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Art Robert Blom­field: An Un­seen Archive Un­til March 17 City Art Cen­tre, Ed­in­burgh

Ed­in­burgh Street Pho­tog­ra­phy: An Un­seen Archive dis­plays a se­lec­tion of around 60 black and white works from a re­mark­able pri­vate col­lec­tion of im­ages by Robert Blom­field, a street pho­tog­ra­pher who worked across the UK from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Blom­field moved to Scot­land’s cap­i­tal city in 1956. Aged 18, he’d come to study medicine at the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh.

While a stu­dent, Blom­field pur­sued his pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy and spent his free time cap­tur­ing life on the streets and re­veal­ing and doc­u­ment­ing the dra­matic shifts tak­ing place in Ed­in­burgh’s ur­ban land­scape dur­ing the 1960s.

He adopted a fly-on-the-wall ap­proach, seek­ing in­ter­est­ing or amus­ing scenes in the rapidly chang­ing post-war pe­riod.

He used a pair of Nikon F SLRs to shoot his im­ages and did his own de­vel­op­ing and print­ing in a makeshift dark­room set up in his stu­dent digs. His pho­to­graphs of post-war Ed­in­burgh in­clude can­did por­traits and group shots of chil­dren play­ing in crum­bling ten­e­ments, pub­lic gath­er­ings, stu­dent life and the chang­ing ar­chi­tec­ture of the pe­riod.

Staged in the year of his 80th birth­day, this first largescale dis­play of his street-life scenes is also a chance for Blom­field to re­ceive the recog­ni­tion his work war­rants.

Blom­field said: “Af­ter 50 years I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my pic­tures with the wider world.

“Ed­in­burgh is a city that re­mains close to my heart, and the in­ter­ac­tion of its res­i­dents with this most dra­matic of ur­ban stages pro­vided me with end­less in­spi­ra­tion as a young pho­tog­ra­pher.

“The ex­hi­bi­tion rep­re­sents a per­sonal view of life on its streets dur­ing the 1960s.”

“This ex­hi­bi­tion of vin­tage street pho­tog­ra­phy will strike a chord with any­one who grew up in 1960s Ed­in­burgh and bring back so many mem­o­ries,” says Ed­in­burgh coun­cil­lor Don­ald Wil­son.


There’s lit­tle we need more on a New Year’s Day af­ter­noon than an in­vig­o­rat­ing walk by wa­ter. By this time in the fes­tive break, we’ve usu­ally con­sumed enough to with­stand a few months of hi­ber­na­tion.

Our bod­ies and minds may say we need a proper rest, but the bank ac­count and ser­vice sup­pli­ers would dis­agree.

It will soon be time to go back to work, but you needn’t start train­ing for that sum­mer marathon just yet. Eas­ing your­self back into ex­er­cise with a gen­tle walk is a far more hu­mane and civilised way to be­gin to think about get­ting back to re­al­ity.

Even bet­ter when there’s a good pub at the end of the walk. Try the Bridge Inn at Ratho, re­cently named as one of the UK’s top 50 gas­trop­ubs for 2018.

Lo­cated just 10 miles from Ed­in­burgh’s city cen­tre, it’s within walk­ing dis­tance of Foun­tain­bridge. Jour­ney along the Union Canal and en­joy a pic­turesque route through Ed­in­burgh’s suburbs out in to coun­try­side along tree-lined tow­paths. Sit­u­ated next to the canal is the Inn, which will serve brunch all day.

If you’re fur­ther north, try the brac­ing sea air of the sixmile coastal path walk that takes you to Elie’s Ship Inn, a pub fa­mous for its beach cricket team in sum­mer.

The walk will take you past the tiny har­bour of St Mo­nans and the re­mains of Ne­wark and Ar­dross Cas­tles. It also passes Lady’s Tower, which was built in 1760 for Lady Jane An­struther who used it to shel­ter when she changed for her daily swim.

The walk will also pass Elie Light­house be­fore fin­ish­ing at the Ship Inn where, from noon, guests can en­joy hand­made burg­ers and sausages and live mu­sic to keep the party at­mos­phere go­ing.

Con­cert Hog­manay Gala De­cem­ber 31 Royal Con­cert Hall, Glas­gow

Es­tab­lished 20 years ago, the Scot­tish Con­cert Orches­tra play a Hog­manay Gala at the Glas­gow Royal Con­cert Hall of clas­si­cal favourites in­clud­ing Rossini’s Wil­liam Tell Over­ture, Tchaikovsky’s Sleep­ing Beauty Waltz, Brahms’s Hun­gar­ian Dance No 5, Strauss’s Die Fle­d­er­maus Over­ture as well as ren­di­tions of Ae Fond kiss, Auld Lang Syne, High­land Cathe­dral and Scot­land The Brave.

Michael Bawtree con­ducts, with vo­cal­ists in­clud­ing tenor Jamie MacDougall and bari­tone James Clev­er­ton.

Tonight, big band leader Ray McVay con­ducts the Glenn Miller Orches­tra in an evening that will spin back in time to wartime chart top­pers such as Strike Up The Band, Moon­light Ser­e­nade and Chat­tanooga Choo Choo. Spe­cial guests are The Polka Dot Dolls who per­form a trib­ute to The An­drews Sis­ters.

Per­for­mance La Clique Noel: Part Deux Un­til Jan­uary 5 Fes­ti­val Square Spiegel­tent, Ed­in­burgh

There are just days to cap­ture La Clique Noel: Part Deux, a show that will leave you whoop­ing with awe.

Hosted by Bernie Di­eter, the “queen of Weimar punk kabarett”, the show this year in­cludes gen­tle­man jug­gler Flo­rian Brooks, aeri­al­ist Stephen Wil­liams, ma­gi­cian Paul Zenon, sword-swal­lower Heather Hol­l­i­day, Mosh, a glam­orous bur­lesque per­former from Rus­sia, and Fancy Chance, a multi-skilled artist whose sig­na­ture act is hair hang­ing.

“It’s gob­s­mack­ing what she does, she ac­tu­ally flies around the room by her hair,” says David Bates, the man who in­tro­duced the Spiegel­tent to the Ed­in­burgh fes­ti­val in the mid-1990s and who staged the first edi­tion of La Clique there in 2004.

Bates says see­ing Chance re­minded him of those early days, when world-class adult va­ri­ety and vaude­ville artists lacked the plat­form La Clique went on to pro­vide.

“Keep­ing the brand alive for the last 15 years”, Bates says La Clique Noel: Part Deux is the best ver­sion yet.

“I have to say this is most fab­u­lous ver­sion of the show that’s been cre­ated since its in­cep­tion,” he says. “I liked the show last year but this is even a few notches above that. The cal­i­bre of artists we have is just su­perb.”

Film Cage-a-rama 2 Jan­uary 4 to Jan­uary 7 CCA, Glas­gow

Some think Ni­co­las Cage is ir­re­deemably aw­ful, oth­ers think him the best ac­tor since Mar­lon Brando. Per­haps he’s a bit of both: com­pelling, con­found­ing and never a wasted watch.

In­deed, per­haps it’s his over-the-top ec­cen­tric­i­ties and fear­less en­thu­si­asm for act­ing in some ter­ri­ble movies that makes him loved by many in a way no-one could rea­son­ably adore an ac­tor like, say, Matt Da­mon.

For fans, it’s hard to think of a bet­ter way to spend the last week­end of the hol­i­days than Cage-a-rama 2, a three-day fes­ti­val at the CCA from Fri­day Jan­uary 4 to Sun­day Jan­uary 6.

Nine films will be shown in to­tal, be­gin­ning with re­cent movie, Panos Cos­matos’s Mandy, a psy­che­delic ac­tion hor­ror which fea­tures one of the last scores writ­ten by Ice­landic com­poser Jo­hann Jo­hanns­son, who died last Fe­bru­ary.

Also fea­tured across the week­end are The Wicker Man, Army Of One, Wild At Heart, Werner Her­zog’s ex­tra­or­di­nary Bad Lieu­tenant: Port Of Call New Or­leans and Cage’s most re­cent re­lease Be­tween Worlds.

Spe­cial guests will fea­ture through­out the week­end, as will a quiz to mark Cage’s birth­day on Jan­uary 7.

Bernie Di­eter is the host of La Clique Noel

Scot­tish Con­cert Orches­tra play the favourites

Robert Blom­field’s nat­u­ral style re­calls the work of the likes of Henri Cartier-Bres­son

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