Albany Street

Photo 1

Four Young Children on the Steps at Albany Street

Four young children on the steps at Albany Street  -  around 1945-46

Reproduced with acknowledgement to Alan Watson, Edinburgh




Alan Watson


Thank you to Alan Watson for sending the photograph above of himself and three other children on the steps of his mother's grocery shop in Albany Street, around 1945-46.

Alan wrote:


"The three casual friends in the foreground in this photo are anonymous as is the fifth person that everybody overlooks: the photographer.

The Photographer

"I can still remember the lady photographer in question, trying to coax me to join the group, but to no avail, as I clung resolutely to those railings."

The Railings

"On another occasion, I remember catching my head in the railings and having to be set free.  I can't help wondering how many New Town kids went through that particular 'rite of passage'."

The photo would have been taken around 1945/46.  At least in those days, we had the freedom of the streets and back alleys to get into such scrapes;  just look at the state of the knees and shoes of the boy on the right!

They say that what doesn't kill you makes you strong so let's hope the gang are hale and hearty and may, even yet, recognise themselves and get in touch."


Who are the Children?

Please email me if you recognise yourself or any of the other young children in this photo.


Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 3, 2012

Prams and Toys

"There is an impressive line-up of prams: none of them mine, I should add. My toys at this time would have been acquired second-hand and, like some of the prams, have seen better days.

Model Yacht

"There was one notable exception.  It was not a toy as such, but a large fully-functioning model of an outrigger yacht, it's name gave a clue as to its provenance: "Miss Belize".

During the second world war my mother ran a grocery shop at 2 Albany Street.  Part of a sign reading 'Cigarettes & Confections' can be seen in the photo.


At that time, there was a hostel in York Place for forestry workers from the likes of British Honduras, and some would have been customers.  One of them possibly made the yacht to while away his off-duty hours in Edinburgh.

Most would be leaving for home at about the time that the photo was taken. The boat was probably judged too cumbersome to be shipped out, so it was presented to my mother.

In my hands it eventually sailed the cooler waters of Inverleith Boating Pond, before being passed on to some other lucky youngster."

Alan Watson, Edinburgh:  June 29, 2012


After seeing that his comments in the 'Model Yachts' paragraphs above had been added to the EdinPhoto web site, Alan wrote again adding:

Caribbean Workers

"I'm pleased to see my comments about the workers from the likes of British Honduras have been added to the web site.  I feel that the likes of the Caribbean contribution to the war effort has been long overdue for acknowledgement generally."

Hostel for Caribbean Workers

"I've looked in vain in the Edinburgh directories for mention of the hostel in the hostel where the workers lived.  It was called British Honduras House and was run by the YMCA.

There are a number of photos relating to the workers in Scotland listed on the Imperial War Museum website, including one taken in the hostel."

Alan Watson, Edinburgh: July 6, 2012




Alan Watson


Alan added:

Who were the children on the Steps?

"I'm anxious to provide a possible follow up to this photo of the Final Year Class at St Mary's School, York Lane, taken around 1952.

Perhaps I'm letting my imagination get the better of me with the photos below, but you never know. 

The three children sitting on the steps in 1945-46 may also be in the photo below of the Final Year Class, that taken around 1952.

(Please click here to see medium or large size copies of the photo below.)

4 young children on steps in Albany Street, around 1945-46 AND Final Year Class at St Mary's Primary School, York Lane, around 1952 "

Alan Watson, Edinburgh:  June 29, 2012



Recollections:  St Mary's School

Photos:  School Classes