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7th June 1996 at 01:00
As Elizabeth Maginnis licks her wounds over Edinburgh's school closures, she will not be best pleased at the publication of a book marking the Save Our School campaign that fought unsuccessfully to preserve London Street primary.

Although Maginnis, then chair of Lothian's education committee, won she will not want memories stirred about the personality clashes which marred that dispute. There appeared to be a vendetta between her and Dave Rushton, a left-wing activist and principal spokesman for the parents (both were "fairly confrontational" in their approach, Rushton now concedes).

St Mary's, a neighbouring Catholic school, was shut and its pupils moved to London Street, which had a large number of pupils from ethnic minorities. As one parent recalled: "The end result was a lot of minorities being moved out and being replaced by white Catholics."

For most parents personal bitternesses have evaporated, but John Dickie, editor of Save Our School (Gecko Press, Pounds 6.95), concludes: "Three-and-a-half years on, many local people still can't pass the old London Street primary building without feeling sick at heart."

But he adds that most of the pupils have transferred happily to Broughton primary. Perhaps they can still hum the "London Street Closing Song" to the tune of Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky".

Parents claim to have learnt from their mistakes and say they could mount a far more effective campaign now. They list tips for future activists: Edinburgh and other councils, be warned.

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