Out of the Blue’s Drill Hall is a community arts centre, exhibition space and cafe/bar in the very heart of Leith.
Its name comes from the fact that it was an army barracks and drill hall for many years since its opening in 1901.
Of particular historical significance is its role in the 1915 Gretna disaster, the worst crash in the history of British rail travel.
Of the 227 dead, 102 came from the 7th (Leith) Battalion of the Royal Scots, heading for Gallipoli. Their bodies were laid out in the Drill Hall prior to burial in Leith.
There are poignant memories of these young men on show amidst an often eclectic series of exhibitions and events. I’ve been to gigs (King Creosote anybody?) vintage sales, photography exhibitions and ‘Kilo Sales’ of quality used clothing here.
There’s a couple of Christmas arts markets and bruncheons in December (a fancy word for Leith I have to say).
But events aside, it’s a building of architectural interest and the cafe is really good.
It’s a cool place to hang out and meet artistic and creative ‘Leithers’ (residents of Leith – the up and coming Greenwich Village of Edinburgh.)
The mural outside (pictured above) by Kirsty Whiten is a sight to behold.