Leith Nautical College

Trainees at TS Dolphin


Trainees at Leith Nautical College, Training Ship TS Dolphin, 1967

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Leith.                                 The photographer:  See comments in 'Recollections 1' below




John Leith

New Zealand

Thank you to John Leith who wrote:

Trainees in 1967

"This old photo is of myself whilst doing my training on TS Dolphin at Leith in 1967.   I am on the back row,  2nd left.

The Photogrpaher

"I think the photo was taken by one of the Catering Tutors a Mr Joahannson.  Both the Tutors who took the course appeared to be elderly at the time so doubt very much if they would still be alive.

If my memory serves me right the Catering course ran from October 1967 until Feb 1968."

To Sea

"I joined the Port Line straight after finishing the course.  The lad in the centre row far left joined the same ship as me for our maiden voyage on board the 'Port St Lawrence'.  It was a 10 month trip.  He was Henry Mackay from Bathgate.

I also remember that a new ship, 'RFA Engadine', was being built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary by Henry Robb at Leith.  Six members of our course put their names forward for its maiden voyage and all were taken on.

It would be great to hear from any of my old class mates."

John Leith, New Zealand:  August 18+19+19, 2012

Reply to John

If you remember John and would like to send a message to him, please email me, then I'll pass on his email address to you.

Peter Stubbs:  October 13, 2012




John Leith

New Zealand

Training Ship

Here is a photo of the training ship, TS Dolphin.  The photo was taken in Leith Docks, possibly around 1950.

The Training Ship, TS Dolphin at West Old Dock, Leith

John Leith wrote:

TS Dolphin

"The Dolphin was a great old wooden ship which certainly taught me some valuable values that have served me well over the years,

I served my 9 years with Port Line /Cunard."

John Leith, New Zealand:  August 19, 2012




Alastair C Forsyth

Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire, Scotland




Thank you to Alastair C Forsyth who wrote:

TS Dolphin

"I've now made contact with John Leith, New Zealand,  who wrote Recollections 2 above. John has been in contact with Henry McKay (middle row left) from Bathgate ,so the picture is beginning to evolve and names and places are filling the blank spaces.

I've been away for a few days so, if you give me some time, I'm sure we will manage to give you some names.

I was born in Leith, and my mother and her family were Newhaveners (Combe/Hutchison) so my connection to the coast is well established."

Alastair C Forsyth, Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  12 November 2015



A brief History of

Leith Nautical College

Founded 1855

Leith Nautical College was originally founded as Leith Navigation School in 1855.  It was based in several buildings in Leith in the 19th century.

In 1903, it changed its name to Leith Nautical College and moved to new premises in Commercial Street Leith in 1903.

Leith Nautical College, Commercial Street, Leith

By 1974, the college had over 2000 students, but it came under threat as Britain's merchant fleet reduced in the 1980s.  It eventually closed in 1987.


The historical details above are taken from a fuller history of the college that can be found on the Archives Hub web site.





Edinburgh at Work