The Caves, Edinburgh’s lost treasure…
Digging deep in the VenueScanner archives, I came across the story of “The Caves” by Mr McKenzie, Editor of the Edinburgh Evening Courant, an evening newspaper.
Picture this: 19th Century, Edinburgh, Scotland.
“I remember it like it was yesterday!” said McKenzie. Sitting by the fire, and surrounded by his five grandchildren, he recounted, once again, the story that made his career.
“It was a cold and dark evening” he muttered as he put down his empty glass of whisky. Three of my officers and I were told that something dodgy was going on in the deep dark and abandoned galleries, underneath The South Bridge. I had no idea, at that time, what we were going to find. On the spur of the moment, we all decided to venture into this subterranean labyrinth. I don’t really know what we were expecting. As we walked through the abandoned rooms, we all hoped that something would come of it.” Mckenzie declared, his voice full of pride and stary eyes.
Even though his grandchildren had heard this story a thousand times, you could have heard a pin drop in the room. They were captivated.
“Then we came into this room. Big and dark, we could barely see the old fireplace in the back of the room. I still, to this day, don’t know why one of my officers decided to look closer. As he was going through the frame of the fireplace with his fingers, removing in the process all the dust that had built up over the years, we heard something click. Intrigued, I decided to take a closer look. I even started pushing and punching the grate with my bare hands. Suddenly I felt something crack and some of the plaster on the wall started to crumble. You could barely see it but, as I kept banging on the grate, the outline of a hidden iron door became more and more visible.” murmured the grandfather, his audience in awe.
“We all started pushing harder and harder on the wall. All of a sudden, the grate fell on the floor and the door slammed open making a big roar that resonated through the galleries. For the next five minutes, none of us said a word. We were all shocked by what we saw before our eyes” he said dramatically. “It was an illegal private distillery”.
“After that discovery, my life was never the same”.