Portobello to celebrate completion of Kilns Restoration Project

A ceremony to mark the completion of the Portobello Kiln rebuild project will take place this weekend (Saturday 10 May 2014 at 2:00pm).

Professor John Hume, an expert on historical monuments in Scotland, will be joined by directors of Portobello Heritage Trust as he cuts a ribbon tied round the restored 1909 kiln.

The kilns, built in 1906 and 1909, are the last two surviving pottery kilns in Scotland and the sole remains of the A W Buchan & Co Thistle Pottery which closed in 1972. They were taken over and maintained by the City of Edinburgh Council as a permanent memorial to the once vibrant Portobello Pottery Industry.

Following the partial collapse of the 1909 kiln, City of Edinburgh Council, in collaboration with Historic Scotland, undertook to rebuild the B-listed Scheduled Monument. During the period of reconstruction it worked closely with Portobello Heritage Trust.

John Hume, Chairman of the Commissioners of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), who opened the event, said: "Early in my career I came to Portobello to survey the remains of the recently closed Thistle Pottery and drafted the entry that placed the pottery kilns on the monuments schedule as being of national significance. It therefore gives me added pleasure to celebrate the repair and restoration of the 1909 kiln."

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The kilns are well known and well-loved landmarks in Portobello and it is fantastic to see the restoration project reach completion.”

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