City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

J.K. Rowling's Writerly Hands Preserved For Edinburgh


By edg - Posted on 12 February 2009

J K Rowling Makes Hand Impressions for Edinburgh Award

The hands that wrote the Harry Potter series - as myth would have it on cafe paper napkins - are being immortalised in Caithness stone in the quadrangle of Edinburgh's City Chambers.

Author JK Rowling last year became the second recipient of the Edinburgh Award whereby popular Edinburghers have their handprints installed in the City Chambers quadrangle. Rebus author Ian Rankin was the first recipient, in 2007, of Auld Reekie's answer to the stars on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard.

"I was delighted to receive the Edinburgh Award, as this city and its wonderful inhabitants have meant so much to me for the last 15 years," said Rowling.

"I think it is particularly appropriate for a writer's hands to be represented, so I am deeply honoured to have my keyboard-chipped fingernails, not to mention my pen-induced friction callous, commemorated in the place where I produced Harry Potter."

Rowling's handprints were preserved by stone conservationist Nic Boyes, at his workshop in Morningside, Edinburgh. "After achieving the clay relief we
used traditional carving skills, using a mallet & chisels, to
transfer the image to Caithness stone," said Boyes (pictured with Rowling).

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt Hon. George Grubb, said with the installation "the City Chambers quadrangle is fast becoming a lasting visual testimony to some of Edinburgh's greatest living citizens."

Edinburgh Award 2009 Nomination

Nominations are
invited for the 2009 Edinburgh Award, the winner of which will be
announced later this year.

The Edinburgh Award was set up in 2007 to recognise an individual's outstanding achievements and contribution to the city of Edinburgh. Nominees should fit the following key criteria:

  • either have been born in Edinburgh or resided in the City for the past 12 months
  • made a positive impact on the City by their contribution to the world of science, culture, sports, enterprise, technology, charity or education
  • gained positive media attention for Edinburgh in the past 12 months as a result of their work
  • continuously demonstrated the values of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital
  • contributed to an increase in tourism, enterprise, education or overall awareness of Edinburgh as a result of their work

The Award winner will be selected by a panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives invited from the Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and the business community. A formal award presentation will be held once again at prestigious Prestonfield.

Nominations for the Edinburgh Award 2009 must be submitted by 18 March. See related links for details.

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I'm surprised Connery hasn't won one yet even if he only pops in to the city every now and then

I would have thought that Sean Connery must have disqualified himself by living abroad but doubtless an exception could be made! The other possibility is Chris Hoy who won three gold medals at the last Olympic Games and is the most successful Olympic athlete for Britain for 100 years.

I agree Sir Chris is probably a stronger contender than Sir Sean (who qualifies as he was born here even though he lives in Bermuda).

In the present economic climate I think everyone would agree that we should avoid any politicians or bankers being considered - they have too much to answer for.

...unless the winners hands are still planted in the concrete