Who?  When?  Where?

See Answer 4 (below):  East Suffolk Road, with Dalkeith Road in the background

Rugby  -  Who?  When?  Where?

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


Enlarge this photo

   Rugby  -  Who?  When?  Where? ©



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?

Do you know who these teams might be, and when the match might have been taken.

Where was the photo taken?  There is a large crowd on the touchline.  Who is the man in the middle of the pitch, wearing a light suit?

Is that the NE corner of Arthur's Seat, viewed from the north, that we see in the background.


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

Thank you. 

Peter Stubbs:  November 24, 2009



Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who wrote:

Looking to from SW to Arthur's Seat

"I think you are seeing Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags from the south-west.  You can see the crags streaming away to the left."


"Maybe the photo was taken at the university playing fields at Peffermill."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009



Bryan Gourlay

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Looking to from SW to Arthur's Seat

"Looking at the outline of Arthur’s Seat, it seems like Salisbury Crags leading off to the top left of the photo. This suggests the photo is taken from the South West, with the tenements of Dalkeith Road in front of ‘the park’.

Looking more closely, you can just about make out the entrance to Prestonfield Avenue above the head of the player standing up behind the scrum. The incline of the road leading up to East Mayfield and Priestfield Road also looks about right."

 The Inch

"This means the photo would have been taken at a higher point of the Inch near to Gilmerton Road overlooking where the Sava Centre is now – with what was Lady Road somewhere behind the row of spectators.

I played at the Inch many times, as a boy, and cannot recall any pitches.  That didn’t mean they weren’t there, as we tended to frequent the lower area near the Cameron Toll, now swallowed up by the shopping centre and its car parks."

Other Grounds

"The only other rugby ground near Arthur’s Seat was the Royal High’s at Jocks Lodge – but it was closer to the park and the lie of the land and buildings are not right for this location."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009



Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns who wrote:


"The rugby ground could be Moray House's fields at Peffermill/ Prestonfield."

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  November 25, 2009



Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who wrote:

East Suffolk Road

"The rugby match is on the pitches at East Suffolk Road, looking through to Arthur Seat.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the University played there, which would match in with the other pictures being students.  They look a bit old for school kids."

Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009



Douglas Bryce

Pilton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Douglas Bryce who wrote:


"Before Hearts Football Club moved to Tynecastle they played for a while at a place called Powburn, to the SW of Holyrood Park."

Dalkeith Road

"The houses could be Dalkeith Road. This may be where the match in the photograph is taking place?"

Dougie Bryce, Pilton, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009



John J Hadden


Thank you to John Hadden who wrote:

Dalkeith Road

"I recognised the buildings behind the man who is standing at the other side of the scrum as Old Dalkeith Road, especially at the point where the buildings on this side of the road stop near to the entrance of the cemetery on that road.

The gap in the buildings just behind the head of the above man, is the junction of Peffermill Avenue and Old Dalkeith Road.

Based upon that point and the position of Arthur's Seat, the photo would seem to have been taken from somewhere almost due South of the above junction.

As there are buildings to the south of the above point, the vantage point should also have been from a high enough vantage point to see over those buildings to get a clear view of Old Dalkeith Road.  So, a suitable place may be the playing fields on Double Hedges Road."

John Hadden, Edinburgh:  November 25, 2009


Thanks for your comments.  I agree with your logic, except that I feel that the photo would probably have been taken from rather closer to Dalkeith Road than you suggest.  Double Hedges Road is about a mile to the south of the junction of Prestonfield Avenue and Dalkeith Road.

Neil Lawrence's answer (4 above) seems to fit the bill, when he says that the pitch was in East Suffolk Road.  This is less than a quarter of a mile to the south of the junction of Prestonfield Avenue and Dalkeith Road.

Rugby  -  Who?  When?  Where? ©

My reason for feeling that the photo was taken from fairly close to Dalkeith Road is the size of the houses, players and spectators in the photo.  For the houses to appear that size, and for so much of the field to be included in the picture, the photo would have had to be taken from:

-   near the touch line of the field with a fairly wide angle lens, if Dalkeith Road was less than a quarter of a mile away.  This would give a picture in which the supporters in the background appeared much smaller than the players on the field (which is what we have)


-   well back from the touch line (in order to include so much of the play) with a telephoto lens, if Dalkeith Road was about a mile away.   In this case, the supporters in the background would be a similar size to the players on the field (which is not what we have).

Peter Stubbs:  November 25, 2009



John J Hadden


Thank you to John Hadden who added:

Dalkeith Road

"It looks like they're playing Rugby Sevens"

John Hadden, Edinburgh:  November 26, 2009


Where is it?

Around Edinburgh