The Leith Loot of 1976 didn’t start like most inner city riots; with simmering violence and disenfranchised youth.
No, the Leith Loot was kicked off when a can of hairspray was accidentally sprayed into the face of one of the Pilrig Sisters during the “Miss Leith” Beauty Contest one warm Saturday.
This was a very competitive event, which was held in the Leith Theatre, during the summer heat-wave of 1976 and had been organized to run just before an ACDC concert being held there the same night.
The exact details of that fateful event have long since been lost but it resulted in the notorious Pilrig Sisters and their gang spilling out of a trashed theatre on to Ferry Road, fighting with a group of wannabe beauty queens.
Earlier that day, Chris Stanton had been drinking heavily in the Boundary Bar on Leith Walk. His bird was home caking on the make-up for some shit beauty contest and she had been doing his fucking head in. He had been trying to have a shave but the sight of her squeezing herself into sequined hot-pants had made his hand slip.
Now, he was sitting with a bloody chin nursing a foul mood. He watched the guys sitting behind him, in the dusty mirror. One of them was Wee Frankie, a fellow Hibee but an annoying little fucker all the same. Chris was tall and wiry, with short swept-back hair and a mean mouth. He downed his pint, wiped his mouth and swung round on his stool.
“Any o’ you guys got a light?” he asked, eyes darting between the two young ones.
Wee Frankie slowly slid a box of matches across the table at Chris, never taking his eyes off him.
“Well, thank you very much, sir” Chris said as he picked up the matches, knocking over a full pint. The warm lager splashed all over the dirty table and the men jumped up, swearing and pushing the table away.
“Oops! Looks like I a wee bit clumsy” Chris sneered, as Wee Frankie ran round, kicking a chair at him.
“Yer burd’s a fuckin’ scank! A Pilrig Sister being crowned Miss Leith? I dinnae think so, mate”.
What happened next was a bit of a blur in Stanton’s memory as the red mist descended. The next he knew he was blinking in the hot sunshine at the bus-stop, with a bloody jaw and a smashed hand. He had to get down to the Leith Theatre to see Maggie…
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