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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Recollections  -  Edinburgh Old Town

Castlehill

and

Ramsay Lane

1.

George T Smith
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Stage Performance

2.

Jim Cairns
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Ramsay Lane

3.

Jim Cairns
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Ramsay Lane

Monumental Sculptor

Highland Antler Agency

Castle Wind Press

Thunderstorm

Question

4.

Jim Cairns
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Photos

5.

Florence Broderick
(
née McGhee)
Old Town, Edinburgh

Ramsay Lane

6.

Gordon Wemyss

Thunderstorm
-  Ball-lightning on the Mound

7.

Tommy Robertson
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Jacobean Café and Gift Shop

8.

Jim Cairns
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Jacobean Café and Gift Shop

9.

Tommy Robertson
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Cafés

Thomas Good's Statues

Model Railway Engineers' Club

10.

Tommy Robertson
Tollcross, Edinburgh

George Robertson

 

Recollections

1.

George T Smith

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to George T Smith who wrote:

  Stage Performance

"I remember going to a performance of 'The Three Estates' in 1947 at the church establishment on Castlehill, just  prior to the first Edinburgh Festival.

I think we HAD to go (from Boroughmuir,  fifth form) as part of the audience.  I remember it meant nothing to  my sixteen year old mind, as no-one had taken the trouble to put the story  into some sort of historical context.

This was my first experience of the apron stage. Does anyone else remember this?"

George T Smith, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  December 6, 2006

 

Recollections

2.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns for sending me his memories from the time that he lived in Ramsay Lane, from 1949 to 1960.

Ramsay Lane is the small lane leading to the north from Castlehill near the Castle Esplanade.

Jim wrote:

Ramsay Lane

   ©

"This photo was taken by my late Dad, David Cairns, from our home in Ramsay Lane, looking over the Reservoir to the Castle Esplanade.

We could see a bit of the Tattoo from there, but we had a better view from our roof!.  We would have friends round to watch it, clinging to the apex of the roof  -  no 'Health and Safety' in those days!"

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  October 16, 2008

 

Recollections

3.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns for sending me more memories from the time that he lived in Ramsay Lane.

Please also click on the thumbnail images below to see some of Jim's photographs of the area, taken by his father around 1953, or scroll down this page to read Jim's recollections of his home at Ramsay Lane:

Edinburgh Castle and Esplanade, around 1953 ©    Parade up Castlehill towards Edinburgh Castle Esplanade - around 1953 ©    Parade down Castlehill from Edinburgh Castle Esplanade - around 1953 ©

Jim wrote:

Ramsay Lane

"I lived at the top of Ramsay Lane between 1949 and 1960. We were on the top flat."

Monumental Sculptor

"The ground floor was occupied by Thomas Good, Monumental Sculptor.  Then it became a café called the 'Rest and be Thankful'."

Highland Antler Agency

"The middle flat was the Highland Antler Agency. (They made buttons, brooches and all kinds of stuff from Antlers) and the smell of the bone being cut was horrible - the same smell you used to get when the dentist drilled your teeth!"

Castle Wynd Press

"When they closed down, it became a printers - the Castle Wynd Press. One of the 'Stone of Destiny chaps', Ian Hamilton was a director in the company, and I worked as a message boy for them for a couple of years.

"They had a works manager who was a really nice man, a highlander, whose only problem was that he liked the whisky too much. He would send me off to deliver a parcel, giving directions with pub landmarks - 'Turn left at the Stockbridge Bar and keep going till you see 'The Territorial'."

Thunderstorm

"During the school holidays in 1956 or so, there was a tremendous thunderstorm in Edinburgh. My sister, her friend and my cousin and I were at home alone while my mother was at the wash-house.

The steeple of Tolbooth St Johns was struck by lightning, and at the same time struck our kitchen, smashing the sink to bits. My cousin had taken a drink of water from the sink tap just minutes before!

The lightning then formed a ball and rolled down the Mound where it struck a water mains, sending the cover flying in the air."

Question

"The lightning incident was reported in the papers the next day.  I've searched the archives without success. I wonder if any of your contributors remember the ball-lightning at the Mound, and can tell me what year it was?"

If you know the answer to this question, please email me.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs

Update

Please see Recollections 6 below

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  October 16, 2008

 

Recollections

4.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns for sending me more memories from the time that he lived in Ramsay Lane.

Jim later wrote, sending me this photograph of his sisters and friends, taken at the foot of the stairs to his house at 1 Ramsay Lane.  Please click on the thumbnail image below to read Jim's comments:

Group of Children at the foot of the Stair, 1 Ramsay Lane ©

Recollections

5.

Florence Broderick (née McGhee)

Old Town, Edinburgh

Thank you to Florence Broderick (née McGhee), Old Town Edinburgh who replied to Jim Cairn's question in Recollections 3, above.

Florence wrote:

Ramsay Lane

"I was Florence McGhee, one of a big family from Milnes Court.  My brother was Alistair.  My dad was a piper with the Royal Scots and worked in Edinburgh Castle.

I remember the lightning storm, but don't know the year.

I think i remember Jim Cairns.  Did he have 2 sistersMy mother was always talking to two sisters and Cairns was there name.  I'm sure  one was called May.

I remember:

-  John Hartley 

Andrew Bain

-  Billy Goodall and his sister Evelyn

-  Hazel, a girl from South Africa 

Joyce Thomson."

Florence Broderick (née McGhee), Old Town, Edinburgh:  November 1, 2008

FlorenceI've now forwarded your email to Jim.  I don't know whether or not it was his family that your mother knew.

Please click on the thumbnail image below to see a photograph including Jim and three sisters, Helen, Mary and Joan, that was sent to me by Jim a few days ago.

Group of Children at the foot of the Stair, 1 Ramsay Lane ©

Peter Stubbs:  November 1, 2008

 

Recollections

6.

Gordon Wemyss

Thank you to Gordon Wemyss who replied to Jim Cairns' recollections of the thunder storm at Ramsay Lane and ball-lightning on the Mound (3. above).

Gordon wrote:

Thunderstorm

Ball-lightning on the Mound

"I was looking for information about a bad thunderstorm in Edinburgh  when I was a boy.

As it happened I was undergoing a major heart  operation when lightening struck the Royal Infirmary and the power to  the operating theatre was interrupted while the emergency generators  were switched on.

Obviously I was unaware of this and equally obviously I survived the operation.  However my parents were extremely concerned at the time and told me afterwards about the fireball that reportedly rolled down the Mound.

I don't know the date,  However, I'm pretty sure my heart problem was detected when I was in primary 3  at the Royal High School. That would make the date 1959 or 1960Perhaps that would be a better date to look at.

I would be  very interested if you do find any other information.  I often tell  people about my dicing with death on the operating table.  They are  rarely impressed however!"

Gordon Wemyss:  January 28, 2010

 

Recollections

7.

Tommy Robertson

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Tommy Robertson who responded to Jim Carins' message about No 1 Ramsay Lane.  Thank you, Tommy, for also sending the photos below.

Tommy says it would be nice to share memories with others.  If you'd like to send a reply to Tommy, please email me, then I'll pass on your comments to him.

Tommy wrote

Woodcarver

"My Dad, George Robertson, started his apprenticeship in 1947 at 1 Ramsay Lane for Thomas Good, Woodcarver and Sculptural Design.

Mr Good left for London to stay with his daughter at approx 80 years old in 1955 and George Robertson took over business and premises.

Sandy Buchan rented part of Dad's studio from approx 1957 and worked on antique repairs, restoration and china"

Top Floor

"Jim Cairns stayed on the top floor of 1 Ramsay Lane.  Jim says he left in 1960 when his family did a house swop with his Aunt and family.  Their name was Cockerell..

Mr Good left for London to stay with his daughter at approx 80 years old in 1955 and George Robertson took over business and premises.

Sandy Buchan rented part of Dad's studio from approx 1957 and worked on antique repairs, restoration and china"

Jacobean Café

My Dad opened the Jacobean Café and Gift Shop on the ground floor of 1 Ramsay Lane.  Here are a couple of photos of the Jacobean Café and Gift Shop:

Jacobean Café and Gift Shop

Jacobean Cafe and Gift Shop, 1 Ramsay Lane, Edinburgh ©          Jacobean Cafe and Gift Shop, 1 Ramsay Lane, Edinburgh ©

 

Ice Cream

"In 1973-76, our family started an ice cream kiosk inside the door of No 1 Ramsay Lane.  We sold De Felice ice cream from their  factory in Marionville Road.  It was mainly served by Kevin, my youngest brother.

I believe that, years earlier, a tricycle parked on Castlehill. An Italian named Toni served ice cream.  Toni had a small shop in the Canongate, down past New Street."

Model Railway Engineers' Club

"In the basement of 1 Ramsey Lane in 1960s, there was a model railway engineers' club.  They used to build and repair ride-on trains for Summer Galas etc.  Hopefully this will help jog a few memories."

Thomas Robertson, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  July 21, 2010
'Top Floor' and 'Ice Cream recollections were added later - on August 2, 2010

 

Recollections

8.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns who wrote:

Jacobean Café and Gift Shop

"It was great to see the Jacobean Café pictures;  they brought back a lot of memories.

I knew Tommy's Dad well.  I remember him opening the Café around 1957, which was first called the 'Rest and be Thankful' with a chap called Buchan who went on to have a café in the High Street, called The Tryst - one of the first venues that the Corrie Folk Trio and Paddy Bell played at.

I accidentally kicked a football through the café window on one occasion.  Thankfully, no-one was hurt and Tommy's dad was very good about it!  I think he eventually opened a hotel in Minto Street.*"

* Tommy Robertson replied

Suffolk Hall Hotel'

"Indeed, my parents opened 'Suffolk Hall Hotel' at  Craigmillar Park, Newington, a stunning building with conservatory and two grape vines in 1976.

They transformed it into a successful business before selling in 1989. The hotel changed hands before eventually becoming part of St Margaret's girls' school which I believe is now closed. **

Thomas Robertson, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  August 6, 2010

**  Update

Thank you to Tommy Robertson for writing again,  and telling me:

Suffolk Hall Hotel'

"This building is now a nursery school."

Thomas Robertson, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  June 25, 2014

Thomas Good's Statues

"I remember Tommy's Dad from the Thomas Good days through to the 1960s.  Thomas Good was on the ground floor and the basement of the stair at 1 Ramsay Lane.  It was was full of old plaster-cast monumental statues, angels and so on - all very spooky to kids!" ***.

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  July 25, 2010

***  Recollections 9 below includes a photo that Tommy Robertson sent me of his Dad working on unicorns on the 1st floor of 1 Ramsay Lane:

Recollections

9.

Tommy Robertson

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Tommy Robertson for writing again and giving me more details of his father's businesses.

Tommy wrote:

Cafés

"Before opening the Jacobean Café, my Dad opened a café called 'Rest and Be Thankful' at 1 Ramsay Lane.  It opened in 1959 and ran until 1962.

 Here is a photograph, taken in 1970 of my Dad and Mum, George and Mary Robertson, at the lower entrance to their Jacobean Café."

George and Mary Robertson outside The Jacobean Cafe at 1 Ramsay Lane, 1970 ©

Thomas Good's Statues

Unicorns

"Here is a photo of my Dad carving unicorns on the 1st floor at 1 Ramsay Lane, 1962. **

George Robertson Carving Unicorns in his workshop at  1 Ramsay Lane, 1962 ©

George also carved animals for the Robin Chapel, Craigmillar.

This photo of him was taken when he returned in 2009 to the lectern at Robin Chapel that he had carved 60 years earlier."

George Robertson standing at the lectern in Robin Chapel in 2009.  George carved this lectern 60 years earlier ©

Thomas Robertson, Edinburgh:  July 26, 2010

**  Update

Thank you to Tommy Robertson for adding:

Unicorns

"These unicorns were 8 feet high, made in polystyrene, a new material at the time.  They were made for the visit of Norway’s King Olav and The Queen to Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh."

Thomas Robertson, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  June 25, 2014

Recollections

10.

Tommy Robertson

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Tommy Robertson for writing again telling me more about his dad' carving.

Tommy wrote:

George Robertson

"The first cuckoo for Edinburgh's floral clock in West Princes Street Gardens was carved in wood by George Robertson, Master Woodcarver, in his studio at 1 Ramsay Lane, Edinburgh.

He worked, first, for Thomas Good, then took over the studio in Ramsay Lane, himself, in 1955.

Other amazing work in Edinburgh that he hand-carved includes detailed carvings for:

-  St Giles Church, High Street.

-  Bank of Scotland HQ, The Mound.

-  Robin Chapel Craigmillar -  ornate animals and pews.

The building housing his studio at 1 Ramsey Lane was turned into the Jacobean Café in 1957, and during the Festival and Tattoo it was easily the busiest in town."

Thomas Robertson, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  August 8+11, 2011

Update

Celebration at Floral Clock

On August 9, 2011, the One o'Clock Gun Association staged an event at the floral clock to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the One o'Clock Gun, and to unveil the 2011 floral clock.

Princes Street Gardens, Floral Clock, 2011 ©

One of the guests at this event was George Robertson, aged 80.  A photo of George, standing in front of the floral clock following the event, appeared on page 13 of this evening's Evening News.

Peter Stubbs,Edinburgh:  August 10, 2011

 

Castle Hill School

Recollections  -  More Pages

Contributors

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks