Porty Podcast

Porty Podcast

The Porty Podcast is a community project, highlighting events in and around Edinburgh's seaside - Portobello! It's a very active area with sailing, rowing and kayaking on the Forth, a vibrant artistic community and a strong sense of identity which makes it slightly separate from the other parts of Edinburgh. Image credit Nicola Dunlop


September 23, 2023 8 mins

Late at night on the 8th of September, a devastating earthquake stuck part of Morocco. Its effects were felt across a large part of the country. While it made the headlines for a few days, it was eclipsed when a flood swept through communities in Libya, killing thousands of people. However, two women from Portobello – Lynn Houmdi and Joanna Weintritt - are determined that those who lost so much in Morocco are not forgotten and are ...

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If you remember the Porty BikeFest from last year, well it’s back. This afternoon, parts of Bath Street and Mentone Avenue will be closed off to cars so that all kinds of interesting two and three wheeled vehicles can be shown off and tried. And it’s also been an exciting week for the Bike Library further along the Prom as its home in a storage container now has a new livery.

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September 9, 2023 12 mins

The Portobello Book Festival may be next month – but tickets are already going fast. It runs from the 5th to the 8th of October and in total there are 26 talks and discussions to attract your interest… everything from paddleboards to playwriting. Founded in 2008, the festival has established itself as one of the cornerstone events in Portobello’s community life.

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September 2, 2023 10 mins

The Art Walk Porty started yesterday. Under the title of ‘Vessel’, it feels like it has  a larger, more ambitious programme than in the past – to get the most from it you need four leaflets. And, as David Calder found out from curator Rosy Naylor, the bounds of this year’s event extend well beyond just Portobello.

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June 24, 2023 10 mins

On the first Saturday of the month, you may have seen a poster outside St John’s Church in Brighton Place. It reads ‘Pamoja Fashion’ and points you towards the church hall where a market selling clothes, jewellery and other accessories is being held. It’s raising money for a charity which for many years has linked schools in Edinburgh with those in a district of Tanzania. And, as you’ll hear, it all began here in Portobello.

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Last week, we heard about the news that the keys to the Town Hall has been passed to the community. But that’s not the only Council asset that’s been handed over recently to a different, smaller, less-well known part of the Portobello community. It’s a fairly small plot of land off Mount Lodge Place which has remained locked and unused...until now. This is the story of how Mount Lodge Green came to be restored to community use.

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June 3, 2023 19 mins

Portobello Town Hall has been lying empty for almost exactly four years. We’ve reported on the work done by the local community and Portobello Central in particular to bring it back into use. Now, the dream is reality.


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On Monday morning, a group of cyclists will leave the Cake Stand in Straiton Place Park on what, for one of them, will be an epic journey. Leading them will be Xani Byrne, brother of Alice Byrne, who disappeared on New Year’s Day in 2022. Neither she nor her body were found and the police concluded that she had taken her own life. This trip is all about raising awareness around the country about mental health and suicide and raisin...

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May 20, 2023 8 mins

For much of the past three years, activity on the waters off Porty Beach have been relatively quiet. The pandemic and lockdown meant that, for a long time, people couldn't take part in rowing or sailing, for instance. And any regattas, where clubs came together to race, were completely out of the question. But this year, the races are back and today sees the first Portobello Regatta since 2019.

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April 29, 2023 9 mins

Life for musicians has been tough over the last three years. The Pandemic locked them out of all of the venues they’d played to entertain their audiences. Some of them however saw it as an opportunity, perhaps not at first, to think about their music and to change direction. That’s what happened with the locally based singing partnership, Overton and McCann.

For more info, click this link: https://www.overtonmccann.com/ 

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April 22, 2023 9 mins

There seem to be a huge number of videos showing people doing astonishing feats – climbing buildings, running precariously along railings, leaping across streams. It’s all part of a relatively new sport called Parkour. Part of its popularity seems to come from the fact that it’s not a traditional competitive sport. You challenge yourself, not each other. And  now it’s coming to a beach near you.

To find out more, click here: https:/...

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Cast your minds back to the turn of the year. Five men from Portobello’s Eastern Amateur Rowing Club were thousands of miles away from their families, in the middle of the Atlantic in quite a small rowing boat taking part in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge. It took them 39 days and 8hours but it’s also taken them time to come to terms with the enormity of what they’ve achieved and with life back on dry land. Next weekend, Cal MacAn...

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April 8, 2023 16 mins

Walk down any street – not just in Portobello – but almost any town in the UK and you’ll see row after row of cars, mostly just sitting there, hardly used. The Western World is obsessed with private car ownership. They’re a status symbol. And yet, cars – and road transport generally – are responsible for a considerable proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. If the country is to meet its climate targets, attitudes are going to have...

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March 31, 2023 13 mins

Today, the Portobello Timebank marks its 10th Anniversary with a fund-raising event this afternoon in the Baptist Church Hall. They do hold regular such sessions there – but this one is just a little special – as David Calder found out from some of the members:


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March 25, 2023 10 mins

Portobello has a rich and varied history, dating back about 300 years. And before that, the Figgate Whins were known as the haunt of smugglers and outlaws. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that there are stories of mysterious happenings in parts of the town. But from next week and through the summer, we’ll be able to hear about some of these tales of ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night when the Portobello Ghost Tours...

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Portobello and its sense of community is attracting the attention of the academic world. The latest to be looking at us is a fourth year undergraduate who’s studying geography at Edinburgh University. We will be the subject of his final dissertation and at least some of his source material comes from… listening to The Porty Podcast.

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You may have seen the posters about what’s happening at the Town Hall. You may have spoken to people about how the building will be used when it becomes a community asset. You may have your own ideas about events you’d like to see – or even put on – there. But right now, the trustees are looking for your practical help in the form of the cash they’ll need to run the Town Hall from Day 1 when they take over the lease from the Counci...

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March 4, 2023 10 mins

Next Saturday, a group of storytellers from around the country are gathering at Bellfield for an event next Saturday evening entitled “Tales of the Gallus Women”. These “Gallus Women” are those who, in their day, made a significant impact on their communities but whose lives and influence have largely been forgotten. The show has been brought together by Anne Dignan who founded the local storytelling group here in Portobello. David...

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February 25, 2023 10 mins

In the last few days, the City of Edinburgh Council has launched a consultation about how to turn Portobello into a 20 minute neighbourhood. Over the next six week, local people will have the chance to express their views on how to make local services – shops, cafes, the local surgery - more accessible by foot, cycle, wheelchair or public transport. It hopes this will help people share their ideas about how to make the town centre ...

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February 18, 2023 11 mins

This coming Thursday, the Portobello Timebank has arranged a talk at Bellfield to mark to 100th anniversary of the public broadcasting in the UK, which took place at the end of last year. They’ve enlisted the help of Tom Stevenson, a retired professor of Microelectronic Technology at Edinburgh University. His talk - The Story of Early Radio – tells the history of radio from the birth of an idea in the mid-19th century to the creati...

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