It’s the Da Vinci cold as Chapel boss’s past laid bare

It is a picture that is sure to raise a few eyebrows in the pews of Rosslyn Chapel.

The new man charged with overseeing the venerable institution has been exposed as one of the first proponents of the naked calendar.

Long before the Rylestone Women’s Institute posed naked for their now famous 1990s calendar, it was the Chapel’s newly-appointed director Colin Glynne-Percy who bared it all in front of the lens.

Dressed in only snow boots and with a well-placed leg maintaining some dignity, it is an image sure to prove highly embarrassing as he prepares to take up his new role.

When approached about the picture, which was uncovered in the Evening News archives, a red-faced Mr Glynne-Percy said that he and a group of friends had posed in various guises as a joke and to raise money for charity.

He said: “That was a long time ago – it was more than 20 years ago that it was taken.

“It was a calendar that we created for charity and it caused a fair amount of amusement at the time.

“It was just a few friends that got together and got dressed up in a variety of different guises. It was all a spoof of the Pirelli calendars but instead of girls it was all men.

“It was long before WRI – the women’s one that came out – and at the time it was quite an unusual thing to be doing.

“There was nothing serious about it and it’s not really relevant nowadays.”

Andrew Russell, a trustee and chairman of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust’s management committee, laughed off the revelation today.

He said: “We feel we’ve chosen someone who is prepared to see the funny side of life as well as the darker side. It rather shows his strength of character that he will be able to laugh at this.

“We will all, I’m sure, be amused about this because we didn’t know about the picture, but we’ve all done something like this in our lives, or at least some people have, and it can be put down to the exuberance of youth.

“Possibly it might even make more visitors interested.

“We do like our staff to see the funny side of life and have a sense of humour. It is good for the wider interests of the Trust and staff morale.”

The calendar was created in 1985 when Deirdre Livingstone, who later became the British Tourist Authority’s millennium marketing manager, persuaded 12 of Edinburgh’s most eligible bachelors to pose.

Granton-based photographer Drew Parnell took the pictures and created the pre-Chippendales collection of pictures.

It was titled Spare Tyres, and was intended as a spoof of the Pirelli tyre company’s famous calendar featuring scantily-clad women.

Among the other men featured were Lord Aberdour, as a farmer, and Anthony Woodd, who owns the Anthony Woodd gallery in Dundas Street.

The facts:

Mastermind of the Edinburgh Park business development, Colin Glynne-Percy has recently been running his own property consultancy firm.

He will take up his post as director of Rosslyn Chapel in the new year.

He will manage the £12 million programme of conservation work that is being carried out at the Chapel.

Among his main aims are to expand the visitor centre at the Chapel to make it suitable for the 170,000 visitors a year it is now attracting. He also aims to promote the Chapel to local people and encourage every school child in the Lothians to visit it in a bid to keep up the high level of demand after the interest in the Da Vinci Code wanes.

Referring to his role as development manager for New Edinburgh, which set up the business park at Edinburgh Park, Mr Glynne-Percy commented: “It is satisfying to have been involved in one of Scotland’s flagship business projects, and it’s also a great challenge to be involved in one of Scotland’s top attractions.”

Michael Blackley
Edinburgh Evening News. 21st December 2006

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