A runaway coal lorry in Holyrood Park, at the foot of

Arthur Street

and another accident


Coal Lorry accident at the foot of Arthur Street

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Coal Lorry - Accident


Thank you to Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland, for telling me about the photograph above.  This photo appeared in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch on the day of the Arthur Street accident, November 15, 1958.

Another Photo



Please click on the thumbnail image below to see another photograph of this accident, and to read some people's memories of the accident:

Coal Lorry accident at the foot of Arthur Street

Press Report

Here is a copy of the press report that appeared on the front page of the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch on November 15, 1958.

Driverless Lorry Runs Away


"A six year old girl, Marion McAlinden, 51 Arthur Street, Edinburgh, missed death by inches when an eight ton lorry careered driverless 250 yards down the steep brae in Arthur Street and smashed through a wall at which Marion was standing.  She was unhurt but badly shaken."

Driver's Comments

"The lorry driver, Fred Ungdale, 25 Niddrie Mains Terrace, said later:  'I was delivering coal and had just got back to the lorry when it started to move off.  I shouted to the kiddies playing in the street to keep clear.  None of them were actually in the street.  I don't really know what happened.  The lorry was in reverse and the handbrake was on.'

As the lorry careered down the hill, it narrowly missed a parked car, then swerved onto the pavement narrowly missing a little girl standing by the gate.

The lorry struck the wall, rebounded and crashed through it travelling another 50 yards before it stopped, leaving five tons of coal strewn behind it."

Shopkeepers' Comments

"Mr George Dickson, who was in his grocer's shop at 43 Arthur Street at the time, said, 'It was very nearly a fatal accident.  Fortunately, there were no children playing in the Queen's Park behind the wall.  I don't know how little Marion escaped.'

Another shopkeeper, Mrs J Aikman 90 Dumbiedykes Road said. 'A customer brought the girl into the shop, where she was given a drink.'

Mrs Aikman added, 'It was a mercy that most of the children were at the cinema.  There is usually a crowd of them playing at the wall where the lorry went through.'

Another Accident

The front page of the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch on November 15, 1958 was shared with the account of another accident.  I found it interesting to read the police tactics for stopping the car.

The account began:

Driver Arrested

"A stolen car being chased by a police patrol car to-day crashed through a road block in Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh, only a few yards inside the city boundary, struck a police car and a private car, then skidded into a grass verge.

The driver of the stolen car received head injuries and was taken to the Royal Infirmary by ambulance.  His condition was said to be 'not serious'.

A police patrol car first saw the stolen car - a Humber which had been missing since yesterday from Cramond - travelling towards Musselburgh.  The patrol car contacted police headquarters and a roadblock was set up in Newbattle Road.  The stolen car crashed through the block and a policeman had to jump clear to avoid being knocked down.

The car continued down Gilmerton Road where the police set up another road block - this time using a bus which they had commandeered.

The car skidded past the roadblock, crashing into a police car and a private car, then careered into a grass verge.  The driver of the car was arrested."


Please click on the thumbnail image below to see how the area, where the coal lorry accident occurred, has changed over the past fifty years.

The Entrance to Holyrood Park from Dumbiedykes Road



Hugh Leckie & Sons  -  Coal Merchants

School Photograph 1895

Hugh Leckie

Leckie Direct Marketing

Arthur Street Coal Lorry

Coal Yard

Coronation Coal Lorry




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