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Recollections

Abbeyhill

Please scroll down this page, or click on one of the links below:

1.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)
Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

Shops

-  Crisps and Salt

2.

George T Smith
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Draper's Shop

Dairy

British Columbia

3.

Rob Fender
England

-  Family and Friends

-  Tramlines

-  Shops

4.

Elizabeth Bell
(
née Gall)
Murray Bridge, South Australia

-   Meadowbank

-  Parsons Green School

-  Abbey Church

-  Streets

-  Shops

-  Cinema

-  Industry

5.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)
Florida, USA

-  Leaving Edinburgh

-  Street Party

-  Queen's Park

-  Cinema

-  Shops

-  Schools

6.

Eleanor Dzivane
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

School

Shops and Entertainment

7.

Eleanor Dzivane
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

New Year

Games

Neighbours

Winters

-  The Railway

-  Weddings and Parties

-  Coronation Day

-  Television

-  School

8.

Dorothy Addison
(
née Jenkins)
Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

-  Grocer's Shop

-  Haberdashery

9.

Jim Laidlaw
New Zealand

-  West Norton Place - Joiners' Shop

-  Working in Abbeyhill

-  Trusting

10.

Gordon Lyon
Glenogil, Forfar, Angus Scotland

-  Waverley Park

-  New Year Ceilidhs!

-  Family

-  Shops

-  Work

11.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)
Florida, USA

-  Family and Friends

-  New Year

12.

Ella Boak
Burlington, Ontario, Canada

-  Home + Fire Station

-  Shops

-  Play

13.

Danny Callaghan
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

-  Colonies

-  Family

-  Play

-  Today

14.

John Munro
West Lothian, Scotland

-  Brand Place

-  Walk through the Park

-  Cinemas

-  Shops

-  Band of Hope

15.

Alex Holmes
Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland

-  Schools and Cinemas

16.

Sylvia Powell
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

-  Swimming

-  Teachers

-  The King's Park

-   Bonfires

17.

George Roy
Hong Kong

-  Roy's Garage

17.

Reply 1.

Duncan McCrone

-  Roy's Garage

17.

Reply 2.

Duncan McCrone

-  Roy's Garage

17.

Reply 3

George Roy

-  Roy's Garage

18.

Bill Hall
Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland

-  Pig Farm

19.

David Elgin
Edinburgh

-  Taylor Place

20.

David Elgin
Edinburgh

-  Taylor Place

-  Marshall Place

21.

David Elgin
Edinburgh

-  Shops

-  Princes Street Gardens

-  Policeman

-  'The Comunal'

-  The Dairy

22.

Walter James
McAinsh
Jnr

Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, Scotland

-  Shops

-  McAinsh Bakery

23.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)
Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

-  Grocery Shop

-  Haberdashery

-  Waverley Place

-  Memories

-  Photo

24.

Mairi Macnab
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

-  Parson's Green School

-  Holyrood Abbey Church

-  Abbeyhill School

-  Emigration

25.

Charlie Mustard
Edinburgh

-  Sunnybank Place

-  Growing Up

-  Shows

-  Transport

-  Dairy

-  Regent Cinema

26.

Sandra Hartland
(
née Reid)
Florida, USA

-  Pals

-  Schools

-  The Reid Family

27.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)
Warwickshire, England

-  Abbeyhill Tenements

28.

Lorraine Blair
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

-  Beggs Buildings

-  Mr Berger's Shop

29.

Jim Wilson
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

-  Mr Berger's Shop

-  Rose Lane

-  Milton Street

30.

Dorothy Main
(
née Wallace)

Edinburgh

-  Beggs Buildings

-  Sunnybank Dairy

-  Names

31.

Alan R Hall

-  Steele Coulson's Brewery

-  War-time

-  Bottles

-  Goodnight !

-  Cream Cakes

-  Wages

-  Other Memories

32.

Brian Alexander
Prestonfield, Edinburgh

-  Sunnybank Dairy Buildings

33.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)
Warwickshire, England

-  Abbeyhill Tenements

Reply 1 to 33.

Susan Ferguson

-  Abbeyhill Tenements

Reply 2 to 33.

Mike Melrose
Greenbank, Edinburgh

-  Abbeyhill Tenements

Reply 3 to 33.

Mike Melrose
Greenbank, Edinburgh

-  Abbeyhill Tenements

34.

John Dickson
Muirhouse, Edinburgh

-  Book

-  The Wee World

35.

Jim Wilson
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

-  Milton Street

36.

Eleanor Dzivane
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

-  The Lane

-  Goods Train

37.

Gary Laing
Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland

-  The Laing Family

-  Charlie Laing

38.

Colin Campbell
Hampshire, England

Showground

-  Football Team Strip

-  Swimming

39.

Jane Carson
Edinburgh

Store Milk Horse

40.

Linda Robertson
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

-  Abbeymount Hall

41.

Linda Robertson
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

-  Abbeymount Hall

42.

Linda Robertson
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

-  Abbeymount Hall

43.

Paul Sutherland
Glasgow, Scotland

Question

Pub near Croft-an-Righ

44.

George Gowans
Kirkliston, Edinburgh

Reply

Abbeyhall

45.

June Wood
(née Robertson)

Arroyo Grande, Central Coast, California, USA

-  The 'Wash Hoose'

-  The Little Stores

46.

June Wood
(née Robertson)

Arroyo Grande, Central Coast, California, USA

Reply

-  The Mission

-  Christmas Concerts

-  Gracie Fields

-  Formerly a Prison

-  Mission Rules

-  The Mission Today

47.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)
Warwickshire, England

-  Abbeyhill Hospital

48.

Gordon Davie
Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

-  Shops at Spring Gardens

Grocer

-  Caterer and Bookmaker

-  Fruit and Veg

-  Sweets

-  Newsagent

-  Home Baking

-  Shops at Waverley Park

Grocer

-  Builder

49.

Gordon Davie
Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

-  Our Home

-  My Uncle

-  Spring Gardens Shops

50.

Jean Mowat
(
née Stewart)

Glasgow, Scotland

-  38 Milton Street

-  Neighbours

-  Houses and Shops

-  Who Else Remembers?

51.

Christine Gollan

-  34 Milton Street

-  My Family

-  Visiting My Granny

52.

Eileen Murray

-  Growing up in Abbeyhill

-  Bald's Fish & Chip Shop

53.

Bryan Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

-  Bald's Fish & Chip Shop

54.

Norma Britee
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

-  Wrestler

55.

Laurie Thompson
Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

-  Mr Saren's Chip Shop

56.

Jim (Jimmy) Little

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

-  Milton Amateur Wrestling Club

57.

Lynne McBride

-  East Norton Place

58.

Laurie Thompson
Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

East Norton Place

-  Post Office

59.

Gordon Davie
Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

-  East Norton Place

60.

Gordon Davie
Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

-  Sweet Shop near Fire Station

-  The Shop, Today

61.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)
Florida, USA

-  Abbeyhill Shops

-  The Co-op

-  Taylor's Corner Shop

-  Wilson's Rentals

 

Recollections

1.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)

Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

Dorothy wrote:

 Shops

"I wish one of your avid readers would add some  more information about Abbeyhill.  Abbeyhill was a bustling little neighborhood when i was young.

My grandparents had the two shops at the top of Waverley Place, and they owned the houses above and at the back.  One store was a licensed grocer, and next door was ladies milliners type of store.

My grandfather, David Forrest, lived above the store with his family.

I also remember my grandmother in her dark clothing, walking along  to Easter Road, to Young Brothers, bakers, every Saturday to get all the nice baked goods."

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins), Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada:  May 16+20, 2007

Dorothy added:

Crisps and Salt

"When I was young, which was a long time ago, the only potato chips (use to be called crisps) that one could buy were plain. They cost thrupence a bag. At the bottom of each bag was a little pouch in dark blue  paper filled with salt, which we sprinkled on our crisps.

Two companies produced crisps, Smiths, and Lothian.

One day my girl friend Ann Henderson whose family were the owners of Lothian Crisp Factory, asked me to chum her to her Granny's house. 

Her Granny lived behind the Poppy Factory at Abbeyhill, and not far from Holyrood Palace.  When we arrived, she let us in and immediately returned to her chair by the fire, and continued with her work.

In her lap she had a bowl of salt and with utmost precision she would pick up these tiny pieces of dark blue paper, and with a tiny spoon scoop some salt into each one and screw it up, and place into a bag which already contained hundreds of these little packets, ready for pick-up.

She was the only person who did this for the company.  We left there with the finished goods

I was amazed to think that each time I had enjoyed these crisps that a dear old lady had put the little pouch of salt together by hand.

How simple things were done in years gone by.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins), Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada:  June 15, 2007

So, if you have any recollections of Abbeyhill, please e-mail me so that I can add them to the web site for Dorothy.

Thank you.      -  Peter Stubbs:  May 18, 2007

 

Recollections

2.

George T Smith

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

George wrote:

Draper's Shop

"My maternal aunt Barbara Lawson worked for years in a small draper's shop on the south side of Abbeyhill. The owner's name I do not remember.

The shop closed half-day Wednesday. It was at street level in a block of flats. I  dimly recollect (I was about 5) that dresses on hangers were hung high against the shelved wall behind the counter."

Dairy

"Further east, almost opposite Meadowbank, was a dairy where I believe the cows were kept without recourse to grazing: there is some special name for this sort of husbandry."

George added:

British Columbia

"By the way: Tsawassen is the other end of the ferry from here  in Nanaimo.  That is the fifth person from Edinburgh that I have come across through your site who is living near here."

George T Smith, Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Recollections

3.

Rob Fender

England

Robert Fender, now living in England, wrote:

Family and Friends

"I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Regent Place, just off London Road opposite the Abbey Church.

A pal of mine from school used to live in Mayfield Place.  Ronnie Nicholson was his name."  

Tramlines

 I remember in the late 1940's there used to be a policeman on point duty at the junction of London Road and Montrose Terrace.

The tramcars used to travel down there and one day I was cycling along there when the front wheel of my bike got stuck in the tram rails and I finished almost in the arms of the policeman.

I remember I got a ticking off from him, but worse still I bent the pedal of my bike so I had to walk home.   I wont tell you what my Dad said when I got there."

Shops

"There used to be a butchers shop on London Road. -  I think the name was Drummond and next to it was a hardware shop,  

Across the road from them was a haberdashers where you could buy plastic collars.

Further down on the same side, past the junction with Montrose Terrace was a cobblers and then at the end at the junction of Easter Road was the Fire Station."

Robert Fender, England, September 26, 2007

 

Recollections

4.

Elizabeth Bell (née Gall)

Murray Bridge, South Australia

Elizabeth Bell wrote from South Australia:

Meadowbank

"I lived at Meadowbank for 25 years, from 1933  till I married and came to South Australia, firstly to Henley Beach, an Adelaide suburb, in 1958."

Parsons Green School

"I went to Parsons Green School, which burned down just after we left.  We used to go to the baths at Abbeyhill School on Friday afternoons for swimming lessons."

Abbey Church

"My family attended Abbey Church and I was married there.  Sadly, when I managed to visit in 1976, it had just been closed and it has now been demolished."

Streets

"I remember Cadzow PlaceI and all the little streets that led north from London Road, and I well remember the variety of shops in Abbeyhill.  It was great  o catch the train at Abbeyhill Station to visit relatives at Eskbank."

Shops

"I remember:

-  a very good newsagent, next to the station entrance

-  a dress shop, next to the newsagents, where I purchased a very good quality coat once.

 an ice-cream shop.

a very good toy and model shop, up Montrose Terrace.

Bald's  fish and chip shop, also up Montrose Terrace.

-  one of the first launderettes at the corner of Abbey Street.  I think there was once a Funeral undertakers there.

 a jeweller and maybe a printers, towards the fire station

-  the licensed grocer's shop where my Granny would often buy port wineI have an old family photo including, I think, my late  uncle William Hill, as a young man, complete with the white apron grocers used to wear.

-   Coltart's, the photographers on the north side of London road, where I had to  have my wedding photos taken.

-   a good wool and clothes shop near the photographers.

Young's, of course, with their Aberdeen biscuits, gingery hot cross buns etc.  This was always a favourite place to shop.

The dairy, called Sunny Bank, which, I think, was the first established to serve the Palace of Holyrood House."

Cinema

"Around the corner was the Eastway cinema and Masonic premises.  I've been in the latter for a wedding reception.

A great aunt lived in the tenement just before the Easter Road corner and we could hear the sound track from the cinema sometimes."

Industry

"And the foundry in London Road used to give off many a clang. I used to wonder how the folks in the tenements could stand the noise

I always remember, too, the smell of the steamy down Rose Lane."

Elizabeth Bell, Murray Bridge, South Australia

 

Recollections

5.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)

Florida, USA

Sandra Hartland wrote from Florida:

Leaving Edinburgh

"I was born and brought up in 16 Waverley Park, Abbeyhill.  I left Edinburgh in 1979 headed to Detroit and I now live in Florida."

Street Party

"I have so many fond memories of back home  I remember the street party when the Queen was crowned.  There were long tables filled from end to end with food everyone had made, and we all had paper crowns to wear.

Queen's Park

"The Queen's park was our playground.  We used to get apples from the orchard of Elsie Ingles Hospital.

Cinema

"I went to the Regent cinema on a Wednesday for the matinee,

Shops

"I still remember:

-  Berger’s, the greengrocer on the corner

 - then the newspaper shop

the train station and Station Bar

the chemist, and

-  the best bakery around.  Oh, those strawberry tarts!"

Schools

"I attended Abbeyhill School, then went on to Norton Park.  I left Norton Park in 1964,  I'd love to hear from anybody from back in those days.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid), Florida, USA:  January 23, 2009

Contacting Sandra

If you would like to contact Sandra, please email me, then I'll pass your message on to her.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs

REPLY

Charles Stewart replied:

"I remember the same thing as Sandra Reid. I'm sure Sandra was in the same class as me in Abbeyhill school.  The last teacher that I had in Abbeyhill was Miss Bruce.

I also went to Norton Park school."

Charles Stewart:  April 3, 2009

I've have now given Sandra's contact details to Charles, so that he can contact her if he wishes to.

Peter Stubbs:  April 5, 2009

I've also given Sandra's contact details to David Brown, who now lives in Belfast.  He attended Abbeyhill School in the 1930s, and has offered to help Sandra.

Peter Stubbs:  April 5, 2009

 

Recollections

6.

Eleanor Dzivane

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Eleanor Dzivane who read Sandra Hartland's comments  (in 5 above) and replied:

School

"I, too, was brought up in Abbeyhill in the 1950s, attended Abbeyhill and Norton Park schools, leaving the latter in 1963.

I recall the 'Safety First' drills we had in the quadrangle at Beggs Buildings and McConachies' wee sweetie shop, the toffee cups and penny lollies.

We were marched over to the Queens Park for sports days, I think through Milton Street.

Shops and Entertainment

"I remember:

 Berger the fruit shop

 Orkney the chemist

Abbeyhill station and train rides from there to picnics, with  the paper streamers

 Harry's Café

 Abbey Church

-   Bald's, the chip shop

  Regent cinema

-  The Coronation, with long white tables all the way up the Colonies"

Eleanor Dzivane, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  January 27, 2009

 

Recollections

7.

Eleanor Dzivane

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Eleanor Dzivane (6 above) for also sending me what she describes as a "wee article that she wrote a wee while ago, obviously feeling nostalgic for those days".

Eleanor wrote:

New Year

"The bells on Abbeyhill Church rang in the New Year.  Our Dad would slip downstairs a few minutes before twelve, taking with him a bottle of whisky, a piece of black bun, then lift a piece of coal from the coal box in the garden and ring our door bell as midnight chimed.  Dad was always our first foot!

This was the 1950s in Pitlochry Place, the days when:

-  neighbours left their doors open and 'first footed' each other into the wee small hours, and all of New Year's Day.

Gran made endless pots of soup, broth and stovies and Mum baked fairy cakes.  The kitchen table laden with black bun, shortbread rounds, Madeira cake, ordered from McAinsh the baker in Easter Road, ham and jellied veal sandwiches, the fruit cordials, pale ale, bottles of Advocaat, sherry and whisky.

-  the music of Kenneth McKellar, no-one at all shy at standing up leading the chorus of auld Scots songs, the coal fire crackling away in the grate. 'Here's tae us, wha's like us, damn few and they're a' deid!'

Games

"We moved to Abbeyhill in November 1948 when I was 4 months old.  I have wonderful memories of:

 endless hot summers

 playing in the street

 skipping ropes

-  peevers with an old shoe polish tin, wee stones inside to weigh it down

'What's the time Mr Wolf?'

-  Playing shops and houses in the garden, the window sills the make believe counters of Rankin, Duffy's and Burrows shops

 not a car in sight!"

Neighbours

"Our next door neighbour had a wooden lock-up at the foot of Pitlochry Place where he kept what would now be a vintage green and black car, behind which stood a barren piece of wasteland.

The first tenements along Rossie Place was  'The Glassworks Stair', inhabited by staff of the Edinburgh Crystal Works in Edina Place.  Smith was the wee dairy on the corner and Mrs Carrigan a wee general shop next to it in Rossie Place."

Winters

"Winters were full of snow and magic:

-  We left drinks of water on the window sill for the birds in wee cake tins and found them frozen over in the morning.

- The washing would freeze on the line in the garden.  Dad's shirts were frozen stiff.  We had to defrost them!

-  Dad made a sledge for my sister and me, out of an old blackboard, and we spent hours sledging down the street starting at the bottom of the steps in Salmond Place.

-  Playing in 'The Lane' that separates Pitlochry Place from Salmond Place.

-  Building snowmen in the garden that seemed to stay frozen forever!"

The Railway

"Our Grandad was a goods train driver and used to pass our back window and sound the whistle as he passed from St Margaret's depot at Piershill.

I remember Sunday School picnics, starting off from Abbeyhill Station, hanging streamers out of the train windows.  We were so excited when the train passed by Miller's Foundry, opposite our back windows, waving to our Mum and Gran !"

Weddings and Parties

"There always seemed to be a wedding somewhere in the street. Mums and kids would gather round the gate waiting for the bride to appear.  As the car drove away the bride's Dad would throw a "poor-oot!"

My sister and I had our birthday parties in the garden, mine in July, hers September.  Home-made jelly, and off we would all go up to Harry's ice cream shop with a huge baking bowl to be filled with ice cream!"

Coronation Day

I have some memories of Coronation Day in 1953, and my Mum has helped by contributing more.  Here's what we remember.

On Coronation Day, my Dad organised a street party.  Everyone from Pitlochry, Salmond and Carlisle Place was there. White cotton tableclothed-tables stretched way up to the steps!

It was a scorching, June day and most of the wee girls wore white dresses and ribbons.  There were games and music.  Everyone made a contribution and all 'mucked in' with the food, a massive community spirit!.

Dad organised raffles, the hire of the picnic tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery from a shop near Elsie Inglis.  The whole street was a mass of red, white and blue flags and streamers!

In the evening he organised a dance for the grown ups in the Masonic Halls next to the Eastway Cinema, now Iceland!"

Television

"We had a television by the time Princess Grace married Prince Rainier of Monaco!  I remember loads of kids sitting on the carpet, enthralled by:

The Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid

"Hi-Ho Silver!"

-   Picture Book

-   Muffin the Mule

 Rag Tag and Bobtail

-  The Flower Pot Men."

School

"The playground in Abbeyhill School seemed huge then!
I remember:

 the swimming baths

Safety First Drill in the play area round at Beggs Buildings

-  the wee sweetie shop, selling toffee cups, lucky tatties, Dainties, 1p ice lollies.

-  Sports Days, marching in line over to the Queens Park through Milton Street

the Harvest and Carol services and Christmas parties in London Road Church.

-   the 'Qually Dance'

the Bluebell Polka, practising our steps to Jimmy Shand!

Happy days."

"We twa hae paidled in the burn frae mornin' sun til dine."
Burns, Auld Lang Syne

Eleanor Dzivane, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  January 27, 2009

 

Recollections

8.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)

Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

Dorothy, who wrote the first recollections of Abbeyhill (1 above) wrote again after reading the comments from Elizabeth Bell (4 above).

Dorothy wrote:

Grocers Shop

"I was very interested in the comments from Elizabeth Bell that she has a photo of her uncle in his grocers overall.  Maybe he worked with my Grandad.  I'm sure the shop she refers to is my Grandfathers shop at the top of Waverley Place, directly opposite Abbey Church which is no longer there.  It was a licensed grocers and I believe at that time the only one on the main street in Abbeyhill."

My Grandparents' name was Forrest - the grocers shop was a wonderland to me as a child - and it has a basement with a narrow wooden stair leading down to a storage area and it all seemed a bit creepy down there."

Haberdashery

"My grandfather also owned the shop next door, a ladies haberdashery.  It was a lovely store which all my Aunts and my Mother and Grandmother shopped at."

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins), Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada:  February 1, 2009

 

Recollections

9.

Jim Laidlaw

New Zealand

Jim Reid, New Zealand) replied to Sandra Hartland's comments (in 5 above).

Jim wrote:

West Norton Place  -  Joiners' Shop

"Although I did not live there, I knew the Abbeyhill area very well.  My father had a joiners' shop in West Norton Place, the little street leading up to the steps to Montrose Terrace."

When I served my apprenticeship with my father, there was a small sweet shop at the corner, owned by Mr Redpath then taken over by Archie Buchanan who played for the Hibs.

Further up the street were:

-  the joiners' shop, then
McGregor Brothers,  painters, then
-  Syme Brothers, blacksmith and joiners."

Working around Abbeyhill

"During my time there approx. 1946 to 1959, I must have worked in most of the houses in the area, doing all types of joinery work.

We did the work for some of what the used to call factors, including one in East Norton place called Weatherhead who was responsible for a lot of houses in the area.

I see Begg's building mentioned.  It was built by Dr. Begg, many years ago, as housing improvement in those days.  I  spent a lot of time doing work there.

There were four houses to a landing with only two outside toilets to be shared.  The people who lived there were always a priority for council housing.  Some of them, after being given a council house, missed the companionship of Begg's buildings and returned there."

Trusting

I found the people I worked for in these days were a lovely trusting lot and great to work for.  Many a time, I was just given the key to go in and do the work, always with a note on the table telling me where the things were to make the tea and where the biscuits were.

I loved every minute of my time there."

Jim Laidlaw, New ZealandFebruary 20, 2009

 

Recollections

10.

Gordon Lyon

Glenogil, Forfar, Angus, Scotland

Thank you to Gordon Lyon, whose grandfather and grandmother lived at the same address as Sandra  Hartland (née Reid) for sending me a message.

Gordon  wrote:

Waverley Park

"I was interested to read Sandra’s information about Abbeyhill.  My Grandfather and Grandmother also lived at 16 Waverley Park.

My Grandad, Percy Baker, an ex-seaman, had a Painters & Decorators business in Waverley Park which he ran with his son Alex.

A few of the family made their homes in Waverley Park when they married.  I remember Robert Reid at 16 Waverley Park. Could that have been Sandra’s brother?

New Year Ceilidhs!

"I have many fond memories of Waverley Park, particularly the New Year ceilidhs!  Although I did not go to Abbeyhill School, I always seemed to get to the school Christmas Parties there!"

Family

"My mother, Sarah, and her sisters, Meg and Ethel, were school dinner ladies at Norton Park.  My mother will be 93 next month Two other sisters are alive and well living in England and the oldest surviving member of the family, Ethel (Dickson) is in a Care Home in Leith."

Shops

"I too, remember a lot of the shops around Abbeyhill and also in Spring Gardens.  I remember Oldham's - for ham -  at the bus/tram stop just along from the station."

Work

"When I left school I worked in the office of Robert Younger's, the wee brewery under the bridge at the foot of Abbey Mount, just down from the cinema and Stewarts Ballroom.

You have rekindled lots of happy memories!"

Gordon Lyon, Glenogil, Forfar, Angus, Scotland:  July 28, 2009

Recollections

11.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)

Florida, USA

Thank you to Sandra Hartland for writing again, after having just visited Edinburgh again,  to attend The Gathering.

In response to Gordon Lyon's comments (10 above) Sandra wrote:

Family and Friends

"Yes, I am Robert's wee sister. Unfortunately, Robert passed away suddenly three years ago.

I remember all of the people Gordon mentioned, especially the lady I loved who I called Granny Baker.  When my family was going through a rough time I used to go down to Granny Baker's every morning for breakfast, then she would wash my face, brush my hair and send me off to school always saying now you behave yourself today."

New Year

"Robert's comments also brought back memories of our New YearsMr. Hay would knock on the McGoughs’ door at a minute after midnight (first footing).  They would join him and proceed to the next neighbor, that went on until all sixteen houses ended up partying together.

I was allowed the tiniest sip of Sherry at every New Year's Party in the street.  Mr. Powell, across the street, would play his accordion and we would sing and dance till the wee hours.  So so thanks again for all the good memories that get stirred up through the EdinPhoto site."

Sandra Hartland (née Reid), Florida, USA:  January 23, 2009

 

Recollections

12.

Ella Boak

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Ella Boak for sending me her recollections of Abbeyhill, Edinburgh.

Ella wrote:

Home and Fire Station

"I lived at 1 West Norton Place and went to Regent Road School".  My father was a fireman at the London Road Fire Station on East Norton Place.

My family lived on the top floor, where the tower is.  There were two stairs for the Fire Station.  In our stair there were seven families, two on each landing and one on the main floor.

The other stair went round a balcony and housed six firemen and their families.

 I remember:

-  The Hewison family, with two boys, Balfie and Willy

-  The Lawson family with a kid called Stevie

-  Fireman, Johnny King

-  Fireman, Bill Armstrong

-  Fireman, Andrew Boak

-  Fireman, John Short.

In one of the stairs in West Norton Place, a bookie would be waiting to see if one of the fireman wanted to put a bet on the horses."

Shops

East Norton Place

"Along from the Fire Station was, I think, a milk shop where you got milk from a big urn.  Next to that was a taxi place."

Redpath's Corner Shop

"I remember the corner shop which Jim Laidlaw from New Zealand mentioned (9 above).  The shop was run, as he mentions, by a Mr Redpath.

It was their shop.  Their names were George and Milly Redpath.  Incidentally, they were Canadians.  They had a baby called George and I used to take him out in his baby carriage (pram)."

Laing's Butcher's Shop

"Down Easter Road as I recall there was Laing's butcher's shop where they made the fattest sausages I can remember."

London Road

"Young's Bakery was at the corner of Easter Road and London Road.   Further along London Road, almost at Waverley Place, was Puttulo, the local chemist.

We also went to the Band Of Hope in London Rd Church at the corner."

Play

The Picturedrome

"The Picturedrome was a cinema in Easter Road.  We called it we called  'The Picky'.  That's where we went for the Saturday matinee.  We were pushed along a wooden form as far as possible to get us all on."

Bonfire

"We used to collect all kinds of things for our Bonfire on November 5.   We stashed them at the back of the greens in a place called 'Goodals'.  Then, we made the fire on the wall of the school."

London Road Gardens

"At London Road Gardens we played all kinds of games amongst some of the big trees which had their roots exposed.  Up at the top of the gardens, at Regent Terrace, there were what we called 'pailings'.  One boy started to climb over and caught his ankle on the spike."

Ella Boak, Burlington, Ontario, Canada:  January 26+27+29 and February 19,, 2010

 Recollections

13.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who  wrote

Colonies

"As a kid in the 1950s, although a Broughton boy I spent a lot of time at my Aunt's house in the small colony row at 3 Marshall Place.  That was a street of only three colony houses on the south side of London Road, off Lower London Road. 

I have lots of happy memories of the times I spent there."

Family

"They were the Marshall family Aunty Katie & Uncle Jim and cousins Jim and Peggy.   Their house was a lower flat on the north side of the colony at the end next to Marnet Pram Factory.  As their name was Marshall, they said it was their street!

Uncle Jim was a fireman on the steam trains.  I remember him taking me down to St Margaret's yard and getting me a shot driving a steam train.  This was before the scourge of our lives, Health and Safety!!!!!!   My auntie Katie, like all my  aunts in Edinburgh, was a second mother to me.

Cousin Jim was quite a bit older.  He ran in the Meadowbank harriers and became an electrician with Scotts of Morrison Street.    I had watched Jim at his electrics and learned lots from him.   Don't tell the H&S mob but having watching him I learned enough to rewire a flat I bought when I was 18.   Now they are still at school at 18 thinking of going to Uni to study media etc!    Jim emigrated to Canada to Edmonton about 1959."

Play

"Cousin Peggy had the embarrassment of having her little cousin trailing around after her.  I was like a terrier, always clutching on to her coat tails.   We had great fun.   I remember jumble sales in the street,  going into the farmyard just opposite, which I am sure had pigs, and going under the railway to the Kings Park, rowing boats on St Margaret's Loch and climbing up the Crags.   What a wonderful playground Arthur Seat and the park provided.

Peggy went to work in Millars the engineering company on London Road so she found it difficult to blame the trams on the mornings she was late.  She then followed her brother to Edmonton."

Today

"Looking at Google Earth now, the whole area of Lower London Road is very much changed.   I can however see the tunnel under the railway leading to Holyrood Park but it appears to be blocked.

What happened to the pig farm?

My cousin tells me she is proud that her family have been captured for history on this site.  She would like to hear from anyone who knew her, Peggy Marshall or her brother Jim."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  January 27 + February 18, 2010

Reply

If you'd like to contact Danny Callaghan or his cousin Peggy Marshall, please email me, then I will pass on your message to Danny.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  February 28, 2010

 

Recollections

14.

John Munro

West Lothian, Scotland

John Munro who wrote:

Brand Place

"Although my mum and dad lived at the top of the Dumbiedykes, my dad had been brought up in Brand Place so when I went to primary school. I attended Abbeyhill Primary.

For the first couple of years I stayed with my gran in Brand Place, during the week and stayed with my mum and dad at the weekend."

Walk through the Park

"From about the age of 6 I just stayed with my mum and dad and walked through the park to school.  I remember walking through Croft an Righ on cold winter's mornings

The scene would be really ghostly.

Croft-an-Righ house at Abbey Hill, near Holyrood ©

The steam from the steam hoses of the cooperage would swirl about and sudden apparitions would appear as coopers would emerge from the steam as they worked.

That walk and the area round about Abbeyhill became very familiar to me."

Cinemas

"For a while I was fairly friendly with the son of the Regent Cinema's manager and we used to play outside, on the steps up to the Cinema, with our combined toy soldiers.

My local cinema, on the Southside, was the La Scala and the Regent was definitely a step up from that.

Shops

"There was a tiny corner shop on Brand Place owned by a family called Mochrie. I remember being sent to it to get a forpit of tatties."

Band of Hope

"I attended the Band of Hope at the bottom of Abbeymount occasionally.  Years later, bizarrely, I returned to the building.  It had been turned into a very weird Armenian restaurant."

John Munro, West Lothian, Scotland:  January 28, 2010

 

Recollections

15.

Alex Holmes

Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland

Alex Holmes wrote:

Schools

"I was raised in Lyne Street, the street next to Abbeyhill school, which I attended before going to Norton Park.

I also went to the Regent and Eastway cinemas, and am an old fashioned Hibee. **    

I am now aged 69.  I hope to hear from anybody who remembers me."

Alex Holmes, Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland:  February 24, 2010

** A Hibee is a supporter of Hibs FC.

Message for Alex?

If you'd like to send a message to Alex, please email me, then I'll pass it on to him.     Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  March 19, 2010

 

Recollections

16.

Sylvia Powell

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Alex Holmes wrote:

Swimming

"I am the same age as Alex Holmes (15. above) and attended Abbeyhill school and then Broughton.

I enjoyed the 'baths' and managed to get all my swimming certificates.  I remember being a little afraid of the swimming teacher but he did manage to make me a strong swimmer."

Teachers

"I also remember Miss White the sewing teacher.  I was in Miss Swan's baby class.  The teacher I loved best was Miss Ingram.  She came to Middleton and Broomlee school camp with us and I have wonderful memories of the fun we had on her nature trips."

The King's Park

"I lived in Waverley Park and the King's Park was our playground.  We rolled our Easter eggs down the cockle shell, and also sledged there in the winter.

We played around Saint Anthony's chapel and drank the ice- cold water from the natural spring well which was a big rock.  We climbed up the rocks behind the chapel.

We rented the row boats on Saint Margaret's Loch.  What a great place to grow up."

Bonfires

"We collected bonfire wood and stored it in our small backyardThe kids from Milton street used to come to steal it and then, of course, we stole it back.  The bonfire in Waverley Park was always huge.  We would roast potatoes in the hot embers.

Mr Taylor from the corner store could always be depended on to give extra wood.  The grown ups would stand around the fire.  There would be squibs (fireworks)."

Sylvia Powell:  March 22, 2010

 

Recollections

17.

George Roy

Hong Kong

George Roy wrote:

Roy's Garage

"My dad who died last September in his 90th year (and his father before him) had a small garage, 'Roy's Garage' in Piershill Lane at Abbeyhill.  That was in the days when a small business could still act as concessionaire for new car sales.

Piershill Lane was a very rustic looking lane at Jock's Lodge.  It was called Ramsay Lane until about 1966-67.  The lane was semi-private.  Just after the war, Edinburgh Corporation promised to redo the lane, but looking at Google today, more than 60 years on, it seems that nothing ha changed."

Sweets and Ice Cream

"I remember that in those days there was a small sweet factory at the Willowbrae Road end of the lane run by a very old lady called Mrs Nelson, and that opposite Dad's garage was an ice-cream factory, owned by a Mr Watson.

I remember watching the ice cream being made with fresh milk and eating it straight out of the churns - I guess that these days he would have been closed down at once for health and safety concerns, but as you can see, I survived!"

Moir & Baxter

"Dad did a huge amount of second hand car business from the late 1930's onwards.  When he sold his garage, around 1966, he worked as a 'permanent consultant' for Moir & Baxter, basically selling to the motor trade all the second hand cars that they took in part exchange for new vehicles. I remember seeing Bill Baxter at Comely Bank back in the 1960s, always with his pipe and checked suit, although I don't think I've seen him for at least 40 years."

George Roy, Hong Kong:  March 30, 2010

 

Recollections

17.

Reply

1.

Duncan McCrone

Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Duncan McCrone for replying to the message that George Roy wrote in his Recollections 17 above.

Duncan wrote:

Roy's Garage

The Roy Family

"I was fascinated to read a post from George Roy, whose father and grandfather had a small Austin dealership in Piershill Lane back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Visiting Roy's Garage

"I'm 62 now.  I lived in Willowbrae Road from the late-1950s until moving back to our home town of Glasgow in 1965.

While living at Willowbrae, I used to call into the garage after school for an hour or so.  George and his mechanic Tom were really kind to me, as was Mr George Roy Senior, who I also remember very well.  I helped polish cars, and used to go out delivering cars to customers with Tom.

Austins and BMW

"I'd spend my time sitting in the new cars and developed a ridiculously detailed knowledge of the Austin range between 1961 and 1965 which I remember to this day!

I also remember George taking me to meet his family in his green Mini Cooper (white roof!) and playing Scalextric with his son - presumably the George Roy who's posting from Hong Kong. He also took me for a run in a 1930s BMW sports car, which had a successful racing pedigree, as I recall.

Fond Memories

"I was sorry to read that George had passed, but glad he made it to a grand old age. Looking back, I hope the wee boy that popped into the garage so often wasn't a nuisance, but I was never, ever made to feel one.

My dad did also buy two second-hand cars from George - an Austin A99 Westminster and a Humber Sceptre!

I pass on my regards on to the current George Roy.  I have such fond memories of his dad and grandfather."

George Roy, Hong Kong:  February 18, 2014

 

Recollections

17.

Reply

2.

Duncan McCrone

Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Duncan McCrone for writing again with more recollections of Roy's Garage.

Duncan wrote:

Roy's Garage

George Roy

"I also remember the first George Roy (Mr George, as he was known).  He had the first Mini I ever saw  - a red Austin Seven, as it was badged.  That would've been in 1959.

I'm just sorry I took so long to look this up - I'd have loved to get in touch with George Roy before he left us.

Duncan McCrone, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  February 16, 2014

 

Recollections

17.

Reply

3.

George Roy

Hong Kong

Isn't it amazing how easy and quick communications can be now that we have the Internet and emails!

Within a few hours of the web site being updated to include Duncan McCrone's comments, sent from Stirlingshire, Scotland,  I received this message for Duncan from George Roy in Hong Kong.

George wrote:

Roy's Garage

Happy Memories

"Thanks so much for your incredible message, Duncan!

I must be honest and say that I don't remember you.  (I was born in 1957, so I was probably quite small when you came to the house, but I am so pleased that you still recall playing Scalextric with me!)"

My Dad

"I am delighted that you have such a happy memory of Dad.  As you probably noticed, he was a walking encyclopedia on every aspect of the cars of those days, especially the Austins.  Like you, I loved the Austins - A55, A60, Cambridge etc, etc."

Cars

"Until nearly the end of Dad's life, he could recall the registration numbers of more or less every car that had passed through his hands, so he would no doubt have remembered the cars that your father bought from him.

I remember very well the green Mini Cooper with the white roof that you mention, it was in fact a Cooper S, which was a hotted-up version. That must have been just before you moved back to Glasgow, as I remember that we took the Cooper to go on holiday in 1966."

My Grandfather

"My grandfather was James Roy*.  He was often in and out of the garage.        *It was just Dad and I who had the same name.

My grandfather was born in 1883 so he was a good age when you knew him. He lived in Willowbrae Road, opposite the entrance to the lane, so it was easy for him to pop in."

Tom Loy

"It's also good to hear that your remember Tom.  His name was Tom Loy.  He worked for Dad until around 1972."

Thank You

"Reading your message was like stepping back in time, it is so nice to read such an unexpected reply to my post. I will tell my mother about what you said, she is still in good shape at the age of 86.

Thanks again and best wishes."

George Roy, Hong Kong:  February 17, 2014

 

Update  -  March 2016

from
George Roy

George Roy sent me a message last week about a different topic - a small  restaurant above Crawford's in South Charlotte Street.

When he sent that message, George also referred to Replies 1 and 2 above from Duncan McCrone.

George wrote:

Duncan McCrone's

"It's been a while since I was last in touch.  It was at the time that Duncan McCrone replied to my post about my father's garage in Piershill Lane.

I keep in touch with Duncan and I am hoping to meet up with him when I am back over in Scotland.  I am still based in Asia, more in Beijing than in Hong Kong these days."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  13 March 2016

       

Recollections

18.

Bill Hall

Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland

Bill Hall wrote:

Pig Farm

"In answer to Danny's question "What happened to the Pig Farm in Lower London Road?" (Recollections 13 above), I pass it every morning in the bus.  The site has been cleared and is up for lease.

In the 70's a chap had some of the buildings as a bakery called, I think, 'Square bakery', I believe he was a Mason!

I remember the farm.  My Uncle Willie Hall who lived in 6 Waverley Park Terrace and had an allotment up the south side at Relugas Road, used to go there for bags of manure for the allotment.  The car used to stink for a while afterwards.  I seem to remember they kept cows there as well."

Bill Hall, Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland:  May 20, 2010

   

Recollections

19.

David Elgin

Edinburgh

David Elgin wrote:

Taylor Place

"I was born and brought up in Taylor Place, Abbeyhill.  It was of interest to me ..that Danny Callaghan wrote of his relations in Marshall Place.

Peggy Marshall was one of a group of childhood friends, about seven in all, who played together in the early-1950s.  I'd love to get in touch with Peggy*, and hope she knows of others in our small group of friends."

David Elgin, Edinburgh:  September 18, 2010

 I've passed on Danny Callaghan's contact details to David.  I hope that David will  now be able to get in touch with Danny's cousin, Peggy.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 18, 2010

Recollections

20.

David Elgin

Edinburgh

David  posted a message to the EdinPhoto guestbook on September 18, 2010, in which he said:

Taylor Place

"The lamp post in the middle of this photo is outside No.4, Taylor Place, the house where I was born in 1939.

A group of children in Taylor Place, off Lower London Road, around 1914 ©

 I think this photo would have been taken in 1914 or so.  My mother, who was born in 1914,  is in the arms of my great-grandmother who is standing outside the doorway that has a sign above it.

I don't know the reason for the group photo.  Maybe, it was the start of the war."

David Elgin: message posted in guestbook:  September 18, 2010 + email: September 19, 2010

David added:

Marshall Place

"Danny Callaghan, 13 above, wrote of his relations in Marshall Place.  Peggy Marshall was one of a group of childhood friends, about seven in all who played together in the early-1950s.

I would love to get in touch with Peggy and hope she knows of others in our small group of friends."

David Elgin: message posted in guestbook:  September 18, 2010

   

Recollections

21.

David Elgin

Edinburgh

Thank you to David Elgin wrote with further memories of living in Abbeyhill.

David wrote:

Shops

"Someone wrote about a drapers.  This would be Gows.  They also opened a shop in Elm Row, then the small hardware shop which was run by Mr Duffy.

Smiths the painter and decorators was the last shop before the church.

Orkney the the chemist was situated near Oldham's which sold pies cold meats etc. and had a small eating area at the back of the premises.

Drummond the butchers was a source of lucky rabbits' feet and tails for small boys, and of course the more gruesome chickens' feet that when you pulled the sinews the claw contracted.  Oh dear!

Berger's, the fruit and vegetable shop was next to the station his notice said 'The Jaffa King'."

Princes Street Gardens

"The train station it was fun if we had a copper or two to spare, which was not often.  On a Saturday, we would go up the town for Children's Hour in the Gardens where there there were concerts for the  children.

You could get the train from the Waverley to Abbeyhill for twopence.  The tram, of course, was  only one penny for us lads."

Policeman

"The Policeman was on duty in the middle of the intersection opposite Abbey Street when the school went in and out I remember there was a gents' toilet  below where he stood, but that went early/mid-1940s."

 'The Communal'

"At the foot of Abbey Street, on the left beside the church at the school end of the street, during the time when food was rationed, there was a restaurant we called 'The Communal'.

"It was set up, I guess, by the government to help people stretch out there food allowance.  There must have been other such places, but I've not heard anyone mention them."

 The Dairy

The dairy in Sunnybank was run by a family named Grant.   I remember two German Prisoners of War working there.  One wore his uniform cloth cap Indeed, I think one married into the family in later years.

David Elgin, Edinburgh:  October 1, 2010

Recollections

22.

Walter James McAinsh Jnr

Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to David Elgin wrote with further memories of living in Abbeyhill.

David wrote:

Shops

"Sandra Hartland (Recollections 5 above) wrote:

'I still remember:

-  Berger’s, the greengrocer on the corner

 - then the newspaper shop

the train station and Station Bar

the chemist, and

-  the best bakery around.  Oh, those strawberry tarts!'."

McAinsh Bakery

"The bakery that Sandra refers to was McAinsh.  It was in my family for over 100 years.  My dad, Walter James McAinsh, and his dad, James McAinsh, both worked there over the years.

Here is a photo of my grandad, James McAinsh, in McAinsh Bakery, Easter Road.

James McAinsh at his Easter Road bakery ©

I just came across the site and thought I'd drop you a line.  It's good to think of people still remembering the days gone byI think the bakery is now a '£1 shop', owned by a Indian fellow."

Walter James McAinsh Jnr., Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  November 22+27, 2010

Recollections

23.

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)

Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

Thank you to Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins) who wrote:

 Grocery Shop

"My grandfather was the owner-operator of the grocery shop on the main street at the top of Waverley Place,  opposite the Abbey Church in Abbeyhill Edinburgh.  See Recollections 8, above.

Grandfather seemed to work non stop and did not retire until he was in his 70s.  His shop was a licenced grocer.  As you walked into the store, all down the right hand side, almost up to the ceiling there were bottles of alcohol, I believe.  I remember him climbing up a ladder to secure what the customer wanted.

His big black cat was a permanent fixture on the counter for all the customers to pet.  The car was left in the store at night, in the basement, to do its duty as mouse catcher."

Haberdashery

"My grandfather also owned the ladies' shop, right next door, which was operated by two lovely ladies.  It was a haberdashery, selling all things that ladies required.  For some reason, I cant remember the name of the shop.  Maybe someone will remind me when they read this."

Waverley Place

"My grandfather and his family lived in 1 Waverley Place, above the stores.  He started in the shop as the helper and later became the owner.

His name was David Forrest, but he was always called Mr Forrest.  That was long ago.  It was not the way things are today, on a first name basis."

There was always a black bike with a big basket in the front, leaning against the shop window, used for delivering the groceries to those who did not care to carry them home."

Memories

"Does anyone remember my family?  Perhaps they or their parents shopped at one of his shops..

 I remember my mother telling me that my grandfather was a bit upset when the co-op came to power, and how it affected him and other small business owners.  It's the same is today with the supermarkets, which in some ways is quite sad, really."

Photo

"Here is a photo of my grandmother and grandfather in their garden at 1 Waverley Place.  The photo was taken on thier 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Their children, William, May, Helen and Jean are also in the photo.  Helen is my mother.  She is on the right in the back row.

Grocery Shop Owner

Grandmother and Grandfather
Forrest and Family

    Grandfather Forrest and Family, at 60th Wedding Anniversary ©

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins), Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada:  November 28, 2010

 

Recollections

24.

Mairi Macnab

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Thank you to Mairi who wrote:

Parson's Green School

"My name was Mairi Macnab.  I was brought up on Lilyhill Terrace, Meadowbank, and attended Parsons Green School where my teacher was Bob Mowat.  I remember walking to Abbeyhill School, to go swimming, on Friday afternoons."

Holyrood Abbey Church

"I attended Holyrood Abbey Church and went to Sunday School there and also Brownies etc. there.  I have many fond memories of Abbeyhill."

Abbeyhill School

"I taught at Abbeyhill School from 1959/60.  My friends were Margaret Steadman and Morag Macdonald.   When I taught at Abbeyhill, Bob Mowat, my teacher from Parson's Green School, was Headmaster."

Emigration

"Two other teachers and I moved to British Columbia, Canada at that time.  I married in Kitimat, British Columbia and moved all over B.C. as my husband was a bank manager and was transferred regularly.  I now live in Calgary, Alberta."

Mairi Macnab, Calgary, Alberta:  January 1, 2011

Recollections

25.

Charlie Mustard

Edinburgh

Thank you to Charlie Mustard who wrote:

Sunnybank Place

"I was born in Edinburgh in 1923 and recently celebrated my 88th birthday.  I spent the first 14 years of my life in Sunnybank Place Abbeyhill

My son recently found the EdinPhoto website and it brought back so many memoriesNostalgia personified !"

Growing Up

"I went to Abbeyhill School, where I learnt to swim in the school baths, and then on to Broughton Secondary School.

I was a member of the 35th Edinburgh Lifeboys (aged 7-11)  and the 35th Boys Brigade Company (aged 11-17).

I played football for Abbeyhill School on Saturday mornings and for the Boys Brigade in the afternoon, usually in the Queens Park.  I enjoyed the rowing boats with my brothers on St Margaret's Loch.

I used to sit at the end of Sunnybank Place watching the Flying Scotsman heading, for King's Cross, London. then watching the fish train from Aberdeen heading for London at 5pm."

Shows

"I remember the 'shows', a fair held every Christmas and New Year.  Does anyone else remember them?  They were originally held at Meadowbank and then at Milton Street.

The highlight was 'Dare Devil Peggy', the one-legged diver.  Each evening at around 10pm he climbed a huge metal ladder and was then set alight before diving into a large metal pool that had also been set alight.  Fortunately, he always emerged unscathed."

Transport

"I remember the spare horses waiting to help pull the beer carts up Abbeyhill, and the tramcars that went to Princes Street and down to Portobello."

Dairy

"Grant's Dairy was just off Sunnybank Place and housed some 20 cows. They supplied milk to local grocers and ice cream shops. And there was a general store in Sunnybank Place run by the Landles family."

Regent Cinema

"On Saturday nights we went to the Regent Cinema where, before the films started, Richard Telford played the organ before he graduated to the more prestigious New Victoria Cinema."

Charlie Mustard, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  January 24, 2011

 

Recollections

26.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)

Florida, USA

Thank you to Sandra Hartland for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Sandra wrote:

Pals

"I was born and brought up at 16 Waverley Park.  A couple of my pals were:

 Helen Hay

Larry Richie.

I remember:

-  the Powels

- Taylors shop

the Aflects

-  the Patons

-  the Kilpatricks

and so many more families."

Schools

"I went Abbeyhill school, then on to Norton Park.

-   I left in 1964.

I helped my Ma at the steamie in Regent Road so that I could go to pictures when we got done.

-  I danced the nights away at Bungies, Top Storie and of course, the old Pally in Fountainbridge.

-  I ,worked in Vat 69 then J&J Thompsons."

The Reid Family

Is there anyone out there who remembers the Reid family: 

my parents, Bob and Isa?

-  my brother and me, Robert and Sandra?"

Sandra Hartland (née Reid), Florida, USA: 
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, January 27, 2011

 

Recollections

27.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)

Warwickshire, England

Thank you to Cath Tuff who wrote:

Abbeyhill Tenements

"I'd like some help. I'm doing family history of my husband's family.  His father was Alexander Tuff  who live at Abbeyhill in the tenements across from the Palace.  They had a balcony at the front of them.

Does anyone have a picture of these tenements, or could tell me were I can get one?"

Cath Tuff (née Hay), Warwickshire, England:  August 25, 2011

Reply to Cath Tuff?

If you'd like to send a reply to Cath Tuff, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 1, 2011

 

Recollections

28.

Lorraine Blair

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Lorraine Blaire for writing about Beggs Buildings at Abbeyhill.  Beggs Buildings have already been mentioned in Recollections 6 and 7 above.

Lorraine wrote:

Beggs Buildings

"I read with interest some of the recollections of Abbeyhill.  I'll give you my family history, as I know it, and see if anyone can be of any assistance with a bit more information.

My Great Grandfather, William Thompson, lived at 3 Beggs Buildings from an unknown date until about 1922/3. He died in 1923 at the Poorhouse at Craiglockhart. He worked for the North British Railway Company before he died as a labourer and latterly a fire lighter.

My Grandfather, James Thompson, possibly lived with him at Beggs Buildings.  He was born in 1902 so would have been 20ish when his father died. From the little we know about my grandfathers younger days, he lived rough, around the Abbeyhill area, again possibly due to the death of his father.  He possibly slept sometimes in Holyrood Park."

Mr Berger's Shop

"My Grandfather was apparently taken in by Mr Berger who had the Fruit and Veg shop in Abbeyhill at some point.  He did work for him, possibly deliveries, and spoke quite highly of him.

It's interesting that some of people on the recollections pages mention Berger's shop.   (Yes:  Recollections 5, 6, 21. 22 above.)

In 1934, my Grandfather married my Granny, Margaret Wright, and they then went to live in Pathhead, Midlothian.

We know so little about this time in my Grandfather's life as he didn't speak about it.  He was embarrassed by his itinerant past.  Does anyone have any memories of him or any photos of Berger's shop

I know it's a bit of a 'long shot', but I'd be very grateful to hear from anybody."

Lorraine Blair, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  October 13, 2011

Reply to Lorraine

If you'd like to send a reply to Lorraine, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 20, 2011

 

Recollections

29.

Jim Wilson

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Wilson who wrote:

Mr Berger's Shop

"I was born in Milton Street in 1933, and used to go to Berger's for potatoes etc.  Mr Berger gave us lettuce and cabbage leaves for our pet rabbit.  He was called the Jaffa King.

His his shop was at the top of Rose Lane, next to the newsagent and the railway station."

Rose Lane

"Down Rose Lane* and to the right, under the rail bridge, were:

Beggs Building with open balconies facing the road

Mocerie's, the sweetie and vantis shop

-  Abbeyhill Primary School.

Further along, was:

 The Regent picture house.  It cost 3 pence to get in.

Up Rose Lane, on the right side, was:

- the coal and bricket yard.

At the top, and on the right, was a road down and the laundry building, we called Laundry Brae."

Rose Lane was the hill leading down from London Road to Abbeyhill,
It has now been re-named Abbey Lane

Milton Street

Milton Street was down Rose Lane - turn left and first right. Milton street has 60 tenement buildings.  They were four stories high, with four families on each landing.

There were two small cottages at the top of the street and an opening on the left that led to the King's Park.  I reckon in my young days about three thousand people lived in Milton street at any one time.

We had five small shops, a chip shop and a factory in our street. The shops were:

-  a dairy

-  a vantis drink shop

-  two grocer + sweetie shops

-  a very small grocer shop (at the top of the street)

The factory was called Milne's Meters.  They made gas meters.
And, of course, there was the showground with the round-abouts and Daredevil Peggy."

Jim Wilson, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  October 25, 2011

 

Recollections

30.

Dorothy Martin (née Wallace)

Edinburgh

Thank you to Dorothy Martin who wrote:

Beggs Building

"I think the tenements that Cath Tuff is speaking about in 'Recollections 27' above were called Beggs Buildings.   That might help her in her search."

NOTE: The previous two contributors have both also mentioned Beggs Buildings in their 'Recollections 28' and 'Recollections 29' above.

Sunnybank Dairy

"I grew up in Sunnybank Dairy and  still feel privileged that I was surrounded  by a country life and yet had access to three cinemas and a great library at McDonald Road.  The dairy had  not only cows  but pigs, hens and even  a couple of horses.

At one time, there were two German Prisoners of War and one Ukrainian who fought with the German army.  One of the Germans was killed  in an road accident up north.  The other didn't marry into the grant family.  He went home, as did the Ukrainian.

Names

"The only name I  am familiar with from the 'Recollections' above is David Elgin.  Perhaps he will remember me.  I used to be Dot Wallace."

Dorothy Martin, Edinburgh:  October 25, 2011

 

Recollections

31.

Alan R Hall

Sedgefield, County Durham, England

Thank you to Alan R Hall who wrote about the time at the start of World War II when his mother had worked in Steele Coulson's Brewery at Croft-an Righ.

Alan wrote:

Steele Coulson's Brewery

War-time

"My mother, then Miss Wilma Dewar, worked there as a girl from 1940 until January 1943 when she was called up to join the WAAF.

Initially, at the brewery, my mother worked in the office.

-  Later (as the young brewers went into the forces) her time was shared 50/50 between the office and the brewers' room, breaking the taboo that only men were then allowed into that inner sanctum.

This apparently caused a few raised eyebrows at other breweries in the city!"

Bottles

"She remembers, particularly, the bottles which didn't have labels attached but, instead, had the name of the brewery embossed on the glass."

Goodnight !

"She also remembers Mr Cook (the Managing Director) who, every evening, would come into the office and wish all the girls goodnight individually in order of seniority:

- 'Goodnight Miss Orr
Goodnight Miss Tate
Goodnight Miss Jardine'
etc,

 then the juniors who were addressed by their Christian names:

- 'Goodnight Margaret
Goodnight Pearl
Goodnight Jean'
etc,

 All the girls would reply: 'Goodnight Mr Cook'.  It was all very formal but a very friendly environment for all that."

Cream Cakes

"Every Friday afternoon the firm's travellers would come into the office with their orders for the brewery's hotels and tied houses and they would take it in turns to bring a box of cream cakes for the office girls."

Wages

"Once a week, my mother used to collect the money for the wages of all the weekly-paid staff from the bank in St Andrew Square.

After leaving the bank with the cash in an attaché case bearing the firm's initials, she would walk down South St Andrew Street, along Princes Street to Waterloo Place from where she would catch the tram to Abbeymount.

When she reached the top of the lane leading to the brewery in Croft-an-Righ, an elderly member of staff (Old Bob) would be waiting to escort her safely for the last few yards!

Imagine a young girl (she worked there between the ages of 18 and 21) being allowed to do that nowadays, and yet she says it never for a moment occurred to her that there might be any risk involved, although her parents were less confident! Happy days!"

Other Memories

"It would be interesting to know if anyone else still remembers the brewery or even if anyone has memories of working there."

Alan R Hall, Sedgefield, County Durham, England

 

Recollections

32.

Brian Alexander

Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brian Alexander who wrote:

Sunnybank Dairy Buildings

"I lived at 4 Salmon Place, Abbeyhill from 1954 to 1958.

I remember my dad garaging his motorbike and sidecar, a BSA Y13, V twin (I wish I had it now!) in the old farm buildings off Lower London Road.

I don't remember any animals being there, so perhaps the farm was no more by that time.  I don't remember much else about Abbeyhill as I was two years old when we moved there."

Brian Alexander, Prestonfield, Edinburgh:  November 1, 2011

Recollections

33.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)

Warwickshire, England

Cath Tuff wrote again, following up her comments in 'Recollections 27' above and the reply that is included in 'Recollections 30' above.  She is hoping to find a picture of the tenements where earlier generations of her husband's  family lived.

Cathy wrote:

Beggs Buildings

"Beggs Buildings is not the same place as I was asking about.  I remember Beggs Buildings from when I was at Abbeyhill and went to the School Swimming Baths."

Abbeyhill Tenements

"The tenements that I'm asking about, where my husband's father lived were across the road from Queen Mary's Bath House.  The building was just called Abbeyhill in the 1891 census.

Does anyone have a picture of these tenements, or could anyone tell me were I might get one?"

Milton Street

"I had an aunt and uncle, Agnes and John McCaskey, who lived in Milton Street.  Does anybody remember them?"

Cath Tuff (née Hay), Warwickshire, England:  November 2, 2011

Photos of Abbeyhill Tenements

Cath:  It may be worthwhile contacting the Edinburgh Room at Edinburgh Central Library or the library of RCAHMS in Edinburgh to see if they have any photos of the building you are interested in, in their collections.

I'll send you an email to let you know the email addresses for those two libraries.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  February 1, 2011

Recollections

33.

Reply

1.

Susan Ferguson

Thank you to Susan Ferguson who wrote:

Abbeyhill Tenements

"I'm writing about the Abbeyhill tenements opposite Queen Mary's Bathhouse. These tenements were in front of the  MacFarlane Chemical Works.

Edinburgh Evening News may have a photograph of these tenements, taken from the park side of the palace.

The balconies mentioned overlooked the chemical works which were badly damaged by a fire in the late-1950s, I think.  The fire was also reported in the Evening news."

Susan Ferguson:  January 5, 2015

Recollections

33.

Reply

2.

Mike Melrose

Greenbank, Edinburgh

Thank you to Mike Melrose who wrote:

Abbeyhill Tenements

"Cathy Tuff, in Recollections 33 above, is looking for photos of the tenements on Abbeyhill.  I've seen some great photos of those tenements on the '60s Edinburgh'* web site.  There are at least two photos of them there.

I remember those tenements:

1. The Barber's Shop we all used to use. It had the old red and white striped pole outside. I can’t remember his name.

2.  Mr Millers Off License Shop – we used to go there to get our bottles of Vimto and Dunbar’s American Cream Soda and take the empty screw top bottles back for a refund.

I hope this helps Cathy’s search.

Mike Melrose, Greenbank, Edinburgh:  April 5, 2015

*  I asked Mike to let me know the exact name of the web  web site that he refers to above.  Please see his Reply 3 below.

Recollections

33.

Reply

3.

Mike Melrose

Greenbank, Edinburgh

Thank you to Mike Melrose for writing again with details of where he found the Abbeyhill tenement photos on the web.

Mike wrote:

Abbeyhill Tenements

Flickr photos

"Page 20 of this Sixties Edinburgh photostream on Flickr  has 8 photos showing McFarlane Smith’s Chemical Works and some really good ones of what was Holyrood Terrace.

-  In one of these photos, you can even see the barber's pole that I referred to in my Reply 2 above.

- The tenement in one of the photos, the one above McFarlane’s Premises, was where my friend's grandmother stayed on the top floor.  She had balcony access at the rear overlooking the Chemical Works.

She had no electricity in the flat. Gas provided lighting on gas mantles on the wallsThe cooking and heating were provided by a huge coal range.  How people never died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in those days I will never know.

I hope these photos will bring back as many fond re-collections for Cathy as it does for me !"

Mike Melrose, Greenbank, Edinburgh:  April 6, 2015 (3 emails)

Recollections

34.

John Dickson

Royston, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Dickson who wrote:

Book

'The Wee World'

    Book 'The Wee World'  -  Book cover ©

"This is a great week book about a young lad being brought up in the Abbeyhill area.  It's a 'must read' for anyone."

John Dickson, Muirhouse, Edinburgh

Further Comments

Please click on the thumbnail image above to enlarge it and to read more about the book.

 

Recollections

35.

Jim Wilson

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Wilson for writing again.

Jim wrote:

Milton Street

"At the top of Milton Street, on the right hand side, there was an opening through the tenement buildings called the pen.  It then led through to a large yard with lock-up garages and above them a small house where my family lived."

Milton Amateur Wrestling Club

"There was also a large hall with a lot of front-facing windows.  This was used as the Milton Amateur Wrestling Club for many years.  It was run run by Sandy Munro who had been a wrestler in the 1930s Olympics.  Many a champion wrestler came from this club in the 1940s to the 1960s."

Doctor Labinjoh

"Sandy's good friend was Doctor Labinjoh  who has been mentioned by others in the Fountainbridge Recollections pages.  Doctor Labinjoh often came the club on Wednesdays and Fridays.  He bought along his young sons to train as well.  He was a lovely gentleman."

Jim Wilson, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  November 21, 2011

 

Recollections

36.

Eleanor Dzivane

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Eleanor Dzivane (6 above) for also sending me what she describes as a "wee article that she wrote a wee while ago, obviously feeling nostalgic for those days".

Eleanor wrote:

The Lane

"In the 1950s, 'The Lane' to us was the opening between Pitlochry Place and the tenements in Salmond Place at Abbeyhill.

We spent mony a happy day playing 'make believe' there, as there was an echo!  This led round to the 'back' of Pitlochry Place, right beside the railway and the back of Millers' Foundry."

Goods Train

"My Grandad was a goods train driver and I can just remember how he would 'toot' the horn as he passed our kitchen window,coming from the St Margaret's depot."

Eleanor Dzivane, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  December 1, 2011

 

Recollections

37.

Gary Laing

Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Thank you to Gary Laing who wrote:

The Laing Family

"Does anyone remember my grandfather's family, the Laing family.  They lived at 48 Montrose Terrace, Abbeyhill from about 1915 until the 1960s, at least.

They started off at 4 Waverley Park Terrace in the 1900's then moved to Albion Road for a few years.  The parents, Alexander and Clara Laing.  They died in 1940 and 1950."

Charlie Laing

"There were 7 kids.  The last in Abbeyhill was Charlie, a Drayman at a local brewery, and before that the Royal Scots Greys.

He played football for Wallyford Bluebell and was known as Sodjer Laing. Charlie moved across the road when his mother died and lodged with a family called Forrest.

He used to drink in Sinclair's Bar on Montrose Terrace, run by ex-Hearts winger, George Sinclair, which I see has now been converted into flats.  He died aged 96 in 1997 and is buried in Piershill Cemetery."

Gary Laing, Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland:  December 5, 2011

Recollections

38

Colin Campbell

Hampshire, England.

Colin Campbell wrote:

Showground

"Jim Wilson’s in Recollection’s 29 mentions the showground at the foot of Milton Street.  I also remember that.  But does Jim know that ‘Shugs’ Shaw who lived in the showground and tended the Kiddies Roundabout, was captain of the Abbeyhill Primary Football Team?"

Football Team Strip

"This was run by Mr Rutherford. The team strip  comprised blue and white horizontal stripes, except the one I had, which had the stripes vertical.

I played left half.  Why, I’ll never know, because I wasn’t a left footed player.

(That could have a different meaning, i.e. If you kicked the ball with your left foot, you were deemed to be of the Roman Catholic Faith!  Goodness, where do they get these sayings?)

Sometimes, Willie Binnie played left half.  When he did, he had to wear the perpendicular striped short."

Swimming

"Jim remembers the Mochrie’s Tuck Shop.  This was where one had a ‘shivery piece’ as we came out of the swimming baths at Abbeyhill SchoolI think the Swimming Teacher was a Mr Hardie."

Colin Campbell, Hampshire, England: January 24, 2012

Recollections

39.

Jane Carson

Edinburgh

After reading about McAinsh's Bakery in Recollectons 22 above, Jane Carson wrote:

Store Milk Horse

"I remember the store milk horse running away and crashing through McAinsh’s shop window during the 1950s.

Does anyone remember when that was?"

Jane Carson, Edinburgh:  November 14, 2009

Recollections

40.

Linda Robertson

Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

Lynda Robertson, who was born and bred in East Thomas Street, asked

Question

Abbeymount Hall

"I wonder if anyone out there has any information on Abbeymount Hall on Abbeymount, Edinburgh?  It’s a wee church which is on the right hand side coming down towards the Royal mile, just past the railway bridge

My dad and I would walk past it regularly when I was little and it always fascinated me because it looked like it was growing out of the wall and I wondered what it looked like inside.

I was surprised recently to discover that Abbeyhill Baptist Church (on the corner of Elgin terrace and Brunswick Road) which I attended many years ago, met there between 1897 and 1899. 

I’ve just got one of those ‘detective bugs’."

Linda Robertson, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England:  April 20, 2012

Reply to Lynda

If you'd like to send a reply to Lynda Robertson, please email me, then I'll pass on her contact details to you.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 5, 2012

Recollections

41.

Linda Robertson

Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

Thank you to Lynda Robertson for writing again to let me know that she had discovered a little about Abbeymount Hall.

Lynda wrote:

Reply

Abbeymount Hall

"I have discovered that Abbeymount Hall was originally built as a police station."

Linda Robertson, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England:  May 6, 2012

 

Recollections

42.

Linda Robertson

Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

Lynda added:

Abbeymount Hall

"I'm just browsing through again and have come across a comment from John Munro on the Abbeyhill page:

Band of Hope

"I attended the Band of Hope at the bottom of Abbeymount occasionally.  Years later, bizarrely, I returned to the building.  It had been turned into a very weird Armenian restaurant."

That's the same building - I'd love to know which church was running it at the time.

Linda Robertson, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England:  May 7, 2012

 

Recollections

43

Paul Sutherland

Glasgow, Scotland

Paul Sutherland wrote:

Question

Pub near Croft-an-Righ

"I used to work at Scottish & Newcastle Breweries’ Abbey Offices, before they became the site of the Scottish Parliament building.

Colleagues and I often used to go to a pub underneath the railway bridge which crosses over Croft-an-Righ.

It was on the left hand side not far through the vennel  (There’s a ripe Edinburgh word for you!) from Abbeyhill. I'd really like to know what the pub was called.

Perhaps one of the other contributors on this page might know."

Paul Sutherland, Glasgow, Scotland

Reply to Paul?

If you know the answer to Paul's question, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 17, 2012

Reply

Thank you to Alan Hall for sending his reply to the question above about an hour after I posted this question on the web site.

Andy wrote:  "I think the pub in question under the bridge was Cairns Bar."

Andy Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England:  June 17, 2012

 

Recollections

44

George Gowans

Kirkliston, Edinburgh

Thank you to George Gowans who read Lynda Robertson's question about Abbeymount Hall in Recollections 40 above, and replied:

Reply

Abbeymount Hall

"When I was a boy the Abbeyhill Hall was the Edinburgh City Mission.  We used to go to Magic Lantern shows etc there as I lived directly opposite the hall."

George Gowans, Kirkliston, Edinburgh:  July 6, 2012

Recollections

45.

June Wood (née Robertson)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

June Wood posted a reply in the EdinPhoto Guestbook to a message left by Margaret Cooper about the Tollcross 'Wash Hoose'.

June replied to Margaret:

'Wash Hoose'

"My Mom went to the Wash Hoose up Abbeyhill, next to the Regent.Cinema.  It was a good place for all the woman to catch up on all the news."

The Little Stores

"If they didn't meet at the Wash Hoose, they would meet at all the little stores that they shopped in every day.

Guess the Fishmonger threw us all out because we threw the sawdust all over the place.

These were very happy days.  Neighbours watched out for each other back thenOh, well!  We do have our memories."

June Wood (née Robertson), Arroyo Grande, California, USA:  January 30, 2012

 

Recollections

46.

June Wood (née Robertson)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Thank you to June Wood (née Robertson) for replying to the comments from Linda Robertson's asking about the little church at Abbeyhill in Recollections 40 and 41 above

June replied to Linda:

The Mission

"I spent many happy times at the Mission as a child and  also in my teens.  Mr Francis was the Minister.  He was a lovely man."

Christmas Concerts

"He had lovely little concerts at Christmas for all the old folk, of which i am now one.  We sang Carols, not in the best of voices, but we did our best!"

Gracie Fields

"One lady who I remember was a Mrs Ball.  She took us to her house and played old songs, Gracie Fields' singing, 'The Isle of Capri' and she has stayed with me all these years."

Formerly a Prison

"Yes, the Mission had been a prison in the past.  The bars and the cells were still there.  We played at 'Guards and Prisoners'."

Mission Rules

"The rules of the Mission were very strict - no smoking, no dancing and no drinking, and also no going to the movies!  Well, we the movie, and who do you think were sitting in front off us Yep, two of the teachers who were telling us not to go to the movies.  I still find that quite funny!"

The Mission Today

"Last time I was home in Edinburgh, I passed the Mission and found that it was still there.  I have lots of memories of the Mission, but I  think it had been taken over by people on drugs.

One chap came out.  He was most pleasant.  When I said I'd like to go in, he very nicely said:  "I don't think so."  Life marches on.  Things change, as they do for everyone."

June Wood (née Robertson), Arroyo Grande, California, USA:  October 15, 2012

 

Recollections

47.

Cath Tuff (née Hay)

Warwickshire, England

Here is another message from Cath Cath Tuff.

Cath wrote:

Question

Hospital at Abbeyhill

"I'm still doing my history.  On my husband's side of the family, I've received a birth certificate of a cousin who was born at 'The New Hospital, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh.  I've Googled this and can't find it I can't remember a hospital at Abbeyhill, but I don't go back that far.

I was wondering if you could ask on your web site if anyone has heard of it, or maybe you know something about it.  I  just want a little bit of history about it."

Cath Tuff (née Hay), Warwickshire, England:  January 15, 2013

Reply

Hi Cath: 

The hospital you are asking about sounds like Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital at Spring Gardens, Abbeyhill, on the northern edge of Holyrood Park to the east of Holyrood House.  You should be able to find more about it if you do a Google search for it.

The Wikipedia pages give information about:

-   Elsie Inglis (1864-1917) including her education, medical practice and service during World War 1.

-  Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital.  It was built in 1925 and remained open until 1988.  Most of the hospital buildings have  now been demolished and the site has become a nursing home, nursery and housing.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 15, 2013

 

Recollections

48.

Gordon Davie

Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Davie for sending his memories of the shops at Spring Gardens, Abbeyhill.

Gordon wrote:

Shops

at

Spring Gardens

"Others have posted their memories of the shops on London Road, and Derek Sutherland mentioned the fruit and veg shop in Spring Gardens. That set me thinking back to my childhood (early 1960s) and what other shops were there. I still live in Waverley Park Terrace so pass the shops every day, though of course every one has changed in fifty years!"

Grocer

"On the corner with Waverley Park was a grocer's shop.  My mum told me that she went in one day for some cold meat or possibly for slices of  sausage.  It was the kind that came in a long tin and the shopkeeper would slide out as much as necessary and cut off however many slices the customer wanted.

 On this particular day the shopkeeper opened a new tin but couldn't get the meat to come out. So he punched a hole in the other end and blew into the tin to force the meat out. My mum was so disgusted at this unhygienic act that she walked out and never set foot in the shop again.

In later years the shop became a Suzuki motorcycle showroom, owned by Graeme Chatham (who now sells luxury cars from a new showroom along past Abbeyhill School).  Now, it is the office for some kind of estate agent."

Caterer and Bookmaker

"The next two shops are gone completely, converted into a house. I have a memory of one of them being the office for a firm which provided catering for various functions, though this might have been later on. The other one is a bit hazier but it may have been a bookmaker's."

Fruit and Veg

"Next to them was the fruit and veg shop which Derek Sutherland mentioned in his Reply 3 to Recollections 7 concerning the area around Croft-an-Righ, Abbeyhill - except that he says the owner was referred to as "Baldie Bain".

We always called him "Baldy Allen" (not to his face, naturally) so either one of us is remembering wrongly or two bald men owned the shop at different times!

I do remember that he didn't seem to have much time for children.  Whenever I went into the shop for sweets, if he was through the back he would just shout through to see what I wanted rather than come out!  

This shop is now run by a very nice Asian man called Arif and has expanded to sell all manner of things including newspapers.

Sweets

"The shop next to his was the dairy, run by a Mrs Thompson  -  a very nice lady, the complete opposite of Baldy Allen.  She used to collect silver paper for the Guide Dogs Association and if I went in with a large enough bundle she would give me a penny (1d) bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk. She had a poodle named Primo and was helped out in the shop by her sister Kate.

The shop closed when Mrs Thompson died and is now just a storeroom for Arif's business'

Newsagent

"On the other side of the common stair was the newsagent's, owned by a man called Davey Wright.  His aunt helped out in the shop. (Everybody called her Auntie.)

We used to see her regularly with a suitcase on wheels - they were quite unusual back then - heading up to Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital to sell papers and magazines to the mothers.

 When Davey retired the shop was taken over by a man who was a dead ringer for the golfer, Seve Ballesteros.  In later years, it was taken over by an Asian man. When he retired the shop closed down and is still empty.  The newspaper business shifted up the road to the shop now run by Arif."

Home Baker

Finally, there was a little home baker's shop.  (I think it was called Routledge.)  My mum would buy cakes there for a Saturday night treat.  It's now a Chinese takeaway.

Shops

at

Waverley Park

"For the sake of completeness I should also mention the two shops on the corner of Waverley Park/Waverley Park Terrace.

Grocer

"There was a grocer's shop owned by a Mr Taylor  -  a nice man if he was in a good mood - think "Arkwright from 'Open All Hours' without the stutter!"

Builder

"Mr Taylor's son was a partner in a building firm which had its office next door. In the window was a statue, about eighteen inches high, of a young boy with a floppy hat and knee-length trousers, standing whistling."

"Both of those shops are also long gone now, converted into houses."

Gordon Davie, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh:  March 10, 2013

 

Recollections

49.

Gordon Davie

Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Davie for writing again with more memories.

Gordon wrote:

Our Home

"The flat that I'm living in now has been in our family now  for three generations, since my grandfather bought it in 1930.

My Uncle

"My Uncle George grew up in the same flat in Waverley Park Terrace that I live in now, and when I mentioned this website and my memories of the shops in Spring Gardens he immediately rattled off a list of the shops that he remembered. That would be from just after the war."

Spring Gardens Shops

"It seems that, while nearly all the shops had changed hands by the time I was a boy, most were still in the same line of business.

On the corner was the grocer’s and off-licence, run by a Mr. Dalgleish.  My uncle remembers that he was always being fined for allowing people to come into the shop by the side door and drink on the premises!

Next to that was a shoe-mender’s owned by a Mr. Allen, and then Simpson’s the butcher. I have no memory of the butcher at all but the shoe-mender seems to ring a very faint bell somewhere, so possibly he (or a successor) was still there in the early-1960s.

Next was the greengrocer’s, run by Baldie Allen (no relation to the shoe-mender).  Baldie Allen was still in business when I was growing up. My uncle remembers that he lived in Dunfermline and every night he would shut up shop, walk round the corner to Abbeyhill Station carrying a briefcase (presumably holding that day’s takings!) and catch the local service to the Waverley then change trains to get home.

The dairy was next door, owned in those days by a Miss Purves.  Then there was the newsagent, Miss Miller, and finally the baker’s, Mr. Boyd. All three shops were still trading, though under different owners, when I was a boy, fifteen to twenty years later.

That part of Abbeyhill seems to have been a self-contained little community back then – everything you needed within a walk of a minute or two!"

Gordon Davie, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh:  April 12, 2013

 

Recollections

50.

Jean Mowat (née Stewart)

Glasgow, Scotland

Thank you to Jean Mowat for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

Jean wrote:

38 Milton Street

"I was born in 1947 and lived at 38 Milton Street, Abbeyhill, until 1970. I attended Abbeyhill School along with most of Milton Street."

Neighbours

"I remember these families:

The Black family.
They stayed
at No. 40, next door to us. 
There were
8 boys.

The Wilson family.
They who stayed above us.
They
owned the wrestling club and ran the driving school.

-  The Paulin family
They took
us all to the Band of Hope on a Tuesday night

The Moody Family

The Donaldson Family

The Crawford Family

The Fellenger Family

The Ronaldson Family

-   and many more.

Houses and Shops

"I remember Beggs Buildings with the gas lighting and Miss Mochrie's sweetie shop which we all went into on our way into school."

Who Else Remembers?

I'd love to be in touch with anyone who remembers any of this."

Jean Mowat (née Stewart), Glasgow, Scotland:
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, October 12, 2013

Reply to Jean?

If you'd like to send a reply to Jean, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on her email address to you.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs,  Edinburgh:  October 12, 2013

 

Recollections

51.

Christine Gollan

Thank you to Christine Gollan for posting the message below, after reading Jean Mowat's memories of living at 38 Milton Street in her Recollections 50 above.

Christine wrote:

34 Milton Street

My Family

"My dad's family lived in Milton Street at 34, I think.  They were the Hendersons, a railway family, and he and his sister were cousins to the Black family that Jean mentions above.

I met Bobby Black (one of the eight boys) at a family funeral on Thursday hence my nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The Moodie family lived in the same stair as the Hendersons Jessie Moodie stayed there till she died last year.

Visiting My Granny

I have quite a few memories of visiting my granny there in the 1960s.  I remember being fascinated by the cold box outside her window for keeping butter and milkI used to worry about falling out from so high up."

Jean Mowat (née Stewart), Glasgow, Scotland:
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, October 12, 2013

 

Recollections

52.

Eileen Murray

Edinburgh

Thank you to Eileen Murray who wrote:

Growing up in Abbeyhill

"I lived in Abbeyhill and attended Abbeyhill Primary School until I was 12 years old and my parents moved to the west of Edinburgh.

Bald's Fish & Chip Shop

"I've been trying to find out more about Bald's fish and chip shop which used to be in Montrose Terrace when we were children.

Here is a photo of the shop as it must have been in my granny's time.  The photo was sent to me by my American cousin, whose father was my granny's first husband.  He and my granny jointly owned the shop."

Please click on this photo to enlarge it.

Bald's Fish & Chip Shop

Bald's Supper Rooms - A Fish & Chip Shop at Montrose Terrace, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Eileen Murray, Edinburgh
and to her American cousin whose father was joint-owner of this shop.

"This shop was totally different when I was a child, though I never went inside it.  I wonder if anyone remembers what it was like inside, or remembers anything about its owners.  I wish I had been more curious and asked more questions as a child."

Eileen Murray, Edinburgh:  March 31, 2014

Please click on the photo above to enlarge it.

 

Recollections

53.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Bald's Fish & Chip Shop

    Bald's Supper Rooms - A Fish & Chip Shop at Montrose Terrace, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh ©

"I made many visits to Bald's in the late 1940s when I lived in Piershill.

On many a Saturday night, we would take a tram to the top of Easter Road and go to the Eastway Picture House.

Afterwards, we would head to Bald's and sit in what I recall was a long, narrow type of shop.  My father and mother would have a fish supper with bread and butter and tea.

I always had a glass of Hendry's red cola - and a plate of chips, drowned in wonderful brown chip shop sauce - none of that ketchup that many people destroy chips with today."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  April 2, 2014

 

Recollections

54.

Norma Britee

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Norma Britee who wrote:

Wrestler

"I'm trying to find information about my grandfather, Alexander (Sandy) Munro,  He lived in Abbeyhill in the 1930s and was a wrestler.

Jim Wilson mentions Sandy in his Recollections 35 above.

Norma Britee, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  June 15, 2014

Reply to Norma?

If you know anything about Alexander (Sandy) Munro, or have any memories of hjm, and would like to send a message to Norma, please email me, then I'll pass on her email address to you.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 18, 2014

Recollection

55.

Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson who wrote:

Mr Saren's Chip Shop"

"When coming away from our evening Lifeboys session at Holyrood Abbey Church at the top of Marionville Road, we used to go into Mr Saren's chip shop, further down the road at the corner of Dalgety Avenue, and ask for "A thruppenny bag of chips please, and do you have any scramshins?"

Scramshins (phonetic spelling, as I've never seen the word written) were the fried bits of batter that dripped from the fish into the hot fat on its way into the fish fryer, and which Mr Saren used to scoop out with a flat stainless steel net and, instead of binning them, retain for his hungry young customers. He'd sprinkle them on top of the generous portion of chips, free-gratis, as a nice crispy accompaniment to the chips.

My (late-1950s) memory of Mr Saren himself is of a clean-shaven, silver haired man in a clean white serving coat, in charge of an equally spotless and welcoming chip shop, its green and white plastic counter facings and stainless steel-and-glass hot food cabinet all spotless and shiny.

I can almost taste the scramshins now

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  July 18, 2014

Hi Laurie:

I have similar memories from when I grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire in the 1950s:

-  the cost of a portion of chips for us was 4d.

-  we also asked for free 'scramshins' to be added, but we called them 'scraps'.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 19, 2014

 

Recollections

56.

Jim (Jimmy) Little

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Jim Little who wrote:

Milton Amateur Wrestling Club

"Jim Wilson, in his Recollections 35 above, mentions Milton Amateur Wrestling Club and Sandy Munro.

A fellow apprentice of mine at Brown Bros., Davey Wright lived in Abbeyhill and was quite a good wrestler.  Four of us went to the club a couple of times around 1954 - but getting ried up and tossed around wis nae ma cup o' tea.

One guy, Ian Darcy, stuck it out for a couple of years."

Jim (Jimmy) Little, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  August 9, 2014

 

Recollections

57.

Lynne McBride

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Thank you to Lynne McBride who wrote:

East Norton Place

My Grandmother's House

"My grandmother moved into 2 East Norton Place in 1939, having just married before my grandad went away to the war. By all accounts the flat was awful with gas light, an old range cooker and the occasional glimpse of a rat. The coal cellar was in a walk-in cupboard off the kitchen.

By the time I started to live there, in 1958, we had electric light but not much else in the way of mod cons.  The range had been replaced with a 1950s-style tiled fireplace and we had a New World gas cooker.

We had no central heating or hot water and no bathroom, but at least we had our own toilet. I knew folk in Abbey Street nearby who shared a toilet with a neighbour."

My Grandfather

"After the war, my grandad came home and worked with his brother at Munro's Taxis next to the Fire Station in our street. He also worked in the garage in Montrose Terrace."

Our Local Shops

"As a little kid I used to be sent for messages along to the grocers on the corner of West Norton Place, with a line wrapped around some money. I would hand it over and wait for the lady to put the shopping in the bag for me.

I loved the wee milk bottles filled with orange juice, in crates. Oh the temptation to poke your fingers through the foil tops!

Some days, my grandmother and I would go into Calder's Sweetie Shop in our street and Mr. Calder would reach for a free sweetie for me. Always a highlight!

Not far from there was the shoe mender's shop.  I would enjoy standing waiting in there getting high on the fumes of the glue!

The Post Office was another source of amazement to a youngster.  There were so many leaflets to mess with, and the squeezy foam dish, that you were meant to moisten your stamps on, was another thing for fingers to poke around in. Then there were pens on chains and, wonder of wonders, a telephone cabin, with buttons to press.

Just one side of my own street held so many adventures for the wee pre-school lassie I was in the early-1960s."

Bakers, Fish & Chips and Fishmonger

"One of the treats I can still taste in my memory, and miss to this day, was a Wood's the Bakers' flaky pastry mince pies. Woods was across beside the Artisan Bar.  The lovely peppery taste of their mince filling and the buttery pastry were a delight.

Another treat was fish and chips from the chippie in Montrose Terrace. As a kid, you would stand and gaze at the tropical fish tank while you waited for your supper.

Next to the chippie was another bakery, the Albyn Bakery, where we would get vanilla slices.  There was a also proper fishmongers there, with the water running down the window to keep the fish cool."

The Wash House

"Right up at Abbeymount was the 'wash house'.  I have vague memories of going there with my grandmother, with her sheets in an old pushchair of mine. The memories are of the sensations of steam and the smell of washing powder and all the women blethering and having a fag while they worked away at the tubs.  I think it closed when I was very young."

The Regent Cinema

"Next door to the 'wash house' was the Regent Cinema.  I was lucky enough to be sent there every Saturday morning to the kids' club.

I used to beg to get the ninepenny seats at the back, rather than the sixpenny seats at the front, because a hail of lolly sticks and sweetie papers would rain down on you at the front.

Impatient for the films to start we would stamp our feet like thunder until the Looney Tunes music would start and then there was a cheer.

There was usually a Western or a Three Stooges and a few cartoons. Afterwards I would sometimes be lucky enough to get a hot dog for the road.

Why is it that so many memories of childhood are all about food?"

The Registrar's Office

"Down past grandad's garage on the other side of Montrose Terrace, there was the Registrar's Office. Saturdays meant hanging around there waiting for the couple to leave and throw their 'poor oot' out of the car window.

In those days confetti wasn't considered litter;  the pavement was always sprinkled with confetti and maybe the odd penny some kid had overlooked.  Good times!"

Childhood

"It makes me realise what a privilege it was to have that kind of childhood, where technology and out-of-town shopping centres were far in the future.

Whatever happened to nostalgia?

It's alive and well!"

Lynne McBride, Corstorphine, Edinburgh:  April 7, 2015

 

Recollection

58.

Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson who wrote:

East Norton Place

Post Office

"I particularly liked Lynne McBride's memories of the old Post Office in East Norton Place, in her Recollections 57 above. I also remember that post office.  Things about it that always impressed me when I was young were:

I remember its parquet flooring and the bronze or brass counter screens with their brown patina, but most of all, I remember the smell of the building when you came into it.

I don't know whether this was due to the various polishes they used to keep the place clean, the various smells given off by the inks and printed stationery they used, or a combination of things, but to me it was not unpleasant, and was unique to the Post Office."

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  April 10, 2015

 

Recollection

59.

Gordon Davie

Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Davie who wrote:

East Norton Place

Post Office

"I see that Lynne McBride in 57 above and Laurie Thompson in 58 above have been reminiscing about the post office at East Norton Place.

As neither of them now live in the area they will probably be unaware that the post office closed down a few weeks ago when the sub-postmaster retired.  The local post office is now part of A & A Stores in Easter Road."

The Regent Cinema

"I also noted Lynne’s comments about the Saturday morning picture shows at the Regent. She says she preferred to sit in the 'ninepenny' seats at the back - clearly she was a newcomer to the place!

When I first started going to The Regent (about 1964) the 'ninepennies' were up in the balcony, but after a couple of years the management decided not to open the balcony for these shows, presumably to save on staff costs as one usherette could - in theory - look after all the kids rather than have to pay two people.

This cost-saving measure didn’t help though, as the place closed down in about 1970."

Gordon Davie, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh:  April 17, 2015

 

Recollections

60.

Gordon Davie

Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Davie for writing again, this time responding to a message posted by Laurie Thompson on the London Road Fire Station page of the EdinPhoto web site.

Gordon wrote:

Sweet Shop near the Fire Station

"I've been reading Laurie Thompson's memories of the corner shop next to the old fire station in London Road.

When I was a boy, this was a sweet shop, owned by a man named James Casey.  He had a sweet factory and another shop in St Mary's Street and was involved in the day-to-day running of the business almost until the day he died, when he was over ninety.

He actually lived round the corner from me and my dad knew him quite well, so if he happened to be in the shop when we went in he would slip me one of his delicious chocolate cream frogs, my favourite!"

The Shop, Today

"In later years, the London Road shop was run by an elderly couple but when they retired they were unable to find anyone to take over and the shop closed. It now sells personalised photos on a sporting theme."

Gordon Davie, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh:  September 14, 2015

  

Recollections

61.

Sandra Hartland (née Reid)

Florida, USA

Thank you to Sandra Hartland for WRITING AGAIN, sending the message below, after reading Gordon Davie's Recollections 48, 49, 59 and 60.

Sandra wrote:

Abbeyhill Shops

"I've just been reading Gordon Davie’s recollections about the  shops in Abbeyhill.  The memories that get stirred up are amazing."

The Co-op

"I also remember the Co-op, doon the Tarry or to give it its posh name, Spring Gardens.  My brother and I would be sent there on a Saturday morning.

At one counter, you got all the dry stuff like sugar, butter, lard, flour, oatmeal, cans of  beans, peas or soup etc., then on the other side of the shop you got all your fruits and veggies. 

Boy, a stone of tatties were heavy back in the day.  Once loaded up, we would make our way back through the park, waving to the ladies in Elsie Ingles Hospital who had just had babies.

By the time we got to the second floor of our wee house at No.16 Waverley Park we were tired, but Ma would be waiting on the tatties or onions to make the mince and tattles for the dinner."

Taylor's Corner Shop

"We only went to the Co-op on a Saturday as Ma would get anything else she needed during the week from Taylors, our wee corner shop, sometimes because she needed 'tick' so that she could pay the bill on Friday when Dad got paid.  That was a common thing back then,

Mr. Taylor had this big ledger book that he used to keep track of who got what and when, then on a Saturday morning he gave you a bill.

I used to work for him delivering rolls, papers and milk in the mornings, then the Edinburgh Evening News in the evening.  At the age of twelve I was making two and six a week, working seven days a week.  I thought I was rich! 

Wilson's Rentals

"I also remember Wilson's,  a rental place at the end of Waverly Park.  You could rent just about anything from them but their main items were tents, tables and chairs."

Sandra Hartland (née Reid), Florida, USA:  January 23, 2009

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

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