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Bristo Street

Southside, Edinburgh

Bristo Place still exists

Bristo Port still exist.

    BUT

Bristo Street has now  been demolished.

 

Recollections and Replies

 

Recollections

1.

Eddie Davies
Dunfermline

Pub at Potterrow / Bristo Street - Question

1.

Reply
1.

Jim Cairns
Dunfermline

Hole in the Wall

1.

Reply
2.

Terry McGuire

Empire Palace Bar

1.

Reply
3.

Eric Gold
East End, London

Empire Palace Bar

Empire Palace Theatre

Centenary

1.

Reply
4.

Vi Crouse
Canada

The Argyll Arms

1.

Reply
5.

Neil Lawrence
Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Pub at Potterrow / Bristo Street

  - The Argyle Arms

Pub at Nicolson Street

  -  Empire Palace Bar

1.

Reply
6.

Brandy Simpson
Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Pub at Potterrow / Bristo Street

  - The Argyle Arms

1.

Reply
7.

Florence Reynolds

Pub at Potterrow / Bristo Street

  - The Argyle Arms

Other Pubs Street

  - The Argyle Arms

  - The Empire Bar

2, 3, 4, 5.

Please don't look for these numbers
These recollections have been renumbered.

6.

Stewart Connolly
West Highlands, Scotland

Bristo Street / Potterow Pub

  - The Argyle Arms

7.

Stuart Lyon
Blackford, Edinburgh

Confusion

Empire Palace Bar

7.

Reply

1.

Jack Wardell
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
 

Confusion

Empire Palace Bar

7.

Reply

2.

Jack Wardell
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
 

'The Rat Trap' tie

The other 'Empire Palace Bar'

7.

Reply

3.

Jack Wardell
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
 

'Empire Palace Bar' / 'The Rat Trap'

'The Rat Trap' tie

8.

John McKechnie
Brentwood, Essex, England

Potterow Bar

9.

Peter Butler

The Coort

Games

Shops

Coal Deliveries

Poor-oot

10.

Peter Butler
Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa

Chapel Street Shop

1931

11.

Peter Butler

Woolpack Inn

Lannie's Ice Cream

Old Acquaintances

12.

Kathy Bainbridge
Hexham, Northumberland, England

The Gluepot  -  Question

12.

Reply 1.

Brandy Simpson
Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Union Bar

13.

Peter Butler
Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa

Lannie's

14.

Neil Lawrence
Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

The Gluepot  -  Reply

15.

Jimmy Davidson
East Lothian, Scotland

Bristo Street / Potterow Pub

  - The Argyle Arms

16.

Joe Telfer
Lysterfield, Melbourne, Australia

Bristo Street

17.

Brenda Cunningham

Coffee Joe's

Parker's Store

Shops

Undertaker

Society Buildings

Pubs

Changes

18.

Stewart Connolly
West Highlands, Scotland

May's Chip Shop

The Coort

19.

Bob Sinclair
Queensland, Australia

Frank Demarco's Café

Cards

20.

Florence Reynolds

Lannie's Ice Cream Shop

Bus conductor

Dante Lannie

21.

Christine Wicksted

Bristo Street Chemist

22.

Rob J Penman

Bristo Port

-  The Pewter Pot

23.

Davie Taylor

No. 40

Milk Rounds

The Gushet

Friendly Fitba'

24.

Jane Zeitlin
(née MacLennan)
Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, Scotland

Funny Street

  -  'Abbott and Costello'

25.

Jim Little

Thursday Nights Out in the 1950s

-  The Empire Bar

         THEN

-  Palais de Danse

26.

Dino Lannie
Glasgow, Scotland

Lannie's Ice Cream Shop

 

Recollections

1.

Eddie Davies

Edinburgh

Eddie Davies has asked the question:

Question

Pub

"Can anybody tell me the name of the pub that stood on the corner of Potterow and Bristo Street in the 1950s and 1960s?"

Eddie Davies:  Edinburgh:  July 23, 2010

I don't know the answer to Eddie's question.  If you know the answer,  please e-mail me then I'll pass on your message on to him.

 Thank you.    - Peter Stubbs:  July 28, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

1.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline

Thank you to Jim Cairns who replied

The Old Hole in the Wall

"I think that the pub between Potterow and Bristo Street was 'The Old Hole in the Wall'.  It was demolished before I had chance to try it out."

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  July 29, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

2.

Terry McGuire

Coventry, Warwickshire, England

Thank you to Terrence McGuire who replied

Empire Palace Bar

"I think that the pub on the corner of Potterow was called the 'Empire Palace Bar'."

Terry McGuire, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  July 29, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

3.

Eric Gold

East End, London

Thank you to Eric Gold, East London, who read 'Reply 2' above and  commented:

Empire Palace Bar

"The pub that Jim cairns asks about, on the corner of Bristo Street and Potterow was not the The Empire Palace Bar.

The Empire Palace Bar, to give it its proper name was situated in Nicolson Street next to the Empire Palace Theatre. Hence its name.  It still stands, but is now a Pound Store, I think.

The Empire Palace Theatre has now become the Festival Theatre.   We on the south side always referred to it as 'The Empire'.

My first job, before going to work on the Queen Mary, was as a mechanic in the Empire Garage, just behind the theatre."

Eric Gold, East London:  July 30, 2010

Empire Palace Theatre

"The Empire Palace Theatre burnt down in 1911,  The famous magician, Lafayette, died with his animals in the fire. ** "

Eric Gold, East London:  July 31, 2010

Lafayette's Funeral Procession

**   Thank you Neil Watson for sending me a photo of Lafayette's funeral procession.

To see this photo, and to read more about the death of Lafayette in Edinburgh in 1911, please click on the thumbnail image below:

    Funeral Procession for 'The Great Lafayette' entering Piershill Cemetery  -  1911 ©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 4, 2010

 

Centenary

I believe there are plans to commemorate the centenary of the fire at the theatre in some way during 2011.  (I have been asked about using one of my postcards of the 1911 funeral procession as part of these commemorations.)

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 31, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

4.

Vi Crouse

Canada

Thank you to Vi Crouse who wrote

The Argyll Arms

"I believe the pub was called the Argyll Arms.  I grew up on Charles Street."

Vi Crouse, Canada:  August 1, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

5.

Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who wrote, giving the same answer as Vi above.

(These two answers were reached independently.  The reply from Neil came before I had updated the web site to include Vi's comments above.)

Neil wrote

The Bristo Street / Potterow Pub

The Argyll Arms

"There seems to be a bit of confusion about the pub name at the corner of Potterrow and Bristo Street.  It was called 'The Argyle Arms' formerly 'The Gushet'.  It was demolished in 1970.

The Nicolson Street Pub

Empire Palace Bar  ***

"The other pub people mentioned was the Empire Palace Bar which was on the corner of Nicolson Street and Nicolson Square

Other names for that one were:

-  The Palace Bar

The Rat Trap

and latterly

Doolittles

before it was converted into Ladbrokes betting shop."

***  Confusion!  See Recollections 7 below

Map

"This map is an old copy that I had. I've marked it up with the two locations.

Southside Pubs

    Pubs around Bristo Street, Edinburgh Southside - 1950s ©

As you can see (if you click on the thumbnail image above), there were a good many other Public Houses (marked 'PH' on the map) all around that area."

Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  August 3+6, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

6.

Brandy Simpson

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brandy Simpson who suggested yet another name for the pub at Bristo Street that Eddie Davis asked about.

Brandy wrote:

The Bristo Street / Potterow Pub

"I think this pub was called the Argyle Arms, although I was too young to be in it.  I remember playing by the stairs there.  Great times!"

Stewart Connolly, West Highlands, Scotland:  August 2, 2010.. (Stewart's comment arrived a
few days ago, but it took me a while to add it to the web site.)  Peter Stubbs:  August 7, 2010

 

Recollections

1.

Reply

7.

Florence Reynolds

Thank you to Florence for also identifying the pub on the corner of Bristo Street and Potterow as being the Argyle Arms.

Florence wrote:

The Argyll Arms

"The public house on the corner of Bristo Street and Potterrow was the Argyle Arms.  It had once been the mansion of Captain Hugh Dalrymple of Fordell."

Argyll Bar

"There is an Argyle Bar in Argyle Place, but presumably it was named after the old Argyle Arms was demolished in the early 1960s."

The Empire Bar

"Can anybody verify that the pub known as the 'Rat Trap' was officially The Empire Bar?"

Florence Reynolds:  December 23, 2012

 

Recollections

  2, 3, 4, 5.

Please don't look for these numbers
 These recollections have been renumbered.

 

Recollections

6.

Stewart Connolly

West Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Stewart Connelly for confirming Neil Lawrence's identification (1 above) of the the name of the pub at the corner of Bristo Street and Potterow:

The Bristo Street / Potterow Pub

"I think this pub was called the Argyle Arms, although I was too young to be in it.  I remember playing by the stairs there.  Great times!"

Stewart Connolly, West Highlands, Scotland:  August 2, 2010.. (Stewart's comment arrived a
few days ago, but it took me a while to add it to the web site.)  Peter Stubbs:  August 7, 2010

 

Recollections

7.

Stuart Lyon

Blackford, Edinburgh

Thank you to Stuart Lyon who wrote:

Confusion!

"I think some of your contributors have confused the now closed Empire Bar  (known as the Rat Trap) which was on the corner of Nicholson Square and Nicholson Street with the Empire Palace Bar."

Empire Palace Bar

"This page on the National Library of Scotland website has a photograph (No. 55) of the Empire Palace Bar taken by Alfred Henry Rushbrook in 1929 on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Improvement Trust.

Here is the National Library of Scotland's caption for this photo."

'Photograph of a four storey building with business premises on the ground floor. On the left there is a small sign for Draught Bass which is beside the entrance to a public house.

A lamp hung over the front of the building has the words 'Empire Palace Bar' painted  in white on its sides. Outside, in the centre, parked under the windows of the bar is a pram.

At the next entrance to the building which is arched there are two men standing looking at the camera. There is a third person but the image is blurred too much to see clearly.

On the right there is a woman pushing a pram away from the camera and two more men also standing with their backs to the camera.'

Stuart Lyon:  October 13, 2010

Stuart added:

Rushbrook Photos

"There are 137 photographs in total in this collection taken by Alfred Rushbrook.  They may be of interest to visitors to the EdinPhoto website."

Stuart Lyon, Blackford, Edinburgh:  October 13, 2010

Rushbrook Photos

I photographed the complete set of Rushbrook photos from another source a couple of years ago and have permission to add them to the EdinPhoto web site.

I found these photos to be appealing - good quality with lots of interest - and would like to add them to the EdinPhoto web site when I can find the time to Do that.  But it's unlikely to be in the near future as I have many other photos waiting to be added to the site first, and it usually takes me between about 1/2-hour and 1 hour to add each photo to the site!

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 16, 2010

 

Recollections

7.

Reply

1.

Jack Wardell

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jack Wardell for replying to Stuart Lyon's comments above.

Jack wrote:

Confusion!

"Stuart Lyon's referenced photo in Potterow is undoubtedly a (probably earlier) Empire Palace Bar.

However, by the 1960s, this was also the name of the pub on the corner of Nicholson Square and Nicholson Street.

I worked there as a part-time barman for a couple of years in the mid-1960s when I was a student.

Many of the locals still thought of it as the Rat Trap, I think Scottish and Newcastle changed the name when they took over the pub.

I still have a Rat Trap pub tie in my cupboard upstairs, though it is not that fashionable these days!

I recall one old regular that I enjoyed having a chat with. It was Tam Greig, father of John Greig."

Jack Wardell, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland  8 July 2016 (2 emails)

 

Recollections

7.

Reply

2.

Jack Wardell

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jack Wardell for sending a photo of his 'The Rat Trap' tie.  It's a blue tie that has the words 'THE RAT TRAP'  below small white shields

(UPDATE:  No, they are not small white shields.  See Reply 3 below.)

I've not added Jack's photo of the tie to the web site, because I felt that it would not reproduce very well on the site.  However, I've added Jack's comments (below).

Jack wrote:

The 'Rat Trap' Tie

"Here is a photo of my 'The Rat Trap' tie.  I recall a coach outing around 1965 on which the Regulars described themselves as 'Rat Trappers' rather than 'Empire Palacers'.

The other Empire Palace Bar

I also recall a Regular who worked at the Museum.  He talked about the 'other' Empire Palace Bar that he passed on his way to and from his work.  He occasionally stopped for a drink there. I think the 'Empire Palace' name was in use in both pubs at the same time."

Jack Wardell, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland  10 July 2016

 

Recollections

7.

Reply

3.

Jack Wardell

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jack Wardell for writing again sending me:

-   a link to a web site page with a photo of 'The Empire Palace' taken in the 1950s

-   a comment correcting my understanding of 'the little white shields' on   'The Rat Pack' tie.  (That comment  amused me:  it's obvious when you know the answer!)

Jack wrote:

The Empire Palace / The Rat Trap

"There is a link to  a photo of the Empire Palace Bar on this page from the  Living Memory web site.  It's the second photo on the page.  The photo was taken in the 1950s.

You can see that the old name 'The Rat Trap' is still displayed.  It's painted on a window  above the 'Wm Younger's Beer' sign  on the gable end of the building.

The photo resolution is not great but you can just about make out the new name, 'Empire Palace Bar' in the signwriting above the ground floor windows."

The 'Rat Trap' Tie

"On the Rat Trap tie, each of the 'white shields' above the name is actually a pair of rats either side of a pint of beer."

Jack Wardell, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland  11 July 2016

Recollections

8.

John McKechnie

Brentwood, Essex, England

Thank you to John McKechnie who wrote:

Potterow Pub

"My great grandfather, my grandfather until 1940, and then my grandmother, for some time, ran the Potterow Pub.  I think it was on the corner in Potterow.  The pub also had two other entrances.

John McKechnie, Brentwood, Essex, England:  October 22, 2010

 

Recollections

9.

Peter Butler

Hennenman, South Africa

Thank you to Peter Butler who wrote:

The Coort

"We lived at 44 Bristo Street, 'The Coort' a 4--storey tenement with open balconies.  We were all quite poor and most of our mothers went out to work as char-ladies, dinner-ladies, etc - but they were happy times.

Names that come to mind are:

Ella Clark

Honor Garrity

Jeff Daly

-  Donald Kerr.

I'd like to hear from anyone who may remember me, my brothers Drew and Pat, and my sister Annette."

Games

"Games played in 'The Coort' included:

-  rounders

-  kick-the-can

-  dodge-the-ba

-  cricket, with the stumps represented by 3 chalk lines drawn on the wall."

Shops

"I remember:

Davidsons Dairy.

Mays Chip Shop.

Shearers Grocery.

Wrights Newsagency.

Young Brothers Bakery.

I delivered milk, newspapers and groceries for these shops."

Coal Deliveries

"My dad Peter, and his brother Jimmy, both had coal delivery businesses in the Leith Walk area - horse drawn, of course.

I acted as 'tick-boy' for my dad on a Saturday morning,  i.e. collecting money due for coal delivered during the week on credit."

Poor-oot

"Does anyone remember the 'poor-oot' ,when the prospective bride left her home to be married, scattering handfulls of coins to be scrabbled for by us kids?"

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  January 18, 2011

Reply to Peter?

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

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 24, 2011

 

Recollections

10.

Peter Butler

Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa

Thank you to Peter Butler for writing again with more memories of the Bristo Street area of Edinburgh.

Peter wrote:

Chapel Street Shop

"While living in Bristo Street, I remember being sent on SUnday mornings to a very small shop in Chapel Street, opposite the Post Office.

Not only did this shop sell 'skeechan', but it also recharged the accumulators required for "'he wireless'.  I remember hoping that the respective liquids never got confused!

The 'skeechan' must have been quite potent.  Its stopper was held down by a U-shaped wire clip.

Incidentally, the mine workers, out here in South Africa, used to have  a similar brew called 'skokian'."

Peter added:

1931

"I was born in 1931, which I think makes me a few years older than your average contributor, but then it also means I have more memories  - not so?"

Peter Butler, Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa:  January 30, 2011

Recollections

11.

Peter Butler

Hennenman, South Africa

Peter Butler wrote again with more memories of the Bristo area.

Peter wrote:

Woolpack Inn

"On the subject of local pubs, I've seen no mention of the Woolpack Inn.  It was situated in Bristo Place, half way down the block bordered by Lothian Street and Marshall Street.  It was one of my Dad's favourite pubs."

Lannie's Ice Cream Shop

"Further on was Lannie's ice cream shop, a great favourite after Mass at St. Francis' church. Mr Lannie was always in attendance, sometimes assisted by his oldest son, Ernest, who I believe went on to become a doctor.

I was in the same class  as his other son, Dante, at Holy Cross school.  I understand, he went into business of another kind later on."

Old Acquaintances

"I am still hoping to be contacted by old acquaintances.  I will most certainly be in touch again."

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  February 9, 2011

Recollections

12.

Kathy Bainbridge

Hexham, Northumberland, England

Kathy Bainbridge wrote:

Question

The Gluepot

"I wonder if anyone can remember the name of the little pub opposite 32 Bristo Street where I lived from 1967 until the street was demolished.

Everyone called it 'The Gluepot' but I've forgotten its 'official' name."

Kathy Bainbridge, Hexham, Northumberland, England:  April 1, 2011

Recollections

12.

Reply

1.

Brandy Simpson

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brandy Simpson for replying to Kathy Bainbridge's question above.

Brandy replied:

Reply

Union Bar

"The pub at the top of Bristo Street was called The Union Bar"

Brandy Simpson, Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Recollections

13.

Peter Butler

Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa

Peter Butler wrote again in response to reading comments that Lannie's was opposite about Young Brothers on the Parker's Store page (recollections 2 and 4).

Peter wrote

Opposite Young Brothers

"The shop opposite Young Brothers was, in fact,  Jock Whitton's Newsagent.  It had a display window in both Marshall Street and Bristo Street.  I worked there after school hours delivering the 'News'.

Lannie's was just slightly further up Bristo Street, towards Lothian Street.  There might have been a stair in between Jock Wilson's and Lannie's, but I'm not sure about that."

Peter Butler, Hennenman, Orange Free State, South Africa:  April 4, 2011

Recollections

14.

Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who sent a reply to 'Recollections 12' above.

Neil wrote:

Reply

The Gluepot

"I have it listed as being the Union Bar, 27 Bristow Street. It had a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) in 1977.  This was a Council demolition order."

Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  April 8, 2011

Recollections

15.

Jimmy Davidson

East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Jimmy Davidson who wrote, agreeing with others above.

Jimmy wrote

Argyle Arms

"The pub on the corner of Potterow and Bristo Street was definitely Argyle Arms.

I used to live above it at 68 Bristo Street, in an old tenement that was accessed by a flight of external stairs just round the corner from the pub."

Jimmy Davidson, East Lothian, Scotland:  April 12, 2011

Recollections

16.

Joe Telfer

Lysterfield, Melbourne, Australia

Thank you to Joe Telfer who wrote:

Bristo Street

"I was very interested in the comments from Peter Butler in several of the recollections above.  I have a faint recollection of Peter, but age dims the memory.  I'd certainly like to here from him if he is interested.

I also grew up in Bristo from the early-1940s, with my sister Jeanette who is younger than me, until I came to Australia in 1952.

I lived in 35 Bristo and enjoyed all the activities Peter described in the Coort.  My friends were:

Pete Smith.

Norrie Wilson.

-  the Colemans.

-  the O'Donohues who lived in No 40.

Bobbie Much was in our stair in the top flats."

Joe Telfer, Lysterfield, Melbourne, Australia:  June 10, 2011

Reply to Joe Telfer?

If you'd like to send a reply to Joe Telfer, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 15, 2011

Recollections

17.

Brenda Cunningham (née Fairley)

Thank you to Brenda Cunningham who wrote:

Coffee Joe's

"I was brought up in 15 Forrest Road above Coffee Joe's Café.  I remember playing around the Potterow/ Bristo  area with pals.  There was a whole community living and working in that area."

Parker's Store

"Parker's Store was the equivalent of today’s Primark and it sold everything from clothes to clothes pegs!  There was also a Parkers furniture store further along but this closed in the late 1950s."

Shops

"I remember:

 Wilson the butcher

Mrs. Duffie’s grocery shop where my mum used to send me for 1/4lb boiled ham and Mrs. Duffie cut it with a sharp knife.

The ironmonger just next to the baker's shop which was on the corner.

-  Dante Lannie who had the Café across from the bakers and the newsagent on that same corner.

Lannies, who had the chip shop in Forrest Road.  I think Dante was related to them.   

-  Paris Gowns, a dress shop further up the road diagonally across from Napier's herbalist (very posh).

Undertaker

"In Forrest Road, I recall Louis Costello the undertaker who used to stand outside his premises and my used to say there’s Louis looking for business.  I never understood the humour of that until later in life!"

Society Buildings

"There were houses in Society Buildings, which were where the new part of the museum is now.  That wasn’t such a nice area and I wasn’t allowed to play there."

Pubs

"There was a pub called The Hole in the Wa'.

Another was called The Territorial Bar.

My dad used to drink the Territorial on a Friday night.  He once had his pay packet stolen from the back pocket of his trousers when he was there.

There was always a few fights on a Saturday night and we used to look out the window and watch the fights and the police arriving.  Well, there was only one  channel on the telly and it made better viewing!"

Changes

"I took my grandson to the museum in Chambers Street only last week and had a wander round the area.  I was saddened to see how it has changed over the years.

When I was living there in the 1950s/60s, it was a lovely residential area with shops galore and the shopkeepers knew all the locals."

Brenda Cunningham (née Fairley):  July 17, 2011

 

Recollections

18.

Stewart Connolly

West Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Stewart Connelly for contacting me again.

Stewart wrote

May's Chip Shop

"Peter Butler  mentioned May's chip shop in his Bristo Street recollections (13 above).

Although a lot younger than Peter, I remember May very well. Her full married name, as I recall, was May Cardosi and here husband was Nello.  They stayed at 53 Bristo Street and knew my mother very well.

My mother was born in Bristo as was her mother."

The Coort

"I remember the coort as a play area, for football, tig, hide and seek, etc.

There was a Mr Wilson, ex policeman, who lived in the coort.  He would bang his window when we were getting a bit to loud.

In those days you paid heed and scarpered, because he knew everybody's mum and dad."

Stewart Connolly, West Highlands, Scotland: August 19, 2011

I asked Stewart Connelly where 'The Court' was.  He replied:

The Coort

"Imagine walking down towards Chapel Street from Parkers Store.  Half-way down on your left-hand side (east) is where the coort was.

It had a proper name (something-Entry?) but I can't remember, what it was.  To us, it was always: 'Ah'm ower by the coort, playin'."

Stewart Connolly, West Highlands, Scotland: August 21, 2011

 

Recollections

19.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Bob Sinclair wrote:

Frank Demarco's Café

"I remember Forrest Road in the later-1950s, when I used to go into Frank Demarco's Café, after dancing at the Central on the corner of Drummond Street and South Bridge."

Cards

"At the Café, it was a night for cards.  One old gent used to be in there when we arrived and he spent about twenty minutes arranging his cup and saucer and cutlery before his pie and chips appeared - it was fascinating to watch.

The card games were either Nap or Brag and on a bad night, within the space of two hours, playing for halfpennies, the worst player could lose a couple of bob.

-  My mate, Charlie Morrison was the worst player.  He was a good Catholic.

-  His mate, Selby Kougaltz always won.  He was,  a Jew and known to all as Spud.

-  The others generally came out about even.

It was an interesting mix of blokes:  Jew, Catholic, Methodist, Church of Scotland, Agnostic, Atheist.

Frank used to shut the door and join us.  I think it was his only relaxation.  Sometimes, the undertaker from nearby would come for a wee while and crack some enlightening jokes about the dear departed.

I wondered if it was his only relaxation.  Sometimes, at about one in the morning Charlie would walk Spud back to Arthur Street then come home to walk his dog Major in the Meadows.  By that time I was in my pit."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  August 22, 2011

 

Recollections

20.

Florence Reynolds

Thank you to Florence Reynolds for sending another message about Bristo Street, this time after reading Peter Butler's comments above about Lannie's ice cream shop in Bristo Street.

Florence wrote:

Lannie's Ice Cream Shop

"Like Peter Butler, I also remember Lannie's ice cream shop in Bristo Street.  In the late-1950s, Dante Lannie ran the shop.  It was almost at the corner with Marshall Street."

Bus Conductor

"When the 41 bus stopped at the traffic lights, outside his shop, a certain bus conductor (of Italian extraction) would lean off the bus platform and shout 'Lannie Bananie'.

At this point, Dante would burst out of the shop waving a huge meat cleaver and threatening all kinds of dire consequences as the bus accelerated away.

This would be repeated every time this particular bus went past, much to the amazement and amusement of bus passengers and passing pedestrians alike.

Dante Lannie

"Dante was a 'larger than life' Southside character - a great miss!  His elder brother Ernest was an optician.

I never walked straight down Bristo Street coming from Mass at St Francis Church.  I always went via the two pends."

Florence Reynolds:  January 1, 2013

 

Recollections

21.

Christine Wicksted (née Alexander)

West Edinburgh

Thank you to Christine Wicksted who wrote:

Bristo Street Chemist

"My Grandfather was a chemist in Bristo Street from late 1940 to early-1970s.  His name was Robert Alexander.

When he retired in his 80's he was meant to be the oldest dispensing chemist in Edinburgh.  I remember helping him count tablets into little bottles.  The shop was full of large coloured jars, full of all sorts of concoctions!

If I was lucky I would be given 2/6d (half a crown) to spend in Parkers Store.

Happy memories."

Christine Wicksted (née Alexander), West Edinburgh:  August 25, 2012

Recollections

22.

Rob J Penman

Rob J Penman wrote:

Bristo Port

The Pewter Pot

"I recall that there was a pub at Bristo Port called 'The Pewter Pot'.  I Think it was rumoured to be Edinburgh`s smallest bar."

Rob J Penman:  10 March 2016

Reply to Rob

The Grassmarket

Thank you, Rob, for your memories of the bar at Bristo Port.

Last summer, I came across another bar nearby.  It was on the north side of Grassmarket, set back from the pavement.  It was then claiming to be Edinburgh's smallest bar."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  23 March 2016

Recollections

23.

Davie Taylor

Davie Taylor wrote:

No.40

"I was brought up at 40 Bristo Street..  It was right next door to General's Entry ('The Coort') mentioned by Stewart Connolly in his Recollections 18 (above).

Milk Rounds

"Sinclair's Dairy was on one side of 'The Court'.  My brother Harry Taylor had a milk round that I took over when he left school!

The Gushet

"The Gushet was our first pub, at the age of 15.  Three pints and a Carlsberg  - and we were singing!"

Friendly Fitba'

"Dante Lannie also used to referee friendly fitba' matches doon The Meadows."

Davie Taylor:  2 March 2016 (2 emails)

Recollections

24.

Jane Zeitlin (née MacLennan)

Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, Scotland

Jane Zeitlin wrote:

Funny Street

'Abbott and Costello'

"When I read Brenda Cunningham's Recollections 17 above about Costello the undertaker, it  jogged a memory.  I used to pass his establishment on my way to work in the 1960s.

Mr Costello was a cheery fellow. One of his quips regarding Forrest Road was it was the funniest Street in Edinburgh since it had Costello at one end and Abbott the jeweller at the other end was just behind Greyfriars Bobby's statue."

Jane Zeitlin (née MacLennan), Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, Scotland:  22 October 2016

Recollections

25.

Jim Little

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Jim Little who wrote:

Thursday Nights Out in the 1950s

The Empire Bar

THEN

Palais de Danse

"I remember the Empire Bar being round the corner from the Empire Theatre, near Bristo Street.  In the mid- to late-1950s, for a few bob you could have a good, cheap Thursday night out.

Empire Bar sold draft cider for 1/- a pint.
After 3 pints, you were quite mellow.

-  You got 10 Woodbine fags for about 10 pence (old money).

-  Then it was off to the Palais de Danse, 1/6d to get in.

Oh happy days!

Someone mentioned that the bar had 3 doors.  That allowed the under-age drinkers to escape if the polis came."

Jim Little:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  10 November 2016

Recollections

26.

Dino Lannie

Glasgow, Scotland

Thank you to Dino Lannie who wrote:

Thank You

Lannie's Ice Cream Shop

"Thank you to everybody who remembered my Dad's ice cream shop in Bristo Street, and wrote about it above"

Dino Lannie, Glasgow, Scotland:  18 November 2016

 

 

Edinburgh Photos

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