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366 Days of Architecture

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Wednesday 28th December 2016

Starry, starry night.

According to the Christmas story, a bright star appeared in the east leading the shepherds and the wise men to the infant Christ child and on the night of the 27/28 December 1612, Galileo added what he may have thought a star (or very slow moving planet) in the background of his drawing of Jupiter’s moons. In fact, this is certainly the planet Neptune, as discovered by Galle in 1846 and called Neptune as other planets were already named after Roman gods and it appeared to be slightly blueish in colour through a telescope, hence named after the god of water and the sea. Neptune is usually depicted with a trident, as here in sculpted form outside the entrance to the Spence designed Sea and Ships Pavilion at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Tuesday 27th December 2016

Eternal youth.

Having talked about pantomime yesterday on 366 Days, one of the most popular Christmas shows is Peter Pan, which opened today for the first time in 1904. It’s not a pantomime in the strictest sense, but a play using a character from a successful earlier book, but as it opened so close to Christmas it’s been considered a Christmas show ever since. The famous characters of the boy who never grows up Peter Pan along with Wendy, Smee, Tinkerbell and the wonderfully evil Captain Hook are the creations of J M Barrie, who was born here in Kirriemuir in 1860. Barrie is one of Kirriemuir’s most famous sons and this town oat mill in a former Free Church was advertising Pater Pan oats, perhaps the oats are key to keeping us all young too?

Monday 26th December 2016

‘Oh no it isn’t’, ‘oh yes it is!’

Boxing Day today was traditionally the day for giving and receiving Christmas presents, but now a day more likely to be filled with heading outside and walking off the excesses of the previous day and it’s also a popular day to go to the pantomime. So here are some other boxes, theatre boxes, at the King’ Theatre Edinburgh, recorded by HES after restoration of the decorative plasterwork in 2014. The exterior of this ‘House of Variety’ was designed by James Davidson and the rich, opulent interior by J D Swanston, it once even had a snooker hall on its upper floors. The theatre is celebrating its 110 anniversary this year with a production of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, having opened in December 1906 with a production of ‘Cinderella’.