Postcard portrait of a group of children outside No 6

South Elgin Street


Group of Children outside 6 South Elgin Street - around 1930

 Reproduced with acknowledgement to Neil Johnston, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England


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    Group of Children outside 6 South Elgin Street - around 1930


Children outside 6 South Elgin Street

Thank you to Neil Johnston for allowing me to reproduce this postcard portrait of a group of children and a tricycle, outside 6 South Elgin Street.  It  includes:

-  his dad, Arthur Johnston

-  his dad's brother, Alexander Johnston

-  his dad's sister, Isa Johnston.

Neil wrote:

Around 1930

"Based on the ages of my dad and his brother and sister, I'd guess that this photo was probably taken around 1930.  My dad was born in 1921.

Children in the Photo

"I'll try to describe who is where on the photo.  It's a  pity they didn't think to stand in nice neat rows !

Second from left, the first standing boy is Arthur Johnston.

The girl on the end of the row, beside Arthur, is touching her cheek.

-  Three places to the right of Arthur, as we look at the photo, is my dad, Alexander Johnston.  The boy behind has his arms round Alex.

-  The girl beside Alex, on the end of the row, with dark, curly hair, is Isa Johnston.  There was also an Ella Johnston, but she is not in the picture."

My Grandparents

"My grandparents were Jimmy Johnston and Nell Johnston. They lived in South Elgin Street from before 1915.  Jimmy was a survivor in the Gretna rail disaster, he is listed as killed in many reports due to a mix up with his best friend.

Nell actually had a telegram to this effect, then he turned up."

My Grandparents' Home

"I remember going to see my grandparents in South Elgin Street in the late-1960s/early-1970s.  They had just two rooms,  a living room/kitchen and a bedroom.  They had an inside toilet and a small cupboard where the kids used to sleep.

They had a hot-water boiler over the sink at the window, and a combined oven/fire with a swinging kettle arm. I have vague memory of metal bath hanging up

There was not much space even then.  I can't imagine what it would be like with 4 children.  At least South Elgin street had a view over the park and bowling greens.

Play Area and Bowling Green

"I remember a blue police box next to the play area entrance. It's amazing that the cobbles are still on the street.  Where the park is now, there were bowling greens up to the 1960s/1970s.

I believe that my grandfather, Jimmy, had something to do with green-keeping before he retired."

My Dad

"My dad said he used to do wedding photos for people in the area, from No6.  I think it was a community type service rather than a real business at that time.

My dad married in 1948 and moved away about then for a spell in Uganda,  then came back to the UK."

Acknowledgement:  Neil Johnston, May 16+17, 2009.

Neil also mentioned that other names that his dad had added to the back of this photo were:

B Byeusted
D Bennet
Tommy Simpson
Tom Malcolm
Don McKinnon
-  Peterkins

Another Photograph

Here is another photograph of children outside 6 South Elgin Street, also sent to me by Neil Johnston.  This one was taken in the late 1920s:

 Group of Children outside 6 South Elgin Street - around 1930