High Jump

Who?  When?  Where?

Answer:   Is this Edinburgh University Playing Fields, Craiglockhart

Now part of the school sports grounds for George Watson's College

High Jumper  -  Who?  When?  Where?

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  November 6, 2009                            Photographer not known


Enlarge this photo

   High Jumper  -  Who?  When?  Where?


High Jump

Old Photo

Thank you to John Stirling for allowing me to reproduce this photo.  The photo is taken from a collection of lantern slides that John rescued from being destroyed in 1974.  The photographer is not known.

Some of the other slides from this series are known to have been taken between about 1910 and 1920.

Who?  When?  Where?

If you can suggest who this athlete might be, or  when and where this photo might have been taken, please email me.

The pavilion in the background might help to identify the location.  There are also some high poles to the right of the pavilion.  What are they?

Something's not quite right here:  the bar for the 'high jump' seems to be level but the horizon in the background seems to be sloping down to the left!


If you know the answer to any of these questions, please email me.

Thank you. 

Peter Stubbs:  November 24, 2009




Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who wrote:

Edinburgh University Playing Fields

Craiglockhart Terrace

"This photo of the High Jump was taken at the old Edinburgh University Playing Fields, now used by Watson's School. ***

I've played many a rugby game there. The pavilion with the steps is still there at the top of Craiglockhart Terrace.

The Pavilion looks a bit different here from the one that appears in this photo of girls sprinting.

Ladies Racing  -  Edinburgh University Playing Fields, Myreside

Neil added:


"As for dates, the seating in front of the pavilion does not appear on the 1913-14 map but it is there on the 1931 map."

Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009

So, if this photos shows the Pavilion before the seating was added in front of it, the photo would have been taken in 1931 or earlier

Peter Stubbs:  November 26, 2009

***  But see 'Answers 3 + 4' below




Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

High Jump

"I well remember that high jump apparatus.  It was still around in the 1950s.

There was no cushioned landing like the softies have to land on today.  Any attempt at the Fosbury Flop, favoured nowadays, would have risked a broken neck."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  November 26, 2009



Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who emailed me again to say:

High Jump

"I'd like to revise my opinion of where the photo of the high jumper was taken.

Here are photos that I took, today, of the pavilion at the former Edinburgh University Playing Fields at Myreside, now part of the school sports grounds for George Watson's College.

Craiglockhart Playing Fields and Pavilion

Myreside Playing Fields and Pavilion, 2009

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Craiglockhart Pavilion  (zoom-in)

Myreside Pavilion, zoom-in, 2009

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Now that I have had time to look at it, I find that it is quite different from the pavilion in the photo at the top of this page.

So, we'll have to look again to find out where the high jump photo was taken."

Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  December 5, 2009

Was the 'High Jump' photo taken at Myreside?

On the early photo:

-   The left hand gable  of the pavilion is certainly different

-   No steps can be seen in front of the pavilion

-   There is no clock,  but there is room for a clock to be added

However, there are some high poles in the photo of the high jumper, similar to the poles for the tennis court to the right of the pavilion on this photo of ladies racing at Myreside in the early-1900s:

Myreside Pavilion - Early-1900s

    Ladies Racing  -  Edinburgh University Playing Fields, Myreside

So, some further investigation is needed  -  and has, indeed been provided by Jonathan in his 'Answer 4' below.

Peter Stubbs:  December 5, 2009




Jonathan Sheach


Thank you to Jonathan Sheach, a pupil at George Watson's College for shedding more light onto this photo, and other photos from the same series.

Jonathan wrote:

 Craiglockhart and Myreside Playing Fields

Myreside Playing Field and Pavilion, 2009

"The playing fields and Pavilion in this photo are at Myreside, but they should be referred to as 'Craiglockhart Playing Fields', so as not to be confused with the 'real' Myreside fields that are  right next door and are also part of George Watson's College.

 There was a change of ownership* of the Craiglockhart fields at in 1961.  The education board of George Watson's College  had requested the re-zoning of the fields, shortly before the amalgamation of GWC and George Watson's Ladies College."

* George Watson's College: An Illustrated History

 Craiglockhart and Myreside Pavilions

"There are, in fact, two pavilions close together.  The pavilion with the grey roof, multiple chimneys and spire in the 'High Jump' picture at the top of this page is Myreside Pavilion.

Almost beside it, with a red roof, is the pavilion that Neil Lawrence photographed, above.  That is Craiglockhart Pavilion.

This Google aerial view shows how close together the two pavilions are to each other, and how confusion between the two may arise.

Jonathan Sheach, George Watson's College, Edinburgh:  May 20, 2010


Where is it?


Around Edinburgh