Recollections - Edinburgh Old Town
St Leonard's District
St Leonards is a
district situated about 3/4 mile to the south of the Royal Mile, between
The Meadows and Holyrood Park. Many of the tenement buildings in the
area were demolished.
British Columbia, Canada
Thank you to George Smith for sending me his
recollections of St Leonard's.
Fishwives from Musselburgh
"The Newhaven Fishwives prompted a
recollection of such a woman who had her pitch at the end of Beaumont
Place in the late thirties. As a kid I was told she walked via Fishwives
Causeway from, I always believed, Musselburgh.
I remember her black and white
skirt-apron and the strong strap on her basket which she wore as a brow
strap when hefting her goods (including her three legged stool). She sold
'buckies" complete with free pin and a shot of vinegar for, I think,
Yes, the fishwives are likely to have come from
Musselburgh. Both Fisherrow Harbour at Musselburgh and Newhaven
Harbour, between Leith and Granton had fishwives with their own
- Peter Stubbs
"Also in that area were carriers
stables. One horse 'Arrow" used to return unescorted through the streets
to his stall from the St Leonards coal yard/ Goods yard each evening after
being unharnessed. A memorable sight."
"Edinburgh seems to have had several
housing incidents around that time. One in the corner of St Patrick's
Square was of a staircase collapsing and I remember seeing pictures of
baskets of 'messages' being hauled up by clothes rope to sustain the
think that particular building was demolished. It used to be over an arch
(a 'pend'?) which led on in the direction of Buccleuch Place."
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Doncaster, South Yorkshire,
Thank you to Catherine Taylor (née Clark)
for sending a message to the EdinPhoto guest book.
Kindergarten and Schools
"Does anyone remember the
kindergarten in East Adam
I hear Drummond
Street School is now apartments and South Bridge School is
offices. I attended both from
love to hear from anyone who attended
My last teacher was Mr Brown. We marched
into school to rousing military band music and up stairs to our
Does anyone remember Miss Woolard the
sewing teacher - and her ttt ttt ttt?"
had a newsagent and tobacconist shop in St Leonards
I wonder if anyone remembers Nicol the
baker. The hot pies were wonderful
the gravy ran down your chin. Many
of the pupils from James Clarks spent their dinner money there."
Catherine Taylor (née Clark). Doncaster,
South Yorkshire, England.
Message sent to EdinPhoto guest book: July 14, 2008
Thank you to
Bob Henderson who replied:
can let Catherine Taylor know that the kindergarten is still there,
in East Adam Street, and is still used by local children. From the
outside it still looks the same.
I was there from 1940 to 1943 and still
have memories of it, I've even even been in contact by email
with Barbara Brown who attended at the same time as me. She
lived across the road from me in 18 Arthur Street. and also went to
St Ann's and St. Pat's schools."
Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse,
Edinburgh: July 17, 2008
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Thank you to John Harris for posting messages in the EdinPhoto guest book.
St Leonard's Hill
"I originated at 15
St. Leonard's Hill, top flat, from approx. 1938 until
1948, when I emigrated to Canada with my family. I am enjoying all
the nostalgia concerning 'the Hill'
and would like to hear from anyone of that era, so we can swap stories and
talk of old times. By the way, I am still
a Hibs supporter!"
John Harris: July 17, 2008
fishwives are likely to have come from Musselburgh. Both Fisherrow
Harbour at Musselburgh and Newhaven Harbour, between Leith and Granton had
fishwives with their own distinctive costumes."
John Harris: July 17, 2008
"I enjoy looking up old haunts from
around 1939 to 1948. I'd like to hear from anyone living in the area of
St. Leonard's Hill during that time."
John Harris: January 18, 2009
Thank you to Marion McHugh who wrote:
St Paul's Church
"I remember St
Paul's Church at St Leonard's
Street. The Church was still standing in the
1970s but the
tenements on either side of it had been
demolished for a long time. It was as if
the powers that be could not make there minds up about
what to do with the church..
I used to stand at the bus stop opposite the
Church, before the tenements were demolished.
To the right of the
church, there was:
a St Cuthbert's
- a bicycle
a grocer shop
on the corner.
the left, half way
between the church and
a fish and
chip shop. I think it
was called McConi's
Thank you to Geoff Thrower for
telling me that the name was actually Mocogni.
grand daughter, who we used to see as a nipper in the shop in the late
'60s, works at the same place as me and the family now
live near me"
Geoff Thrower, Gorebridge, Midlothian,
Scotland: 28 January 2015
a couple of Sweet Cash and Carry shops.
- a few other
shops, but my memory of them
Marion McHugh, July 20, 2014
Thank you to Mike Melrose for replying to
Marion McHugh's Recollections 5 above.
Fish & Chip Shop
"Marion McHugh recalls
the Fish and Chip Shop at St Leonards.
was a McCogni's
– sadly missed"
Mike Melrose, Greenbank, Edinburgh:
July 24, 2104
Leonards: The Edinburgh Room
at Edinburgh Central Library has a collection of photographs of the St
Leonard's district, taken in the early 20th century before many of the
buildings were demolished. I hope to add a few of these photos to
this web site later.
The Newhaven Heritage Museum at
Newhaven Harbour has for more information on fishwives and has examples of
their costumes. Unfortunately, this museum has
been closed for refurbishment since late-2006.