Edinburgh Corporation


Early- 1971

Terminus for Routes 26 and 44

Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Adrian H Dodsley, Oakerthorpe, Derbyshire, who supplied this photo to me.



Where and When?

Is it Eastfield in the 1960s?


Was this the Eastfield Terminus beside the Firth of Forth at Joppa?


I believe that this photograph may have been taken around the 1960s, or perhaps in the 1970s. (See 'Answer 4' below).


The bus on the right is a Leyland PD2/20 (Metro Cammell bodywork), one of a batch of 100 double-decker buses purchased in 1956 to replace Edinburgh's trams.

The bus on the left is a Leyland PD3/6 (Alexander Bodywork), one of a batch of 50 vehicles purchase in 1964.

If you can tell me more about where or when this photo might have been taken, please e-mail me.

Thank you.

- Peter Stubbs:  August 22, 2007




Archie Foley
Joppa, Edinburgh

-  Eastfield


Patrick Hutton
New Town, Edinburgh

-  Eastfield


Mike Gradone
New York, USA

-  Eastfield


John J Hadden

-  UHF TV Aerials


Donald Grant
Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

-  UHF TV Aerials


Steven Oliver
Duns, Borders, Scotland

-  One Man Operation

-  Buses for Tram Replacement

-  Crests on the Buses


Michael Thompson
Eastfield, Edinburgh

-  Destination


Steven Oliver
Duns, Borders, Scotland

-  Destinations

-  1960s

-  Destination Blinds


Michael Thompson
Eastfield, Edinburgh

-  Turning Circle


Steven Oliver
Duns, Borders, Scotland

-  Turning Circle

-  TV Aerials


Steven Oliver
Duns, Borders, Scotland

-  TV Aerials


Peter Stubbs

-  Buses withdrawn


Steven Oliver
Duns, Borders, Scotland

-  Withdrawal of 441

-  TV Aerials

-  Turning Circle

-  Date of the Photo: early-1970


Denis Kelly

-  Date of the Photo: early-1971

-  Advertisement

-  Buses on Route 44

-  Destination Screens

-  Turning Circle

Answer 1

Thank you to Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh who replied:


"Yes, it is Eastfield.

Behind the buses are what is now the Rockville House Hotel and in the distance Coillesdene House high flats which were completed and occupied in 1967."

Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh:  August 23, 2007


Answer 2

Thank you to Patrick Hutton, Edinburgh, who replied:


"Yes - The 26/44 buses are at Eastfield, Joppa. The tower block behind is (I'm told by a Portobello born and resident colleague) still there in the Coillesdene estate."

Patrick Hutton, New Town, Edinburgh:  August 23, 2007


Answer 3

Thank you to Mike Gradone, who agrees with Archie Foley (Reply 1).

Mike replied:


"I can’t help you with the when, but you are right about the where.

It is the Eastfield terminus.  The tall block of flats to the rear right of the 44 bus is Coillesdene House, whilst at far right of the picture you can see the very corner of what is now the Rockville Hotel."

Mike Gradone, New York, USA, (formerly Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh): November 1, 2007


Answer 4

Thank you to John J Hadden, Edinburgh, for another good bit of detective work.

John replied:

UHF TV Aerials

"I see a pair of UHF television aerials on the house in the background, so I think that probably puts the photo into the 1970s.

I think those aerials may be pointing to the Black Hill transmitter, rather than Craigkelly.  I'm sure a Joppa local will confirm if there's a preference.

I believe that Craigkelly was operational from September 1971 while the Black Hill was operational at the end of 1969."

The Photo


    Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa ©

John J Hadden, Edinburgh:  November 30, 2007


Answer 5

Donald Grant replied:

UHF TV Aerials

"John J. Hadden's observation on the UHF aerials interest me. He quite rightly says that they are pointed towards Black Hill rather than Craigkelly.  Sadly, this does not help to date the picture.

I served my apprenticeship as a TV engineer and remember that there was a story going the rounds after Craigkelly came on stream. Whether there is any truth in the story I can't say but it is certainly plausible.

I recall being told that there were problems with the colour TV signal for people living close to the Forth, caused by the ebb and flow of the tide. It was claimed that people lost the colour and picture quality on their sets as the tide went in and out and that this was due to the TV signal that was reflected off the water interacting with the signal that had come straight through the air.

There would be a very slight delay in the bounced signal as against the straight through signal . If this was the case then the only cure would be to redirect aerials back to the Black Hill transmitter."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  February 19, 2008

So, Donald's comments above now date this photo as being 1969 or later.

The Photo

1969 or Later

    Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa ©


 Answer 6

Steven Oliver wrote:

One-man Operation

"The date of this photo is likely to be no later than August 1974.

There was an article on the 26 bus route last year by Gavin Booth in 'Classic Bus' magazine.  It gives Augus 1974 as the date when service 26 was converted to one-man operation.

It was inter-worked with service 44, so that route would have gone over to OMO (one man operation)  at the same time."

 Buses for Tram Replacement

"No 441 is one of the first batch of 100 Leyland PD2/20 which were bought for tram-replacement services.  It was new in 1954. There were three batches bought:

- 401-500 (in 1954)

- 501-600 (in 1956)

- 701-800 (in 1956-7). 

Also bought in 1956  to speed up the tram conversions were 70 Guy Arab IV/Alexanders (901-970)

The Guys were withdrawn from service between 1969 and 1972, with the first of the 300 tram-replacement PD2/20s following suit soon afterwards.  The last of these had gone from service by 1976.  It’s likely that bus 441 would have been amongst the first of that batch to come off service."

 Crests on the Buses

"Another clue is given in the crest on bus 441, which is the Edinburgh Corporation Transport crest – this was replaced by the Lothian Regional Council one in May 1975, when the fleet became Lothian Region Transport (LRT).

The PD3/6 bus alongside 441 lasted into LRT days, and was withdrawn from service around 1977."


 Steven added:

"Going by what I’ve said above, and by Donald Grant’s information, this would appear to give a likely window of 'late-1971 / early-1972' for the picture."

1971 to 1972?

    Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa ©

 Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland:  February 35, 2008

  Answer 7

Michael Thompson wrote:


"I lived about a mile up the road from Eastfield terminus from 1962 to 1979.

A little clue in that the  “26” is destined for Clermiston.  For nearly every journey I took on the 26, it ran to Clerwood, about a half mile further on.

Maybe the destination indicator is wrong, but this would place it in the sixties if it was taken before the route was extended."

Michael Thompson, Eastfield, Edinburgh, February 28, 2008


   Answer 8

Steven Oliver wrote:


"I’ve just read Michael Thompson’s comments, and have had a look at Gavin Booth’s article again.  The 26 was extended to Clerwood in 1967; before that, it terminated at Clermiston, and before that again at Drum Brae Drive."


"The no.26 bus shown in the picture has a B-suffix registration. it was one of a batch of 50 Leyland PD3/6s with Alexander bodywork, fleet numbers 651 to 700, and these were new in 1964. 

If, as Michael has said, it was running to Clermiston and not to Clerwood, then it would date the photo as being taken between 1964 and 1967.  The television aerial on the top of the houses is shown as pointing to the Black Hill transmitter, and as Donald has mentioned, that came on air in 1969."

Destination Blinds

"There are two possibilities for the no.26 bus:

-  It was either running to Clermiston as a short working, though it should have had 'Part Route' showing on the intermediate display if this was the case  OR

-   The destination blind has been set incorrectly.

Another possible clue is the intermediate screens on the buses.  The no.26 shows two 'via' points while the 44 shows six.

Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa ©

These six-point intermediate screens were introduced in the mid-to-late 60s, and it was a few years before all the buses in the fleet had these fitted."

 Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland:  February 28, 2008


  Answer 9

Michael Thompson wrote:

Turning Circle

"Another observation that would put a latest date possible on the picture is that the terminus road is a smallish [turning] circle.

Later on, some time after the photo was taken, the layout was modified to a longer lay-by type terminus, as longer buses (Atlanteans) and more services (15, 25, 28, 49, 86) made their way down to Eastfield.

It would probably take too much detective work, but someone might remember when it was changed."

Michael Thompson, Eastfield, Edinburgh, February 29, 2008


    Answer 10

After looking back through the archives on a group that he is a member of - South East Scotland Bus Group (SEScotbus), Steven wrote:

Turning Circle

"I can’t give an exact date for the enlarging of the Eastfield terminus but from what I found, it was done around the late 1960s, to take the longer buses."

TV Aerials

"The UHF TV aerial on the house behind suggests that the likely  date for the photo is 1969.  The aerial is likely to be pointing to Black Hill, as Craigkelly didn’t open until 1971."

 Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland:  February 29, 2008


    Answer 11

Steven Oliver wrote again:

TV Aerials

"I was in Edinburgh this afternoon and drove in via Eastfield.

A quick glance confirmed that the television aerials on the houses where the bus terminus is do indeed point to Black Hill, while others nearby point across the water to Craigkelly.  There is a similar scenario in Granton too, I believe."

 Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland:  March 2, 2008, 2008

Please see Answer 5 above to read the background to Steven's comment above.

- Peter Stubbs:  March 2, 2008


    Answer 12

I checked for evidence of when bus 441 was withdrawn from service.  It seems likely to have been around late 1970.

This is consistent with the photograph having been taken around 1969, as suggested  above.

'Buses' magazine reported:

Withdrawal of No 441

"Tenders have been invited for the sale of seventy 1954  Leyland PD2/20 buses of the 401-500 batch." Buses: November 1970

"No difficulty was experienced in disposing of the (above) buses.Buses: December 1970

'Buses' magazine (December 1970) listed where several of the buses had been sold to, but No. 441 was not amongst the buses listed, so it may have remained in service beyond December 1970.

October 1974

Steven Oliver wrote (on March 14, 2008) to tell me that he had discovered from Calum Melrose and his dad, Brian, that No. 441 was not in fact withdrawn from service until October 1974

Peter Stubbs:  March 11, 2007


    Answer 13

Steven Oliver added:

Withdrawal of 441

"No. 441 was not withdrawn from ECT service in October 1974."

Acknowledgement: Calum Melrose and his dad, Brian.  Steven added that Brian Melrose was a depot foreman at Shrubhill works for several years and has kept records of when buses entered the fleet and when they were withdrawn from service, so can be relied on to give precise dates.

TV Aerials

"I checked an old IBA transmitter handbook.  It gives the UHF in-service date for Black Hill as December 1969.  Craigkelly didn’t enter service until September 1971.  The house in the background of the photo has an aerial facing Black Hill."

Turning Circle

"The Eastfield terminus had to be enlarged to accommodate more services and longer buses. Route 26 was converted to one-man-operation in 1970 [Calum Melrose], so it seems likely that this enlargement of the turning circle would have been carried out during 1970."

Date of the Photo  -  Early-1970

"So the date that the photo was taken is likely to have been early-1970."

 Steven Oliver, Duns, Borders, Scotland:  March 14, 2008


    Answer 14

I thought that the correspondence on this topic might have come to an end. Then, after a gap of a couple of months, I received this message from Denis Kelly.

Denis wrote

Date of the Photo  -  Early-1971

"I'd say this photo was taken in early 1971."


   Routes 26 and 44  -  Terminus  -  possibly at Eastfield, Joppa ©

"The advert on the route 44 bus displays ‘Ardmona’, an Australian fruit company who undertook a major sales initiative in this country in 1971, advertising for the first time on Edinburgh buses."

Buses for Route 44

"The bus, fleet no. 441, seen in fine ‘ex works’ condition was in service between 1954 and 1974,  and  not normally allocated to route 44 which from 1964 was the domain of Alexander-bodied Leyland Titans either like the bus on the left, new in 1964 or Titans of 1962.

However a new route number 30 had started in November 1970 and the 1962 buses were transferred to work it. This meant overhauling and repainting  older stock such as 441 and recalling them to route 44.  By l August 1971 the new route was given new ‘One Person Operated’ (OPO) Atlantean buses so enabling the 1962 buses to return to route 44 and displace the older type."

Destination Screens

"I can clear up a few points which may have misled earlier writers.

The destination screen on the route 26 bus is wrong.  The bus ought to have displayed ‘Clerwood’.  However it seems the original screens fitted to the bus (all this type had the newer screens) were being cleaned or repaired so older screens were fitted.  These dated from 1952.

‘Clerwood’ (as a destination from 1966) wouldn’t have been included on these older screens, so the crew settled for ‘Clermiston’ with an accurate two line intermediate of ‘Post Office’ and ‘Regent Road’.

The bus would have been taken off at King’s Road later as soon as proper screens were available.  At that time only buses routed number 28 from Eastfield showed Clermiston as a destination. The interworking of routes 26 and 44 ceased in April 1969, the 26 then being worked entirely from Marine garage and the 44 shared between Marine and Longstone garage."

Turning Circle

"Route 44 was converted to OPO in May 1973 and route 26 in August 1974.

The Eastfield lay-by, built in 1954, was enlarged later in 1971 to accommodate additional buses stopping there."

 Denis Kelly:  May 26, 2008