There are cannons on the castle walls. They jut out over the parapet above the city of Edinburgh, primed and ready to release a barrage over the sleeping city below. There are eight in total, all polished silver and, somewhat unconventionally, they project out from the rears of three Jaguar F-Types.
Suddenly, one barks triumphantly into life, the guilty party detectable by the puff of white smoke spiralling up into the chill morning air. The guttural roar blasts out in all directions across the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle, and, as the sound dies away, there’s a final sharp crack, a rifle shot of noise, as the revs settle back. Then the throttle is healthily ignited a couple more times, just for good measure. This is big sound, a rasping flare up the musical scale and an uneven crackle and pop back down. Grins all round. Edinburgh’s one o’clock gun has just sounded six hours and two minutes early.
Words: Ollie Marriage
Photography: Joe Windsor-Williams
This feature first appeared in Top Gear magazine