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Re: Burger threat to Sherlock home
Dear Don, Perhaps a note to the Edinburgh City Council
may be of more effectiveness than a letter to me.
At 06:33 PM 1/31/00 -0700, you wrote:
>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: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> >>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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