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Edinburgh Recollections

Corstorphine

and

Clermiston

Districts about 4 miles to the west of the centre of Edinburgh

 

Recollections

1.

Jim Thomson
Australia

-  Plumbers:  Fell & Mathieson

2.

Maxine Adam
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

-  Cinema:  The Astoria

3

Betty McGill
Edinburgh

-  Cinema:  The Astoria

4.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Rest & Be Thankful

-  Edinburgh Zoo

5.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Buttercup Farm

6.

Frances MacRae
Corstorphine Trust, Edinburgh

-  Year of the Homecoming, 2009

7.

Bill Scott
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Farm

8.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Buttercup Farm

-  Plumbers

-  Fell & Mathieson Bike

-  Fell & Mathieson Barrow

9.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Fell & Mathieson

-  As a Young Apprentice

-  Davey Fell

-  On the Tenements

-  Corstorphine: 1940s + 1950s

10.

Tony Bowden
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

-  Buttercup Farm

11.

Tony Bowden
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

-  Buttercup Farm - Question: 1936 photo

12.

Bill Scott
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Farm - writing a book

13.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Fishy Tamson

-  Harvey, The Grocer

-  Dick, The Butcher

-  Corstorphine High Street

-  The Farm

14.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  The Scarlet's Farm

-  Travel by Tram

-  Tradesmen

-  Return Home

-  Takeover

-  Football

15.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Corncrakes

-  Tomatoes from the Gyle

-   Doctors

-   Carrick Knowe Houses

16.

Ian Taylor
South Glasgow, Scotland

-  Buttercup Dairies

17.

Stuart Burgess
Devon, England

-  Corrie Woods

18.

Bill Hall
Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland

-  North Clermiston Farm

19.

Bill Scott
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Poultry Farm

20.

Avril Finlayson Smith
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Poultry Farm

21.

Bill Scott
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Poultry Farm

22.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Buttercup Farm, 1949

23.

Jim Thomson
Australia

-  Plumbers:  Fell & Mathieson

-  Bike

-  Dave Fell

-  Bob Sutherland

-  Corstorphine

24.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Plumbers:  Fell & Mathieson

-  Bike

-  Raleigh

25.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Buttercup Farm

-  Plumbers

-  Fell & Mathieson Bike

-  Fell & Mathieson Barrow

26.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Corstorphine Road

-  Pinkhill

-  Football

-  Golf Course

-  Today

27.

Roger McDermaid
Corstorphine, Edinburgh

-  Corstorphine

-  The Piggery

-  Garage

-  Police Station and Roundabout

-  Craigmount Farm

28.

Roger McDermaid
Corstorphine, Edinburgh

-  The Astoria

29.

Roger McDermaid
Corstorphine, Edinburgh

-  Shops

-  St Cuthbert's Store

-  Other Businesses

30.

Lilian Young
Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

-  Astoria Cinema

-  Grocery

-  Fish Shop

-  Candy Store

-  Piggery Farm

-  Pinkhill

-  Children's Home

-  Convalescent Home

-  Our Home

31.

Bill Scott
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

-  Buttercup Farm Park

-  Plans

-  Reports

32.

Mary Boucher
(
née McColgan)

Canada

-  Children's Home

-  Convalescent Home

33.

Graham Mackay

-  The Widower's Children's Home

-  Photos

-  Refugee

-  Newsagent

34.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Plumbers

35.

George Ritchie
North Gyle, Edinburgh

-  Ma Smith's Dancing

36.

Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Memories

-  Plumbing Apprenticeship

-  Beyond Maybury

-  Plumbing Work

-  Lamont's Works

-  Old Tools

37.

Kenny Watt
Edinburgh

xxx

 

 

Recollections

1.

Jim Thomson

Australia

Thank you to Jim Thomson, now living in Australia, who wrote:

Fell & Mathieson

Plumbing and Photography

"I served my apprenticeship  as a young  tradesman with Fell & Mathiesion (Plumbers),  St Johns Road, Corstorphine.

I  married  and moved to Australia  where, after a few years, I  set up my own  business.  After a number of years.  I took a strong interest in wildlife photography, which I still do to this  day.

I often  think of my early days as a plumber in Corstorphine  and  my boss with his  push bike loaded with tools, putty  paint, etc,  I can assure you I was well trained  by Dave Fell  and it has stood me in good stead all my life.

I am  now 80  and still active  with my photography.

I often  wonder what Corstorphine is like now"

Jim Thomson, Australia:  April 19, 2008

The Bike

The bike that Jim mentions is now in the Corstorphine Trust Museum at the Corstorphine Heritage Centre.  Here is a photo that I took of it in March 2011.

Corstorphine Heritage Trust Museum  -  Fell & Mathieson Cycle ©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  April 12, 2011

 

Recollections

2.

Maxine Adam

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Maxine Adam, now living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who wrote:

Cinema

The Astoria

"I was browsing the site, waxing all nostalgic and noticed that the recollections of cinemas in Edinburgh didn't mention 'The Astoria' at Corstorphine.  Doesn't anyone remember that old flea pit? 

My granny and I used to go there twice a week as they changed the program mid week in those days.  She'd buy us our 1/4 of sweeties at the wee sweet shop on the way there, mine were raspberry sookers and hers were aniseed balls! 

 Happy days."

Maxine Adam, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:  July 1, 2008

 

Recollections

3.

Betty McGill

Edinburgh

Thank you to Betty McGill, Edinburgh who wrote:

Cinema

The Astoria

"In answer to Maxine, yes I remember the Astoria very well.  My boyfriend and I used to go there once a weekIt's gone now, replace by a frozen food store.

Corstorphine though, like everywhere else, is a now a very busy thoroughfare with heavy traffic !!!

 It still has its little park though."

Betty McGill, Edinburgh:  July 2, 2008

Thanks for the comments, Betty.  Corstorphine also still has:

-   Edinburgh Zoo on Corstorphine Hill, with some new enclosures and others planned.

The old tower on Corstorphine Hill.  It is open some summer weekends and gives good views around Edinburgh.

- The Dower House, now re-named the Corstorphine Heritage Centre,  at the edge of St Margaret's Park.  The history of this house can be traced back to 1587

Peter Stubbs:   July 3, 2008

 

Recollections

4.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia who wrote about Corstorphine Hill.

Ian wrote:

Rest & Be Thankful

"Three years ago, one Sunday morning, my daughter and I walked a trail through Corstorphine Woods which has never changed in 60 yrs.  It winds its way to the Rest & Be Thankful,  one of the finest views of Edinburgh, to the right is the zoo fence.

It was a trip down memory lane for me.  As a boy in the 1940s, I use to play all over the woods, sledging in winter."

Edinburgh Zoo

From the tower, entry to the zoo was either through loose pailings or by tunnelling under.

There was a disused quarry in the woods.  I wonder what  the history of this is.

Also, do readers remember when stray bombs hit the zoo during the war years, with a number of animals escaping?   We were in our Anderson shelter in the garden.  I can remember that night clearly.

I look back at my childhood with fond memories."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  July 7, 2008

 

Recollections

5.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Ian Thomson wrote again, after reading about Dr Lindsay Lennie's research into the Buttercup Dairy Co shops.

Tiles in a Buttercup Dairy Co shop, based on a painting by Tom Curr ©

Ian wrote:

Buttercup Farm

"In 1949, when I started my apprenticeship as a plumber with Fell & Mathieson, my first job was at Buttercup Farm, at the top of Clermiston Hill, Corstorphine.  Our firm did the plumbing on the farm.

Old Bob Sutherland and I used to travel along St John's Road, Corstorphine and up the Clermiston Hill, sometimes pushing the old iron barrow.

The farm was on the left, now long since gone.  Old Mr Ewing lived in the big house on the farm.  He must have been near 80, or so it seemed to me just turned 15.  He was a small, well dressed man.

On Saturday mornings, after a week's work he would make his rounds, giving the tradesmen £1 each and the apprentices ten shillings each.  Needless to say, we were all peeping around corners awaiting his arrival. 

Buttercup Farm was used for storage of goods, and for horse stables.  I also remember the Buttercup Dairy Co shop at the bottom of Easter Road.

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia November 14, 2008

 

Recollections

6.

Frances McRae

Corstorphine Trust, Edinburgh

Frances MacRae, Archivist at Corstorphine Trust  left the message below in the EdinPhoto guestbook.  If you'd like to contact the Corstorphine Trust after reading her message, here is the address to send your email to:

 Corstorphine Trust

Frances wrote:

Year of the Homecoming

 2009

"2009 has been designated the 'Year Of The Homecoming'. Here at Corstorphine Trust we are planning a week long series of events from 29th June-4th July, 2009

As part of this week we intend to have a display in the Dower House (headquarters of The Corstorphine Trust) featuring people/families who were born in Corstorphine, who now live in other parts of the world.  If you would like to tell me some of your memories of Corstorphine I would be delighted to include them in our display."

Frances MacRae, Corstorphine Trust, Edinburgh
 Message posted in guestbook November 18, 2008.

 

Recollections

7.

Bill Scott

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Buttercup Farm

Growing up on the Farm

Thank you to Bill Scott for contacting me and telling me his Internet pages that give

-  a short history of Buttercup Dairies and founder, Andrew Ewing.

-  some photographs associated with the Buttercup Dairy Company.

Bill describes in these pages how, in the 1950s, he was born and brought up on Buttercup poultry farm, on the hill at Clermiston, by his parents, grandparents and other family members who lived on the farm.

He mentions that Inverarites Estate, Fox Covert and Clermiston were all neighbours to Buttercup Farm.

Andrew Ewing

Bill describes Andrew Ewing (1869-1956) the owner of the Buttercup Dairy Company shops and Buttercup Farm as being a generous man with the demeanour of Mr Chips.  Andrew donated all his eggs laid on a Sunday to charity.

Bill later added:

"Since the daily lay was 110,000, I wonder where all the eggs went."

Shops

Andrew opened his first dairy shop around 1904.  By the 1920s, he had a chain of 250 Buttercup Dairy Company shops across Scotland and Northern England.

Hens

At its peak around 1930, Buttercup poultry farm occupied 100 acres.  It had 6 miles of  road and 200,000 hens.  It was known locally as 'Hen City'

Acknowledgement:  Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  February 3 + March 3, 2009

 

Recollections

8.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who replied:

Buttercup Farm

"Bill Scott's comments (7 above) on Buttercup Farm bring back memories.  My first job there was in the gardener's cottage, down the lane on the right hand side, and also the big white house where Mr Ewing lived.

The hen houses must have been gone by 1949.  I don't remember them

Fox Covert and Clerwood were neighbours to the buttercup"

Plumbers

"Fell & Mathieson, plumbers and electricians, were situated in St John's Road, Corstorphine, almost opposite Manse Road, up a lane  that opened out to a large yard shared by a grocers, bakers and paper shop.

On a trip back to Edinburgh, I walked up the lane and was surprised to see a new house where the workshop used to be."

Fell & Mathieson - Bike

"I met Bill Mathieson in the 1990s at the Corstorphine Trust, when it met in Dr Cormack's house.  He would have been in his 80s then and had retired to a cottage in Manse Road.

Also in the trust was a Fell & Mathieson bike, used by the plumbers as a means of travel to the jobs."

Corstorphine Heritage Trust Museum  -  Fell & Mathieson Cycle ©

"Many a day we cycled to the farms as far away as Gogar, Ratho and Broxburn. It was a 1-gear bike with box in front, loaded up with plumbing tools etc.  The back wheel would rise off the ground, so you had to get on the saddle quick.

In these days, motor cars were few & far between and the Maybury and Glasgow Road was a peaceful spot."

Fell & Mathieson - Barrow

"The big iron barrow which stood in the yard, rain or shine, was a great muscle-builder, pushing it up Clermiston Hill, laden to the guddle.

On the way down we took up a position in front, like a horse, andsparks flew from tackety boots.  I would break in to a trot with old Bob Sutherland hanging on to the back, giving my ears a roasting.

The trip along St John's Road was 'stop-and-start' with old bob doffing his bonnet to the customers.  He certainly knew how to hang on to the back of the barrow.  We always seemed to appear at the workshop one minute before finishing time, 4.45pm."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  February 10, 2009

 

Recollections

9.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who replied:

Fell & Mathieson

As a Young Apprentice

"As a just-turned-fifteen-year-old, gullible I certainly was.  In the first year, I was sent by my mate to the chemist shop and spent an hour there awaiting a long stand, and I was sent to the painter's shop for a tin of tartan paint.

Another job we did was cleaning out the big lead-lined cisterns in the attic - dead birds, muck, you name it, then emptying the water out and waxing with candles and a blowlamp to close of any leaks."

Davey Fell

"The first one I did was with young Davey Fell.  He had me paddling about inside the cistern without my breeks on, in the middle of winter, too.  The older apprentices were the worst, taking a delight in my misfortune,

Davey, at the time, was in his last year and was the despair of his father. He was once caught on the bike coming down Clermiston with two other apprentices on board at a rapid speed.  The only trouble was that they ran into the police at the bottom of the hill."

On the Tenements

"I remember working at the tenements in Victor Park, on the roof fixing the leaking rones (gutters).  We came through the skylight.  Rope was wrapped around me.  Old bob in the attic fed out the rope as i eased my way down the slates to the rones.  You had to repair the joints, so leaning over was a must.

The order of the day was putty and paint, our favourite weapon for anything to do with leaks.  Needless to say, you were looking down 4 stories, winter time too.

Well, it happened.  The stone paint slipped from my fingers.  I watched, entranced as it made its way down, striking the pavement like a bomb.

Old Bob had a few choice words for me.  Likewise, the boss, when we returned to the shop.  Cleaning gear was supplied.  The butcher's shop window had turned to stone.  After much scrubbing it was presentable, but the pavement remained coloured for a long time after."

Corstorphine: 1940s and 1950s

"When I look back at Corstorphine in the 1940s and early-1950s, some things make me chuckle, like standing in St  John's Road, with old Bob and another old timer with our caps on our hearts, after hearing king george had died, or being told by the lady of the house there would be no water for our drums (billycans) for our tea.  We even worked Christmas Day

There was a class distinction in those days.  Still, you could enjoy a laugh, watching old Bob perform with the customers that withering smile (he never smiled at us), his cap off revealing a shiny top.

With a different voice, he was from the old school, waistcoat pocket watch, boots you could see your face in, but above all a fine tradesman."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  February 10, 2009

 

Recollections

10.

Tony Bowden

Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Tony Bowden who wrote:

Buttercup Farm

"My Great Grandfather was the Manager for the Poultry farm that supplied the chickens and eggs (and mushrooms, believe it or not) to the stores!

He was the Manager when the farm caught fire and burnt down - and Mr Ewing made the decision to begin a pig farm. (This is my recollection of what I was told by my Granny.)

Tony Bowden, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England:  February 16, 2009

 

Recollections

11.

Tony Bowden

Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

Tony Bowden added:

Question

Buttercup Farm  -  Photograph of the Fire, 1936

"I would appreciate it if you were able to ask if anybody has seen or knows where I can get any photos relating to the farm fire in 1936.

My Granny seems to recall the front page of one of the Edinburgh papers showed her Father at the time of the fire in his pyjamas.

If any of your contributors could help it would be much appreciated!

Tony Bowden, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England:  February 16, 2009

Answer?

I've had a brief look through the Scotsman Archive and Scran web sites. I've not found the photograph of the fire, but may have missed it because I just use the free service and do not subscribe to the full service from these two companies.

However, I see that the fire was reported in an article in The Scotsman newspaper on July 25, 1936.

If you can help Tony to find the photo that he is looking for, please email me, then I'll forward your message to him.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  February 26, 2009

 

Recollections

12.

Bill Scott

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Buttercup Farm

Thank you to Bill Scott who followed up his comments (in recollections 7 above) by telling me:

Book

"I am writing a history of Buttercup Farm.  I hope to publish this  as a book.

I'd welcome any stories or recollections about the Buttercup Dairy Company or Poultry Farm that anybody could send to me."

Reply to Bill Scott

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

Thank you    -  Peter Stubbs:  March 3, 2009

Update  -  January 2011

Bill wrote on January 3, 2011 to let me know that he hopes that his book on Buttercup Dairy Company will be published in March 2011.  Here is a link to his web site about the company:

Buttercup Dairy Company

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 3, 2011

Acknowledgement:  Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  Feby 3, 2009 + Jan 3, 2011

 

Recollections

13.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who replied:

Fishy Tamson

"I enjoyed your recent pic of Thomson, the Fishmonger at Old Corstorphine. Your collection of the village brings back memories for me.

W Thomson's Shop and Van  -  St John's Road, Corstorphine ©

My travels as a plumber's apprentice with Fell & Mathieson took me to Fishy Tamson, as we called them, where we did plumbing in the yard at the back in the cleaning bays.

The shop was just past the Harp Hotel on the north side of St John's Road,  going into the city.  I only vaguely remember the boss, but one thing I do remember when working there was the hit song 'I'm  in the Mood for Love'.  Everybody was singing it.  This was in the early 1950s.  It's funny how you associate  places with songs."

Harvey, The Grocers

"Not far from Fishy Tamson was Harvey, the grocers, where I worked as a message boy after school for a few bob, biking around Corstorphine or helping in the shop."

Dick, The Butcher

"I moved on to dick the butcher, across the road, received 5 shillings a week  -  a lot of money for school boy in these days.

Corstorphine High Street

"The High Street, which features in one of your pics, was the main hub of life in the 1940s.

Postcard by Valenting  -   Corstorphine in the early 1900s ©

 Many a day was spent in the queue for the rations during the war, and who can forget Scobie's sweety shop on the corner of High Street and North Saughton Road, with the fine old church opposite.  A wander through the graveyard is the history of Corstorphine.

The 13th boys brigade were in the hall next door with old Captain Knight keeping us boys in order.  We had a  a good football team too.  I was a regular on the wing , but I was asked to leave because of my church attendance."

The Farm

"On the road to Gogar, past St Margaret's Park, the school and the piggery, there was a farm where the finest tomatoes were obtained for 2 bob a bag.  That was a Sunday trip on the bike."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 23, 2009

 

Recollections

14.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who wrote again with more memories of working for Fell & Mathieson, plumbers at Corstorphine.

Ian wrote:

The Scarlet's Farm

"Our travels in plumbing from Corstorphine took us to the Scarlet's farm up the Wallyford Brae.  I beleive the boss's daughter was married to the son.

Travel by Tram

"So, it was down the alley and on to the tram in St John's Road, not before the purchase of 5 Woodbine 7 pence for old Bob.

The tools etc. were dispatched in the well of the tram, guarded by the conductor.  Up the stairs we went. I usually talked Bob into the front compartment with closed glass door where he could puff to his heart's content as we shoogled our way along to the Post Office.

There, we changed trams for Levenhall via Portobello and Joppa.  Then we had a slow shuffle up the brae to the big house, half way up the brae on the left, getting there in time for morning tea."

Tradesmen

"Work was in the big bathrooms.  The joiners came from Musselburgh.  One individual nailed the metal lunch box with my piece (sandwich) to the floor.

Dinner time was always a laugh with the tradesmen.  Old Bob had a poor appetite, so i had to help him there.  Taking back your piece to the misses was taboo."

Return Journey

"Then we repeated the journey, back to Corstorphine, always arriving around finishing time."

Takeover

"Fell & Mathieson were later taken over by two of there workmen, wee Jock Fairbairn, plumber, and Jimmy Wilson, electrician."

Football

"I met Jimmy on one of my trips back  He ran the Edinburgh Electrical Trades Football Team. trades football team, and when I was about 16, they use to play me on the left wing.

I did not hang on to the ball as I was 2lbs lighter than a balloon and there were some burly fullbacks.  Two other electricians from Fell & Mathieson played for us at that time, George Laing and Jimmy Kinnaird who I beleive migrated to Canada."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 23, 2009

 

Recollections

15.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who wrote again, about four months after telling me some of his memories above.

Ian wrote:

Corncrakes

"I remember the call of the corncrakes around Corstorphine.  They are, gone now, taken over with urban sprawl.  I believe they still prevail in the Hebrides in these days."

Corncrakes could also be heard in other Edinburgh districts.  A book by Ann Mitchell about the area surrounding Calton Hill, published in 1998, was titled 'No More Corncrakes'                        -  Peter Stubbs.

Tomatoes from the Gyle

"To the west of Castle Avenue, Corstorphine, there were fields and farms.  Where where the Gyle shopping centre is now, there was a narrow farm road that led to the Gogar tomato houses. In season, the finest of tomatoes were obtained for 2 bob a bag, a Sunday trip on the bike.  At Gogarburn, a road to Ratho passed the greenhouses just before Gogar Station."

Doctors

"Dr Cormack, one of the local doctors, lived in a big stone house at the corner of the Manse Road and St John's Road.  He was a member of the Corstorphine Trust.  In my plumbing days, Iworked in his house.

Our family doctor was Dr Galbraith whose practice was in St John's Road opposite Kirk Loan."

Carrick Knowe Houses

"Carrick Knowe houses must have started in the early 1930s. The Stank was the northern border of the houses, after which were fields to Tylers Acre, further to the north..

On Summer days, in August, us kids would watch the farmer cut the wheat, and do the impossible, catching the hares that shot out, to the east the golf coarse.  It was a playground for the kids during the war.

I was interested to read about an old Carrick Knowe person, Jim Dow.  He lived in the Terrace.  He left with his family for Africa, and went on to be a successful journalist, writer and Editor of 'The Scotsman'.  I remember him well."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  July 11, 2009

 

Recollections

16.

Ian Taylor

South Glasgow, Scotland

Thank you to Ian Taylor who wrote:

Buttercup Dairies

"I see that Dr Lindsay Lennie has visited the old Buttercup Dairy shop (now Craiglea Clocks ) in Comiston Road Edinburgh.

I remember this shop from my childhood years as we lived very nearby. As Dr Lennie says, there is a  re-creation in 'The Peoples' Palace museum in Glasgow (well worth a visit!).

A replica of a Buttercup Dairy Co shop, at the People's Palace Museum in Glasgow ©

It brings back memories of hand-carved butter pats, huge lumps of cheese cut with cheese-wires, and tiles everywhere.

Thanks for the memories."

Ian Taylor, South Glasgow, Scotland:  August 11, 2009

 

Recollections

17

Stuart Burgess

Devon, England

Thank you to Stuart Burgess who wrote.

Corrie Woods

"The 'Corrie Woods' at Corstorphine were great for adventures - no parental or adult supervision, so you could make fires and boil water for tea and climb trees and play soldiers or cowboys and indians.

Stuart Burgess:  Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

 

Recollections

18.

Bill Hall

Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Bill Hall who wrote asking two questions.

North Clermiston Farm

1.  "Do you have any photographs of North Clermiston Farm?

The only one I have is from a newspaper cutting that my Grandmother had from when the farm was being pulled down for building new houses.  I don't know the date."

2.  "Do you know if there is any connection between North Clermiston Farm and the Buttercup Dairy Farm.?"

Bill Hall, Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland:  May 20, 2010

Reply to Bill

Unfortunately I'm not able to help with the two questions above.  However, if you have any comments that you would like to pass on to Bill, please email me, then I'll pass them on to him.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, May 20, 2010

 Bill added:

Our Family at North Clermiston Farm

"My Grandmother, as a girl, lived at North Clermiston Farm around the 1890's.

Her father, Joseph Williamson, had been a Cabinetmaker in Bell's Brae,  Dean Village (Water of Leith Village).  He did a lot of the internal woodwork and doors on Cabbie Stewart's House on Dean Bridge.

However, Joseph was taken unwell and the family moved:

 first to Drylaw farm, which is now the new Police Station at the top of Pennywell Road

-   then to North Clermiston farm where the oldest son Joseph Notman Williamson took up pig farming.  This had been the trade of  William Williamson my Grandmother's Grandfather!

Emigration

Joseph (elder) died at North Clermiston Farm and the family, headed now by Joseph Notman Williamson, moved out to Edgefield farm at Loanhead to again pig farm.

In 1903 Joseph Notman Williamson emigrated to Australia where he bred pigs and became an orchardist growing apples, a perfect marriage - pork and apple!

Bill Hall, Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland:  May 20, 2010

 

Recollections

19.

Bill Scott

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Buttercup Poultry Farm

Thank you to Bill Scott for allowing me to include some of his images of Buttercup Poultry Farm on the EdinPhoto web site.

I've now added these photos and a brief note about the farm and its connection to Buttercup Dairy Co to this page on the web site:

    Farm Entrance at Buttercup Dairy Farm, Clermiston, Edinburgh - 1947 ©

Buttercup Poultry Farm

Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  November 18, 2010

 

Recollections

20.

Avril Finlayson Smith

Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Avril Finlayson Smith wrote:

Buttercup Poultry Farm

"I've just been reading recollections about the Buttercup Poultry Farm.  This brought back memories of my visit's there as a child, to the Whiting Family.  I can't remember too much about it, apart from it being a very happy time.

Bill Scott points out his mother, Annie Davidson, in the photo of  six poultry assistants at the farm.  I am now wondering if this was Annie Whiting before she married,  Her mother's name was Lizzie.  It would be great to perhaps find this out from Bill Scott, if at all possible."

Avril Finlayson Smith, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, November 22, 2010

 

Recollections

21.

Bill Scott

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Bill Scott replied, mentioning:

Buttercup Poultry Farm

"My mother's maiden name was Davidson but her mother's maiden name was Wighton, which is very close to Whiting!

There were a great many Wightons living at the poultry farm, who were brothers and sisters of my grandmother.  I believe that that Avril is referring to my Aunt Annie.  She was the daughter of Tom and Liz Wighton.  I don't have a picture of Annie Wighton but I have one of Tom and Liz."

Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  November 22, 2010

I've sent Bill's full reply, and a copy of his photo of Tom and Liz to Avril.

Avril Finlayson Smith, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia: November 22, 2010

 

Recollections

22.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Ian Thomson added:

Buttercup Farm

1949

"It's great to see the Buttercup Farm again.  The picture of the entrance to the farm in the snow brought back memories for me.

It was the August 1, 1949, the first day of my apprenticeship, that the boss, Davey Fell, told me to go with old Bb Sutherland to Buttercup Farm.

I had just turned 15 and was a skinny bag of bones with new overalls that nearly smothered me and brand new tackety boots.

Bob's tool kit, in a split sack wrapped up with rope, was promptly put on my shoulder, then I was off along St John's Road and up the Clermiston Hill.  I was near collapsing by the time we reached the farm and went down to the gardener's cottage.

My first job was laying all the tools out in a neat row on the sack and cleaning them with a wee drop of paraffin from the blowlamp.

Buttercup Farm brought happy memories for me, returning with Bob many times.  Old Mr Ewan, I can picture as if it was yesterday.  Wouldn't it be great to turn the clock back for one day?

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia November 23, 2010

 

Recollections

23.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson, who wrote 'Recollections 1' above, for writing again to tell me more about the Fell & Mathieson bike.

Corstorphine Heritage Trust Museum  -  Fell & Mathieson Cycle ©

Ian wrote:

Fell & Mathieson

Bike

"What a great surprise it was to see the photo of the old bike on the web site this morning.  It is fantastic, and it took me straight back to the days with Fell& Mathieson.

Here is the full story  of the bike  on Clermiston  Hill.  We were  working on  alterations on a house in  Gordon  RoadBob Sutherland was in charge.  He was an outstanding  tradesman  in the days  when  everything  in plumbing  was  lead.

On that particular  day  there were three young guys,  Jimmy Wilson,  Jock Fairborn, (1st year  apprentice)  and  myself,  and one  push bike.  When Bob  said  its time to knock off,  there was a rush  to get the only bike.

I was the driver, Jimmy Wilson was in the basket, and wee  Jock was on the back  mudguard.  Mad!   Off  we went,  down  the Clermiston,  and  near  the bottom  the brakes  failed.  Wee Jock was trying to brake with his heel against the rear wheel.

We spun round into St John's Road.  Luckily, nobody was injured,  but we were just in time for a Policeman to catch us. We were reported to the Boss, Dave  Fell,  and I recall  we all got suspended for a day.  The things you do when you are young!"

Dave Fell

"Dave Fell was  a great  person.  Every  morning,  he would  take his bike and go home  for his morning  tea.   He lived at 136 St John's Road, near the bottom of Clermiston Hill.

It would take him ages to get back up the hill,  as every  few meters  he would get of his  bike,  lift  his cap,  and  pass  time with lady customers.

Before my time, Dave  Fell and Bill  Mathieson came  back from the First World  War  and started up together ,pushing  there tools around in a barrow."

Bob Sutherland

"Once the business was established  Bob  Sutherland  came to work for Dave and Bill.  He spent  the rest of his days  working with them.

When I think of  Bob, I remember a chap who had boots that you could see your  reflections in.  He used to wear what I would call a 'railway jacket' over his overalls.  He always had a fresh stiff caller on, each day.  I don't know  about his shirt."

Corstorphine

"There are, no doubt, many more stories that could be told about places and people  in Corstorphine."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

  April 14, 2011

 

Recollections

24.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Ian Thomson wrote:

Fell & Mathieson

Bike

"I did see the Fell & Mathieson bike on a trip back to Edinburgh.  It looks and polished now.

Corstorphine Heritage Trust Museum  -  Fell & Mathieson Cycle ©

I might have spent some time on it in the early-1950s.  I'll now show this pic to my grandkids."

Raleigh

"I notice that it is a Raleigh.  I bike on a Raleigh here in Aussie, and when I was a boy, I travelled the highways and byways to the Youth Hostels on a Raleigh with 3-speed Sturmey Archer gears.

Many a day, my pal and I would hang on to the back of a timber truck in the highlands as it crawled up the glens."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  April 14, 2011

 

Recollections

25.

Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson for writing again with more recollections of Corstorphine from 1848.  Ian was prompted to send his comments after reading  reading recollections of his old school, Boroughmuir.

Ian wrote:

Journey to the Butchers

"In 1948, on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, I worked for the butchers at St John's Road, Corstorphine.

As soon as the bell went at Boroughmuir school, I was on my way from the English class.  Miss Williamson, I think, was my teacher.

Down the stairs, I went, out the gates at Viewforth, stretching my long skinny legs.  It was right turn at the lights in Gilmore Place, then left turn and through the rubber mill for the No.1 bus.  In those days, the No.1 bus came every few minutes.

I rose just past the dovecot and Sycamore Terrace, ready for a quick exit at the terminus, Scobie's sweet shop, Corstorphine.

It was through the old church, dodging the gravestones, out the back gate into the glebe and up the wee hill to the butcher's shop opposite the Harp Hotel in St John's Road."

Deliveries

"Old Dick, the butcher would have the tyres blown up on the message bike, one gear with box at front.

All the deliveries were wrapped up in white paper with names of customers.  I knew them off by heart.

I was no muscle man.  If I turned sideways, you would miss me.  Up Clermiston Road, Hillview Terrace sometimes beat me, so it was shanks pony and shove.

Saturday mornings were busy, taking in Broomfield and Carrick Knowe."

Sausages and Mince

"If I had time over, I would help Dick with the sausages in the back shop.  My efforts earned me two half-crowns ('5 bob').

I finished at 12 o'clock and was on my Raleigh to Carrick Knowe Hill, always with a parcel of mince etc for my mother.  Then, I got ready for the football in the afternoon.  No wonder we slept soundly at night!"

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  June 14, 2011

Recollections

26.

Ian Thomson

New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who wrote again.

Ian wrote:

Corstorphine Road

"I have just come across one of your old pics of road repairs in Corstorphine Road, near the zoo.

Roadworks  -  Laying or removingTramwayTracks  -  Where?  When? ©

It brought back to me memories from the 1940s"

Pinkhill

"The junction from Corstorphine Road let to Pinkhill Station. The road turned sharp-right, once over the bridge to run parallel with the railway leading to Carrick Knowe.  Down a bit on the left was Pinkhill Park, home of Murrayfield Amateur FC. who played in the East of Scotland League during the war years."

Football

"My pals and I would find our way on a Sunday morning for a kick-around with our battered leather ball, which was shaped like an egg with seams coming apart.

Of course, this was subject to dodging Sunday School at Carrick Knowe church, where the Reverend Chalmers was in league with my mother to keep an eye on us.

The football ground had nets up  -  a novelty in these days.

The groundsman usually arrived, late morning, with a clanging of the gates, signaling that it was time for us to get cracking.   We were not popular as we made a mess of his goalmouth."

Golf Course

"Our escape was over the stank, by rope from a tree.  The dog had to fend for itself.  It stunk like a polecat.  This took us into Carrick Knowe Golf Course.

In those days, the east side of the course was used by the home guard.  The west side, at Carrick Knowe, became our playground.

Again there was a nasty green-keeper who gave chase.  A whack over the ears was the reward, but I was never caught."

Today

"I often wonder what happened to Murrayfield Amateur FC and  if the enclosed ground is still there."

Ian Thomson, New South Wales, Australia:  September 16, 2011

Recollections

27.

Roger McDermaid

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Thank you Roger McDermaid who wrote:

Corstorphine

"I've lived in Corstorphine since I was seven years old, in 1953, and I've seen a lot of changes in that time."

The Piggery

"My Uncle Davie and my dad bought this piggery called Windyvale around 1951/52We lived at Chesser near Gorgie, then we moved to Featherhall Road at Corstorphine, to be near the piggery.

My dad worked at the piggery.  Davie had a butcher's shop in Westfield Rd, Gorgie, where he workedDavie stayed in the house which lay where American Golf Centre is now.

The piggery stretched from there to close to Murray Cottages. You can still see the wee road that was at bottom of field, going round Wester Broom Place, Corstorphine, to Gylemuir School.

Adjoining piggery was Willie Newbigging`s and in Gylemuir Road there was a guy called Pettigrew."

Garage

"Eventually, after being wiped out by swine fever in mid-1950s and generally having not been profitable, the piggery was sold off to make land a petrol station and car servicing

The garage, called Windyvale Service Station, opened in 1961.   It was  and was owned by D and W McDermaid . They then sold it in 1963 to a guy called Morris who in turn sold it to Carnie`s"

There is now a small car park for Tesco's where the garage once stood."

Police Station and Roundabout

"A farm field was sold to the police and corporation so that a Police Station and a roundabout could be built.  The No.1 bus then terminated there.  That was back at end of 1961 /62."

Craigmount Farm

"I live now in Craigmount Terrace.  That's where Craigmount Farm once layThe land was sold to Hepburn Bros who built bungalows on site in the 1930s.

Our house was built in 1939. The farm house remained and was still used until the late-1950s.  By about 1960 /61 the farm buildings - latterly comprising the farm house, a big barn and a yard for chickens and pigs - had become derelict.  They lay in that state until they were demolished in 1970 and the Rainbow and a petrol station was built on the land.

I have not really seen any photos of Craigmount Farm. My guess it also took in land north of Craigmount View."

Roger McDermaid, Corstorphine, Edinburgh:  February 13+19, 2012

Recollections

28.

Roger McDermaid

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Thank you Roger McDermaid for writing again with more memories of Corstorphine.

Roger wrote:

The Astoria Cinema

"The Astoria Cinema stood on the site where Iceland now is, in Manse RoadI remember, outside the front it said 'Built 1929', but I never went there till 1953.

The first film I ever saw there was Hobson`s Choice with Charles Laughton.  That was on a Saturday matineeThe films were Monday to Wednesday, then Thursday to Saturday with the matinee on Saturday afternoonWe tended to go early on a Monday night and to the Saturday matinee."

Prices

"Admission for children then was:

-  9d for the front stalls

 10d for rear stalls

a shilling for balcony.

The adult prices were double."

Films

"Some of the other films I saw back then were:

-  Musicals   - Calamity JaneKiss Me Kate

War films   - The Dam Busters,  The Cockleshell Heroes.

Westerns   -  Vera CruzThe Charge at Feather River.

Dramas      - Love Me or Leave MeThe Far Country

-  Comedies  - Hollywood or Bust3 Ring Circus

There were too many more to name but the biggest crowd I ever saw for a film was for the film From Here To Eternity."

The Manager

"The manager of the cinema then was a Mr YoungHe always dressed in evening wear with black dinner suit, white shirt and black bow tie."

1950s

"In the mid-1950s, he changed the Saturday matinee to a children's versionThat meant the cinema organ came into action.  I believe that the said organ was the last one left in Edinburgh.  The reason for that organ being used was that we had a 'sing song' as part of the program. 

Firstly, you would get, say, a Flash Gordon serial.  This had around 26  episodes and was quite old.  It had originally been made in the 1930s.  It was the cinema's soap opera

Next was the 'sing song'.  Someone played the organ and the lyrics to the song were up on the screen. Some of the songs we sung then were:

-  Heart  of My Heart

-  Crazy Otto Rag

-  Happy Days and Lonely Nights.

Mr Young used to come round with the microphone and got children to sing into it individually.

After that there would usually be a short Western film."

1960s and 1970s

"Once the 1960s came around, the cinema was less busy, this being due to most people by then having television .By 1970 it was almost dead.

The last picture I ever saw there was The Wild Bunch, a latter day Western.

When you went in, a woman called Peggy Whitecross took your money and gave you a ticket.  She escorted you to your seat, came round with the ice cream tray and near end of film started to open the side window curtainsShe then locked up.

 There was only her and the manager of the day but he spent most of his time in The Harp pub Peggy also did the cleaning in the morningsSoon after that the cinema closed for good."

Roger McDermaid, Corstorphine, Edinburgh:  February 20, 2012

Recollections

29.

Roger McDermaid

Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Here are more recollections of Corstorphine from Roger:

Shops

"Corstorphine, back in the 1950s and early-1960s, was a busy shopping areaThat ,of course, was before the supermarkets destroyed the small shops and let in the charity shops.

Here are a few places that were well known but now mostly gone:

Bakers:

Scott Lyon at top of Station Rd

-  Bennett`s, now Donachie's

James Kirk`s, at corner of Glebe Road

Mackie`s, next to toilets at top of Manse Road and latterly

McVitie`s that took over Sharp`s cycle shop

Butchers

-  DA Halls, which became Brechin Bros before  they went to their factory in Broxburn

Geo Hogg, at top of Featherhall Avenue

Alex Munro

St Cuthberts

Chemists

Timothy Whites

Boots

Cycles and Toys

 Sharp`s cycle shop had that distinct smell of the rubber tyres.  It also sold Dinky Toys and Hornby Dublo trains.

Fishmongers

Thomson's.  There were two fishmongers in St John's Road.  Both went by the name of Thomson, but they were different people.

Grocers

Harvey`s

Home and Colonial

Browns. There was two Browns .One at corner of St Johns Rd and Kirk Loan, the other in Gladstone Place which is now part of High Street.

Fred Weirter had a shop at foot of Victor Park Terrace, and also had the orchard, now the site of The Centurian and other shops.

 -  St Cuthbert's or 'the store', as everyone called it, in the High Street.

St Cuthbert's Store

St Cuthbert's was how big grocers operated back then. You could, on a busy day, literaly be there for a couple of hours.

There was a long counter served by maybe 3 or 4 assistants.  Customers queued, sitting on one large bench, and if busy, along the back wall and out the door.

You shuffled up the bench until you were eventually served. When served, it was quite something.  There were none of your packs of produce.

Butter and cheese were cut by hand using wire. Both came in large blocksBacon was cut with the slicing machine and potatoes were weighed  on scales with brass weights.

You can see why it took so long to get served. Also, don't forget the 'store divi'.

Hardware

Douglas Bank`s

Newsagents

Pratt

McDonough`s

Johnstons, in High Street.  I had a  paper run there for three years.  Most boys did this, back thenWhat it did was give you a work ethic.

Radio and TV

Drummonds and another that later became a bookie's.

Shops that Sold All

Willis, that became Rosie's, in Manse Road .

 Other Businesses

Builders

W T Thomson

-  A Murdoch

-  D M Duncan

Bookies

 Jimmy Scoular.  His shop had previously been a Radio and TV shop. He moved in when bookies shops became legal.  Before that Jimmy used to carry on his bookie's business from pends around the High Street.

Cafés

The Duchess

The Three K`s

Doctor's surgery

 E A Cormack on corner of Manse Road /St Johns Road.  That has now made way for housing

Garages

For car repairs and petrol there were:

Sharps on the site of the old tram depot

Dickson's at foot of Clermiston Road

Painters and Decorators

Jock Fairley in the High Street.

-  Louis Stewart.  They took over Jock Fairley's shop.

Plumbers

 T W Beach

 Fell and Mathieson.  I worked there on a Saturday morning, delivering electrical goods that had been in for repair.  Yes, I used the famous bike to do that

Corstorphine Heritage Trust Museum  -  Fell & Mathieson Cycle ©

The bike is now held by Corstorphine Trust.

Pubs

Corstorphine Inn

Oak Inn

Harp Hotel

Also:

Other landmarks of note were:

(a)  Beyond Drumbrae:

Lamont`s Securex fittings factory

Bowmac Garage, still there today

(b)   On the site of Ladywell Medical Centre :

Folkweave factory

(c)   In Manse Road

Willie McLaughlin`s Billiards and Snooker hall

Tarry's Fish Restaurant

- Astoria Cinema

Roger McDermaid, Corstorphine, Edinburgh:  February 20, 2012

 

Recollections

30.

Lilian Young

Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

Thank you to Lilian Young for writing with some of her memories of living in  Corstorphine

Lilian wrote:

Astoria Cinema

"I remember my visits to the Astoria and all the wonderful films that we saw there."

Grocery

"I also recall John Brown and Son, the grocery at the corner of Manse Road and Kirk Loan.  We went there for our rations and I was fascinated when they cut the cheese with a tool which resembled a piano wire.

Everything was fresh and cut to order then weighed. A bill was written then sent, via a tube, to the office for payment.  All the messages were then packed in a bag which my Mom had brought with her - no paper sacks or plastic bags then."

Fish Shop

"We also went to the fish shop that was across the highway.  I think it was near the bus/tram stop.  Again, all the fish was fresh and weighed out just as you asked for; none of it was  pre-packaged. We also purchased fresh crabs there."

Candy Store

"At the end of the bus run, near the old church, there was a candy store where we purchased our sweets for our visit to the Astoria.

Around the corner, there was a pub which had 'bull's eye' windows, and further down that road was the school where we all went to have our smallpox vaccinations.

Mothers were dragging their children in and we were all howling and screaming at the shots, but we got a red ribbon to wear round our 'sore' arms so we felt a lot braver coming out that we did going in."

Piggery Farm

"My brother had a girlfriend (Marion Cochrane, I think) whose father either owned a piggery farm or managed it.  They went together for quite some time until we left for the US.

She also used to work in the Astoria as an usherette and sold the ice cream at the indoor stand."

Pinkhill

"At Pinkhill, there was a station halt  and a trestle bridge where all the kids would stand as the steam train went by, and we would be covered in dirt from the steam letting off.

I think perhaps the engineer saw us and wanted to give us a thrill by sounding the horn and letting off steam."

Children's Home

"Near Pinkhill, on Corstorphine Road, there was a large house which we were told was an orphanage.  However, sometimes we would see Fathers taking the children for a walk, so perhaps some of the children were there because they had lost their Mothers, and the Father needed someone to care for the children during the day."

Convalescent Home

"Next to the zoo, there was a convalescent home where you went after you were able to leave the hospital, but were not quite well enough to go home. My Mom and cousin spent some time there recovering from serious surgery."

Our Home

"Thanks for allowing me to recall happy days in and around Corstorphine.  We actually lived on Saughton Loan, but spent a great deal of our time in Corstorphine.

We walked from Saughton Loan to John Brown to get our messages, but we always got a ride in the tramcar back with our heavy bags.

Many, many happy times."

Lilian Young, Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA:  March 18, 2012

 

Recollections

31.

Bill Scott

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Bill Scott is author of the book.

'The Buttercup''

The remarkable story of Andrew Ewing's
Buttercup Poultry Farm and Buttercup Dairy Co

Here are links to the articles that Bill sent to me:

Acknowledgement:  Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  April 3, 2013

Buttercup Farm Park

Plans

"Edinburgh City Council has now published its plans for the Buttercup Farm Park which will be located close to the border of the old poultry farm. just south of the hatchery.

The park will be built in two stages, starting this summer with completion in 2015."

Reports

"The proposed new park has created a fair bit of press and media comment, including articles on these web sites:

Edinburgh Reporter

BBC News

STV

Bill Scott, Alnwick, Northumberland, England:  April 3, 2013

 

Recollections

32.

Mary Boucher (née McColgan)

Canada

Thank you to Mary Boucher for responding to a comment about the Children's Home at Corstorphine in Recollections 30 above.

Mary wrote:

Children's Home

"Lillian Young mentioned the children's home across from the Corstorphine Zoo in her recollections above.

I was one of the children in that home as my Mom had passed on and my Dad was in the merchant navy.

I believe it was St. Bernardo’s (Was it possibly Dr Barnado's?)  This would have been in 1949-50.  I do have some photos of the house that I took when I revisited.

I believe it is now an insurance company's offices.

Convalescent Home Home

My step mom also spent some time in the convalescent home, and now my niece is a care worker there.

Talking about this brings back so many memories.

Mary Boucher (née McColgan)), Canada:  5 June, 2013

 

Recollections

33.

Graeme MacKay

Liberton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Graeme McKay who wrote:

The Widower's Children's Home

"I grew up in Corstorphine before moving to Greendykes.

I was interested in the comments of Mary Boucher above, regarding the Children’s Home on St. Johns Rd, Corstorphine which I remember as being The Widower’s Children’s Home.  Many of the kids went to Corstorphine Primary School back in the 1950s."

Photos

"Mary mentioned that there were photos that I think would be of great interest to the members of a Facebook group called 'Corstorphine-a friendly village for friendly people'. ***"

Refugee

"I remember in 1956 our class had a refugee from Hungary after the revolution in Hungary was crushed by the Soviet Regime.  I’m not sure if he lived at the Children’s Home but that was my recollection."

Newsagent

"I was also intrigued by the comments of Roger McDermaid above, on the shops around old Corstorphine.  He jogged my memory on the Newsagent at the High Street called Johnston, whose name I’d forgotten.

I used to deliver the Evening News after school and I have a vivid memory of writing the house numbers in pencil at the top of the front page."

Graeme McKay, Liberton, Edinburgh:  May 18, 2014

***  I'll contact Mary Boucher again and see if any of the photos that she took at the former Children's Home might be made available to me to display on the EdinPhoto web site, or to others.

 

Recollections

34.

Ian Thomson

New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson for writing again about the plumbers in Corstorphine, this time in response to Mary Boucher's comments above about the Children's Home in Corstorphine.

Ian wrote

Plumbers

At the Orphanage

"Mary Boucher's mention  of the Orphanage in Corstorphine, in her Recollections 32 above, stirred up my imagination.  I worked there in the 1940s and 1950s.  That's about the time that Mary Boucher was there.

Once a year, old Davey Fell rounded up all the plumbers to spend a day cleaning and checking the drainage system at the Orphanage.  It was not a day that we looked forward to!

The Orphanage was to the west of the zoo entrance, beside a lane that took you over the railway bridge to Carrick Knowe."

Ian Thomson, New South Wales, Australia:  May 23, 2014

 

Recollections

35.

George Ritchie

North Gyle, Edinburgh

Thank you to George Ritchie for writing again, telling me some more of his memories of 1945.

George wrote:

Ma Smith's Dancing

"I remember my Tynecastle school days and my teenage years in Corstorphine at Ma Smith's Dancing.  Perhaps some of your contributors will remember it.  It was held in the Public Hall on Friday nights."

George Ritchie, North Gyle, Edinburgh:  August 18, 2014 (2 emails)

 

Recollections

36.

Ian Thomson

New South Wales, Australia

Ian Thomson added:

Memories

"Although I've returned to Corstorphine many times in my travels, I still picture it in my memory as it was in my youth.  In fact, I picture it even more clearly as I get older - carefree days, people and places long since gone".

Plumbing Apprenticeship

"In 1949, I started my apprenticeship as a plumber with old Davy Fell.  Mid way through my apprenticeship, he would send me out on my own to do repairs and small jobs. especially on the farms."

Beyond Maybury

"Once you reached the Maybury, it was country along the Turnhouse Road to Gogar and Ratho.  I remember the Irish tattie howkers who arrived to pick the spuds, living rough in bothies.  I would fit a cold tap outside."

Plumbing Work

"The Fell & Mathieson bike would travel across fields to repair old cast iron baths for the cattle.

Lead pipe was king in these days, often bursting in cold weather.  One freezing winter, with all the pipes frozen, we were still working at 11 at night, in attics with blowlamps, in order to give the customer water.

Another farm that we worked on was the piggery at the end of Craigs Road."

Lamont's Works

"I wonder if readers can remember Lamont's Works at the bottom of Drum Brae at Glasgow Road.  They made Securex fittings for copper pipes, that were used by Fell & Mathieson.

I was amazed to see these fittings in a toilet in Colombo.  Lamont's must have sent their orders all over the world.  One  of the Lamonts lived in St John's Road, not far from the factory."

Old Tools

"I still have the drifts for expanding the copper, along with the other old tools from the past."

Ian Thomson, New South Wales, Australia:  August 24, 2014

 

Recollections

37.

Kenny Watt

Edinburgh

Thank you to Kenny Watt for telling me about the page below, and giving me a link to the page.:

Memories

"Have you seen this Corstorphine Memories page?  It has tons of old photos and stuff, just like the EdinPhoto web site."

Facebook:  Corstorphine Memories

Kenny Watt, Edinburgh:  30 April 2016 (2 emails)

 

Recollections

38.

Allan Thompson

Norfolk, England

Thank you to Allan Thompson who wrote:

Hazelbank Post Office College

"I grew up in Stranraer, Wigtownshire, and in May 1960 I went on a 5-week course of training at Hazelbank Post Office College in Corstorphine.

I remember that lovely old mansion house with its own small putting green and a lovely climbing plant in full blossom on the front wall. 

I recently discovered that the house has been demolished and replaced with a modern building, but that the front gateway has been retained and a statue of David Balfour and Alan Breck installed between the gateposts.

Do you know if any photographs exist of the original house?

Allan Thompson, Norfolk, England:  16 May 2017

Reply to Allan

Unfortunately, I don't know of any photos of Hazelbank Post Office College.  If you know of any, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on Allan's email address to you so that you can send a message direct to him.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  16 May 2017

 

Tom Curr
Buttercup Dairy Co Artist

Recollections

Contributors

 

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