Pong tournament with Murrayfield Memorial Table Tennis Club
Learning croquet with Balgreen Croquet Club
Beat the Goalie- with Mackenzie Martin
Best Outfit prize awarded by Margaret Smith, winner of the 1953 fancy dress competition as the Bisto Girl
Best fancy dress prize awarded by Foysol Chowdhury MSP, assisted by Councillor Frank Ross
Most beautiful dog prize awarded by Christine Jardine MP
Cathie from Ruby Rose with the Jubilee table she has upcycled, then auctioned in support of breast cancer charity
Cathie with her Ruby Rose stall
Jurgen’s burgers (made to Pete’s secret recipe) went down a storm- we sold over 200
We estimated 500 to 600 attended
Exhibition of photos from 1954 Coronation fancy dress party in the park
Dogs Trust – helped run doggie events, like the Waggiest Tail, Best Biscuit Catcher, Best Lookalike .. 31 dogs attended and the dogs got the certificates- NOT the owners!
Doggie dash #1
Doggie dash #2
Doggie Dash #3
.. with Murrayfield Wanderers RFC
Bunting made by pupils at Roseburn Primary School
Sheila and Sandie from the organising committee
The following Roseburn and Western Corner shops donated prizes for the competitions and raffle:
ID Hair & Murrayfield Skin Clinic Chapman Property Management Brendan Haddock Jewellers Dine Roseburn Shoe Repairs Ruby Rose Roseburn Café Vigo Delicatessen Hui- Chinese Takeaway Delta Curry Takeaway Steven Henderson Hair Anita Glasby Opticians U beaty Therapy Art et Facts House of hound PC Doctor & Moving Pictures Thallon Soulis PC Doctor Murrayfield Bar Claire Doig Hairdressing Roseburn Bar Ikina studio Tescos
Glitz n Glamour hairdresser
Galaxy nail spa
Salon La Greca
and Scottish Rugby
PARTY IN THE PARK FRIDAY 3rd JUNE 1-5pm
The Party harked back to the 1953 Coronation Party in the Park- with a fancy dress competition, open to young and old, one judge being the winner of that competition – Bisto Girl Margaret Smith; the other being Ward Cllr Frank Ross. … Prizes for the best outfits (donated by the Roseburn shops) … Exhibition of photos from the 1953 Coronation Party (see them at Park History | Friends of Roseburn Park (SCIO))
For those who want to pay their respects to Val Forbes, we unveiled her shrub rose by the old playpark at 1pm.
1.30 – Doggie events: Best Trick; Best Lookalike; Waggiest Tail; Best Biscuit Catcher; Musical Statues (sit and stay); Doggie Dash – all with the Dog’s Trust; prizes and certificates awarded throughout afternoon as winners were announced.
1.30 – Doggie Beauty (by mystery judge)- onwards- prize awarded at 3pm by Christine Jardine MP
2.45 – Auction of Queen Liz table by Ruby Rose with Faisal Choudhury MSP, 50% proceeds to Breast Cancer (Jeremy Balfour MSP had to call in sick)
3.00 – announcement of Fancy Dress prizewinners with judges Cllr Frank Ross and Bisto Girl Margaret Smith
3.15 – more Majorette magic with Andrew
4.00 – announcement of Raffle prize winners with FoRP Chair Jim McDonaugh
5.00 – ends
Ongoing throughout the afternoon was the Exhibition of 1953 Fancy Dress photos, Bouncy Castle, Treasure Hunt, Photostall – yourself as QE2, 150th Craigalmond Scout Group tea Stall; portaloos by Balfour Beatty, Beat the Goalie, Balgreen Croquet classes, over-50s Walking Rugby with Murrayfield Wanderers.
On sale were home-made hamburgers, Teas & Biscuits, Osmans’s Coffee and Cakes (Village Café, Costorphine), Ruby Rose upcycled furniture
… and the night before – DISCO PARTY THURSDAY 2nd JUNE 7pm – 11pm
DJ Jeremy Thom played the platters that matter on the wheels of steel .. bar… kids were welcome…. 57 folk came
Note the actual venue is called Caledonian Lodge No 392 (Lodge of Brotherly Love only rent space there) Tickets were £5 on door or in advance from Art et Facts, Roseburn Terrace.
The Council recently removed several mature trees that were diseased. We are thinking of using the trunks (if we can get them) for new log benches- please indicate if you’d like this and what style you’d like. Please complete this form to indicate your preference: https://forms.gle/is3obUj6FE2hwXV47
Park Party for Queens Platinum Jubilee Day- Consultation
We plan on running a Party in the Park to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee on Friday 3rd June- would you like to attend? And do you want to help- either on the day, or in the planning group? This event will hopefully receive some cash from the Lord Provost’s Platinum Jubilee Street Party Fund 2022. Please complete the form https://forms.gle/is3obUj6FE2hwXV47
Please respond by 20th April. We’ll post the results here and on Facebook
The video showing all the work carried out lasts 10 minutes can be viewed below:
1st May work starts- L to R. Kyle Purves (All Aspects Building), Cllr Frank Ross, Jim Mcdonaugh ( FoRP ), Pete Gregson (FoRP) and James Whyte (All Aspects Building)
Cllr Ross helped secure the lion’s share of the renovation costs from Edinburgh Council- the rest came from residents and small funders (see below). Any questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOVE YOU WILL SEE THE PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING WORK AS IT BEGINS IN MAY, ALL THE WAY TO COMPLETION
Work will start in early MAY on refurbishing the derelict toilet block in the park and converting it into a community cafe.
The Friends of Roseburn Park (FoRP) are delighted to announce that after ten long years of trials and tribulations, refurbishment of the derelict toilet block, set in the heart of Roseburn Park, will commence in early May 2022. Conversion of the block into a new café with public toilets should be complete by summer 2023.
It is anticipated that this new amenity will attract more people to the park, which lies in the shadow of Murrayfield Stadium, with this added attraction to the many sporting activities that take place there, and with café facing onto the FoRP Armoury Mural completed in 2019.
The now derelict toilet block is distinctive; it was built in 1903, designed by the office of the eminent City Architect at the time, Robert Morham, as the park’s pavilion. Later used as a bothy for the park keepers and was converted for additional use as public toilets in 1936. It has been closed since 1982. The refurbishment comes at a welcome time, as the roof is beginning to collapse and nature is taking over the interior, with roots crawling everywhere and trees sprouting from the roof.
The work could never have progressed beyond the initial concept in 2012 without the ceaseless efforts of FoRP Trustees and members who have provided their skills, expertise and time on a wholly voluntary basis. In addition, the support provided by architectural designer Craig Proudfoot of One Foot Square and technical input by Paul Harding has proven invaluable in getting this project off the drawing board.
The refurbishment work will be carried out by All Aspects Building & Construction Scotland ltd under the directorship of James Purves and will be project managed by Craig.
The plan is for the building work to be complete by Summer 2023, with the operator opening the café with hot drinks, snacks and ice cream and endeavouring to keep it open as much as is feasible throughout the year. FoRP knows from the Council’s footfall recording devise that 1800 pedestrians and 450 cyclists use the park every day. They believe that the café will draw even more users to enjoy the park, thus helping to make it a year-round going concern.
Funding the refurbishment has been the greatest challenge of all. Following the launch of the Air Raid Protection mural in Sept 2019, the then chairperson, Pete Gregson, organised a crowdfunder, and launched it with this leaflet, stuffed through thousands of local doors (around 6,000 live in the ward; most use the park) by a team of volunteers. The business plan and designs were made available to all at www.friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk/cafeconversion and FoRP, with their “buy a brick” scheme raised a total of £8,864 within 4 months.
This gave FoRP a strong foundation to leverage additional grants: Baillie Gifford Investments (£1,000), Virgin Money Lounge (£2,000) and the Evelyn Drysdale Trust (£1,500) + (£2,000).
In March 2020, with £13,364 in the kitty, the Trustees proceeded to make applications to a variety of public and private sources for the outstanding monies required to fund the project.
This effort culminated in July 2021 with FoRP being awarded £66,000 by City of Edinburgh Council Placed Based Investment Programme. Proposed by The Lord Provost, Councillor Frank Ross, FoRP’s café project was approved for funding by Councillors enabling works to commence spring 2022.
Under the new chairmanship of Jim McDonaugh, FoRP Trustees then engaged in extended and intensive planning in getting the design finalised and the tender package prepared. Around 10 builders were approached to ask if they would be interested in tendering for the works.
In February 2022, negotiations finally completed and preferred supplier status was bestowed upon All Aspects Building & Construction Scotland Ltd. On the 2nd March 2022, FoRP finalised commercial terms with AAB&C and signed the contract with a start date of early May.
Jim McDonaugh said ”At last! This is exactly what our community and park visitors have been waiting for! The refurbished building will be so better than the present eyesore- FoRP are returning the exterior to the way it would have looked when it was first built, 116 years ago- and the interior into a warm and inviting cafe. Visitors will have somewhere to go for a hot drink and a snack – maybe even a light meal- when the work is complete.
It has not been a straight forward project, but working with experienced cafe managers FoRP have come up with a design that gives 30 sq m of floor space as well as a spacious public toilet, kitchen and storage. etc”
Pete Gregson said “It’s been a rollercoaster- on so many occasions I thought we had taken on the impossible; I can’t believe there will still be something to show to my kids in the park that will be there long after I am gone.”
Lord Provost and Ward Councillor Frank Ross said:
“Converting the old toilet block into a café for the whole community to enjoy is a great idea. It will help to support local jobs and volunteering opportunities, while providing a warm and accessible space for local people to meet up.
The conversion, which will include an accessible toilet, has the backing of local residents and I was delighted to secure the Council funding for the FoRP to allow it to proceed.
Additionally, income from the cafe will help to support other projects led by the Friends of Roseburn Park to improve the overall amenity and quality of the Park.”
On 10th November, our Treasurer, John Yellowlees, organised the unveiling of the plaque marking where the artist Charles H Mackie lived on the other side of the river from the park. You’ll see it behind the fence, near the new playpark.