Demolition of Brewery Buildings - August 6,
Copyright: Ian Scott,
Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, England
Brewery Buildings in Holyrood Road
This site, where the
brewery was demolished in the 1990s, lies between:
- Holyrood Road
- St John's Street and
- Reid's Close.
The new Scottish
Parliament has now been built immediately to the east of this site
(out of the picture, on the right).
The tower with the clock
on the brick wall looks interesting, but I don't know anything more
about this building.
British Columbia, Canada
Thank you to George T Smith,
British Columbia, Canada for sending the following comments.
The Clock Tower
"Regarding the Holyrood Brewery: I think
the building with the clock on it was the building around which the
workforce gathered at noon for their 'horn' - that is the free
pint provided as one of the benefits of working in a brewery.
I can't be sure of this, as it is so long
ago and I only attended that brewery a few times.
Incidentally in whisky warehouses and
distilleries it is/was the
custom to provide a 'nip' at lunch time. Since water is under lock
and key in such places (to prevent substitution or
unofficial dilution) it was served at cask strength and, in my
experience at a major blenders, from a shared tot glass seldom
cleaned between issues.
I queried the hygiene of this practice
only to be told "Och! alcohol is an antiseptic, is it no'?"
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island,
British Columbia, Canada: November 7, 2006
Thank you to Bryan Gourlay
Youngers and McEwans
"Like George T Smith, I have recollections
of the breweries in Holyrood.
In the early 1950s, before Scottish &
Newcastle Brewers was created, I think Youngers and McEwans were both
part of the same firm."
"Sometimes, I went with my dad, when he
was transporting empty barrels between the brewery on the east side of
Holyrood Road, about where the Scotsman building is now, to the
brewery at Marionville Road near Abbeyhill, where the retail park is
today. I think Youngers was in Holyrood and McEwans at
"One of my lasting memories is the brewery
workmen swigging beer . They used to stroll over to a tap on the wall
somewhere and fill up their large, stoneware-type jugs with what I'm
sure they called 'pundy'. It looked very dark and treacly to me.
The supply of 'pundy' didn't seem to be
rationed in any way, or maybe the men had found a way of tapping in to
the system. They certainly quaffed their fair share in a day.
If they were going with the lorry from
Holyrood to Marionville, they used to fill up their jugs to the brim,
so they could sit on the back of the lorry on the journey and not
waste good drinking time."
Bryan Gourlay, Biggar,
Lanarkshire, Scotland: November 8, 2006
Malcolm, New Zealand took this photograph of a memorial plaque
Brewery, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. The photo was taken in 1986. The
brewery was demolished in 1995:
The Memorial Plaque
"The photograph below is of the memorial
plaque that was placed on the Brewery wall, commemorating those
employees who lost their lives while serving during WWII.
I took this photo in 1986 while on a
visit to Edinburgh. My uncle's name (Brown R) is on the list."
Where is it Now?
"I have been
unable to find the relocation site of the plaque. Maybe another reader of your site can
supply that information, which would be greatly appreciated.
In June 2007, I visited my uncle's grave
at the war cemetery at Anzio, Italy, a beautifully landscaped and
I would like to think that Edinburgh has
treated the plaque with similar care."
David Malcolm, North Island, New
Zealand: January 16, 2008
Can You Help?
If you can help to answer
please e-mail me,
then I'll pass on your message to
- Peter Stubbs: January 26, 2008
Malcolm, New Zealand referred to a memorial plaque
formerly at Younger's
Brewery, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, now demolished. David asked:
"Where is the plaque now?"
Thank you to those who
answered this question, including Aaron Winfield who photographed
the plaque, and another also dedicated to William Younger employees.
Both plaques are now in the grounds of Canongate Kirk.
Please click on the links below to see Aaron's photos of these
Acknowledgement: Aaron Winfield, September 4, 2008
A L Knowles
Thank you to A L Knowles,
Scottish & Newcastle
"These plaques were displayed on the
Holyrood Road elevation of the Scottish & Newcastle Head Office at
Abbey Brewery, at 111 Holyrood Road, until it was demolished in 1998
to make way for the Scottish Parliament Building."
"As the Premises Manager I was responsible
for the care of the Head Office heritage, including the memorials,
before and during the demolition. I suggested that they should be
taken down, refurbished and rededicated in an appropriate location.
According to “The Younger Centuries”,
written to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the company in 1949,
eighty members of the Company were killed in action in the First World
Losses in the Second war are not recorded
in the book but in both instances most of these employees would
undoubtedly have lived locally and the Board of Directors felt it most
appropriate that the memorials should remain in the Parish of
"Consequently the plaques were dismounted
and refurbished and re-patinated by Powderhall Bronze. They were
rededicated at a Special Service in Canongate Kirk and an Act of
Remembrance at the plaques which now hang on the West wall of the
"William Younger & Co Ltd, Scottish
Brewers Ltd, Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd and Scottish &
Newcastle plc. had an unbroken association with that site from about
1806 to 1998."
Knowles: January 31, 2012
Thank you to Drew Gurney,
"I'd like to find out more about my
grandfather, Samuel Duff, who was a cooper with William Younger's
brewery. I know that he was Secretary of the Coopers' Union in
Edinburgh during the war years but I always seem to reach a dead end
in discovering more about him.
We have a photo, in the family, of
Grandad Sam down at Downing Street with Clem Attlee, Prime Minister of
the day, in Downing Street."
12 August 2015
Reply to Drew Gurney?
If you know anything about
Drew's grandfather and would like to send a message to Drew,
email me to let me know, then I'll send Drew's email address to you.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:
15 November 2015