Leith Moves

Leith Moves was an Out of the Blue Heritage Lottery Funded education project from 2016 to 2017 investigating the historical significance of Leith docks. It follows the successful format of our recent Gretna 100 project, namely a participatory research project integrating with exhibition and theatre groups. The project included many events as opportunities which further involved the Leith community in exploring their history.

For more information contact Lisa Arnott, Leith Moves Project Coordinator
Email: lisa.arnott@outoftheblue.org.uk

+ Documentary

Filmmaker Ray Bird has been documenting the project. His investigative filming style / approach has enabled him to build on the work of the groups to further elaborate on many of the captivating stories of Leithers and their history.

+ Photography Exhibition

Gathering the stories of Leith today, photographer Craig Maclean, collaborated with local community group and business enabling them to create the ‘Slice of Leith’ exhibition of images which shared their stories of migration and how food has been a way to share their culture with the wider communities of Leith. This exhibition featured interactive content by utilising the free app CreativMuse. Participants could use the app to scan the exhibition photographs and watch interviews and film content.

+ The Waves on the Seas (theatre performance)


Following on from the success of last year’s Tales from the Hanging Captain, Active Inquiry Flashback Drama Group, Strange Town Young Company and writer Duncan Kidd join forces again to continue to tell the story of Leith Docks. Following three generations of Italian immigrants the play explores how Leith has affected the lives of all those who have come and gone over the years and the mark that they have made.

“this excellent ensemble cast keep the action tight and focused, ensuring an engrossing view of Leith that certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome”
  –  Broadway Baby, June 2017  

Performances were at the The Out of the Blue Drill Hall between Wednesday 16th – Saturday 19th August 2017.

+ A Slice of Leith

a slice of leith 600 x 350

There is a long history of people from all over the world arriving and settling in Leith. Leith Docks has a long history of food being imported through the docks. Oranges, limes, grain and sugar have all contributed to the production of whisky, biscuits, ice-cream, bread and cordial.

Out of the Blue’s Heritage Lottery Fund supported ‘Leith Moves’ project gathered the stories and ingredients which make your favourite recipe so special within your community, culture, religion or family life.

The stories gathered contributed to ‘A Slice of Leith’ – a film and guidebook exploring the ingredients which have made Leith what it is today, and recipes for its culinary future.

+ Tales from the Hanging Captain (theatre performance)


Following on from the hugely successful production of “Persevere”, part of Out of the Blue’s Gretna 100 Project, “Tales from The Hanging Captain” saw Active Inquiry and Strange Town join forces again to explore the history of Leith Docks. This inspirational play revealed some of the hidden stories and voices of Leith Docks. Set in the fictional Leith pub, ‘The Hanging Captain’, the audience is taken on a voyage through time, as stories of the Dockers involvement in the whaling industry, the ‘Darrien Scheme’, and the strikes of 1913 unfold.

The first performances of Tales from the Hanging Captain were on the 16th, 17th & 18th June 2016 at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall with additional sold out dates during the Forest Fringe on the 13th & 14th August 2016. 

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