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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

 

Recollections

Chimney Sweeps

 

Recollections

1.

Bob Sinclair
Queensland, Australia

Eddie and Julie

2.

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Keepsake

3.

Jim Vandepeear
York, Yorkshire, England

East Preston Street

-  On the Roof

-  Finding the Fireplace

-  In the House

-  Problems

4.

Brian
near Edinburgh

My Uncle Paddy

Calls:  'Woo-ooo' and 'Pee-hee'

5.

Allan Dodds

Howard Street

-  'Weep!'

-  Wrong Chimney

 

Recollections

1.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair, now living in Queensland, Australia, who wrote:

Eddie and Julie

"My uncle Eddie was, he reckoned, the first chimney sweep in Edinburgh.  He used to go out with his wife, Julie, to sweep lums.   At one call, they had a joint chimney at the top which serviced two houses. 

One neighbour, on hearing that the woman next door was getting her lum swept, asked my uncle to do hers at the same time. Both women left the key with another woman on the same landing.

My uncle collected both keys and let his wife into one of the houses and made his way up to the roof.   His method was to tie a brick or stone on a rope and drop the brick down the chimney where my aunt would wait with a catcher to collect the soot. He would shout 'Ah Hoo' down the lum and she would reply in like manner indicating that they had the right chimney.

The trouble with a chimney stack which services two houses is that you can hear the reply fairly well.  But if you don't turn the vent plate the right way or forget to turn it when you've finished the first chimney, the soot comes out in the wrong hoose.

Well auntie did her Al Jolson impression when he came down, but it wasn't in song.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 21, 2010

 

Recollections

2.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who wrote:

Keepsake

"I found this keepsake at the back of my hut today.  I wonder if the oldies will guess what it is.

Do you recognise this  -  A keepsake found by Bob Henderson at the back of his hut in Burdiehouse, Edinburgh ©

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  May 18, 2010

Please click on the thumbnail image above to see the answer.

 

Recollections

3.

Jim Vandepeear

York, Yorkshire, England

Here are more recollections of a chimney sweep.  I originally added these recollections to the East Preston Street page on the EdinPhoto web site in December 2006.  I've now also added these recollections below to continue the theme of chimney sweeps on this page.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 2013

Jim wrote:

East Preston Street

"There were 32 chimneys to the tenement where we lived in East Preston Street..  Each  stack had 12 chimney pots.  All  the chimneys merged as they went upwards in the building."

On the Roof

"The chimney sweeps would divide, one to the house and fireplace, the other up a ladder at the top of the stairway, a drop of about 80feet below him.  Then a hatch and perilous climb up the sloping tiles to the chimneys.

The sweep on the roof had a long rope, with heavy  weights, about 4 inches in diameter near the end, and a large stiff circular brush attached above the weights.   The weighted rope, with brush, was dropped down the chimney."

Finding the Fireplace

"To get brush and weight from chimney to the desired fireplace:

- The roof man bellows down the flue, a long ‘WOOO,ooo,ooo!’  

- The fireplace man replies ‘WAAA.aaa,aaa!’.

- Roof man jiggles the rope and weights at each junction in the flue, until the fireplace man calls  ‘WOOO,ooo,ooo!’.

‘WOOO,ooo,ooo!’ the right signal, and the roof man knows the brush is at the right fireplace.  Fireplace man knows if brush has the correct flue by the amount of soot and debris falling where he is."

In the House

"The fireplace was prepared by draping a heavy cloth over and around, weighted into place, to allow the soot to settle, hopefully, behind the cloth.  The room cleared of nearly all furniture beforehand.

Long before the chimney is pronounced clean,  the room and the sweep have inch deep coats of soot.  When the cloth was removed from the fireplace, the sweep shovelled  the soot into blackened sacks and carried them away. 

The fire would be re-lit and Gran would spend the rest of the day cleaning up."

 Problems

"And all this Woo-ing and Waa-ing is inaccurate.   A neighbour in the tenement, or in the adjoining tenement, having their chimney swept could cause soot and debris to come down into our fireplace or even into Gran’s cooking pots.

Sweeps'  weights were  heavy. Once, several bricks, plus soot, arrived in our kitchen fireplace when the sweeps were in the adjoining tenement, interrupting our meal."

Jim Vandepeear, York, Yorkshire, England:  December 10, 2006

 

Recollections

4.

Brian

near Edinburgh

Thank you to Brian, who wrote:

My Uncle Paddy

"Tonight, I came across the Chimney Sweeps recollections above  -  fascinating!

My Uncle Paddy was a chimney sweep.  I always heard tales in our family about the  cries the sweeps used.

'Woo-ooo'

and

'Pee-hee'

"I've never heard of the 'Woo-ooo' as quoted by others.

I understood that it was 'Pee-hee' (shouted down the chimney from the roof and 'Pee-hee-hee' (the reply called up to confirm the correct fireplace was being covered, with that terrible, sooty cloth supposed to catch the debris as the ball and brush was dropped down the flue."

Brian, near Edinburgh:  September 5, 2013

 

Recollections

5.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Howard Street

'Weep!'

"Chimney sweeps evidently had their own local 'dialects' of calls.

Ours, in Howard Street, was "Weep!" This word was exchanged between the sweep on the rooftop and his assistant within the tenement flat below."

Wrong Chimney!

"Sometimes communications failed, and there was nothing worse than the ball and brush descending of a morning, uninvited and unannounced, within the grate to the surprise and consternation of those below who might have been innocently toasting a breakfast slice of bread over a few dying embers from the night before!"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire,  England:  September 15, 2013

 

Recollections  -  More Pages

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