Lonsdale & Dutch

Tinsmiths  -  Lantern Makers

Howe Street

Edinburgh New Town

The Workshop

The small tinsmiths' workshop of Lonsdale & Dutch can be found in the heart of the New Town of Edinburgh, in a cellar off Howe Street, just round the corner from Great King Street, the home of Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS)

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When I first visited the Lonsdale & Dutch workshop in 1991, the only occupants were:

 Arthur Dutch, tinsmith and also a keen bagpiper

 his large black dog.

Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths  -  Howe Street, Edinburgh New Town  -   1992

The workshop looked to me like a scene from the 1920s, rather than the 1990s.  Arthur had worked there for 40 years.  He thought he might retire in about five years' time.  (I last met him at his workshop in 1994.  His workshop was still operating now, in 2004,but Arthur had retired.)

The premises had character.  Many years ago the walls had been whitewashed and his daughters had fixed old tools around the walls.

Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths  -  Howe Street, Edinburgh New Town  -   1992

History

Arthur Dutch is now the only worker on the premises.  In the 1960s, he employed twelve men, much of their work being metalwork repairs for motor cars.

 Arthur's father had worked for Moir & Baxter's garage, about a mile away at Comely Bank.  His grandfather had first worked for a large tinsmith nearby, then moved to the present workshop at Howe Street.

Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths  -  Howe Street, Edinburgh New Town  -   1991

Arthur explained that there was no shortage of lantern work to be tackled.  He was making lanterns to order, then selling for about 95 each, and had no time to make any for stock.  He told me that he only took on work that he enjoyed doing, and that he liked people who knew what they wanted.

 

Comment

1.

Alex Ellis

Edinburgh

Thank you to Alex Ellis who wrote:

Howe Street

Arthur Dutch

"I see from your EdinPhoto web site that you have some photos of Arthur Dutch in his workshop in Howe Street, Edinburgh.

I worked in Howe Street for 30 years and supplied Arthur with paint etc. for some of his metal work.  I got to know him fairly well."

Sax Shaw

"I would have loved to have got him and his neighbour from upstairs, Sax Shaw, together for an evening or two of chit chat and story telling.

Arthur and Sax were the type of people who you could sit and listen to all night long and still come back for more."

Alex Ellis, Edinburgh:  October 25, 2014

Howe Street

Arthur Dutch

"I visited Arthur Dutch and photographed him at work several times in the 1990s.  I always found him to be very welcoming, and good company."

     Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths  -  Howe Street, Edinburgh New Town  -   1992

Sax Shaw

"On just one occasion, in 1991, I went upstairs with him to meet Sax Shaw, artist, tapestry and stained glass worker.

I took photos of him at work, including this one:

Saxe Shaw, using a quill to draw a cat

Sax died in 2000, at about the age of 84."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2014

 

More Memories of Workers around Howe Street

For more of Alex Ellis's memories of those who worked near him in and around Howe Street:

-  Arthur Dutch, tinsmith

-  Sax Shaw, artist

-  Willie Heath, motor mechanic

please click on the thumbnail image below:

Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths, Edinburgh  -  1992

 

Lonsdale & Dutch:    Photos

Edinburgh at Work

 

 

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