Free to Members (£5.00 Guests)
Albany Street was built as part of the second phase of Edinburgh’s New Town, and
its 57 houses date from 1802. Although not one of the city’s most fashionable
thoroughfares, in the 19th century it housed a remarkable number of individuals
working as significant architects, musicians, writers and visual artists. In his talk, arts
administrator turned house-historian Barclay Price, who has researched the 19 th
century occupants of the houses here, will describe these creative residents.
Prepare for tales of faded friendship, much-loved dogs, timely advice, romantic
elopement, fortunate encounters, untimely death, artistic success and
Barclay Price worked in the arts in London and Edinburgh, including setting up a
community theatre company, as deputy director of the Scottish Arts Council and,
lastly, as Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland. He has just completed 8
years as a member of the Board of Creative Scotland.
On retiring he decided to research who lived in his house in Albany Street as guests
had kept asking when they visited. Like Topsy, his research just grew and he traced
all the residents of the street. On the basis of this he was asked to provide small
history pieces for Edinburgh World Heritage’s Facebook page. While doing this a
chance discovery that a Chinese lived and worked in Edinburgh around 1800 led him
in an unexpected new direction, and his book, The Chinese in Britain, Visitors and
Settlers - a history of Chinese travellers to Britain since the first in 1687 – is
published in mid-January by Amberley Books.