Primary School

and other Recollections




Florence Smith

Thank you Florence Smith who wrote:


"I was a pupil at Canonmills school and remember the concert we had the day it closed  .I was about 6 years old and played the Hurdy Gurdy in the concert.  I wonder if anybody has a photo taken that day."

Florence Smith:  April 5, 2012




Florence Smith

Thank you to Florence Smith for writing again:

Florence wrote:


"We lived at 7a Canon Street.  It was strange; Canonmills School closed and days later we moved to a new estate. at Telford.

I attended Ainslie Park secondary school and, would you believe, when that was overcrowded my class was sent to Canonmills school for a year.  It became an annex for girls."


"We lived opposite the ice factory.  If I remember right, there was also a wiggery above this factory.  I think that it moved along to Tanfield."

Sunday School

"I also attended the Sunday School at Bellevue Chapel.  One of the church elders there was Muir the herbalist, whose shop was up the Bridges.

Wendy Wood

"I can clearly remember talking to a lovely lady when I was a wee girl.  This lady was Wendy Wood who lived in Howard Place."

Florence Smith:  April 8, 2012




Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Scotland Street Coal Yard

"I've just read Les Braby's recollections of the Scotland Street Coal Yard.

Scotland Street Coal Yard

    Railways in North Edinburgh  -  Scotland Street Coal Yard ©

Les mentions that he attended Canonmills Primary School between 1947 and 1954.

I wonder if he recalls any of these names.  They are children that I played with in  Canonmills around that time:

-  Marjory Muir (who lived in Warriston Crescent)

-  Stuart Harrod (who lived above the Northern Bar, now The Orchard)

-  Jackie Summers (who lived in Howard Place)

-  The Johnson sisters and Ian Johnson (who lived in Warriston Crescent)

I'm pretty sure they all attended Canonmills Primary School around 1948 to 1950."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 4, 2014

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Florence Smith:  April 8, 2012



Les Braby

Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Les Braby for following up Florence Smith's Recollections 2 above.

Les wrote:

Rodney Street

Wig Maker

"Florence Smith is quite right.  There was a place at the top, between Yardleyís the newsagent and the ice factory, there ws a wig maker. I think it was on the upper floor of the building.  I donít know whether the entrance to it was in Canon Street or in Eyre Place."

Motor Cycle Shop

"Along from the above newsagent, going towards Rodney Street, there was a small row of about four shops on the left, including the Motor Cycle shop belonging to the Shaw Brothers who live in No 10 Heriothill Terrace.

I canít remember the names of the other shops in that row, but I vaguely remember a small greengrocer. Opposite them, at the entrance to the Scotland Street rail yard, was a bookies, possibly Bernard's."

Tenements, Shops and Pubs

"There used to be 3 or 4 tenements beside the motor cycle shop, but most have now been demolished, leaving only one, next to The Old Coach Inn owned by John Twist. Commonly known as Twissies.

Proceeding along from there, past the Rodney Street Lane, on the right hand side, was a radio shop where we used to get our accumulators charged for our radios.

On the opposite corner to that was Heriot House, now the Navy Club, and on the other side was a pub called The Stags Head."

Near 'The Ritz' Cinema

"Rodney Street, where Canonmills Primary school was situated, it was all shops with tenements above. The only exceptions being the Snooker Hall, the Ritz Cinema and St Maryís church hall.

The entrance to Zacarehelliís Wafer Factory was between the cinema and the church hall.

With the exception of the St Cuthbertís bakery, grocers and butchers, all the shops were privately owned. "


"I also remember that until 1952/53 we had rationing still so you had to have your ration books to get anything.  As a child, 2oz of sweets a week wasnít very much, but we didnít know any better and still had a great time

I can still remember my Motherís Co-op Number: 88112."

Les Braby, Borders, Scotland:  22 August 2016


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