John Rattray site works update
It was with great fanfare that the Leith Rules Golf Society unveiled their statue of John Rattray on Leith Links, click here to view our blog post from the time. Alongside the statue there are three stone plinths with bronze plaques and sculptured mounds of marram grass which mimic the appearance of the greenspace as it would have appeared in the 1700s when Rattray played golf on the Links.
John Rattray and his golf rules are an important part of Leiths rich history. It is with thanks to the perseverance of the Leith Rules Golf Society, their supporters and their financial donors that their ambition has been realised on behalf of our whole community.
Since the unveiling in Autumn 2019 the site has remained fenced off, much to the frustration and concern of many members of our community who are wondering what is happening with the site.
At our Community Council meeting held on Monday 25 May 2020 our Community Council discussed concerns around the site in terms of the continuing presence of the fencing which restricts community access to the site, the lack of information around a timeline for the fencing being removed and a lack of any community information on the fencing letting people know about the statue etc which had led to some recent enquiries.
As a result of that discussion we agreed to contact the Leith Rules Golf Society, our email to them is copied below;
At a recent meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, the topic of improvements needed on the Links was discussed.
Over a considerable period now – but peaking during this time of lockdown and good weather when the Links have been exceptionally busy with locals walking, jogging, cycling etc. – a number of local residents have been enquiring about the fences around the John Rattray statue, and when these will be removed. There is a strong feeling that these greatly detract from the amenity of the park. I may say that lots of people have also commented on how beautiful the flowers are, on the mounds.
I have therefore been asked to contact you to ask what is happening about the landscaping, what the delays are due to, what still needs to be done, and when we may hope to see the fences removed?
If you were able to send a brief summary of why the fencing is still there and when it will be removed, we could put it on the Community Council Website and share the information with the local community.
There was also a suggestion raised at the meeting that we might ask you to put up a couple of notices on the fencing that explains to local people why the fencing is still there and when it will be removed – might that be a possibility?
A spokesperson for Leith Rules Golf Society provided a very prompt & helpful response, again this is copied below;
Thank you for your email and interest in the Rattray project.
I would love to be able to take the fencing down right away. However, with the Covid 19 lockdown we have not been able to get ahead as quickly as we had hoped. We are currently working with the Landscaping team to get the whole project completed as quickly as possible. This involves filling any gaps in the planting, ensuring the mounds are fully stable and laying a firm standing at the plinths where a good deal of footfall is expected.
So in reply to your questions:
- The landscaping will be going ahead shortly to complete the hard-standing area in front of the plinths and fill any gaps in the planting.
- The delays have been caused by the need to ensure the mounds are fully stable; to assess any gaps in the Marram grass and other vegetation; delay to work on site due to the lockdown for the Covid 19 crisis.
- The fencing is still In place to enable the final work on the site to be completed safely and to allow appropriate social distancing on site; once that is done we expect to remove it
- The completed grounds will be handed back to the Parks Department as soon as possible thereafter.
- Finally all of the cost involved has had to be raised by private funding and we have just reached our target for this stage
Notices for the site will be drawn up and placed on the fencing as soon as possible to help keep everyone informed.
I hope this covers the various points you raised, but please come bak to me again if you have any other questions.
Since our email exchange Leith Rules Golf Society has attached an information notice to the fencing, the text of which has again been copied below;