John Clephane & Sons

Plumbers and Electricians

Canonmills, Edinburgh




Sandy Sievwright

Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

Thank you to Sandy Sievwright who wrote:

Canon Street

"In the late-1960s, I worked in Canon Street.  My employer was Clephane, a large well known plumbing company who had moved from Pitt Street (now Dundas Street), where their offices and workshops were next door to Gaedor and near to Moir and Baxter."

Our Offices

"I started there in 1966 as a cost clerk.  We moved, a year or two later, into Canonmills House, a 3-storey old but modernised building, on the bottom-right of Canon Street.  Immediately up from our building was A & A Wigmakers.

Our offices were well ahead of their time for a Plumbing and Electrical company. We had a petrol pump at the rear of the building beside the Wigmakers.

Our office walls were very thick, maybe about a foot ad a half.  We had secondary glazing to cut out the noise from the street and the garage."

Businesses Nearby

"From my desk I could see down to the Esso petrol station and often enjoyed popping the various cars and vans through for a car wash.  Mid morning rolls often came from Taylor's over the road, and sometimes from one of two Cafés up in Eyre Place, opposite the Sweetie wholesalers, based in an old church.

On the left of Canon Street, opposite our main entrance was a Café.  I remember the owner was called Ted and I can still taste the fish and chips lunch that I got once a week on pay day."

Office Equipment

"We used a Sumlock comptometer for adding up rows of figures in tenders for contracts, but within a year or so we were introduced to a big grey machine about 2ft by 2ft by nearly 2ft high, a very early calculator called Anita.  It it was replaced soon afterwards by another Anita, this time a tenth of the size of it's predecessor. All this took place just after decimalisation, hence the need to replace the Sumlock."


"The company had a fleet of yellow vehicles consisting of a light delivery truck and about 5 mini vans.  In the early 1970s, I moved to anther employment and soon afterwards the company folded partly due to the horrendous inflation of materials and labour after the introduction of VAT."

Sandy Sievwright, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  May 20, 2012




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