Interesting Edinburgh and the Lothians facts
Famous Sussex People
Did you know that the world’s first major oil refinery was in Bathgate? Chemical engineer James Young developed a process to make paraffin for lubricating-oil from a specific type of coal – cannel – found in the coalfields around Bathgate. He and some business partners opened Bathgate Chemical Works in 1852, soon diversifying into lighter oils for lamps. They protected their techniques with a mix of security measures and patent cover, but in the 1860s petroleum products undercut them and their local raw materials were running out.
Did you know that the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh has the largest collection of Rhododendrons in Britain? The Edinburgh site dates back to 1670: it and the three gardens it owns around Scotland contain half of the plant’s known species.
Did you know that in 1958 the UK’s first traffic cones were manufactured at Castle Mills Edinburgh by The North British Rubber Company, replacing paraffin lamps? Student pub crawls would never be the same again.
Did you know that Edinburgh has the only working time-ball mechanism in Britain other than the original at Greenwich Observatory? It is on the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill, and was installed in 1853 by James Ritchie and Son. That firm still retains the contract to maintain the device which drops a ≤ tonne wood and zinc ball down a pole daily to signal 1pm, originally to allow ships in Leith to set their chronometers.
Did you know the King’s Fountain in Linlithgow Palace is the oldest fountain in Britain? The ornate structure dates from 1537, commissioned by James V of Scotland apparently as a way of impressing his new French wife. According to local legend when Bonnie Prince Charlie stopped off at the palace in 1745 wine replaced water – which would perhaps have suited that particularly useless would-be monarch. The Duke of Cumberland avenged the treachery by burning the palace in 1746.
Did you know that the Asda Wal-Mart store in Livingston is the largest of its kind in Europe? The store opened in August 2002. The American retail giant Wal-Mart bought Asda in 1999, 50 years after Associated Dairies and Farm Stories Limited was formed in Leeds , the group getting into supermarkets in 1965 with the purchase of three such stores.
Famous Edinburgh and the Lothians people
A A Gill | Agnes Maclehose | Agnes Sampson | Alan Ogilvie | Alan Swinton | Alastair Sim | Alex Salmond | Alexander Campbell Mackenzie | Alexander Graham Bell | Alexander II | Alexander Laing | Alexander Nasmyth | Alexander Runciman | Alexander Todd | Alison Kinnaird | Allan Ramsay | Andrew Meikle | Andy Irvine | Archibald Geikie | Archibald Pitcairne | Archibald Tait | Archibald Thorburn | Arthur Conan Doyle | Cecile Walton | Charles Bell | Charles MacLaren | Charles Wilson | Chris Hoy | Chrystal MacMillan | Dame Muriel Spark | David Hume | David Roberts | David Scott | David Tennant | Douglas Haig | Dugald Stewart | Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi | Elizabeth Haldane | Eric Liddell | Ethel Walker | Fred Urquhart | Gail Porter | Gavin Hastings | George Aberdeen | George Beilby | Gilbert Burnet | Gordon Gray | Graeme Souness | Hannah Gordon | Harry Lauder | Henry MacKenzie | Henry Raeburn | Iain Duncan Smith | Ian Charleson | Ian Richardson | Irvine Welsh | Isaac Bayley | J I M Stewart | James Boswell | James Hall | James Hamilton | James Hutton | James I | James II | James Keir | James Lind | James Maxwell | James Pryde | James Scott Cumberland | James V | James VI | Jane Carlyle | Jean Redpath | Jemima Blackburn | John Balfour | John Greig | John Haldane | John Home | John Knox | John Law | John Leslie | John Maitland | John Menzies | John Napier | John Rennie | John Runciman | John Smith | John Thomson | Joseph Hislop | Katharine Atholl | Kenneth Alexander | Kenneth Grahame | Kirsty Gallacher | Malcolm Rifkind | Margaret Oliphant | Marie Stopes | Mary, Queen of Scots | Michael Ballantyne | Nicky Campbell | Norman MacCaig | Patrick Nasmyth | Patrick Shirreff | Peter Tait | Philip Christison | Richard Haldane | Richard Shaw | Robert Anderson | Robert Boothby | Robert Garioch | Robert Knox | Robert Lauder | Robert Louis Stevenson | Robert Moffat | Robert Mylne | Robert Reid | Robert Sibbald | Ronnie Corbett | Rory Bremner | Samuel Peploe | Samuel Smiles | Scott Brash | Sean Connery | Sir James Simpson | Sir Ludovic Kennedy | Sir Robert Lorimer | Sir William Allan | Sir Wyville Thomson | Sophie Hosking | Stephen Hendry | Stephen Neill | Susan Boyle | Theodore Martin | Thomas Hope | Tom Kitchin | Tony Blair | Walter Geikie | Walter Scott | William Aytoun | William Brodie | William Calder Marshall | William Hamilton | William MacTaggart | William Nicol | William Orchardson | William Rankine | William Scott | William Smellie | Willie Whitelaw |Read visitor reports on this area