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Convivial chat turns into a rammy!

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

At gatherings around Leith, I hear people chatting over a cup of coffee (or cup of tea, pint of beer, glass of wine, some food…), about politics, their careers, or their personal lives: their children or plans for outdoorsy adventures (adventures that may or may not happen – like our idea to swim the notorious Corryvreckan whirlpool – say no more!) This is usually in an atmosphere of laughter and good cheer, though sometimes we also discuss the rawness involved in being human at this difficult time.

There is almost always one question that I can bring to the table which transforms convivial conversation into a bit of a rammy, a think-tank, a brainstorming session… one on which everyone has ideas. (Indeed, what is most heartening for me is that everyone really cares about this topic.) So what is the conundrum that gets Leithers so animated?

It’s what to call a small yet extremely important building: a community-shared resource, part of a street we’ve all walked down, a precious part of the park. I am talking about the formerly neglected and dilapidated, ‘Croft Pav’, a place that some of us have come to appreciate and love, and which we trust everyone will when it re-opens, in all its new splendour. Yes, the crumbling old tennis pavilion on Leith Community Croft has been under renovation all year, with funding support from the Scottish Government, and it will soon be ready for re-occupation.

So, why is the naming issue so tricky? The Pav is situated on the Croft itself. On these two acres we host many initiatives, and it can get confusing...

The Hingabootery, our much-loved shed-based café, was the place where we all hung out together, sharing tea and cake, but we can’t easily call the new building this. The café does not represent all that we do on the Croft, being but one small corner of the picture, and the refurbished building, besides hosting a new and fully equipped café, will be the HQ for everything we do on the Croft and further afield (e.g. working to reform the food system in Scotland and to support people in the Global South in the face of climate meltdown). We are minded to keep the Hingabootery café name for the new café’s seating area alone.

We have our growers, whom we fondly call ‘Crofters’, a new breed of people in Leith. We wouldn’t want to call the pavilion ‘The Crofters’ Building’ as, although the Crofters have some ownership of it, so does the rest of the community. Then we have ‘Minecroft’, our children’s outdoor adventure play/survival skills programme, and our educational arm, the ‘Croft Carbon College’, but these are also just elements of what we do.

Should we perhaps name the building after a famous person, or something in the natural world? Perhaps there’s something in Leith’s history which could provide inspiration?

We are asking for your help in finding the right name. Write to us with your proposals or post them on our social media channels. We shall announce the strong candidates in due course and work out a method for choosing the correct name in the not-so-distant future. One thing we shall not be doing is calling it Crofty McCrofty Face. And please do try raising the topic next time you catch up with your pals!

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