Edinburgh at War

Princes Street Gardens



Margaret Cooper

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Margaret Cooper for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Margaret wrote:


"I was a schoolkid in the 1940s.  During the summer hols, Princess St Gardens was the place to be, Monday to Saturday, 10 till 12, along at the bandstand.

Us kids could get up on the stage and have a go at singing or whatever.  I did get up once and recite 'I have a little shadow' .  I was real naff at it.

This was followed by a dance school named Betty Branden's. They would do some tap dancing, then some Highland Dancing."

VE Day

"My most memorable time in Princes Street Gardens was during the V.E. Celebrations.  It was evening and all the lights were back on.  The Gardens were packed and the fireworks were brilliant.  They exploded into little parachutes with little soldiers hanging on.

Everyone was dancing.  I remember because I was a bit on the short side.  I couldn't see very well and was complaining to my Mum about it when this big Yank picked me up and sat me on his shoulders.  Even now, the smell of leather reminds me of the smell of his jacket, and reminds me of that happy occasion."

Margaret Cooper, Tollcross, Edinburgh: Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook: June 18, 2011




Edith Caulfield (née Cavanagh)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Edith Caulfield for adding a reply in the EdinPhoto guestbook.  Edith remembers Princes Street Gardens a few years after World War II ended.

She wrote:


"I was born in December 1944 and lived on Castle Street until I was 11I spent most of my time in Princess street Gardens during the holidays, and was at the bandstand every Saturday.

I remember the Punch and Judy shows, and at the end of the day all us kids got up on the platform to do the 'Gay Gordons'.

It was such a great place to have grown up.  We used to roll our painted hard-boiled eggs down the hills in the Gardens at Easter time.

It's so nice to share happy memories. I have been in Toronto since I was 14, but still return to Edinburgh.  I was back in 2008 and of course went to the Gardens and the Bandstand."

Edith Caulfield (née Cavanagh), Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  July 20, 2011


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