by Jim Orr, chair of trustees, Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FoMBL). In our January newspaper The Edinburgh Reporter asked a variety of voices to look ahead to the coming year and what it might hold for them.
In spite of the pandemic disruption over the last two years, FoMBL have continued work to maintain the park and are looking ahead to 2022 – when the Jawbones may return.
The long running saga that is the restoration of the Jawbones may finally be coming to an end. There were reports that they would be re-installed during last summer, but it seems more likely that it will finally happen in 2022 – well over ten years since they were taken down. Hopefully the restored and re-erected jawbones will be worth the wait and the process will preserve them for many decades to come.
FoMBL co-ordinates a lot of local projects. We installed a new table tennis table in the east part of the Meadows and are looking to fund another one. It’s completely free and was very popular when it appeared. New information boards will soon be installed covering some the history of the area such as the international exhibitions from 100+ years ago and some of the commemorative pillars which can be seen around the entries to the park.
Toilet blocks were installed on Middle Meadow Walk in the summer. This has been a priority for FoMBL over recent years. On hot sunny days the local paths and back streets become temporary toilets to the annoyance and disgust of local residents. The Friends are very grateful to the council and the local MP and MSP (Messrs Murray and Johnson) for this development which seemed to follow a particularly nasty drunken brawl recorded on camera.
At the south end of Middle Meadow Walk the charming wooden pavilion is used as a café and changing room for cricketers. It’s in need of repair and the council have been looking to put the occupancy out to tender. A community action group has have been offered a licence to occupy the building until 31 March 2022 and has applied to CEC for a Community Asset Transfer under The Community Empowerment Act. These are interesting developments.
Beside Melville Terrace there is a wildflower garden which has been under development for many years and which is beautiful in spring and summer. Scottish Water plan to install a huge tank to collect excess rainwater at the corner of Marchmont Road and FoMBL are working with them to minimise the impact of the tank, the portacabins and vehicle which will be needed.
FoMBL are always looking for volunteers and active trustees. Membership is £8 per year. fombl.org.uk