the late 19th century and early 20th century, Portobello became a popular
resort. It had:
and sea which featured in
many old post card views.
Marlborough Mansions with their ornate iron balconies (built 1890s,
demolished 1960s) and Windsor Mansions. Several of Portobello's
photographers had studios on the Promenade.
It was designed
by Thomas Bouch, designer of the ill-fated Tay Rail Bridge. It was
1,250 ft long with a pavilion, restaurant and concert hall at its head..
It opened 1871 and was was demolished following storm damage
in.1917. Steamers sailed from the pier to Aberdour, Elie,
North Berwick, May Island, Bass Rock and other destinations.
helter skelter, amusements and figure of eight railway (closed in
1957 after having been declared unsafe).
a large complex consisting of a theatre, Empress Ballroom and
amusement park with mountain slide, royal mountain scenic railway, great
joy wheel, katzenjammer castle and 'Figure Eight Railway' with its
one-mile long track, each car holding twenty-eight passengers.
buildings at Marine Gardens were all transferred to Portobello after
having formed part of the Scottish National Exhibition held at
Soughtonhall Park in Edinburgh in 1908.
was taken over by the War Department in 1914. and used to
billet troops. Most of the buildings never re-opened
following the War. Empress Ballroom did re-open and continued to
attract customers until 1939. All has now gone from this site at
the eastern end of Seafield Road. A Lothian Region bus depot was
built on the site in 1962.
and Bostock's zoo
with over sixty cages including
elephants, lions, tigers, wolves hyenas and monkeys.
Open Air Bathing Pool
built to accommodate 1300 bathers and 6,000 spectators. It had a
wave-making machine. The pool finally closed in 1980.
photographic studios were established at Portobello, some with highland
dress outfits or Newhaven Fishwives' costumes for their clients.