Now that the amazing Pippin is over, an update on our Bangholm situation.

Things are moving along and there’s mixed news.

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First, the bad news.  B2 and B3 (the concrete buildings that begin at the left of the picture above have been condemned and will be demolished soon.  We will have to, and have offered to, vacate by 30th September).

However, we have been in high level discussion with the council who have granted a stay of execution for B1 – the wooden building that fills most of the picture.

This is potentially great news but it comes with caveats.  We have to make structural improvements, but that is well within our ken.

Steve Phair is a powerhouse of energy and is leading the fight on this front and Tom Stewart is leading the collaboration between FCT and City of Edinburgh.

It is possible that if we make a compelling case for how we can improve B1 we could enjoy quite a considerable extension of our lease.

That’s where you all come in.

We need a task force of volunteers to clear what remains of B2 and B3 and we’re looking at Sunday 24th September to further clear B1 to make space for the things we want to keep from B2. We will hire a huge skip to do this and we’re looking for helpers to fill it from 11am that day.  Please reply below if you are willing to give up some time.

Another really critical issue is that The Rugby Club is no longer available to us to rehearse, so we need to find new, affordable, rehearsal space within the vicinity.  We need you all to reach out to your networks to find affordable church halls, meeting rooms, Scout Halls, community spaces or whatever that we could hire from January to July next year.

Again, please leave your suggestions in the reply box, with contact details for hall curators etc if you have them.  We will evaluate each on merit.

In tandem, we are pursuing opportunities to partner with Trinity High and Victoria Primary (which is about to move) to be a community partner.

There has been a lot of discussion and negotiation going on behind the scenes.  A lot of people have offered a lot of great ideas, but we need to prioritise these in our strategy.

Thank you one and all for your contributions so far.  But, please, we need to take this step by step and we need all hands on deck.

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Pippin booking information.

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Pippin opens tonight (4th August) and runs till Saturday 12th.

Edinburgh Tabernacle, Ferry Road Edinburgh (Top of Granton Road).

Every day (except Sunday) at 7.30 and Saturdays at 2.30.

Tickets £13 (Concessions £9) Family Tickets (2A, 2C) £35.

Call the ticket Hotline on 07794144372 or book online at The Fringe website.

On the Eve of Pippin we have encouraging news about Bangholm and our premises.

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There has been a ton of work done by the Bangholm Task Force in recent weeks in the lee of Pippin.

Great people, willingly giving up their time.

A few unexpected parental contributions of monumental help (thank you especially Rohan) have really made a difference.

And we’ve taken a non-confrontational approach.

The benefit of that, so far, was a meeting with a senior elected member of the City of Edinburgh Council showing very, very solid support for us today in a meeting that Tom Stewart and I requested.

FCT is important to this city and that was apparent.

Bat on.

Oggy Oggy Oggy Oi Oi Oi

Bangholm News. Sad news at that. The end of an era.

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It’s many, many years that FCT has had its council property situated at Bangholm but from 1st September our beloved B1, B2 and B3 will be no more because in the wake of the terrible Liberton High School tragedy that saw a wall collapse on a young girl the Council has decided to take a zero risk policy and attitude towards its property portfolio.

Bangholm falls into the highest risk category of council property.  Each is rated 1 – 4 and DX.  We are in DX.  (That’s not good.)

That means we have 40 days to move out of Bangholm.

I have already heard talk and speculation about other reasons for our eviction.

Can I make it categorically clear that there is no reason that Bangholm is being condemned other than the building, that was designed to last 10 years and is now 69 years old, has been deemed unfit for habitation by the Council.

We hold no grudge against the Council.

This may be unwelcome but it is sensible really.

However it poses a challenge.

We need new premises, both storage and rehearsal space.

And we need them soon.

Anyone with any connections in this respect will be met with open arms (in the first instance you can email me at markgorman@btopenworld.com).

We have an amazing spirit.  An amazing team and great vim and vigour.  This may seem calamitous right now, but in the long run I expect it to open a new and positive chapter for FCT.

It will have zero and I mean ZERO impact on Pippin. So guys, please do not panic.

I met with a small group of people tonight to flesh out an initial strategy.

It was a hugely positive and energising meeting.

We will prevail.

Oggy, oggy oggy, Oi oi oi.  Ya beauty.