South Oxford Street

Newington / St Leonard's

Children in South Oxford Street  -  June 1957

Seven children at South Oxford Street, 1957

©  Irene Beaver, Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland




Irene Beaver

Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Irene Beaver, Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland for allowing me to reproduce this photo.

Irene wrote:

Children in South Oxford Street


"This photo was taken in June 1957.  It shows:

BACK ROW (from left) -

-  Ian Sneddon from No 7

-  Ronnie Mackay from No 2

-  Lorna McNeil who lived in East Preston Street

-  me

-  Irene Brown aged 9 from No 7.

IN FRONT (from left) -

-  Phyllis Swan from No 1

-  Dorothy Wilson from No 6

-  Anne Taylor from No 1."


"I once worked out that in that tiny cul-de-sac in about 1960, the children went to fifteen different schools, and do you know what, it didn't matter one iota because the last thing we children were going to discuss in the street was anything remotely connected to school."

Irene Beaver, Kirkliston West Lothian, Scotland:  November 6, 2009

Thank you to Irene for also sending me another photo of children in South Oxford Street, this one taken around Bonfire night 1956.

Six children at South Oxford Street, November 1956 ©




Liz Miller

St Brelade, Jersey, Channel Islands

Thank you to Liz Miller who wrote:

Ronnie McKay

"It's nice to see Ronnie McKay in the photo.  We were in the same class at Moray House Secondary School, 1955-1958.  I wonder where he is and what he's doing now"

Date of the Photo

"I think that maybe that photo was taken before 1957, as we left school in 1958 when Ronnie would have been 15, at least, and he is still in shorts in the photo!"

Liz Miller, St Brelade, Jersey, Channel Islands:  November 16, 2009

Date of the Photo

Maybe Ronny was wearing shorts in this photo for his game of cricket.

(Incidentally, when I first came to Scotland I was surprised to see some cricket teams wearing white shorts.  In England it was always white flannels!)

Peter Stubbs:  November 20, 2009




Irene Beaver

Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Irene Beaver who replied:

Children in South Oxford Street

Seven children at South Oxford Street, 1957 ©

"This photo was definitely taken in June 1957, as my mother has dated it.  She was normally pretty good about that sort of thing."

Boys in Shorts

"Boys wore shorts for a much longer time in the 1950s, especially when playing outside in the summer"

Irene Beaver, Kirkliston West Lothian, Scotland:  November 23, 2009



Evelyn Hunt

(née Williamson, née Alford)

Georgetown, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Evelyn Hunt for sending the message below to me in November 2009.

I've now updated this message to include further comments from Evenly after she had corresponded by email with with Irene Beaver (who sent me the photo on this page) in December 2009.

Evelyn wrote:

Children in South Oxford Street

Seven children at South Oxford Street, 1957 ©


"I have the same picture 'Children in South Oxford Street' in my album.  It came with me when I came to Toronto, Canada to join my mother and step-father in May 1958.

The picture would definitely have been taken in the summer of 1957.  My mum didn’t date or put names on back of photos, but I think I was there when the photo was taken but not in the shot.  Did I take the picture?"

South Oxford Street

"Although I lived at 27 East Preston Street, I played most of my childhood on South Oxford Street because it was a dead-end, safe street. 

No 27 was attached to the tenements on South Oxford Street that back onto and overlooked the cemetery.

 In fact the small plot of land where the photo was taken was used by the children for playing 'house', 'cars', etc.


"My close playmates were:

 Lorna McNeil:  I believe she was an only child like myself.

Rose Wilson:  Her sister Dorothy was nearly always with us 'older' girls.

Anne Taylor:  She was the youngest in her family.  Her front room had a bay window that looked out onto East Preston Street, as did my gran’s flat.  We often communicated by opening the window and yelling to each other making plans, where to meet, etc

Also included was a girl called Mary who lived on the opposite side of the street, just down from Preston Street School so we often had a 3-way calling.   Mary might have been a little older - or was she just more advanced than us?  I think her name was Waters.

I remember  Evelyn Swan as she celebrated her birthday on Dec 14, the same day as me, but she was younger;  I was born in 1944.  Evelyn was the big sister of  Phyllis Swan who appears in this picture above.

Evelyn Hunt, Georgetown, Ontario, Canada:  November 30, 2009 + January 30, 2010



Jim Vandepeear

York, Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Jim Vandepeear who wrote:

Children Shouting Messages

"I don't recognise any of the children that Evelyn mentions above.  (I was a bit older than them.)  But I did notice reference to  children shouting messages from windows in Preston Street, top floors, and a mention of a girl across the road, which would have been No.32.

I can confirm that the Mary they knew was in fact a May Watters.  She was born at about the end of the war or just after.  I knew her older sister, Helen, better.  Her family lived on the top floor of No.32. and that fits."

Jim Vandepeear, York, Yorkshire, England:  March 30 + April 5, 2010


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