Online archive expanded

We’ve expanded our online archive of back issues of the Dean Village News, with new scans of 46 issues running as far back as 1981. Have a browse on our Documents page

UPDATE: the scans have now been updated with an embedded approximation of their text, so you should be able to search them for particular words. The automated OCR (scanned-image-to-text) process isn’t perfect, insofar as it generally fails to recognise that there are two columns present and so badly loses the narrative flow of the newsletters, but it’s good enough for searching and indexing.

Phyllis Bone exhibition

Aardvark by Phyllis Bone
Aardvark by Phyllis Bone. Photograph by Stephencdickson on Wikimedia Commons.

From the late nineteenth century Dean Village hosted an artists’ studio: the Dean Studios found their home in the church that used to occupy the now-long-empty lot between Bell’s Brae and Belford Road.  One of the many artists to work out of this space was Phyllis Bone (1894–1972); during her time in the Dean Studios she became the first female member of the Royal Scottish academy.

Georgian Antiques is hosting the first ever retrospective of her work, to run for the duration of this year’s Festival.

Ramp between Belford & Haymarket steps reopened

Good news: the ramp on the Water of Leith Walk between Belford and the Haymarket steps reopened last week.  It feels rock-solid and is wider than its predecessor: no more single file!

Surveyors were seen this evening (4th June) on the closed path section just above the village.  Are we about to see some long-awaited progress here too?

Water of Leith path closures update

The latest on the seemingly interminable river path closures, courtesy of the Water of Leith Conservation Trust:

  • The section between Wester Coates (Haymarket steps) and Belford Bridge (Brittania Hotel) should reopen in mid May: they’re replacing the old wooden ramp at the bottom of the Haymarket steps.
  • No news on the landslip between Damside and Belford Bridge: the Council remain tight-lipped due to ongoing legal proceedings.

More information on the Trust’s blog.

Previously… Scotland’s History Festival

Previously… Scotland’s History Festival will take place in November.

This year, it celebrates the centenary of the great Scottish heroine Elsie Inglis, who lies buried in the Dean Cemetery.  She was a pioneering Scottish doctor, suffragist and founder of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

The Dean Village Association is running several events in support of the festival; they are listed in our calendarBooking is essential for these events.

More information on Previously… itself may be found at

Hawthornbank residents’ initiative

People in Hawthornbank on the south side of the Water of Leith have put their weight behind a programme to regenerate their environment:


The Dean Village residents, led by Don, their newly appointed technical/design advisor, have approved a programme of regeneration of their locality.  Don said “The support from the residents’ committee has been fantastic.  We’ve introduced 315 new plants and I’m now working on a series of further measures to enhance the area and make the most of its natural beauty.  We love Hawthornbank and it deserves to be seen at its best.”

As well as new planting, the western garden area has been transformed from an untidy and tired garden space into a new paved viewing area, and the eastern area replanted with a Berberis hedge.  James Gibb, the local factors, have added their weight to the initiative by replacing the wooden fence by the riverside.

Many other changes are taking place.  Congratulations to Hawthornbank residents for demonstrating an imaginative and creative commitment to enhancing their local environment.


(The tree was saved and replanted!)