Edinburgh Recollections





Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Hibs Game

-  Carrick Knowe Park

-  Edinburgh then Australia


Patricia R

-  Looking for Photos

-  Edinburgh Select, 1950s

-  Warriston


Bob Sinclair
Queensland, Australia

-  Going to the Match

-  Half Time

-  Hearts v. Celtic


Andrew Wilson
Broughton, Edinburgh

-  Broughton Star FC


Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

with replies from

Simon Capaldi
Sheriffhall, Midlothian


Dougie Bryce
Pilton, Edinburgh

-  Hibs Game

-  Mussels

-  Soor Plooms

-  Turnstiles

-  The Slope

-  Hibs v. Celtic

-  Hibs v. Hearts

-  Saturday Night

-  Hearts


Ian Thomson
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

-  Football Crowds

-  Willie Duff and Ian Crawford

-  Hibs Supporters


Nan Scott (née Hay)
Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

-  Hibs Club


Nan Scott (née Hay)
Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

-  Hibs Club



Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson, now living at Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia for sending me his recollections of football in Edinburgh.

Ian wrote:

Hibs Game

"David Barrie's memories of his journey on the No 1 bus (Travel in Edinburgh, recollections 2) stirred memories for me too.

As a wee boy of seven, and fitbaw mad, my neighbour, Dougie Newlands from Carrick Knowe Gardens, who was a few years older, took me on the No 1 bus to see the Hibs play Rangers at Easter Road.  Dougie was playing in the Junior Brass Band.

I was dispatched down to the wall with the other kids.  It was around 1941, and there was a flying winger by the name of Gordon Smith.  Needless to say, not only was he my favourite player but I have followed the Hibs ever since.

Dougie Newlands turned out to be a fine footballer, playing for St Johnstone, Burnley and Scotland."

Carrick Knowe Park  -  Football

"Carrick Knowe Park was where we tuned our skills, often playing into darkness, or until the laddie with the football decided he'd had enough - even after the Parky had blown his  whistle and locked the gates.  We escaped over the pailings.

The parky hated us football players we ploughed up the pitch, mostly on the eastern side of the park.  Corstorphine rugby team played on the west side.  In the middle was the Parky's pride and joy, the cricket pitch fenced off with rope

 Many a day a stray muddy ball would land on the sacred turf.  We would scamper under the ropes to get the ball then the whistle would blast.  The Parky was a mighty fit old guy, and we'd get  a cuff over the ear if caught.  We must have driven him crazy, our mothers never knew what we were up too

Other kids from that era were:

-  Bobby Wishart, Aberdeen

-  Henry Young

-  George Thomson, Hearts

Some games in the park would have 20 a side.  Goal goal posts were jerseys, and  would expand or decrease on the whims of the goalie.

If you came late you had to find a pal.  Then, to keep the teams even, we would go into a huddle and decide who was 'cock' and who was 'hen'.  An older player on one side would shout 'cock' or 'hen', then into battle we would go.  What great memories!

Some balls were egg-shape with the bladder sticking out. Skint knees and muddy clothes were the order of the day

There were some marvellous dribblers, who wouldn't part with the ball.  There was an old man, Mr Laing, who loved to muck in with the boys.  It seemed old to us he was probably in his 40s.

An old tennis ball was my constant companion even to school.  During the war years balls were hard to get, but my pal and I used to lie in hiding awaiting mis-hit balls at the Corstorphine Tennis Club.  We could make that ball talk with our feet."

Edinburgh then Australia

"I was born in 1934 and spent the first two years of my life in Cheyne Street, Stockbridge with grannie Thomson who came from Stornoway.   We lived in the first stair, top flat.

Then mum and dad managed to get a new Gumley & Davidson house at Carrick Knowe, surrounded by countryside.  It was a great spot to be brought up.

In 1959, while working with Crudens on a copper roof at Liberton, in the middle of winter, I came home and told my wife we were emigrating.

As £10 pound migrants, we arrived in Aussie in 1960 and have been here ever since.  We have returned 13 times, always a different way."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 5+6, 2009




Patricia R


Patricia R wrote:


Looking for Photos

"Do you know where I may obtain photos and information on these  football teams?

-  Edinburgh Select, 1950s.

-  Warriston."

Patricia R, Edinburgh:  May 28, 2009

If you have any information for Patricia, please email me, then I'll pass your message on to her.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  May 29, 2009




Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Bob Sinclair wrote:

Going to the Match

"Goin to the match was a real day out. Apart from hoping your lot was going to win, or at least not be defeated -  or hopefully, if they were  beaten it would only be by one goal, then you could claim that it was the fault of the referee:

'Open yer eyes, Ref!'

-  'The other team's got twelve men on the field'!'

-  'Get a pair o' specs man!'

-  'Can you only see one colour?'  (- the other team's)

'Where'd they get him?'

and such remarks were aired.

If your lot were badly beaten, you hoped for better next week ."


"Apart from standing in the queue, there was the half time break to look forward to, when you could push your way through the hundreds of people to get a half-cold pie and try to eat it on the way back to your  'possy' before the second half began."

Hearts v Celtic

"When attending my first Hearts match - they were playing Celtic. I entered through the Gorgie Road end and pushed my way forward.  I didn't know that it was ALL Celtic supporters at that end.

I saw Hearts nearly score and cheered.  A big man turned to me and said, "Are you a Hearts supporter?"  All these hard men with bottles in their hands were looking at me.  I was fairly young,  Fortunately, not having Hearts colours displayed on my person, I just got away with saying, 'I just came to see the match.  This is the first game I've seen'.

'Aye, well, just mind who yer cheering fur'.  I think I lost about three pounds in sweat during the match.  As the game finished  the big man turned to me (Celtic won) and said 'A good gem, eh?'.  'Oh yes', I said, and I  got home in one piece, a lesson learned."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 19, 2009




Andrew Wilson

Leith, Edinburgh

Andrew Wilson wrote

Broughton Star FC


"My father, Andrew Wilson, captained Broughton Star Football Club in the 1940s.


Here is a photograph of the team, listing the names of the players.  This was taken during the 1944-45 season,.  They won the Stevenson Cup that season.

Broughton Star Football Club, Winners of the Stevenson Cup  1945-46 ©

Andrew added


I also have a photograph, mounted in a frame, which lists the cups won in the 1946-47 season:

'Scottish Lord Weir Cup'

-  'Stevenson Cup'

-  'Carmichael Cup''

-  'Ford Cup'

-  'Castle Cup'

They also won the league that season.

Other Players

Andrew says he would like to hear from anybody who can remember playing around that time, or if any of their relatives played for the team.

Andrew Wilson, Leith, Edinburgh:  January 8, 2010

Reply to Andrew?

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

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  January 13, 2009



Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who wrote again, following his comments in 1. above.

Ian wrote:

Hibs Games


"My memories take me back to the 1940s and 1950s when Hibs had a large following from west Edinburgh.

My pals and I would get on the no.1 bus at Carrick Knowe, all the way to the top of Easter Road, where a plate of mussels could be obtained from the fisherwife on match days.

As kids, we always went early to beat the crowd.  Crowds of 30,000 or 40,000 were common after the war."

Soor Plumes

"There was a wee side street off the Easter Road that took you over the railway bridge to the ground.

On the left was a wee sweetie shop, where a poke of soor plumes or other delights could be had, but only after rationing ended, I think in the early-1950s."


"We use to position ourselves at the gate for a free lift over the turnstile  and save 6d.  Then up the slope and down to the wall, armed with autograph books.

When the boys came out to a mighty roar, it was time for us to scurry on to the field with the bobbies turning a blind eye.

I had autographs of all of the successful Hibs side that won the Championship in 1947.  The 'famous 5' was a brilliant forward line."

The Slope

"Hibs would play up the slope in the first half, so they could lay siege in the second half. During the interval us kids would relocate to the other end to cheer on Gordon Smith, the flying winger.  We were so close, you could almost touch him,

In big crowds the bobbies would let us over the wall &sit on the track."

Hibs v. Celtic

"I can remember clearly one day when Celtic came to town.  They had an Irish winger called Charlie Tully, a real personality.  When he took a corner kick would turn to the kids and have a few cracks and a chinwag, with the ref going nuts telling him to get on with it.

Another day, Turnbull netted three penalties in a 4-1 win over Celtic, while Collins scored from the spot for Celtic.  There were four penalties that day.

Hibs v. Hearts

"I can remember being at Easter Road with the record crowd 66,000.  It was an Edinburgh derby with Hearts.  The result was 2-2.  I think Smith scored twice for Hibs."
No doubt somebody will tell us if that's not right!  -  Peter Stubbs



It didn't take long for somebody to reply!

Simon Capaldi wrote:

"As a Hibs supporter it grieves me to say this, but in the interests of accuracy Hibs lost 1 - 2!"

Simon Capaldi: Sheriffhall, Midlothian:  March 10, 2010

Saturday Night

"On the Saturday night, we would assemble at the west end for the Glasgow sports papers 'The Green' Citizen and 'The Pink' Times  -  but only if Hibs won."


"Hearts, too, had a fine team with a deadly inside trio of Conn, Bauld and Wardlaugh.  This brings me to a day at Tynecastle.

We came in late and the crowd was packed like sardines at the Gorgie entrance, down to the wall I was passed overhead, with shout laddie coming down.  The banter between the supporters was always friendly.

I often wonder what happened to:

Willie Duff, the Hearts keeper, who was  a classmate at Boroughmuir

Ian Crawford, Hearts winger, who i knew in the plumbing trade, before he gave that away for football."



Dougie Bryce replied

"Ian Thomson asks after ex-Hearts players Willie Duff and Ian Crawford.  Sad to say, both have passed awayWillie in 2003,   Ian in 2007"

Douglas Bryce, Pilton, Edinburgh:   March 10, 2010


Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 9, 2010



Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian Thomson who responded to Simon Capaldi' comments and Dougie Bryce's comments in 5. above.

Ian wrote:

Football Crowds

"My memory can't be that good for that Hibs v. Hearts derby result, but it was some crowd!

Another record crowd was Hibs v. Rangers at Hampden, after the war - 134,000.  It's still a record crowd for a cup semi-final in Britain.

Dad and Uncle Jimmy took me through to the game.  HIbs' luck in the cup was, as usual, bad.  They were beaten 1-0, by a Willie Thornton goal."

Hearts Players

Willie Duff and Ian Crawford

"It's sad to hear of the passing of 2 fine players They would be aged around 75 if still alive now.

-  Willie was a fine lawn bowler.  I think he went to America at one time.

-  I met Ian met at the Bellevue School for Plumbing before he  signed for Hearts.  He could show his skills with a tennis ball then."

Hibs Supporters

"Hibs' ground is certainly near the Leith border, but in the 1940s, they were always known as an Edinburgh side.  They were very successful in the late-1940s and early-1950s.  They won three championships and played  free flowing, attacking football.

They were the first British side to play in the European Championship Cup.  They attracted quite a following from all over Scotland.  When I lived and worked in Kinlochleven, I  was amazed at the following the club had.

As well as support nearer Easter Road, there was strong support, when I lived in west Edinburgh, from Carrick Knowe, Sighthill and Corstorphine.  I suppose it goes with being successful.

I don't think religion had anything to do with it - maybe for Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow, but not for Hibs.  I started following Hibs when I was seven."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 11, 2010



Nan Scott (née Hay)

Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Nan Scott wrote:

Hibs Club

"I had  a couple of emails recently from David Elgin.  Is there anyone else out there from the Hibs Club?

My late husband and I were active members of the club in the early-1960s:

My late husband (Tom, but everyone knew him as Tosh) was Secretary and Travel Convener of the Carlton Branch.

I was Minute Secretary.

We knew lots and lots of folks from different branches, and palled around with guys from the Eastern Branch.  I keep in touch with Tommy Nimmo who has lived in Canada for years.

We left Edinburgh in 1965."

Nan Scott (née Hay), Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, born 1938:  April 2+5, 2011



Nan Scott (née Hay)

Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Nan Scott subsequently posted a messages in the EdinPhoto guest book, on December 1 and 15, 2011, giving more details about her involvement with the Hibs' Supporters Club and some of the people she remembers from the club.  Here is an extract from the second of these guestbook messages:

Hibs Club

"Thanks Tommy McCluskey.  I much appreciate you taking time to answer my request re Hibs' Club.  Well, the only names that I can recall are Chic Robertson and your good self.

We were actually members of the Carlton Branch where Tosh was Secretary and Bus Convener and I was Minute Secretary. We were up at the Hibs' Club in Carlton Terrace almost every weekend, and I used to sing when asked.

Some of the guys we palled around with were from the Eastern Branch were:

Doddo Ward

George Kelly

Brian and Betty Blaney

Eddie Dishon

Jimmy Windram.

Alan Burnette **

Tommy Nimmo **

**  I bumped into Alan on Caribbean cruise ship a couple of years ago.

**  Tommy now lives in Canada, and I still keep in touch with him.

Does any of these names ring a bell?

Nan Scott (née Hay), Pakenham, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Message and email address posted in EdinPhoto Guest Book:  December 15, 2011

I've also received an email from Loraine Bailey (née Stevenson) who remembers Nan from the Hibs Club.  I've passed on Loraine's message to Nan.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 15, 2011


Edinburgh Recollections