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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

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Postcard

Signal Box

Portobello East Signal Box

Postcard by an unknown publisher  -  Possibly Joppa Signal Box

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh

 

Questions

Archie Foley

Joppa, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh, for sending me this postcard image.  There is no publisher's name and no date on the postcard.  It has 'Joppa (switch)' written in pencil on the back, but see Answer 2 below

Archie writes:

Where and When?

"Perhaps the very knowledgeable railway enthusiasts who access your site could confirm that this signal box was indeed at Joppa, and if possible give an approximate date.  Can anybody comment?"

Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh:  December 17, 2006

Let's hope that the knowledgeable railway enthusiasts are not all out doing last-minute Christmas shopping!

If you can help to answer this question, please e-mail me, then I'll pass your message on to Archie. 

Thank you.      -  Peter Stubbs:  December 21, 2007

 

Reply

 1.

Alan Grieve

Minehead, Somerset, England

Thank you to Alan Grieve, now living in Minehead, Somerset, England, for sending the comments below.  Alan used to live in Inveresk, near Musselburgh, and helped in some of the signal boxed in the area before moving to England.

Alan wrote:

It's not Joppa

"Look at the picture of the N15 locomotive at Joppa (below).   Joppa signal box appears behind the loco.  You can see that Joppa was a small signal box with only four windows in the front.

Edinburgh Railways  -  Joppa Station  -  1957 ©

It only controlled the double- track main line and the entrance to the east end of Portobello Yard.

The photograph at the top of this page is of a much larger box."

It may be Portobello East

"Is that is tree foliage visible through the end window.  If so, the signal box could be Portobello East.

Portobello East was on a gantry alongside the footbridge where the Waverley route met the East Coast route.  It spanned the tracks, unlike most boxes.

Of course, the end windows looked out at right angles to the railway. The southern end windows faced the park alongside.

I donít know the layout inside the box, whether the signalman faced Edinburgh or London when he was at the frame, or where the entrance was."

Probably not  Portobello West

"Portobello West signal box was on the down side between the station and the entrance to Craigentinny Carriage Sidings.  It was a substantial box and had a 58 lever frame, the signalman facing the track when operating it.  The door was at the station end but there is no door visible in the photo so I think that rules out the West box."

Possibly Craigentinny

"The photo may possibly have been of Craigentinny Signal Box.  It was also quite a long box."

Alan also gave some background to his answer.  He wrote:

Helping in Signal Boxes

"I had a friend who was a signalman, at Newhailes Junction when I first met him, and then at Portobello West.   I spent a lot of time in the early 1960ís working both boxes with him in the evenings when he was on back shift, or at Portobello West when he was on the night shift.

Joppa, of course, was the next box to Newhailes so our bell communication in the Edinburgh direction was with it.  Monktonhall Junction was next on the main line to the east and there was Musselburgh at the end of the branch

Despite all this I never did manage to get into Joppa box or Portobello East box."

Move to England

"I was brought up in Inveresk [Inveresk lies about 2 miles ESE of Joppa].

I now live in Minehead, Somerset.  It's funny how things work out.  Although I never worked for the railway I am now a volunteer signalman on the West Somerset Railway."

Alan Grieve, Minehead, Somerset:  January 11, 2008

 

Reply

 2.

Ian Young

Fisherrow, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Ian Young who wrote:

Portobello East

"This is without a doubt Portobello East, probably back in the 1930s/40s, as when I started there in 1959 the floor had linoleum on it which was bumpered to a mirror like shine.

-  The frame faced towards Portobello West.

-   It had a 94 lever Stevens frame

-   Spaces 1.2.93.94.

-   Spare Levers 9.15.20.25.36.60.80.83.85.87.88.89.90.91.92.

-  Portobello East controlled Up Fast, Up Slow, Down Fast and Down Slow lines to and from Portobello West.

-  On the other side it worked to Joppa on the East Coast Main line and to Niddrie North on the Waverley route.

-   It also controlled the east entrance/exit to Portobello Yard.

-  The heaviest pull was a set of switch diamonds Nos 21 and 43.

Ian Young, Fisherrow, East Lothian, Scotland:  September 23, 2008"

 

Reply

 3.

Gordon Davie

Thank you to Gordon Davie who wrote:

Portobello East

    Postcard by an unknown publisher  -  Possibly Joppa Signal Box ©

"My uncle showed me this photo on your site of Portobello East signal box.

The man in the foreground in shirt sleeves is my grandfather, William Davie.  He died in 1949.  Judging by his appearance, I  think that the photo would have been taken in the late 1930s"

Gordon Davie:  April 23, 2014

 

Reply

4.

George Renton

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to George Renton who wrote:

Location

"As for the picture of the signal box, when looking at the background, what you are looking at is the side of the bulkhead for the Brunstane Road overpass.

    Postcard by an unknown publisher  -  Possibly Joppa Signal Box ©

This was my local station when I lived there 'till 1965."

Inside the Box

"I was only ever inside the box once, for a short visit.  That's when I learned you could clean very grimy windows with vinegar-soaked newspaper."

Other Buildings

"The Station Master's Office was next door, with the permanently attached cast iron drinking cup on a chain fastened to the spigot on the wall.   The coal fire heated Waiting Room was across the footbridge on the other side."

Dark, Foggy, Frosty Night

"The foot bridge obscures the Brunstane Street bridge.  I remember one dark, foggy, frosty night, while on a marathon dog walk/run, hearing a loco, ascending what I think was the elevated South Leith right of way that is now Sir Harry Lauder connector.

The track took you up the the coal mine at Niddrie.  Anyway, the engineer was having a bad time of it. I couldn't see it in the gloom, but the engine was slipping on the rails. The classic 'shoo! shooo! shooo, shooo, shoo, start over, break traction, start over.'"

Racing Pigeons

"This high level bridge was just west of Joppa station.  Sometimes there would be baskets of racing pigeons outside the Station Master's Office."

George Renton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:  May 22, 2014

 

 

Edinburgh Railway Lines and Stations

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Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks