Police Box

Belhaven Terrace

Morningside, Edinburgh

July 2008

Police Box at Belhaven Terrace, Morningside

©  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                           Photograph taken: July 4 2008

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      Police Box at Belhaven Terrace, Morningside ©


Belhaven Terrace


Morningside Police Box

Several old Police Boxes can still be found in the streets of Edinburgh.

This photo looks to the south towards the Police Box in Belhaven Terrace. Belhaven Terrace is the short street that leads from the northern end of Comiston Road (on the left in this photo) to Balcarres Street (out of the picture, on the right).

Here is another photo of the same box:

Belhaven Terrace, Morningside - Police Box ©




John C White

Thames, Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand

Thank you to John C White who wrote from New Zealand:


'C' Division

"I joined Edinburgh City Police in January 1958 and left in mid- 1969 to emigrate to New Zealand with my wife and children.

I was in ĎCí Division, West End.  During that period I worked all beats and Mobile Patrols of the Division.  Mostly, from early- 1960s, I worked on the 4th Section Mobile Patrol covering everything south of Stenhouse and Calder Roads to Juniper Green, Colinton, Oxgangs, Fairmilehead and Morningside.

'18' Beat

"In between driving duties for the Patrol, I worked '18' Beat, Morningside, from Box 34. (Bellhaven Terrace).  It was during this time that the Sub Station at Oxgangs Road, was opened and I was one of the first to work from it.

The Police Box

"People often asked what went on in a police box. Well, it was:

a parading point

a reporting point and

a communications point (prior to personal radios)

a place to eat onesí piece and have a cuppa.

In those days the boxes were painted battleship grey. It was joked that the paint was war surplus from the Royal Navy."

Inside the Box

"The Box was outfitted with:

a desk and drawer, for various report forms, and VA Books (vehicular Accident)

a shelf, above the desk, for the Eastlight file,  holding The Chief Constable's Memos, Variation sheets, Crime reports etc.

 electric kettle, tea pot, tin mug and a tea towel that was changed weekly when the box cleaner did his rounds.

a sink and cold water tap.

-  a one-bar electric fire, bolted high on the back wall.  It was of very little effect in winter.

-  a telephone just inside the door that burred when it rang.  A light on the top of the cabinet also flashed when the telephone rang.  That could be seen outside, especially at night.

 Probably the most important item in the box was the journal in which one had to record ones foot patrols and any incidents that were being dealt with on route.

This was for safety and enabled you to be found by the Sergeant or Inspector as well as safety.  Prisoners were seldom detained in the box as it was safer outside. 

Community Policing

"When community policing came along in 1967 the boxes were seldom used.  I worked from home as a lived in Morningside, calling into Oxgangs Station to recharge my radio batteries and get all the up to date information required."

The Police

"I had many friends in the force and it was a sad day for me when I left.  However my wife and I felt that we could make a better life for ourselves and children here in New Zealand, so 45 years ago we arrived here.

I never joined the police here. I retired 18 years ago.

I must admit being a policeman was , in my opinion, the best job I ever had and hardly a day goes by that I donít think about the old days."

John C White, Thames (an old gold mining town 60 miles south of Auckland)
Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand:  August 7, 2014


Police Box Recollections


To read recollections of working in several different Police Boxes around Edinburgh, please see this page:  Police Box Recollections