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34 Facts About Leith
Leith is located on the southern coast of the Firth of Forth and lies within the City of Edinburgh Council area; since 2007 it has formed one of 17 multi-member wards of the city.
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Leith has played a long and prominent role in Scottish history.
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Historically Leith was governed by the Town Council of Edinburgh, with separately organised baillies appointed by various bodies without contact with each other.
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The result became very unsatisfactory, and half of Leith was provided with no municipal government whatever or any local magistrates.
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On 1 November 1833, Leith became a separate Municipal Burgh, with its own provost, magistrates, and council, and was no longer run by bailies.
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Historically the Lord Provost of Edinburgh was virtue officii Admiral of the Firth of Forth, the Provost of Leith was Admiral of the port, and his four bailies were admirals-depute.
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Leith was merged with Edinburgh on 1 November 1920 despite a plebiscite in which the people of Leith voted 26,810 to 4,340 against the merger.
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Docks at Leith underwent severe decline in the post-Second World War period, with the area gaining a reputation for roughness and prostitution, with an official 'tolerance zone' until 2001.
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The shore area of Leith, once unattractive, is a centre for a range of new pubs and restaurants in charming surroundings.
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Leith was Scotland's leader in several industries for many centuries.
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Leith was the first town in Scotland to electrify its tram system.
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Leith had one horse-drawn line pre-dating steam-trains, bringing coal from Dalkeith to a station at the north end of Constitution Street, to serve the glassworks there.
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Today, Leith is served by various bus services provided by Lothian Buses.
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Leith has a long history of pioneering social advances, some of which were the first of their kind in Scotland:.
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Leith had electric street lighting from 1890 and electric trams from 1905.
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Leith was formerly a port linked to the trade of the Hanseatic League.
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Leith is home to The Queen's former floating Royal residence, the Royal Yacht Britannia, now a five-star visitor attraction and evening events venue permanently berthed at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre.
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Leith was named as the fourth 'coolest neighbourhood in the world' by Time Out in 2021.
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The Leith Gala, now known as Leith Festival Gala Day is an annual event that has taken place since 1907; it was originally a charity event to raise sponsorship for local hospital beds before the National Health came into place.
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Leith FM started as a week-long RSL station during the late 1990s, linked to Leith Festival.
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BBC drama Guilt is set in Leith, with filming locations including the Eastern Cemetery.
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Leith is the home of Hibernian Football Club which is a member of the Scottish Premiership.
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Leith Links have been used a sports and recreation area over many centuries.
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Leith is significant in the historical development of the rules of golf, as the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers played there before moving to Musselburgh Links and later Muirfield.
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From at least 1600 until 1816, Leith Races were held on Leith Sands, an area immediately north of the present Links and now built over.
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Leith Links have one of the longest established cricket pitches in Scotland, from 1820.
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