Meadowbank should be retained in its entirety for sports use because of the historic significance of the site, according to a former leader of Lothian Regional Council.
Phyllis Herriot served fifteen years in Council Chambers, first for the City Council and then for Lothian Region. She started in 1967, just before Edinburgh first hosted the Commonwealth Games.
“It cost £2.3 million to build Meadowbank,” Phyllis recalled. “A few of us had other priorities but people persuaded me we should go ahead because it would be money well spent.
I was particularly interested in the Monk’s Well that used to be there. It was supposed to bring health to those who used it. Although the well was built over by the railway, a Court Interdict was granted to allow pilgrims to access it. I worked with Councillor Willie Lyle, Minister Kenneth McKenzie and Father John Fusco to get a commemorative plaque on the site, which is still there to this day.
“I was persuaded that an athletics stadium would fit in with the health aims of the Monk’s Well. It was excellent and we were all very proud of the site. Come the 1986 Games it cost only £1 million to refurbish the stadium.
“Nobody blinks an eye at the billions being spent on the Olympic Games in London or the £500 million being spent on trams for Edinburgh. We only need a fraction of that to bring our stadium up to present day standards.
“Glenogle Baths was recently given millions because it dates back to Victorian times. Jock’s Lodge can be traced back to Roman times. The whole area around Meadowbank is steeped in history. It deserves similar treatment so the entire site can continue to be used for health and well-being.”