A Monumental Hogmanay for lucky winners

Close to 150,000 people enjoyed three days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations but only one lucky couple had the best vantage point at midnight.

Renewable energy worker Bob Mitchell and his wife Lorna, from Davidson’s Mains in Edinburgh, enjoyed the spectacular ‘midnight moment’ fireworks display in style. They were 200ft above the crowds when they counted down to 2017 from the iconic Scott Monument.

The exclusive experience was their prize for taking part in the City of Edinburgh Council’s Monumental Challenge to climb the 430 steps of the Nelson and Scott Monuments. The competition, which was designed to encourage people to rediscover the city's historic landmarks, helped over 10,559 people visit the landmarks between October and November with those tackling both entered into a prize draw.

Commenting ahead of his prize, winner Bob Mitchell said: “Taking part in the Monumental Challenge was great fun. I live in Edinburgh and even though I walk past the landmarks all the time, I hadn’t climbed them since I was a child so it was great to rediscover them.

“When we visited the Scott Monument it was a clear November day and we could see right across city all the way to the Firth of Forth. It will be pretty special to return on New Year’s Eve and enjoy the best vantage point in the city for the fireworks! We’ll be above thousands of partygoers at the Street Party for the fireworks and the bells. I can’t wait.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh's Culture Convener, said the vertical challenge was "not for the faint hearted". He said: "Anyone who has climbed these Monuments before will know this was a challenge worth accepting. The journey to the top is, quite literally, breath-taking. While it might not be for the faint hearted, the rewards are spectacular 360 degree views across the city.

"Both attractions offer a great day out but they are mostly visited by tourists. This autumn we encouraged local people to take on the Monumental Challenge and reconnect with these ancient and iconic memorials to Sir Walter Scott and Admiral Lord Nelson."

Al Thomson, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay at Unique Events, said: “We’re thrilled to give Bob and his family the Hogmanay of a lifetime with this truly unique prize. The Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks are one of the world’s greatest firework displays and to have the best view in the city at the top of the Scott Monument, above 75,000 people, will be an unforgettable experience.’

Further prizes up for grabs included an afternoon tea for two at Edinburgh Castle won by John Thomson from Edinburgh, an exclusive bottle of Malt Whisky courtesy of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society which will be enjoyed by Farhaan Altaf from London, and a shopping spree at Cranachan and Crowdie on the Royal Mile, won by Samantha Gallagher from Leicestershire.

Opening hours: Nelson 10am - 3pm, Monday to Saturday; Scott 10am - 4pm, Monday to Sunday.

Edinburgh s Hogmanay Fireworks credit TartanzonePhoto   JADU

Bob and Lorna Mitchell

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