IT was a busy port with its own coats of arms, motto, town hall and sense of distinct character.

But amid formidable public outcry from the proud citizens of Leith, the burgh became absorbed into the city of Edinburgh extinguishing much of its unique civic identity.

Now a re-run of the contentious 1920 'referendum' which accompanied the merger - despite residents voting five to one against - is being considered to mark the centenary of the vote.

Read more: Second referendum only if MOST Scots want it, Sturgeon confirms

Speaking at the unveiling of this year's LeithLate arts programme, festival director Morvern Cunningham said that 100 year anniversary of the union with Edinburgh was a salient time ballot Leithers again.

"I've always quite fancied the idea of doing another referendum," she said.

"I thought it would be quite fun to do. The idea might be to ask people if they still wanted to be part of Edinburgh, even though they voted No back in the day.

"We could do it again. I would be interested in the answer: we would think about how we could do it.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon confirms intention to relaunch SNP's Independence campaign

"[The result] would depend on if we can get every single person to vote, it would depend on the turnout on the day, as they say."

Any vote to split from Edinburgh would carry no any legal weight, so Leith will not mirror the plot of fictional comedy in the Ealing classic Passport to Pimlico.

Leith councillor Gordon Munro said the 1920 "lightning plebiscite", as it was known after being suddenly organised by the Leith Observer newspaper, still had resonance today.

"It is such an important part of Leith history, even to this day, and it would be a great thing to mark in an artistic way," he said.

Read more: David Mundell tells Nicola Sturgeon - there's no mandate for second indyref

"I think a lot of people would be interested in it - there is still that sense of identity, of people saying 'I am going up to Edinburgh today'.

"You might find that some streets in Leith would want to cede from Leith itself."

Fellow councillor Adam McVey said the move would kickstart debate about what it means to be a Leither.

"Leith SNP activists ran a campaign a few decades ago, printing T-shirts that said “Leith for independence” on one side and “independence for Leith” on the other."

He added: "I’m likely to vote for Leith’s independence as a demonstration of our community’s individuality but in a binding referendum I think we’d have to clarify the contested City/Leith boundary first before going to the polls."

As part of the festival, and in a further example of the burgh's independence, LeithLate 16 has released 6,000 banknotes for Leith

It will be based at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, and as well as artistic and cultural projects the festival will hold a series of panel talks with subjects including the gentrification of Leith and the politics of public art.

LeithLate16 Public will also run a Poetry Project in collaboration with Edinburgh City of Literature Trust.

Six poems about Edinburgh by contemporary poets such as Rachel McCrum, Michael Pedersen and Harry Giles, will have specially designed large posters by David Lemm displayed on advertising sites around the Leith area.

Ms Cunningham added: "The idea of currency is an interesting one.

"Leith has always been quite separate and had its own identity."

The banknotes will not be used as a method of exchange or as legal tender, but six thousand will be printed.

The leading idea for an image is a banana, because of its allusion to Leith's port and history of trade, its "banana flats" at Cables Wynd, and also that "money is meaningless and stupid, and something we have created for ourselves."

"The idea is that it is a purely artistic endeavour," she said..

LeithLate 16, in its sixth year, will run over a four day period between June 23-26.