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Launch Party: Choose Life, Choose Leith: Trainspotting on Location by Tim Bell

  • Leith Dockers Club 17-17a Academy Street Edinburgh EH6 7EE (map)

1980s Britain: Thatcherism. Greed. Poverty. Social inequality. Drugs and heroin. Leith had it all. Trainspotting captured the moment of its time. The disenfranchised youth, the drug culture and the realities of living in one of the most deprived areas of Britain.

Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting defined a moment in time when the small town of Leith, just outside of Edinburgh, was the drug capital of the world. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Trainspotting's original publication at the launch party of Choose Life Choose Leith: Trainspotting on Location by Trainspotting expert and 'Leith Walks' tour guide Tim Bell.

'Welsh's work is often overlooked or taken out of its context in Leith, Scotland and 1980s Britain... This book puts it right back where it belongs.'

By examining the book, play and film, Choose Life, Choose Leith both critically analyses the Trainspotting phenomenon in its various forms, and contextualises the importance of the location of Leith and the culture of 1980s Britain. Looking in detail at the history of Leith, the drug culture, the spread of HIV/AIDs, and how Trainspotting affected drug policy, Leith and the Scottish identity, the book highlights the important status that Trainspotting holds in modern culture. Choose Life, Choose Leith acts as a reference book, a record of the times and a background to the history that led to the real-life situation and the publication of the book.

Come along to hear the history behind the location of Trainspotting, and how the Leith we know from the book relates to the real-life Leith from the 1980s.

Admission is free and all are welcome. For tickets, please visit

Due to the nature of the venue, please note that Challenge 25 policy will be in effect and photographic ID may be requested at the bar.