Submitted by Editor on Mon, 14/09/2020 - 15:09


Some readers may have endured this phenomenon at an event of their own. Others may have witnessed it with delicious schadenfreude at the event of another. Others still may actually have embodied this phenomenon in their own person.

We refer to the disreputable wedding guest who unwittingly ruins the happy couple’s photographic record of the day by appearing in every picture with a wonky grin, food in their hair, and shirt front covered in soup stains or worse.

The local architectural equivalent of this unattractive guest is of course John Lewis, whose north-facing elevation – stained by years of pollution and time spent amid pigeons – has looked increasingly likely to distract and detract from the sparkly new Edinburgh St James centre taking shape behind it.

Edinburgh St James

The department store’s interior at 60 Leith Street has never offended anyone we’ve spoken to about it. But neither has its outside been to everybody’s taste. Opened in August 1973, its unashamed modernity has always tended to offend the douce tastes of those people who can afford to shop in it.

Now, however, that off-putting outward appearance is to improve. The wonky smile may remain, but the food will be combed out and the soup stains removed.

Spurtle learns  from a Nuveen spokesperson that stone cleaning of the store’s exterior is scheduled to start in the new year, with work due for completion before the new Edinburgh St James opens in April 2021.

Cue bells ringing and confetti. Now, then, will someone be having a quiet word with the jolly green giant next door?

St Mary's RC Cathedral




John Lewis