The streets around

North Merchiston

Primary School

The school stood between Watson Crescent, Tay Street and Bryson Road

North Merchiston Primary School   -   c.1993

  Looking NW down Tay Street past North Merchiston Primary School, towards the junction with Bryson Road, then on to DUndee Terrace.

©  Stevie Watson, Buckstone, Edinburgh




Stevie Watson

Buckstone, Edinburgh

Tay Street

Thank you to Stevie Watson for sending me this photograph, looking to the NW down Tay Street past North Merchiston Primary School on the corner of Tay Street and Bryson Road.

The photo was taken, around 1993, from the bay window of the 2nd floor corner flat at 18 Tay Street, where Stevie lived from about 1990 to 1995.

The school was seriously damaged in a fire on September 27, 2002, and had to be demolished.  The site lay empty for about four years, but is now being redeveloped as a community centre and care home.

Watson Crescent

Here is another photo of the school,  taken from the same window in Stevie's flat.  This view looks to the SW  along Watson Crescent.

Looking to the SW along Watson Crescent.  North Merchiston Primary School is on the extreme right of this photo ©




Ian Simpson

Thank you to Ian Simpson who added:

School Photo

Looking NW down Tay Street past North Merchiston Primary School, towards the junction with Bryson Road, then on to DUndee Terrace. ©

"Many  thanks to Stevie Watsons awesome photograph of North Merchiston Primary School, my first primary school.  I later attended Bruntsfield then Boroughmuir Annexe

Tay Street

"I lived  from 1952 to 1960  at 18 Tay Street on the ground floor,  next to Billy Reid's shop.

Also living in Tay Street were:

-  probably in Stevie's old flat:  a stunning blonde called Sandy from Perth.  She moved to Sandy in Bedfordshire.

-  No 6: Dougie Hewitt, ex-Darroch school, and across the road from him, Keith? Noble ex-Tynecastle school.

-  No 10, above the Keir Hardie Labour Hall:  my grandfather, Edward Moir.

-  No16, top floor:  Roddy Thompson, now in Harwich."

Watson Crescent

"In Watson Crescent, there was:

-  No 23, Jimmy Doull.  He was on the ground floor, but could see right down to Tay Street.  It's a shame about the later fire, and the roadworks on this occasion, spoiling such a magnificent view."

Bryson Road

"In Bryson Road, there was:

-  Stevie Hobson, who lived above the chip shop."


"Our Guy or Guido Fawkes bonfire was situated on the junction of Tay Street and Watson Crescent."

Ian Simpson, Richmond, Surrey, England:  March 8+16 2009




New Oakland, California, USA

Thank you to David, now living in New Oakland, California, USA for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

David wrote:

Play Scheme and Shops

We used to attend the  'Play Scheme'  in the early- to mid-1970s at North Merchiston School.  It was a  way of keeping us kids off the streets.

Ian Simpson (Recollections 2, above) mentions Billy Reid's shop.  It was on the corner of Watson Crescent and Tay Street.  There was also the "chippie" was called Walters.

Happy memories.  Thank you.

David, New Oakland, California, USA:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  February 10, 2010



Ann Stoddart

Trinity, Edinburgh

School Reunion

Thank you to Ann Stoddart for sending me a photograph of pupils who attended North Merchiston school between, I think, 1942 and 1949.  .

Ann wrote:

"I was six months ahead of John Clark at North Merchiston school.

Here is a photograph of some classmates from North Merchiston School and North Merchiston Club, all having a good laugh. 

We got together for a reunion at Dalguise 5 years ago.

 In the photo are:

Andrew Hogg

Chris Shearer (recently deceased)

George Speakman

-  Ann Stoddart (née Munro)

All were in the same class at North Merchiston. 

Ann Stoddart:  Trinity, Edinburgh:  January 26, 2010


Thank you Ann.  Unfortunately, I don't have the time to add that photo to the web site.  I've received a lot of photos recently - far more than I  can cope with!

However, if anybody would particularly like to see the one mentioned above, please email me to let me know, so that I can either try to find the time to add it to the web site or else email a copy of it to you.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  February 11, 2010




Lois Pack (née Cessford)

Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Thank you to Lois Pack who wrote:

16 Tay Street

"I was born in 1952 in my granny's back room.  She lived at, second floor, first door, No.16 Tay Street.  Her name was Mary Powell.  The path to No.16 is visible in the view from No.18.

Looking NW down Tay Street past North Merchiston Primary School, towards the junction with Bryson Road, then on to DUndee Terrace. ©

I remember the Thomsons, and a family named Combs who lived on the top floor at No.16."

Family and Neighbours

"I have:

 an older sister, Moira.

a brother, Stephen.

We lived in No 53, Slateford Road.  I went to Darroch school with Isobel.  There was also a family in Watson Crescent named Proudfoot.

 My mum, Alice Powell, went to Merchiston Primary

Lois Pack, Bournemouth, Dorset, England: November 4, 2010



Philip Corson

Cook, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Thank you to Philip Corson who wrote:

North Merchiston Primary School

"I attended North Merchiston Primary School from 1945 up to 1953 when I emigrated to Australia."

80 Dundee Street

"During those years, we resided at 80 Dundee Street. This house was a cottage style and was constructed of brick. We were situated on the corner of Dundee Street and Dundee Place. At the lower end of Dundee Place, the Brewery was located.

Our house has long ago been demolished.  So too were the tenements in Dundee Place."


"I had a number of friends living in those tenements, including:

 Peter Mitchell

Eric Tait

Jimmy Adams.

-  Jimmy Jack (who lived across from us on Dundee Street).

I often wonder what ever happened to those friends and indeed those children who attended North Merchiston Primary during the period 1945 to 1953.  Perhaps someone even remembers walking from school to the Dalry Baths for swimming lessons.

You know - you can take the boy from the country but, you can't take the country from the boy.  I will never, ever forget my past and am proud indeed to have my roots in Edinburgh!

Please feel free to correspond with me if you are one of the persons mentioned above, or indeed anybody who has photos or can remember anything at all that would concern me."

Philip Corson, Cook, Canberra, ACT, Australia:  October 5, 2011

Reply to Philip?

If you'd like to correspond with Philip Corson, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 8, 2011



Betty Hepburn (née Boland)

Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Thank you to Betty Hepburn who wrote:

Dundee Place

"I remember Philip Carson. Hopefully, he remembers me from Dundee Place.

You have no idea how happy this makes me to see someone mentioning Dundee Place.  Searching for it, you’d think it never existed.

Brewery and Yard

It was a busy  wee street, being the entry to McEwans Brewery.

I remember that cottage and the yard that was next to the brewery, but I can't cant remember what it was called it.  It was a sort of 'Plaster Moulding' type place.  It was good for getting our chalk to make our Peevery Beds  (hopscotch).

Betty Hepburn (née Boland), Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand: October 9, 2011

I've passed on Philip Corson's email address to Betty.  I hope they will be able to make contact with each other.



Charlie Wookey

New Oakland, California, USA

Thank you to Charlie Wookey for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

Charlie wrote:

Play Scheme and Shops

"I'm writing regarding these two photos which I have seen of North Merchiston School.

Looking to the SW along Watson Crescent.  North Merchiston Primary School is on the extreme right of this photo ©            Looking NW down Tay Street past North Merchiston Primary School, towards the junction with Bryson Road, then on to DUndee Terrace. ©

These photos of the school don't seem to be how I remember it."

Visits to Edinburgh

"I left Edinburgh in 1949 to come down to Bristol, England. (That's where my Dad was from.) The first time I went back to Edinburgh was about 1999 but, as it was night-time, there was not much opportunity to see the old neighbourhood."

Where was the Old School?

"The next I went back was around 2000-01.  I was there for most the day, so had lots of time re-visit old places. I was standing outside the flat where I used to live (at junction of Fowler Terrace and Bryson Road) when I seemed to remember that the school I used to go to was further along Bryson Road. So I started walking along Bryson Road until I reached the school."


"Whilst standing there looking at the school I recalled that there was a playground at the back of the building.  Curiosity got the better of me and, as the gate was not locked, I went through and down a narrow alleyway that went between the 2 buildings until I was in the playground which was just as I remembered it.

There was a high brick wall on the left-hand side of the playground, with wire netting on the top.  As I remember it, I think that the side I was on was the boys' side and the other side of the wall was girls' side, or may have been infants one side, and juniors the other side.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera on me to take  photo."


"I didn't return to Edinburgh until 2006.  I went back then to Bryson Road with the intention of taking a photo the school, but after walking the length of Bryson Road I couldn't see the school.

I saw a woman leaving one the houses on the road, and asked her where the school was.  She explained how the school caught fire, and subsequently had to be demolished."


"I remember the school as being 2 buildings with a narrow alley going between them.  I can't quite recall if there was a brick wall or metal railings between the pavement and the buildings.  There was only a short distance between the wall/railing and the school."

Charlie Wookey, Bristol, Avon, England:  Reply posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, 11 Sep 2013,
in response to his own message in the guestbook posted on 2 Sep 2013.



Elizabeth Searle

Thank you to Elizabeth Searle who wrote:

Playground and Entrances

"I went to 'Merchie' as did my did my brother Robert Fraser.  He was 5 years ahead of me.  I was there from 1944 until I went to Tynecastle Senior Secondary School in 1950 or '51.

The main door to Merchie was in Bryson Road but the children didn't use this, only teachers and parents who were to see the Headmaster Mr Forker.

The playground and entrance for the Infants was in Bryson Road but the girls entered from Tay Street and the boys from Watson Crescent.

There was a huge wall in the Infants' playground which separated it from the tenements in Watson Crescent and Bryson Road.

We were lucky as all the playgrounds were large and we could run around like mad and really get plenty exercise."


"My teachers were:

Miss Duarr, the younger. (Her sister taught the children who were falling behind in their own classes.)

Miss Henderson, who had been my brother's teacher, and

Mr Chisholm. He also took the boys for cricket practice and if you were good on a Friday afternoon as well as the Library box there was the chance to oil the cricket bats."

Elizabeth Searle:  May 4 2014


North Merchiston School Classes

School Classes