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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Challenger Lodge

Boswall Road, Trinity, North Edinburgh

 

Recollections

1.

Brendon Hume
Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England

+ reply from

Karen Lury
Glasgow, Scotland

-  Resident

-  Other Residents

-  William Merrilees

2.

Brendon Hume
Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England

-  Home for Cripple Children

3.

Brendon Hume
Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England

-  William Merrilees

4.

George T Smith
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

-  William Merrilees

5.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate
(née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

-  Resident

-  Other Residents

6.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate
(née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

-  Operation

-  Memories

-  Outings

-  Miss McGregor

-  Visiting Days

7.

Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellows

-  Christmas 1954

-  Do you remember?

8.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate
(née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

+ reply from

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

-  1952

-  Scran Photos

-  Scran Photos

9.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate
(née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

-  Quarantine

10.

Helen Sims

-  Christine Nisbet Pollock

-  Names

-  Chief Constable Merrilees

-  Children's Home

-  My Mother's Memories

11.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate
(née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

-  Quarantine

12.

John Stevenson
Trinity, Edinburgh

-  Visit to the Pantomime

13.

Rhys Mckenna

-  Jean Johnson
    -  Resident,1935 to 1951

 

Recollections

1.

Brendon Hume

Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England

Brendon Hume wrote:

Resident

"I am from Auld Reekie, Cumberland Street, Stockbridge, but owing to my disability, a club foot, I spent a few years in  Challenger Lodge, Boswell Road, Granton.   Challenger lodge is now a hospice.

I remember:

 being taken on trips to the Rosebery Estate at Cramond with Inspector William Merrilees of the Lothian Police.

 being taken to Niddry with the Edinburgh Taxi Drivers day out.

-   a visit by Issy Bonn, a show biz star of the day.

 a visit to see the Hibs team with my hero Gordon Smith.

Other Residents?

I am now in my 71st year and would welcome information about any other residents from Challenger Lodge, or about the cubs at Wardie Church."

Brendon Hume, Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England:  September 9, 2009

Replies

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

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  September 12, 2009

Update 1

Thank you to Walter Lyle Hume, now living in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, for contacting me.  I've now passed on Walter's message to Brendon.

 -  Peter Stubbs:  September 13, 2009

Update 2

Dr Karen Lury wrote:

William Merrilees

"I'm trying to find out more about a visit that William Merrilees made to Challenger Lodge in 1961. I 'm an academic at Glasgow University looking at children in amateur film in Scotland.

There is a short film called 'The Chief's Half Day' that seems to show William Merrilees donating the dog that played Greyfriars Bobby to the children at the Lodge.

If Brendon or anybody else had any memories of that visit or of their experiences in the home, I would love to hear them.  There are a number of children in the film as they greet 'Uncle Willie' in front of the lodge.

The film ends with Matron (?) taking the dog in"

 Dr Karen Lury, Glasgow, Scotland:  April 1, 2010

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

Peter  Stubbs:  April 1, 2010

 

Recollections

2.

Brendon Hume

Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England

Brendon Hume wrote again:

Home for Cripple Children

"In a previous email from someone  -  I cant remember who!  -  the sender stated that a girl was an orphan in Challenger Lodge  (pre-changing to a Hospice).

As far as i am aware to 1948 Challenger Lodge was a home for cripple children only.   I stand to be corrected  If am wrong."

Brendon Hume:  January 8, 2010

Replies

1.  Challenger Lodge, at 15 Boswall Road,  was bought by the Edinburgh Cripple and Invalid Children's Aid Society in 1929 to replace the society's children's homes at Nellfield and Viewforth in Edinburgh.

I believe that this remained a children's home in the care of the society until shortly before the premises opened as St Columba's Hospice in 1977, but I don't know what the 'rules for admission' were for the children.

2.   If you have any information that you'd like to send to Brendon, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  January, 2010

 

Recollections

3.

Brendon Hume

Brendon Hume added:

William Merrilees

"I'm just letting you know that  I  received an email from Dr Lury and was able to help by giving her some information about  Chief Inspector W. Merrilees. 

I was wondering if any of your correspondents could provide more information about Mr. Merrilees.  He was a famous 'Old Leither' and was also well known in Edinburgh.

There was a book written about his life story:  'The Short Arm Of The Law' by Longmans.  I believe it is now out of print."

Brendon Hume, Haxey, North Lincolnshire, England:  April 9, 2010

 

Recollections

4.

George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

George T Smith wrote:

William Merrilees

"There was a book written about his life story:  'The Short Arm Of The Law' by Longmans.  I believe it is now out of print, but I found a copy offered for sale on the Internet by Bookdonors CIC Ltd for £40 + postage.

It strikes me that anyone really interested in these expensive memoirs would already have done a Google search and got similar results to me.

However, I believe that Edinburgh Central Library is almost certain to have a copy, so impoverished researchers may be able to get a free loan."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  April 11+12, 2010

 Recollections

5.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate (née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

Evelyn Southgate wrote:

1942 to 1951

"I was born in Edinburgh in 1942.  Ibecame aware that I was in the Children's Home at  about the age of four.   I remained there until I was nine years old, when I  was fostered to a retired couple who moved to Cornwall.

I had no parents or family and so i suppose I was an orphan though I  never thought of myself as such!   I always wondered why everyone else  seemed to come and go but I always seemed to remain there."

Memories

I recall a long walk to church and turning right out of the home and  walking along by the wall surrounding the home's large grounds then  crossing several roads.

I also remember:

the school and the teacher, Miss McGregor who brought along  her dog each day

-  a huge tree which I loved ---.

huge grassy areas covered with daisies.

the playroom covered with broken toys.

the  underground bathroom which gave me the creeps."

Brendon

"I loved it when new people came in who could sing me new songs which I  copied as I loved to sing.  I  don't remember a boy named Brendon, but I wonder if I'm the girl that he remembers."

Evelyn Southgate, Croydon, Surrey, England:  June 11, 2010

 Recollections

6.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate (née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

Evelyn Southgate added:

Operation

"I was in Challenger Lodge because of a condition called Nail Patella Syndrome (although I only discovered through the internet that is what I have when I was 59).  I was affected by both feet being clubfooted.  Also, my knees were affected.

I was operated on Christmas 1951 in Princess Margaret Rose Hospital for Children (as it was then).  After that was completed I was ready to be fostered and was taken to be with my foster parents in Cornwall by a Children's Officer from Edinburgh called Miss Boa."

Memories

"I remember:

-  We sang hymns every morning, one of which was 'There's a friend for little children above the bright blue sky'

I was once given a doll as a reward for teaching a child The Lord's Prayer.

We had porridge for breakfast every day.  When I left the home, I badly missed the lumps probably caused when the porridge burned at the bottom of the pan!

-  We also had malt and cod liver oil every day, which I loved the taste of.  Yuk!!"

Outings

"I always missed the outings because I got so excited that I was sick every single time.  They tried not telling me until we were about to go but I'd know something was up because our nicer clothes were laid at the bottom of the bed."

Miss McGregor

"Miss McGregor, our teacher, loved the birds.  She hung coconut and suet cake for them in the winter and I was enchanted to see the beauty of nature so close up.

She surprised and worried me when she cried at the news that King George had died, and I was very relieved when she eventually recovered herself."

Visiting Days

"Visiting days were always quite hard for me because I seemed to be the only one who had no visitorsI coped quite well though I found it puzzling."

Evelyn Southgate, Croydon, Surrey, England:  June 12, 2010

 Recollections

7.

Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellows

Thank you to Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellows who wrote:

Christmas 1954

"I have a letter dated 28th December 1954 from the then Matron Miss C Nesbit-Pollock, of Challenger Lodge, Boswell Road, Edinburgh (The Edinburgh Cripple and Invalids Children's Aid Society), thanking a Mrs. Soanes of NW London for Christmas gifts sent to Jeffrey Bruce at Challenger Lodge.

Miss Nesbit-Pollock has added that during the Christmas period 1953/54 the lodge was under quarantine for an outbreak of mumps, which meant 'the children had to miss a great many things available at this time of the year', but despite this, the children had a 'wonderful time on Christmas Day, with lots of good things from Santa!'."

Do you remember?

"If anyone knows anything about this timeframe at Challenger Lodge, or knows anything about Jeffrey Bruce, I would be interested to hear from them."

Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellows:  June 15, 2010

Reply to Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellows

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

Peter Stubbs:  Edinburgh,  June 15, 2010

 Recollections

8.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate (née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

Evelyn Southgate added:

1952

"I've realised that since King George VI died in 1952 I must have been at the St Columba's until then.  I was nine on 15/12/51 then spent Christmas at the PMR Hospital, and was fostered, once the full leg plasters that were applied after the operation on my knees had been removed.  So I suspect I was resident at Challenger Lodge until Spring 1952."

Scran Photos

"I wonder if Brendon has seen the 9 thumbnail photos of Challenger Lodge that can be found on the free Scran Site.

Evelyn Southgate, Croydon, Surrey, England:  June 13, 2010"

Scran Photos

Thank you to Evelyn for telling me about the 9 thumbnail images of Challenger Lodge on the Scran web site.  Here is a link to the page on the Scran web site.

I've now added three of these images to the EdinPhoto web site.  Please click the thumbnail images below to enlarge them.

School Class

1954

Challenger Lodge  -  Classroom  -  Published in 'The Scotsman' on March 25, 1954 ©

Learning Arithmetic

1959

Challenger Lodge  -  6-year-old Gillian mastering arithmetic by the Cusenaire System  -  Photograph published in 'The Scotsman', February 8, 1959 ©

Nativity Play

1960

Challenger Lodge  -  Nativity Play by children of the British Polio Fellowship at Challenger Lodge  -  Photo published in 'The Scotsman', December 21, 1960 ©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 22, 2010

 Recollections

9.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate (née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

Evelyn Southgate added:

Quarantine

"During my stay at the home which ended early in 1952, I had measles, chickenpox and scarlet fever.  On each occasion I was transferred to a local hospital and it was so funny when, one by one, other children from  the home joined me in quarantine gradually filling the ward! 

(I  developed mumps during a stay with my prospective foster-parents.)"

Evelyn Southgate, Croydon, Surrey, England:  June 16, 2010"

 Recollections

10.

Heather Sims

Near Basingstoke, Hampshire, England

Thank you to Heather Sims for sending me the two photos below.  Please click on the photos to enlarge them.

Heather wrote:

Christine Nisbet Pollock

"My mother was Christine Nisbet Pollock, Matron of Challenger Lodge.  She is mentioned in Recollections 7 above.

I have two very precious photograph albums of her time there.  I'm not sure of her precise dates as Matron.  She certainly left shortly before 16th March 1956 when she married my father, and one of the albums contains a newspaper cutting from 29th January 1954, so I think she must have taken up her post some time in 1953."

Names

Sadly, my mother did not write names against all the photos.  From those she did name, I have been able to annotate this group photo taken on the steps of Challenger Lodge:

Photo 1

0_groups_and_outings_challenger_lodge_1950s_perhaps.htm

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Heather Sims             Photographer not known

I also have photos of other children, whom I can’t put a name to.  I used to love looking at the photos as a child, and my mother would say “that’s little …” but I never thought to ask her to write the names down, and now it’s too late.  She died in 1998.

Here is another group photo:

Photo 2

Challenger Lodge, Boswall Road, Edinburgh  -  Group on the steps of the home at Challenger Lodge

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Heather Sims             Photographer not known

I've not been able to name the children in this one, but one of them could be Jeffrey Bruce, mentioned by Elizabeth Raeburn-Fellowes in Recollections 7 above.

My mother is also in this photo.  She is standing in the middle.  I think this photo was possible taken a little before Photo 1.

I'm afraid there is no further information on these photos, as to who took them or what the occasions were."

Chief Constable Merrilees

"Chief Constable Merrilees is a name that I grew up with.  My mother always spoke very fondly of him.  Sadly, I never thought to ask much about him.  I just know that he was very good to the children at Challenger Lodge.

My mother’s albums include:

a newspaper photograph of the Chief Constable with the children as they celebrated their belated Christmas at the end of the whooping cough and mumps quarantine.

a newspaper photograph of  the Chief Constable with my mother and two of the children in a taxi, taken during the Edinburgh taxi drivers’ annual outing for sick, crippled and orphaned children to Gullane.

original photographs of the children and adults (including Chief Constable Merrilees) on a picnic to Castle Craig in May 1954.

Chief Constable Merrilees’ obituary in the Scotsman, Thursday August 23, 1984."

Children's Home

"As a child, I never questioned why these children should be in a home.  It's certainly something I ask now.  In the photos, many of the children look capable of living ordinary lives within a family (although, having no medical training myself, I may be wrong). 

Here are a couple of newspaper quotes, the second quote being a little sadder.

1. 

"Challenger Lodge accommodates 25 cripple children who, for their complete recovery, may require special care and adequate diet, or who, suffering from some disabling condition, are not fit for everyday life.

Some of the children come from remote parts of Scotland, and owing to their handicapped condition and the distances involved, cannot otherwise receive adequate surgical supervision or education."

2. 

"The children come from all parts of Scotland, and some have been completely deserted by their parents.  But it is quite evident that they get love and affection at Challenger Lodge from the devoted staff."

I hope Evelyn Southgate ('Recollections 8 + 9' above) was not 'deserted by her parents'It seems as though Challenger Lodge did give her a happy, if somewhat puzzling, childhood."

My Mother's Memories

"My mother had some sad tales about some of the children, but also some lovely heart-warming ones. 

Bob Hope visited the home, and I have photographs and newspaper cuttings of that occasion.   But my mother also told a lovely story of Roy Rogers coming to the home to make a little boy’s dream come true.  I don't have any pictures of that, nor do I know which of the little boys it was.

I'd love to hear from any of the children who may remember my mother.  I've looked at their photographs so many times and wondered what happened to the children.  And I would, or course, be happy to share these photographs with them.

I'm hoping to hear from some of these faces from the past."

Heather Sims:  September 24, + October 2, 2011

Reply to Heather?

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

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 26, 2011

 Recollections

11.

Evelyn Boyd Southgate (née Browne)

Croydon, Surrey, England

Evelyn Southgate added:

Message from Heather

"I took a look at your site today to see if there were any new entries  re Challenger Lodge and spotted a new photo from Heather Sims, then  I found her lovely message.

Heather's mother may not have known me as I  have worked out that I left in the Spring of 1952.

Respite Home

"I've seen Challenger Lodge referred to somewhere as a 'Respite Home for Crippled Children' and this makes sense of my experiences in the home as being intended for short term residential care.

For the time I was there, which includes my earliest memories until age  9, I was the only one who never received visitors and the only one who never eventually left to go home to my own family. 

Some of the  children were severely disabled physically and came in to be nursed  for a while before returning home.  Some were resident for the  carrying out of operations in Edinburgh and for the subsequent post -operative care

Others came in to receive a course of regular physiotherapy appropriate to their condition.  I had a sense of a  family institution that came and went while I stood still and this  applied to the staff as well as the children.  However the teacher,  Miss Edith McGregor was a constant and I felt a bond with her.

My Treatment

"I assume that my own mother became overwhelmed by the responsibility of providing for her disabled daughter on her own (she never married) and applied to the Edinburgh Crippled Children Society for help in the form of respite care for me at the home, then succumbed to the  temptation to abandon me there.

Those were terribly difficult days  and she would have known that I would be well cared for which indeed I  was because my disablement was successfully treated and for this I am  so very grateful!"

Evelyn Southgate, Croydon, Surrey, England:  November 9, 2011

 Recollections

12.

John Stevenson

Trinity, Edinburgh

John Stevenson tells me:

Visit to the Pantomime

"I remember, when I was aged about 18, and a member of the Bible Class at Wardie Parish Church, two of us from the church - a boy and a girl - would take a boy and girl from Challenger Lodge to the Pantomime at the King's Theatre each Christmas.  That would have been around 1950.

The church paid for the tickets for the two from Challenger Lodge.  There were no burger bars then to go on to after the Pantomime, so we all went to a nearby milk bar, but we had to be sure that we were not late arriving back at Challenger Lodge."

John Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  February 17, 2013

 Recollections

13.

Rhys Mckenna

Thank you to Rhys Mckenna for sending his gran's memories of staying at Challenger Lodge.

Rhys wrote:

Jean Johnson

At Challenger Lodge

1935 to around 1951

"My gran, Jean Johnson, was born in 1933 in Scotland.  She was at the Challenger Lodge home from 1935 until around 1951, she reckons.

She remembers lots about the Challenger Lodge, and in great detail. We found the EdinPhoto site today, and I am emailing you on her behalf.

My gran remembers:

-  She remembers being taken to the Rosebery Estate for picnics.

-  She remembers Bible Classes and Hymns.
She laughed fondly when I reminded her of the Hymn someone had mentioned on this page: 'There's a friend for little children above the bright blue sky’.

-  She remembers when she was around 6 having lessons on how to put on her gasmask then having to go and collect a little Mickey Mouse one from another dormitory.

-  She remembers her dorm and how it stretched back and that the lodge backed on to the sea.

-  She remembers walking along the road to the church, just as another resident on this group said.

-  She speaks really warmly of William Merrilees, and spoke about how he would show the residents all that he was doing, with slide shows of work and stories of him going undercover, dressed up to catch someone at Waverley station. 

-  She remembers Merrilees being great with the children and throwing a small girl over his shoulder in play when he came in, she says her name was Betty

-  She remembers the Greyfriars Bobby part and Miss MacGregor. 

-  She remembers Matron Margaret Thompson and she was wondering if anyone else knew her.

-  She still remembers the malt and cod liver oil and still says 'yuk' at the taste!

-   She remembers the gardener's cottage at the start of the grounds by the left-hand gate and the beautiful gardens

-  She remembers two of the  girls, Janet Fulton and Rose(bud) Owens

She also told me a story about how Matron Thompson used to lay the presents out at Christmas and how my gran woke up and asked: 'Are you Santa?'   She laughs about that. 

We spent hours talking about Challenger Lodge, and were so surprised and warmed to see such a community and page of memories of Challenger Lodge online.  We read through all the entries laughing and smiling."

Rhys McKenna (age 22, gran age 83):  28 August 2016.

 

Photos:  Challenger Lodge

Recollections

Contributors

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks