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Re: Burger threat to Sherlock home
Bedamned the burgers! Save the house!
Myra Perala wrote:
> Dear Members of the SInclair list,
> Interested in come current happenings in Edinburgh and history
> in the making?
> Do you want to speak to the Edinburgh city fathers?
> >>Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 11:08:37 EST
> >>Subject: [McLibel] Burger threat to Sherlock home
> >>Reply-To: email@example.com
> >>Burger threat to Sherlock home
> >>Gerard Seenan
> >>Monday December 06 1999
> >>The Guardian
> It is, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing Sherlock
> Holmes enthusiasts since the fictional hero had his fateful meeting with
> Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Fans of
> Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have only weeks to rescue a crucial
> piece of the literary giant's history from a new nemesis: McDonald's.
> >>Already a worldwide alliance has formed to save the oldest surviving home
> of the consulting detective's creator from
> being demolished to make way for a 95-seat burger restaurant.
> >>Conan Doyle's birthplace in Edinburgh was torn down to
> make way for a huge roundabout and his second home was
> converted into a ladies' toilet, so Liberton Bank House on
> the outskirts of the city is the writer's oldest intact home.
> When he lived there as a child in the 1860s, the house was surrounded by
> farmland and streams. But now it is bordered
> by a shopping centre and car park, and the owners of the
> land want to sell it off to make way for further retail
> An application to demolish the house has been made to
> Edinburgh city council on behalf of McDonald's and is due
> to be considered early next year, but Conan Doyle
> enthusiasts have already begun a campaign to save the house.
> Allen Simpson, a former curator of the Royal Museums of
> Scotland, is heading the campaign to rescue the home of the literary son
> Edinburgh is often accused of neglecting.
> "Sometimes Edinburgh has a bit too much history, and we are
> a bit blasé about what we keep and what we don't,"
> he says. "I think it is important that it is not demolished,
> and it would be nice if it could be retained as a private
> McDonald's, however, is in no mood for compromise. A
> spokesman for company said the application was at a late
> stage and there were no plans to withdraw it. "The
> various Conan Doyle groups have known since the house was
> delisted in 1997 and put up for sale that, because of its proximity to the
> shopping centre, retail outlets would be interested," he added.
> Edinburgh city council says the views of the protesters
> will be taken into account, but the application has not yet reached
> committee stage and it is too early to give any
> indication of what the likely outcome will be.
> Owen Dudley Edwards, Conan Doyle's biographer, accuses
> the council of being prepared to sell its heritage for the
> price of a hamburger. "There is a certain symbolism, shall we
> say, that in this day and age the home where one of Scotland's greatest
> creative writers found his early inspiration is to be
> knocked down to make way for a burger chain," he says.
> Conan Doyle was sent to live at Liberton Bank House between
> 1863 and 1867, to escape the ravages of his alcoholic father.
> The house was owned by Mary Burton, sister of the historian
> John Hill Burton, whom Mr Dudley Edwards believed introduced
> the young Conan Doyle to the world of books, in particular,
> those of Sir Walter Scott.
> Conan Doyle left the house to attend a Roman Catholic boarding school in
> England and did not return to Edinburgh until he
> went to medical school there. After graduating in 1881, he
> headed for Portsmouth and lived in various towns in the south
> of England.
> Although he is most commonly associated with London, he had
> only a passing association with the city - he claimed never to have set
> foot in Baker Street. But the Sherlock Holmes museum
> in London attracts around 120,000 visitors each year, while Edinburgh has
> almost nothing to whet the tourist appetite for Conan Doyle.
> "We have far too readily allowed the impression go unchecked
> that because he invented a famous English character, he was a famous
> English writer," says Mr Dudley Edwards. "He was a very Scottish writer and
> he kept his Scottish accent until the day
> he died. Scotland should make more of him and saving this house would be
> the first step."
> Copyright Guardian Media Group plc.
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