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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

 

Recollections  -  Edinburgh Old Town

Canongate

   Looking to the west up Cannongate from a point below the junction with New Street ©

 

Recollections

1.

Derick (Dex) Hannant

Lemonade Bottles

2.

Cath Tuff
Warwickshire, England

-  Canongate and Jeffrey Street

3.

Ian Peebles
Bloomsbury, London

-  Prince Albert Buildings

-  Canongate

-  Photographs

4.

Michael Melrose
Greenbank, Edinburgh

-  White Horse Close

5.

J Brown
Perth, Western Australia

and replies from

Jean Robertson Wright
Adelaide, South Australia

and from

J Brown
Perth, Western Australia

-  St Savior's Child Garden

6.

Pamela Hunter

(née Burns)
near Pathhead, Midlothian, Scotland

-  Family History

-  John Burns

-  Canongate Kirk Churchyard

-  Backgreen at 171 Canongate

7.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

with replies from

1. Andy Duff
Queensland, Australia

and

2. Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

and

3. Bob Henderson
Blackford, Edinburgh

and

4. Stuart Lyon
Blackford, Edinburgh

and

5. Stuart Lyon
Blackford, Edinburgh

and

6. George Smith
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island,
British Columbia, Canada

-  Sunday Drinks

-  Skeechan or Skeachan

8.

Ian Carroll

-  Family History

-  John Burns

-  Canongate Kirk Churchyard

-  Backgreen at 171 Canongate

9.

June Robertson
(
née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

-  Old Friends

10.

June Robertson
(
née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

-  Neighbours

11.

John Lawson

-  The Lawson Family

      -  Chessel's Court

      -  Canongate

      -  Middle Arthur Place

12.

Tony Ivanov
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

-  The Lawson Family

      -  Chessel's Court

12.

Reply 1

Bob Lawson

-  The Lawson Family

      -  Chessel's Court

      -  Visits to Chessel's Court

      -  Our Family Home

      -  My Grandfather

      -  Grandfather's Hearing

12.

Reply 2

Tony Ivanov
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

-  The Lawson Family

      -  Chessel's Court

12.

Reply 3

Tony Ivanov
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

-  The Lawson Family

      -  Chessel's Court

13.

Ann Coventry
Australia

-  White Horse Close

14.

Jim McClusky
Bolton, Lancashire, Scotland

-  White Horse Close

15.

Alex Rutherford, Australia

-  White Horse Close

-  Robertson's Court

-  Milton House School

16.

June Robertson
(
née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

-  Old Friend  George Mothersole

17.

June Robertson
(
née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Freedom

18.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Sugar Sandwiches

19.

Betty Hepburn
Waikanae, Kapiti Coast,
New Zealand

Sugar Pieces

20.

Bryan Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

-  Condensed Milk

21.

June Wood
(
née Robertson)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

-  Night Watchman

22.

Rose Fotheringham
(
née Sands)

Naples, Florida, USA

-  Family

-  Friends

23.

Alex Dickson
Edinburgh

-  Newhaven Fishwife

24.

Raymond Graham
Edinburgh

-  Doctor Ross

25.

Terry Cox
Fairmilehead, Edinburgh

-  Fishwife in the Royal Mile

26.

Alex Dickson
Edinburgh

-  Fishwife in the Royal Mile

-  The Sheriff Court

Fish, Mussels and Buckies

-  The fisherlady's Customers

27.

Alex Dickson
Edinburgh

Gruber's Black Pudding Shop

-  The Fisherlady's Customers

28.

Allan Dodds
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

-  Fishwife at Deacon Brodie's

 

Recollections

1.

Derick (Dex) Hannant

Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Thank you to Dex Hannant for adding the following message to the EdinPhoto guest book.

Dex wrote:

Lemonade Bottles

"I found your site having looked for photos on the old 'south side' .

I was born and raised with my younger sister Helen in 5 Prospect Terrace in 1945 and lived above the grocers shop on the corner.

As kids we would buy lemonade in bottles then return them for the penny, go round the back of the shop, nick them and sell them back again!  They got wise to this and started marking the labels.

Above us was Mrs Lamb who's voice would carry on down to the park when tea time came and she wanted her son back to the house.

Although it was considered a slum it was the best years of my life until moving out just before the tenements were demolished."

 Derick (Dex) Hannant, Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh:  February 26, 2006

 

Recollections

2.

Cath Tuff

Warwickshire, England

Cath Tuff has already sent me recollections of Dumbiedykes and Craigmillar that I have added to the EdinPhoto web site.

Here Cath is looking for more information about her family.

Cath wrote:

Canongate and Jeffrey Street

"My Dad's uncle William Hay lived with his wife Helen and children, Margaret, Jessie and David at 96 Canongate.  He is long gone but he may have grandchildren, still living."

My Dad's aunt Alison Ballie Hay married Robert Bickerton. They lived at 22 Jeffrey Street.  Robert was a widower who had  children, Robert, Margaret, Isabella, Helen.   Alison and Robert also had a daughter, Jessie, and possibly other children."

If any family members are out there please get in touch.  I will be over the moon as I don't know this side of the family."

Cath Tuff:  June 1, 2007

If you would like to contact Cath, please e-mail me and I'll pass on your message to her.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  June 3, 2007.

 

Recollections

3.

Ian Peebles

Bloomsbury, London

Thank you to Iain Peebles who wrote:

Prince Albert Buildings

"I was very interested to see the photographs of Prince Albert Buildings, Dumbiedykes. My great great grandfather, James Cameron and his family lived at 114 Prince Albert Buildings from about 1865 until 1870."

Canongate

"He ran a house painting business from premises at 214 Canongate. The business was continued by his son, also James Cameron, who died in 1954.

The shop would have been demolished not long after that when so much of the Canongate was redeveloped, but I've often wondered if it might have been captured in any old photographs."

Iain Peebles, Bloomsbury, London:  June 21, 2007

Photographs

If you know of any old photos that show James Cameron's shop in the Canongate, please e-mail me and I'll pass on the news to Iain.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  June 26, 2007

 

Recollections

4.

Michael Melrose

Greenbank, Edinburgh

Thank Michael Melrose who wrote:

White Horse Close

"I was born in 1954 and was brought up at 8 Horse Wynd and 6 Canongate, up to the mid-'60’s.

I have very vivid memories of life at the bottom of the Canongate.  Old White Horse Close was demolished and rebuilt in the early-'60’s.

Your photographs of the 1800’s are not greatly different from my recollections of what the close looked like in my childhood.

©

Many of my primary school pals, some of who’s fathers were whalers with Salvesen, lived in the Close.

Our tenement in the Canongate was no big deal, but the squalor in the Close was unbelievable, even for a youngster like me.

The buildings were falling down.  One recollection is of my pal not being able to open his front door as the frame was so crooked.  There were no inside toilets or baths then !"

Michael Melrose, Greenbank, Edinburg:  August 31, 2007

 

Recollections

5.

James Brown

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Thank you to J Brown  who wrote:

St Savior's Child Garden

Nursery School

"I am a product of the "St. Savior's Child Garden" which was located in Chessels Court, on the Canongate, Edinburgh. I entered the "Child Garden" as a Two Year old, in 1935.

 I've checked yours, and other web sites, but have found little reference to it."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:  October 14, 2008

If you have any memories or photos of the Child Garden nursery, Edinburgh, please email me.  It would be good to be able to add them to the web site, and to let J Brown in Australia know about them.

Thank you.    - Peter Stubbs:  October 14, 2008

 

Recollections

5.

Reply

1.

Jean Robertson Wright

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Thank you to Jean Robertson Wright who wrote:

Kindergarten

"I'm sure that I read an article about the kindergarten that James Brown refers to.  The book is: 'The Diary of a Free Kindergarten' by Lileen Hardy

Publ. March 2007,  ISBN: 1406762768 and 13 9781406762761

Jean Robertson Wright, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia:  February 28, 2010

Recollections

5.

Reply

2.

James Brown

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I emailed James and mentioned mentioned the book that Jean Robertson Wright told me about in 'Reply 1' above.

James replied:

Diary of a Free Kindergarten (Lileen Hardy)

"I searched the Web, for the Author, and immediately came up with the Diary mentioned.  The Diary is out of print.  However, anyone clicking on this page on the Amazon Library of Congress web site is free to read it online * .

The book includes photos taken by  Francis Caird Inglis in the garden and premises of St Saviour's kindergarten, then at Chessels Court, Edinburgh.

As a child myself, there in the mid-1930s, I can remember someone coming in and taking photos of us putting our requests for Santa Clause up the chimney of that 'big range fire' that you can see in one of the pictures.

I don't know, what happened to all the photos that were frequently taken of us children then."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:  March 1, 2010

Just click on the pages of this book on the web site to turn them.

The Book

      Cover of the book, Diary of a Free Kindergarten ©

The book, Diary of a Free Kindergarten, was originally published in 1913.  It comprises:

-  letters written between 1906 and 1912

-  sixteen photos taken by  Francis Caird Inglis in and around St Saviour's kindergarten, then at Chessels Court, Edinburgh.

The book explained that St Saviour's Child-Garden in Chessel's Court, Canongate, was closely connected with the oldest Episcopalian Church in Edinburgh, Old St Paul's, Carruber's Close.

St Saviour's Child-Garden opened its doors for the first time on All Saints' Day, 1906.

I found Francis Caird Inglis' photos to be very appealing.  The book features 16 photos by Francis Caird Inglis.  I have selected the 12 photos below to be included on the EdinPhoto web site.

Photos by Francis Caird Inglis

Please click on the thumbnail image below to see 12 of Francis Caird Inglis' photos of St Saviour's Child-Garden from this book:

St Saviour's Child-Garden kindergarten, Chessel's Court, Canongate, Edinburgh  -  A School Muster ©

 

Recollections

6.

Pamela Hunter

(née Burns)

near Pathhead, Midlothian, Scotland

Thank you to Pamela Hunter (née Burns),  who wrote:

Family History

"I have a family history going back 150 years in The Canongate and The High Street, Edinburgh.  Four generations of my mother's family lived in 160 Canongate, the only 'main door' house.  Many of the family were born in that house.

The Burns girls and others in the back garden of 160 Cnongate ©

Here is a photo taken in the tiny back garden at 160 Canongate."

John Burns

"My father, John Burns, was one of eleven children in the family who were born in Baillie Fyfe's Close, off the High Street.

He worked in Edinburgh Castle for 20 years as Chief Bar Steward, looking after the Officers and Sergeants who looked after Edinburgh Castle.  He also worked in Huntly house Museum and The Museum of Childhood and was  responsible for turning the wheels of the famous Canongate Tolbooth Clock.

He told me many stories about the High Street and the people he knew.  As the years passed, he continued his life in Baillie Fyfe's Close then moved to 171 Canongate, beside the Tolbooth, where my three sisters and I were brought up."

When he died in March 2008, I arranged for a glass carriage driven by horses, and a procession to leave Edinburgh Castle and go down the Royal Mile to Canongate Kirk.

Procession in High Street

    The Funeral Procession for John Burns passes down the High Street, March 2008 ©

Procession approaches Canongate Kirk in the Royal Mile

    The Funeral Procession for John Burns approaches Canongate Kirk in the Royal Mile, March 2008 ©            The Funeral Procession for John Burns approaches Canongate Kirk in the Royal Mile, March 2008 ©

The Royal Mile was closed to traffic for the procession.  The Edinburgh Evening News described it as the only funeral of this kind in living memory and posted the funeral on You Tube.

Old Neighbours and friends lined the streets to show their respects to an 'Edinburgh Institution', Mr John Burns, 1921-2008.  Happy, happy memories for The Humes, and The Burns families."

Canongate Kirk Churchyard

"Along with my sister, I used to have great fun in Canongate Kirk churchyard, as that was our playground!  We used to take visitors, mostly Japanese, on tours around the cemetery.

We told them the tales of Clarinda, a friend of Rabbie Burns, and about the murder of  David Riccio at Holyrood Palace, and would show the tourists the grave sites.  We built our gang huts there and played hide and seek in the kirkyard

I learned to play the Organ in The Edinburgh Organ Studio.  At the age of eight I played the church organ in  Canongate Kirk in front of Rev Selby Wright.  My sister and I would also polish all the Queen's silverware in the church for the caretaker, and clean the pews.

Our reward was the leftover flowers which we took home to my Mum, Betty, who would not appreciate them, as on many occasions they were funeral flowers from the services."

Backgreen at 171 Canongate

"We held jumble sales in the backgreen of 171 Canongate, through the close under the arches at the Tolbooth.     We would knock on the doors of all the Canongate  households, asking for jumble, sell the jumble at a sale then donate the money to Queensberry House Hospital and Whitefoord Hoose.

Of course, we would ensure we always had some money for our ice cream and sweets from Nicki's shop which was opposite St John's Close. close."

Pamela Hunter (née Burns), near Pathhead, Midlothian, Scotland:  February 1, 2009
Pamela was born in 1963 and lived at 171 Canongate, 1964 to 1988.

 

Recollections

7.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri wrote:

Question

Sunday Drinks

"In my youth, back in the late-1940s and early-1950s pubs were not allowed to open on a Sunday.  The only premises you could get a drink was at a hotel, but you had to be a bonafide traveller, eg you could get a bus to Musselburgh sign the hotel register stating that you were travelling from Edinburgh to Musselburgh then you'd get a drink.

But there was one exception in Edinburgh.  There were premises where you could drink a shandy (a weak beer mixed with lemonade).

I remember one such place a child.  It was a dingy wee shop with scrubbed wooden floors and tables where many old guys would meet on a Sunday.  It was right opposite the bus stop at Canongate Church

There was an old Scottish name for these premises, but I cannot recall it.  Does anyone know or remember the shop?"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  June 10, 2010

Reply to Frank Ferri?

If you remember the premises that Frank refers to above, please email me, then I'll pass your message on to him.

Thank you.    - Peter Stubbs: June 10, 2010

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

1.

Andy Duff

Queensland, Australia

Andy Duff wrote

Reply

The Shop

"Your query from Frank Ferri brought back some old memories of the Sunday drinks.  I remember the shop well.  It was called the Sheekin Shop."  (I think that is how you spell it.)

As frank said, the shop was clean but very dingy.  You could not see for cigarette smoke.

The Shop

"The drink a clear liquid  and you could buy a lemonade bottle of it for 1/- (a shilling).  I don't know what the stuff, was but mixed as a shandy it tasted great

P.S. if you bought a bottle of the stuff to take out you had to bring your own bottle."

Andy Duff, Queensland, Australia:  June 18, 2010

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

2.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Bob Henderson wrote:

Reply

The Shop

"I'm not sure of the spelling, but the name of the shop sounded like Skeechan.

The Bottles

"Even the bottles were different from ordinary beer bottles.  I believe they had attached stoppers, like you see in some places on the continent."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  June 23, 2010

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

3.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Bob Henderson added:

Reply

The Shop

"I' never personally saw the Skeechan shop but my mum and dad were both brought up in the Canongate area, and I heard them and my uncles and aunts talking about it many times.

When did it Close?

"I always got the impression that it closed some time in the 1930s  -  but this is only an impression.  I would be really interested to hear from someone who actually visited it and hopefully had a drink there"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  June 24 2010

Based on Frank Ferri's comments above, it seems likely that the shop remained open until at least the 1940s.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 24, 2010

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

4.

Stuart Lyon

Blackford, Edinburgh

Stuart Lyon wrote:

Reply

The Skeechan Shop

"Frank Ferri mentions the Skeechan shop in the Canongate.

There is a reference to this shop in James U. Thomson's book 'Edinburgh Curiosities' (page 37) to poorer people's eating habits. Part of the description refers to washing down cheap dishes of food 'with a champagne bottle of skeechan (treacle beer)'.

I wonder what it tasted like!"'

Stuart Lyon, Blackford, Edinburgh:  November 5 2010

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

5.

Stuart Lyon

Blackford, Edinburgh

Stuart Lyon wrote again with more information about skeechan.

Stuart wrote:

"I found the following description of some of the types of shop in the Lawnmarket in the 1950s, in a book* that I was reading about Milnes Court, Lawnmarket.

Skeechan

'... and a skeechan shop. Skeechan was an intoxicating malt liquor produced during the brewing of ale, it was then mixed with treacle or molasses and sold under somewhat clandestine circumstances as a kind of beer.  This shop was only open on Sundays, and claimed to be supplying its customers with nothing more potent than sherbet, as an antidote for the previous night’s excesses.

I hope it is of interest to those who referred to the Skeechan Shop in the Canongate;

Stuart Lyon, Blackford, Edinburgh:  November 5 2010

*  Book: 'Three Hundred Years of Lawnmarket Heritage' by Roy M Pinkerton and William J Windram,  published 1983, ISBN 0 902511 20 3,  p.68

 

 to Recollections

7.

Reply

6.

George Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island,
British Columbia, Canada

George Smith wrote:

"I guessed that skeatchan (various spellings) was fermented sugar and found this recipe. 

There is also a skeachan cake."

Recipe

Skeachan or Treacle Case

''Molasses, hops or ginger or extract of gentian, yeast, water.  Boil for 20 minutes four pounds of molasses in from six to eight gallons of soft water, with a handful of hops tied in a muslin rag or a little extract of gentian.

When cooled in the tub, add a pint of good beer-yeast, or from four to six quarts of fresh worts from the brewer's vat.  Cover the beer with blankets or coarse cloths. Pour it from the lees and bottle it.  A little ginger may be added to the boiling liquid if the flavour is liked, instead of hops.

This is a cheap and very wholesome beverage. Yule Ale was usually made in this manner.'

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

Recollections

8.

Ian Carroll

Thank you to Ian Carroll who wrote:

Re-housed to Canongate

"I was born at 13 Holyrood Square in July 1948. My parents were William and Sarah Carroll.  I attended Milton House Primary School from 1953 to 1960

We were also re-housed from Holyrood Square to the Canongate in 1956/7 and I was introduced  my first indoor toilet and first plumbed in bath.  The neighbours on our top landing were:

-  the McNabs

-  the Blackwoods

-  the Mcleods

There were others but the passing of time has lost their names to me."

Ian Carroll:  September 6, 2010

Recollections

9.

June Robertson (née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson who wrote:

Old Friends

"I was born at 5 Canongate Edinburgh.  I had brothers, John and Bill, and sisters, Chrissie and Harriet.  It's nice to be in touch with all the people I knew so long ago.

We were all evacuated to Banff during World War II.  We all went to Milton House School, then James Clark's School."

June Robertson, Arroyo Grande, California, USA:  April 3+7, 2011

Recollections

10.

June Robertson (née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson for a reply posted in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

June, who was born and grew up at the bottom of the Canongate, wrote:

Neighbours

"Great days!  We got a good schelp from any neighbour who thought we were doning anything wrong.  No mother ever complained.  Those were the days!"

June Robertson, California, USA:  Reply posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, June 18, 2011,
 in response to a message from Margaret Cooper posted on June 12, 2011

Recollections

11.

John Lawson

John Lawson wrote about:

-  his grandfather and  family who lived at Chessels Court then Canongate (below)

-  his own family who lived at Middle Arthur Place then Niddrie.

John wrote

The Lawson Family

Chessel's Court

"Can anyone recall any of my family who lived in the Canongate area up until the early-1950s?  My Grandad (George Lawson) and his wife (Williamina, née Paterson) raised their family in Chessel's Court. 

Their family were:

George (Dode)

Florence

John (my Dad)

Margaret

-  Tommy, who became a Japanese Prisoner of War

-  Richard, who worked in the Bus Depot at the bottom of New Street, but died of an illness when he was only nineteen."

Canongate

"My Grandad, George, was a veteran of the Boer War (Black Watch).  Due to a war wound, he had one of his legs  amputated.

In the late-1930s or early-1940s, he and his wife moved from Chessel's Court  to 206 Canongate  (ground floor, two doors down from the Blue Blanket pub and opposite the top of New Street)."

John Lawson:  July 11, 2011

Reply to John

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

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 11, 2011

Recollections

12.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov for replying to 'Recollections 11' above.

Tony wrote:

The Lawson Family

Chessel's Court

"As a young child in the early 1950s, I lived at No 8 Chessel’s Court in the Canongate.  At that time, there were three Lawson households in Chessel’s Court.  There were:

-  at No.6, Mrs Lawson, an elderly lady who lived on the first floor.

-  at No.8, just across the landing from me on the second floor, another elderly couple named Lawson who I used to call gran and grandad Lawson.

-  on the ground floor of the adjoining building, I can’t remember if this was No 10 or No 8a, there was also another elderly lady who was called Lawson.

This is not a direct answer to John Lawson's question, but every piece in a jigsaw helps build the whole picture"

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

 

Recollections

12.

Reply

1.

Bob Lawson

England

Thank you to Robert Lawson for replying to Tony Ivanov's comments above.

Bob wrote:

The Lawson Family

Chessel's Court

"Tony Ivanov (Recollections 12) responded to a John Lawson (Recollections 11) with information on various Lawson families living in the Chessel's Court area of Canongate.

My father's family also lived there during the 1950s, so that family may have been among the people that Tony remembers.

Visits to Chessels Court

"I used to visit my paternal grandparents at Chessel's Court in the1950s/early-1960s, but, for various reasons, I never felt comfortable in their house, so spent as much time as possible outside.

I preferred adventuring around the back court which, if memory serves, was generally referred to as the 'midden' but was not literally a midden, though the waste bins were there.  Hence the reference.

The bins were not individual domestic bins, but huge (to me as a boy) 'Saladin' bins used by all on a communal basis

The bins were emptied by trucks like American dumpster trucks which lifted the bins over the cab, and emptied the contents into the truck body before returning the bin for reuse. Watching the truck, and playing in the court were infinitely preferable to being indoors."

Our Family's Home

"I can't remember which floor my father's family were on - it was not the ground floor - or at which number they lived, but I do remember that the house was poorly lit, and that the walls were paneled in a dark, or dark varnished timber.

There was an open coal fire, a tall window (with wooden shutters) and they had a cuckoo clock (wound by pulling a  chain downwards to lift a weight) to the left of the window.

The house smelt of old people and pipe tobacco smoke. The house was, I was told, haunted.  This was possibly my uncle Steve or Jimmy being mischievous, but it certainly didn't help me feel any better about visiting! I've since read about the area's reputation for being haunted.

My Grandfather

"My grandfather (and to my shame, I don't know his Christian name) had been a cooper, or at least had worked in a cooperage, possibly Drybrough's.

He was a pipe smoker.  His open fire was a relatively easy target for the regular spitting his pipe smoking seemed to necessitate.

A move, in the 1960s, to a prefab in Stenhouse made his life difficult, in that the prefab was equipped with a Baxi, or similar, coal fired stove, fed via a small hinged door. His aim, when spitting, was not accurate enough for this modern fire, and that fact, I believe, led to him giving up the pipe smoking.

Grandfather's Hearing

"My Grandfather was quite short, and stooped a bit,  I often think of him as a 'Paw Broon/Granpaw Broon' amalgam, with the looks of Paw, and the ear trumpet of Granpaw, before he got his 'NHS beige' hearing aid.

 Neither the ear trumpet nor the hearing aid was effective, and communication with him was stressful.

'Speak up, wull ye!' and 'Whit's that, ye say!' were expressions I remember, but not the substance of any actual conversation

Our Family

"I wonder if Tony Ivanov knows if these Lawson families were connected in any way, or if their living close to each other was purely through coincidence, and whether he has any memories of my family.  My dad's name was John (Jackie) Lawson."

Bob Lawson, England:  August 29, 2012

Contacting Tony Ivanov

I've passed on to Bob Lawson the latest email address that I have for Tony Ivanov.  I hope that Tony is still using the same email address now, and that Bob will be able to get in touch with him.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 17, 2014

Recollections

12.

Reply

2.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov for replying to the Recollections above from-   John Lawson and  Bob Lawson (above).

Tony wrote:

The Lawson Family

Chessel's Court

"I’m almost certain that Bob Lawson's grandparents were the Lawsons who lived on the same landing as I did.

As I previously mentioned, there were only three Lawson families within Chessel’s Court two of which were elderly women living on their own.  The only Lawson couple were the ones in my stair.

Here are two images to show Bob’s grandparents' house"

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness West Lothian, Scotland

Photo

1.

Chessel's Court

Old Photo showing the location of Bob Lawson's Grandparents' House

Old photo showing the location of Bob Lawson's Grandparents' House at Chessel'd Court, Canongate, Edinburgh

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Photo

2.

Chessel's Court

Recent Photo showing the location of Bob Lawson's Grandparents' House

Old photo showing the location of Bob Lawson's Grandparents' House at Chessel'd Court, Canongate, Edinburgh

©  Copyright: Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh.    email: peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                          Photograph taken 2006

 

 

Recollections

12.

Reply

3.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov for following up his Recollections 2 above with another message

Tony added:

The Lawson Family

Chessel's CourtI

"I was speaking with my younger sister yesterday and asked her if she remembered the Lawsons who lived across from us at Chessel’s Court, which she did.

When I asked her if she could remember what they looked like she said almost immediately that ‘grandpa’ Lawson, which is what we always called him, reminded her of ‘Paw Broon’ which is also how Bob described him.

I think we are taking about the same person."

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness West Lothian, Scotland:  July 21, 2014

Recollections

13.

Ann Coventry

Australia

Thank you to Ann Coventry who wrote saying that she had happy memories of Edinburgh.

Ann wrote:

White Horse Close

"I read Michael Melrose's contribution (4 above) saying he had lived in White Horse Close as a child, until mid-1960s.

I visited White Horse Close again in 2002, after an absence of 50 years and saw a great transformation from when I was a young Architect working for Sir Frank Mears in 1952."

1952

"My job, in 1952, was to measure up the entire buildings on the site as a  precursor for the design of a scheme to renovate all the buildings.   (See also 'Reconstruction' below)

It was a difficult task as the buildings were still inhabited by poor people living in  deplorable accommodation.  No wall was the same thickness as any other, nor parallel or at right angles to any other and nor were the floor levels in any way related.

I well remember my shock at the realisation that the only tap and trough for washing for the use of  all tenants was situated on an open landing fairly near the top of  that stone staircase."

1530?

 "I think the date above the archway entrance on Canongate was 1530. (See also 'Datestone' below)

Ann Coventry, Australia:  July 14, 2011

Here is an extract from the book: 'The Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh'.

After commenting on the arcade into the Canongate, the authors wrote:

White Horse Close

Reconstruction

"The close itself is much more enjoyable, so blatantly fake that it can be acquitted of any intention to deceive.  A court built for Laurence Ord in the late C17, its buildings focused on the inn at the N end, was bought in 1889 by Dr Barbour and his sister and reconstructed by James Jerdan as working-class housing, then even more extensively bu Frank Mears & Partners in 1962.

- The W side is now a very plain row of harled two-storey houses.

- The E side very self consciously picturesque

- The N end, a Hollywood dream of the C17."

Datestone

"Even the datestone of 1623 joins in the fantasy;  it used to read 1523, but was re-cut c.1930 to give a more plausible date."

Source:  The Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh (John Gifford et al) p.216

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 19, 2011

Recollections

14.

Jim McClusky

Bolton, Lancashire,

Thank you to James McClusky who wrote:

White Horse Close

"My great grandfather, Thomas McPartlin was born at White Horse Close in 1855.

Whitehorse Close - Photograph by Begbie ©

He walked all the way to Chorley in Lancashire when he was 13, to get away from the poverty.  He had to beg scraps of food from the soldiers at Edinbrugh Castle.

His grandfather lived at Chorley.  The family moved to Bolton, Lancashire in the 1890s."

Jim McClusky, Bolton, Lancashire, England:  August 11, 2011

Recollections

15.

Alex Rutherford

Australia

Alex Rutherford wrote:

White Horse Close

Robertson's Court

Milton House School

"I was born in White Horse Close in1930, and moved to Robertson's Court when I was three.  I attended Milton House, New Street and then James Clark Schools.

Alex Rutherford, Australia:  December 23, 2011

Reply to Alex?

Alex also mentioned his later life, and says that he'd love to hear from anyone who remembers him.  If you'd like to send a message to Alex, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on his contact details to you.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 29, 2011

Recollections

16.

June Robertson (née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

June Robertson who wrote:

Old Friend

"I'm on a mission to find my old friend and neighbour, George Mothersole.  I'll never give up. I will find him!

George lived next door to us at 5 Canongate.  He was born a Henry, but took Mothersole as his last name.

He came to my rescue when I got locked out, and also when I had my first drink.  He laughed while his mother made me tea and toast to sober me up.  I think I had 2 beers.  Wow!

George went to live in Canada and was in the antique business, last I heard.

His sister Mary and my sister Chrissie were great friends.  Alas both gone now. His brother Ronnie still in Edinburgh, but has lost touch with him thru the years.".

June Robertson, Arroyo Grande, California, USA:  January 18, 2012

Reply to June?

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

         Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 21, 2012

Recollections

17.

June Robertson (née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

June wrote:

Freedom

"Hi.  It's me again, thinking of when we were all running around Edinburgh with such freedom.

My mother would open the door, put two pennies in your hand and say:  'Don't come back till dinner time."  We didn't have a watch between us, but we were never late.

If you got to the point when you wanted something to eat. my chum, Betty Miller from White Horse Close and I would stand in the street and yell up to my mother:  'Throw me doon a piece'.

It would then fly thu' the air, wrapped in newspaper - white bread butter and sugar.  Did anyone else get fed this way?"

June Robertson, Arroyo Grande, California, USA:  January 30, 2012

Recollections

18.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Sugar Sandwiches

I remember having sugar sandwiches -  but never thrown to me, wrapped in newspaper!  -  when I was growing up in Yorkshire.

Also, as a treat, I was allowed two or three spoons of condensed milk from the tin.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 30, 2012

 

Recollections

19.

Betty Hepburn (née Boland)

Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Thank you to Betty Hepburn for replying to June's memories above, posted in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Betty wrote:

Sugar Pieces

"June - This made me laugh.  I often had a sugar piece - and not sliced bread either -  a big thick slice, it was

Remember plain bread or pan bread?  I'd get sent tae the shop to get the bread and I'd be nibbling it on the way home.  By the time I got home, there'd be big chunks oot the middle!

Betty Hepburn (née Boland), Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand:  January 30, 2012

 

Recollections

20.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who read 'Recollections 18' above, and replied:

Condensed Milk

"Peter:

I share your memories of a spoonful or three of condensed milk.

More often than not, this was when the tin had been 'emptied' into a baking bowl or used for making tablet.

Scraping round the dregs with a spoon and lastly sooking it off your finger until there wasn't a droplet left in the tin was sheer delight."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  February 2, 2012

Recollections

21.

June Robertson (née Wood)

Arroyo Grande, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

June wrote:

Night Watchman

"I wonder if anyone else remembers walking home late at night and seeing a Night Watchman guarding a hole in the ground.  He was always happy to share his blazing fire and have a wee chat..

I've often wondered what was down the hole.  I'm sure all you guys out there have the answer."

June Wood (née Robertson), California, USA:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, February 27, 2012

 

Recollections

22.

Rose Fotheringham (née Sands)

Naples, Florida, USA

Rose Fotheringham wrote:

Family

"I was born and raised until I was six at 10 High Street, the "World's End Close"

My grandparents were Charles and Alice Sands. My grandad was a coalman and my Granny used to own a wee shop down the Canongate, although I don't remember the shop."

 Neighbours

"Our neighbours, across the street, were the Finlaysons.  I called her Auntie Elsie.

The Earlys lived in our close.  I can't remember the girls' names.

Our neighbours who lived up the Oliver & Boyd close were the Mooneys.  My brother Charlie was best friends with Michael Mooney and I was friends with Marie Mooney.

Rose Fotheringham, Naples, Florida, USA

 

Recollections

23.

Alex Dickson

Edinburgh

Alex Dickson wrote:

Fishwife in the Royal Mile

"Does anybody know of a picture of one of the Newhaven fishing-folk ladies who, on Saturdays, would sit on a chair at the Jeffrey Street lights in the Royal Mile - on the right-hand side, by the pub on the corner, going uphill towards the Castle.

There, she sold mussels and buckies at 3p or 4p a saucer.  She would wash the saucer by dipping it in a pail at her feet. She was a 'buckie grannie' figure, who wore a shawl around shoulders, black dress, and stripped apron

She had her wicker basket in which she stowed everything when she was sold-out ? This lady typified people who have long vanished. My memories of her, and those saucers, are from 70 years ago. I’d very much like to buy such a picture, or even to see one."

Alex Dickson, Edinburgh:  Feb 4 + May 7, 2015

Reply to Alex Dickson?

Alex gives a good description of the fishwife that he remembers on the corner of Jeffrey Street, but unfortunately I don't know of any photos of her.  If you know of any, please email me with details, then I'll pass your message on to Alex.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 18, 2015

 

Reply

24.

Ray Graham

Billingham, Durham, England

Thank you to Raymond Graham who wrote:

Doctor Ross

"I'm just wondering if anyone remembers Dr Ross in the Canongate. My memories was of him telling me kneel on the table so he could lance a boil on my bum.  I couldn't believe it, but what a relief"

Ray Graham, Billingham, Durham, England:  December 31, 2015

 

Reply

25.

Terry Cox

Fairmilehead, Edinburgh

Thank you to Terry Cox for sending me a photograph of a Newhaven Fishwife in the Royal Mile, after reading Alex Dixon's comments above.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to reproduce it for copyright reasons,.  However, Terry's comments below should enable others to find it.

Terry wrote:

Fishwife in the Royal Mile

"While perusing, I came across Recollections 23 above, where Alex Dickson was looking for a photo of a Newhaven Fishwife in the High Street. I found one, but doesn't look like Jeffrey Street, more like outside Deacon Brodie's, as it looks like the High Court (Sheriff Court at that time) in the background.

I found this photo on the SCRAN website, by simply doing a search for 'Fishwife Edinburgh'.  My search produced a lot more about fishwives, but that was the best photo that I could see, and it came up first on the search.

I'm not sure if you can show this on the EdinPhoto web site, for copyright reasons, but it'll be easy enough for Alex to look for it."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  3 January 2016

 

Recollections

26.

Alex Dickson

Edinburgh

After reading Terry Cox's memories of the fishwife in the Royal Mile, Alex Dickson wrote to Terry.  Here is an extract from the message that he sent to Terry.

Fishwife in the Royal Mile

"You are right, Terry, about the location of the photo of the fishwife in the High Street.  You worked there, and I cut my teeth as a junior reporter with the old Scottish Daily Mail by covering the Sheriff Court, as it was in the late-1950s."

The Sheriff Court

"MacFarlan of the ruddy complexion was Proc. Fiscal and Nicky Fairbairn used to hold court among journalists in the old 'Pop In Cafe', 100 yards or so up the hill.  Ah, nostalgia, all right...."

Fish, Mussels and Buckies

"The fisherlady (very useful) in the pic was selling fish – mine, lower down the Royal Mile, dolled out saucers of mussels and buckies.  She was at the corner of Jeffrey Street, with Armando Margiotta and his fudge 'factory' up one floor, half-way down the hill which was St Mary’s Street, directly opposite across the road.

In Jeffrey Street, there was a run-down cinema on the opposite side of the High Street, and the pub by the traffic lights and her sales pitch. Directly opposite was 'The New Palace', I seem to recall.  The term 'flea pit' might have been invented for it.

The Fisherlady's Customers

"Saturdays at this fisherlady's pitch was a world of men in their week-end rig of dark blue serge suits and bunnets."

Alex Dickson, Edinburgh:  6 January 2016

 

Recollections

27.

Alex Dickson

Edinburgh

Alex Dickson wrote:

Gruber's Black Pudding Shop

"Does anyone remember Mr Gruber, who ran a black pudding shop on the High Street, just below Selby Wright ‘s church ? Shop is a misnomer. It was in a ground floor flat, and he opened for business only on Saturday mornings.

At least, that’s my recollection from almost 75 years ago, having been sent to join the queue waiting in the early morning for the ration of half-a-horse shoe of this addition to wartime rations.

Doubtless it was illegal, and unhygienic, wrapped as it was in a paper bag and then newspaper. But oh, it tasted so good, and was a bonus outwith the ration books."

The Old Sailor's Ark

"Up the hill, towards the Castle, stood the old Sailors’ Ark, created with a legacy from a master mariner, to provide shelter and food for poor seamen. Poor people per se used it eventually.

It had many uses before the city fathers decided it should become part of their redevelopment plans. Today, so far, the facade remains, a landmark for those individuals interested in history, or with long memories.

There must be many who fall into both categories, with their own reminiscences. During the war, its doors were open to subsidise cheap meals for those who could not afford higher prices - three courses and tea for 1s 6d (seven and a half pence today)."

Alex Dickson, Edinburgh:  19 January 2016

Reply to Alex

If you'd like to send a message to Alexon either of the subjects that he mentions above, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on his email address to you.

      -  Thank you:

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  20 January 2016

 

Recollections

28.

Allan Dodds

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Fishwife outside Deacon Brodie's Pub

"When I worked in the Scottish Central Library, there was a fishwife outside Deacon Brodie's as late as the 1960s.

My great grandmother was a Musselburgh fishwife."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  20 January 2016

 

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