The One O'Clock Gun

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Published (nearly) quarterly and distributed free in Edinburgh's bars and bookshops the One O'Clock Gun began in 2004 as a thought provoking, ballsy and often irreverent paper that initially appeared with a humble few followers.

Over ten years later, it still has those humble few followers. Distributed from handmade wooden boxes, the One O’Clock Gun appears to be an A4 sheet but in fact folds out to a massive double-sided A2 broadsheet, both sides crammed with stories poems and illustrations.

Although the Gun began with a handful of writers penning their stories under pseudonyms it wasn’t long before amateur and professional authors alike were attracted.


If you were a pub-goer in central Edinburgh between 2004 and 2008, then the chances are that you remember the One O’Clock Gun freesheet.

Published quarterly and distributed free in the City’s bars, the Gun was a thought provoking, ballsy and often irreverent paper that began with a humble few followers developed into a unique Scottish literary publication.

Distributed from handmade wooden boxes, the One O’Clock Gun appears to be an A4 sheet but in fact folds out to a massive double-sided A2 broadsheet, both sides crammed with stories poems and illustrations.

Although the Gun began with a handful of writers penning their stories under pseudonyms, it wasn’t long before amateur and professional authors alike were attracted, and slowly as its reputation grew, submissions came in from farther afield.

The One O’Clock Gun Anthology captures the best of the first years of the Gun and was launched with a panel discussion on grassroots writing and publishing at Edinburgh Central Library in 2010.

On the panel were Kevin Williamson, Robert Alan Jamieson and Gun staff Craig Gibson and Gerry Hillman. The discussion turned to the necessity of grassroots publications, which not only promote new writing, but which because of their separation from the mainstream are genuinely free to say what cannot always be said.

The Anthology, which features 43 writers and original Gun art from Lucy McKenzie, also has 16 colour photographic plates taken by Robin Gillanders, to give a true flavour of what the Gun was all about.

The book features new work from many well-known Scottish names as well as writing from newcomers and many Edinburgh personalities who felt moved to contribute.

   This small serving allows the complex mish mash of modern literature to be understood as a unified body. One O’Clock Gun is one of the few anthologies where so many different types of writing; poetry and prose, fact and fiction, pessimism, optimism, tales of home and abroad sit so easily together.  Whether reading from cover to cover or dipping in and out, it is this variety, held together by strong themes that make this book great.        

Gutter Magazine

   There is too little free speech in newspapers nowadays, when even professedly liberal publications soften down hard facts that their owners and advertisers find inconvenient. Free newspapers, of course, have to be paid out of somebody’s pocket … the owners of the One O’Clock Gun are free enough to say what they like.

Alasdair Gray

   The One O'Clock Gun, which regularly startles unwary tourists and is an instinctive time-check for the locals, is a well-established institution at the heart of the Scottish capital. The other One O'Clock Gun is less well known, but is surely a better indicator of why Edinburgh was chosen as UNESCO's first City of Literature than anything issued by the tourist board. Launched in 2004, The Gun was a somewhat austere-looking, columned broadsheet distributed through many of Edinburgh's most distinctive taverns which, four times a year (roughly), published a selection of poetry, fiction and sometimes scurrilous prose. This anthology gathers together material from each of the Gun's 17 published issues, including essays by the late Angus Calder, and work by Alasdair Gray, Suhayl Saadi and then-newbies like Rodge Glass, Peter Burnett and Jenny Lindsay (whose poem, In Scotland We Know We're Fucked, shines brightly even in the eyes of a confirmed anti-poetry barbarian like myself). Not everything here is (to paraphrase Calder) witty and/or beautiful (the early fondness for archaic prose was thankfully dropped after the first year), but there are enough gems to ensure this is a fitting tribute to the Capital's literary grassroots.

Paul F Cockburn in The Skinny


The One O'Clock Gun Anthology

In 2010 Leamington Books published The One O'Clock Gun Anthology which captures the best of the first years of the Gun. The Anthology features 43 writers and original Gun art from Lucy McKenzie, and also has 16 colour photographic plates taken by Robin Gillanders, to give a true flavour of what the Gun was all about.

Back Issues

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OOCG Number 19

Issue 19

Edinburgh's Literary Broadside

Spit on the streets! Don't hesitate! In this number find:

The Power of Negative Thinking by Darran Anderson The Death Of A Trojan by Jamie Gordon Her Hip by Craig Duffy The Truth by Jenny Lindsay Fingering: A Consequence by Neil Greenan Statues Of Edinburgh by Kirsti Wishart OOCG Number 18

Issue 18

You Are Now Entering the Literary Sector

The Lady Edina, our spiritual figurehead and muse, prepares to storm Edinburgh’s literary barricades. Perturbentur hostes nostri!

The Folly Of Intrigue by Craig Gibson A Shout From The Squire by Craig Duffy Black Pudding by Katie Craig Thoughtless - a sequence by Graham Brodie P’s & J’s In The Public T’s by Neil Greenan Confabulous by Gowan Calder Translation From An Ancient Chaldean Manuscript One O'Clock Gun Guide to Young Athenians


From Edina With Love by Craig Gibson North / South Days Of 2007 by James Wood Young Athenians by Neil Mulholland The Sand Blasted Pillars of a Sandstone Community by the Lonely Piper

Illustrations from Craig Coulthard, Lee O’Connor, Sophie Rogers, Darius Jones, Tommy Grace, Neil Mulholland’s "My ‘My Vettriano’"; "My Vettriano" being Keith Farquhar’s site-specific contribution to the RSA

Full exhibition archived at []

OOCG Number 17

Volume 4 Number 4

Back with a vengeance!

This is the DUALITY ISSUE of the OOCG, published to counter the constant, pernicious and lazy belief that Edinburgh is a city of enormous duality. Featuring:

Uptown Top Rankin by Craig Gibson Let's Be Frank by Eoin Sanders Stop This Shit Now! by Peter Burnett Some Reflections Upon The Late Angus Calder by Craig Gibson The Fetch Goes by Raymond Bell Duality, Come In, Your Time Is Up by Kevin Williamson OOCG Number 16

Volume 4 Number 3

Welcome To The Fourth Festival Of Darkness.

Included in this issue:

The Wanderin Piper, A Traditional Scots Tale by James Spence The New Town Vampyre by Kirsti Wishart Hitchhikers by Eoin Sanders Passions Of A Pike Angler by Robert Fusco Sandy Meets the Late Lamented Tom Weir by Sandy Christie Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe by Kevin Williamson No Exit by Andrew J Wilson Peter Burnetttt Goes Into Hiding Uncle by Andrew Smith One For The Fireside? by Craig Gibson OOCG Number 14

Volume 4 Number 2

Reasons to be Cheerful! In this issue:

The Lost Superhero by Kirsti Wishart The Control by Ross Wilson Growing Up and Moving On by Gerry Hillmann The Commoner's Guide to the New Town Pleasure Gardens by Craig Gibson Sandy Meets the One O'Clock Gun by Sandy Christie The Slaughterer of St. Stephen's Street by Gavin Inglis Moira Knox by Robin Cairns The Strange Case of Sandy McCall Smith and Ian Rankin by Craig Gibson In The Zoloft Zoo by Eddie Gibbons The War Office Regrets by Michale Conway Depression as an Anarchism by Peter Burnett By The Door and Before The Law by Anita Govan Mr Bloddy's Howible London by Ben Wallers OOCG Number 13

Volume 4 Number 1

Unlucky For Whom?

At Junction Thirteen by Michael Conway Your Poems Are Gay by Keith Farquhar 13 by Marc Philips Give Up Your Ghost by Gavin Duvet Solving the Problem of Love by Peter Burnett Tattie by Craig Gibson After The Willow by Suhyal Saadi Habana by Kirsti Wishart An Excerpt From How Ages Die by RA Jamieson Agnes And Senga Fall Out by Kevin Williamson The One O'Clock Gun Stereotype Challenge OOCG Number 12

Volume 3 Number 4

The Festival of Darkness Revisited

The Debate in Dunbar by Peter Burnett The Doppelganger But Not As Traditionally Represented in Art and Literature by Reggie Chamberlain-King Plum by James Wood One To One by Ian Spring After The Willow by Suhayl Saadi Girl by Angus Calder Flowers by Reggie Chamberlain-King Fragments From The Notebooks Of Joseph Cresswell, Artist 1924 - 1956(?) Paul Carter remembered by Sarah Munro and Billy McCall Our Life Moves Towards Us by Gavin Duvet Escape From The Royal Ed by Craig Gibson An Edinburgh Vignette by Andrew Smith OOCG Number 11

Volume 3 Number 3

Welcome to the Celebration of the Salamander

Star Encounters of the Monster by Peter Burnett They Wouldn’t Accept It Was Over by Don Birnam The Great Hall by James Wood The Tail That Broke Off by Chris Dooks Diamonds Deep Beneath The Mountain by Gavin Duvet The Wild Man of the City by Kirsti Wishart Love Has Its Reasons by Michael Conway After the Willow by Suhayl Saadi Incapacity Benefit by Gerry Hillman In Scotland We Know We’re Fucked by Jenny Lindsay The Guilt and the Glory by John Hasler Miasma by Angus Calder Measured Mile by Marc Phillips The Loneliness of the Short Story Sifter by Kate Gould Benedicta by James Wood OOCG Number 10

Volume 3 Number 2

Time for a Treat!

Issue Number 10 features:

Dark Seagull by Angus Calder After the Willow by Suhayl Saadi God Saved the Class of ‘85 by Rodge Glass The Hebrew Word For Fuck by Peter Burnett I’m Being Followed by Don Birnam Prints by Craig Gibson Carpentry by James Woods Goodbye Jimmy by Alasdair Gray OOCG Number 9

Volume 3 Number 1

Time for a Festival of Cojones ... featuring:

AD 1365 by James Wood The Smoke Museum by Kirsti The Shaman's Coat by James Wood The Uneatable in Pursuit of the Unspeakable by Michael Conway After the Willow by Suhayl Saadi None are Quite as Dangerous as Love by Karl Plume The Abyss by Craig Gibson Pettypip by Angus Calder Edinburgh – Inspiring Capital by Gerry Hillman Why Did I Go To The Poetry Reading? by Peter Burnett On GB by Alan Hunter The Wary Thomas by Peter Burnett

And a hefty 'Adieu' to smoking in Scotland's barrooms. OOCG Number 8

Volume 2 Number 4

Welcome To The Festival of Darkness

The Carlin's Loup by Craig Gibson The Hour of the Witch by Suhayl Saadi The Criticess’ Review THE CLAIMING OF SLEEPING BEAUTY by AN Roquelaure On the Road by Eldinhope 1746 and All That by Angus Calder The Valise by MC Conway Billy Semple, A Vignette by Alasdair Gray Biggar High by Smithers A Polite Request to the Middle Class to Stand Up by Reggie Chamberlain-King OOCG Number 7

Volume 2 Number 3

In this issue:

The Faerie Boy of Leith by Craig Gibson Aux Armes, Citoyens! by Angus Calder Departures by James Wood On The Road by Eldinhope Congy Ben Speaks to Cameron Swinnie A Story in the Nationals by MK Hendry Rev Burneto on The Holy Isle The Water of Leith by Smithers The Road to Go Where by Baraldo (Barry McLaren) OOCG Number 6

Volume 2 Number 2

Welcome to the Festival of Freedom.

Swim By GJ Brodie The New Town Vampire By Lockhart Falkland Sure Poor by GJ Brodie Your By GJ Brodie On the Road By Eldinhope The Criticess’Review: THE POCKET DOROTHY PARKER Obituary (Sandie Craigie) by Kevin Williamson Drums for Sandie Craigie by Angus Calder Bad Psyche Carrier Buddha’s Dismal Wedding To The Colour Black by Congy Ben “You Stink, Sir, I Smell” by Robin Vandome Sour Grapes by Skald of Stockbridge Multiple Universes by Karl Plume A Circle Drawn by Da Vinci by Karl Plume The Clergyman Abroad - Sin in Berlin? OOCG Number 5

Volume 2 Number 1

Welcome to the Festival of the Future!

The Death of the Philosopher By Oliver Twisted A Wee Visit By our Poet in Exile, the Poacher A Night at the Highlander, A Despatch from the Barman The Iron Law of the Country By MC Conway Tabloid By the Scorekeeper My Gode By Karl Plume Choice? By Don Nippery Septo The Busker By MK Hendry Morphine By James Wood Sketches of London By The Clergyman Abroad OOCG Number 4

Volume 1 Number 4

Once Again Into the Festival of Forgiveness!

Within which find:

The Bastard King and the Birth of the Glorious Republic by Setonius Naseby Memoirs of Nicky by Michael of Galloway The Unlived Life by the Philosopher Clockwork Bastards By Lockhart Falkland Grub Street - Scurrilous Log-rolling Antics Revealed! By the Man of Letters The Laird of Leith’s Hamper by Eldinhope C21H22N2O2 and the Fun that Can Be Had by Karl Plume OOCG Number 3

Volume 1 Number 3

Once Again, Into the Festival of Festivals!

Contents include:

Bloomsday, by Seamus Joyce When Jim Met John, a fantasy by Lockhart Falkland; Susan Boyd by Alasdair Gray; Auld Reekie - A First Puff Of Smoke by Ned Slater; A Wretched Tale by Henderson Heath; Letters From A Lost Empire #3 edited by Will Lawson.