Atlanta, Georgia, USA
It was good to receive a message from Alan Bomford, one of the
five members of the 1960s Dumbiedykes Group, 'The Embers' .
'Top Story Club'
I have just found your Web site. Your articles on Dumbiedykes
caught my eye, in particular Jean Rae’s contribution and photos of
the Dumbiedykes Group “The Embers”.
This photograph was taken in the 'Top Story Club' on stage.
The club was in Leith Street. The club was run by Jimmy &
2nd from the left in this photograph of the group.
a native of 'Auld Reekie'
and am now residing in the U.S.A.
( 1st on the left) lived next to St Andrews Church, as
Jean Rae said. His dad was the caretaker there.
Jimmy (Hushy) Hush
was brought up in a house above the small shops at the bottom of the
Pleasance and was a joiner's apprentice.
With a local business in the Pleasance, later on he turned
professional and the left handed drummer went to London and played
in a Band. ... Writing on the Wall.
was from the balconies on Dumbiedykes Road, I believe he had two
sisters and two brothers named Chuck and Eddie.
Pete’s Mum let us silent practice in the bedroom until we could
decide if we could be a band.
One of Peter Bottomley's sisters is
now Jean Bell. Today, she sent me a photograph of James Clark
school which she attended.
- Peter Stubbs: August 28, 2008.
house is in the background in this photo.
- Peter Stubbs
Jimmy (Crooky) Cruickshank
did live in a house at the bottom Drummond Street, but moved out to
Prestonfield later on."
Old Scouts' Den
"The reason we got together was that Willie, Peter, Crooky and I
were apprentices together with Ferranti’s and got talking about a
Jimmy Hush was at school with Peter and Willie and I believe in the
same Scout troop, which leads me to point out that as Jean said we
did practice at Waterson Avenue.
It was a converted stable turned into the Scout den and the troop
was led by a gentleman whom I only ever knew as 'Skip'.
Not only did he let us practice there but helped get the church
venues and in turn helped us buy our equipment, He was a very kind
You can imagine the local Dumbiedykes folks reaction when the band
struck up in the Old Scout’s Den! I think that most of
them didn’t seem to mind
did have a few complainers, but after we were established I believe
they were proud of their local lads' popularity."
"I didn’t feel I was imposing being a member of the band as I had
Southsider breeding in me.
my Mother, her name was Irene Mc Ewan, was born and raised in the
Canongate, up the front steps at the Tolbooth Clock, and relatives
aplenty around, included the McFarlanes and the Laidlaws all raised
in the Canongate and surrounding areas.
I myself was born in my Grannies house in Forrest Road so my roots
were there also."
"Jean Rae mentioned that we did play at a lot of church functions.
That’s how we five sixteen-year-olds got our start,
We could practice in the church hall, or in the case of the
Canongate Church, in the basement. The Rt Hon Selby Wright
would come listen to us practice."
"Our first break was at a small Youth Club ran by St Cuthbert’s,
held in a top flat of a building at Surgeon’s Hall.
would bring our gear to the venue on Pete’s Mum’s laundry pram, from
Waterson Avenue and up Arthur street! We were keen to be famous some
We later named the club the “Attic” and we would play there every
It didn’t take long before the folks around, and people that had
lived in the Southside and had moved out to new suburbs for new
housing, started coming back to their old stomping ground to hear
"From that venue we blossomed out to the more established clubs and
dance halls like the Top Story and the Place, the Beehive at
Gilmerton and even big events at the Waverley Market which at that
time was a fruit market.
Big Name bands attended these shows. The music scene was
really thriving and, as another article mentioned, even the Palais
De Dance changed its music taste.
truly were one of the first to bowl out the big band of Ray McVey
and other popular bands including ‘Shortie Rodgers' who had enjoyed
big success there.
I believe he is still singing with a band. Good on you
‘Shortie’, a true gentleman of Rock ‘n’ Roll, may I say."
"However, nothing lasts for ever, and we had our share of success
including touring England and playing in the World- famous club of
the Beatles - the’ Cavern’ in Liverpool.
also had a Fan Club ran by Helen Campbell, a devoted fan from the
beginning, She also lived in the Canongate. Our
popularity faded as new younger bands came along, like 'The
Pete Seaton’s Music Store at Hope Park Terrace was the Mecca for all
the young aspiring musicians from the Southside, and there were many
including young Kenny (Eckles) McLean, now a prominent business man
in the area."
It was great to see those photographs again after all these years
and I know there were hundreds taken by Alex Lynn a close Friend and
Again, many thanks to Jean Rae for the Memories."
(Bommy) Bomford. Atlanta, Georgia. USA: January 9, 2007.
Thank you to Bob Clark for contacting me on January 18, 2007.
Bob worked with Alan Bomford at Ferranti, and was for a short time a
member of 'The Embers'.
Thank you to Peter Bottomley for contacting me. Peter is
the second member of 'The Embers' in the photographs below
(click on them to enlarge them).
Ian sent me his recollections of
'The Scotchie', Dumbiedykes.
John Wright, Edinburgh, also remembers working with 'The
John left this message in the EdinPhoto Guest Book.
was an apprentice at Ferranti with Jimmy, Peter Bottomley and the
other guys in 'The Embers' band.
I met Jimmy Cruickshank in the
Gordon Arms, about 3 years ago.
He was telling me about how Mr Blakie
(the guy in charge of all the apprentices) was telling him off, in
his office, for not being at work.
We were on about £???
a week and Jimmy said, 'If you think I'm losing 20 quid a week from
my singing, you can take a jump in the lake'."
John Wright, Edinburgh: EdinPhoto web site:
June 7, 2008