Standard Life Strollers

King George V

Playing Fields

To the south of Eyre Place, Canonmills

Historic Walk

Canonmills and Silvermills

2011

Standard Life Strollers and their guide Karen MacCormick stop at King George V Playing Fields on their walk around Canonmills and Silvermills - February 2011

Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                Photograph taken February 24, 2011

 

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   Standard Life Strollers and their guide Karen MacCormick stop at King George V Playing Fields on their walk around Canonmills and Silvermills - February 2011

 

Historic Walk

Canonmills and Silvermills

King George V Playing Fields

Here, one of two groups of walkers and their guide has reached George V Playing Fields to the south of Eyre Place.  This is one of many such sites throughout Britain, established following the death of King George V in 1836.

The site in Edinburgh has an interesting history.  See 1, 2, 3, 4 below

1.

Canonmills Loch

In earlier days this was the site of Canonmills Loch and its curling club.  The loch was drained in the early 19th century.

Just before this photo was taken, Karen had handed out the words of the Canonmills Curling Club's song for the walkers to sing to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

Lush man!  I'm glad to see yourself

I'm glad to meet a free;

But man, the pleasure's greater still,

When he's a curler keen.

Sae gee's the curler's grip, my free

Sae gee's the curler's grip.

Lush man!  I'm glad to see yourself

Sae gee's the curler's grip.

2.

Royal Crescent Park and Royal Patent Gymnasium

By the 1860s this area had become Royal Crescent Park, the site of a new feature, The Royal Patent Gymnasium.  The gymnasium was a recreational area offering a variety of rides on large equipment until the late-1870s.

Advert in the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory  -  1868  -  Royal Patent Gymnasium, Royal Crescent Park

Rides at the Royal Patent Gymnasium included:

The Great Sea Serpent, a patent rotary boat with seating for six hundred rowers who propelled it around a large fixed circular path.

The Compound Pendulum Swing which "held about a hundred persons and was kept in motion by those upon it".

3.

St Bernard's Football Club

From 1880 onwards, this site was the home of St Bernard's Football Club, a Senior Scottish Football Club.  The club originated from the Territorial Army's Third Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers.  It won the Scottish Cup in 1895, but only survived until 1943.

4.

Tunnel beneath Scotland Street

In the SE corner of King George V Playing Fields  is the northern entrance to the old railway tunnel (now closed). 

The southern end of this tunnel was at Canal Street Station at the east end of Princes Street.  It can now be seen from Platform 19 at Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Please click on the thumbnail image below to read more about this railway:

Edinburgh's Railways  -  Canal Street Station

Eyre Place

Here is another photo of the same group and their guide.  This photo was  taken nearby a few minutes later in Eyre Place:

Standard Life Strollers pause to listen to their guide Karen MacCormick on a walk around Canonmills and Silvermills - February 2011

 

Recollections

1.

Dave Smith

Point Cook, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Dave Smith for telling me more about the history of King George V Playing Fields at Canonmills.

Dave wrote:

Football Ground

"Where the kids' playing field is now, adjacent to Scotland Street railway tunnel, there used to be an enclosed football ground for the now defunct St Bernard's Football Team.

The stadium faced north.  It was dismantled after World War 2, and rebuilt at old Meadowbank for use by Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team.

George V Playing Fields bring back lots of memories.  I was brought up in Cumberland Street, just a few minutes' walk from the coal yard.

    Railways in North Edinburgh  -  Scotland Street Coal Yard

Dave Smith, Point Cook, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  November 28, 2011

 

Canonmills

King George V Playing Fields

 

 

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