EdinPhoto Web Site
After finding that emails had been arriving faster than I was
able to reply to them, and that I was no longer able to find the
time to add all the messages that I was receiving to the EdinPhoto
web site, I considered my options for the future of the web
I wrote this page, setting out my conclusions, and added it to
the web site on 12 June 2017:
EdinPhoto Web Site
- What Next?
Briefly, my decision was that I would try to ensure that the
EdinPhoto site in its current form would remain on the Internet for
people to view, but I would not add any more information or
images to the site, other than in exceptional circumstances.
In the few days since making this decision, I've come across some
contributions sent to me for the web site which I feel are well
worth adding to the site.
Previously, I would have done a
little editing to the recollections, then added them to the
appropriate parts of the web site. To do that, and ensure that
all the links created between the various pages were working
correctly, might have taken
me anything from perhaps half an hour to several hours. I no
longer have the time to do that.
So now, I'll just add the
contributions, as received to this page on the web site. Even
though they may not be on the most appropriate page on the site, I
hope that people will still fined them, perhaps coming across them
on the What's New page
or perhaps as a result of doing a search on from the
Home Page of the EdinPhoto site.
Stubbs, Edinburgh: 16 June 2017
A Selection of
I've updated the web site to
include these recollections
over the period
beginning 12 June 2017 - the
date that I decided that
I would have to make fewer updates to the EdinPhoto site
Cranleigh, Surrey, England
- Lorne Primary School
- Tynecastle Secondary School
- Colinton Mains
Stenhouse Avenue West
- My family
- The War Years
Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland
- Leith Links
Barnsley, South Yorkshire
- Football and Guiders
- Lorne Primary School
- Our Prefab
- Our Garden
- Wester Hailes School
Gillespie's Primary School
- St John Vianney's
- St Catherine's
- The Tin School
National Coal Board
Niddrie / Craigmillar: 1939-2013
- A New Estate
- Anderson Shelters and Rationing
- Other Memories
Grierson, Wardie, Trinity
- Wardie School
- Edwards Bakeries
- Steve Morrison
- More Shops
- Wardie Residents' Club
- Trinity Academy
Snacks and Cakes
Cranleigh, Surrey, England
Thank you to Robert McDonald who
have reached that age where the past is as interesting as the
present . Thank you for this wonderful site. Hope these
comments are of interest."
school days in Edinburgh started in 1946 at Lorne Street School, not
a happy time for me with an acquired Northern Irish accent, which
didn't go down well. Miss Thompson the teacher was very
understanding inviting my mother and I to tea. Books were in short
supply and we used wood rimed slates and took a small bottle of
water and a rag with us to clean them. In 1947 we moved from Dalmeny
Street to Colinton Mains Grove and Craiglockhart school. I was
welcomed by Mr Cowe and recall Mr Vickers who followed. I remember
him coming into our classroom, on the 6th February 1952, to tell us
the King had died and we now had a Queen. A year or so earlier he
announced that Britain's largest aircraft, the Bristol Brabazon was
to fly over Edinburgh and its tail was as high as the school. The
teachers we had were Miss Fogo, Mr Gowan for the final years and
Miss McIntosh was the music teacher. I do remember Miss Struthers
and Mr McCaig and the piano playing Colonel Boggy as we filled out
at the end of classes. The Piano was later replaced by a gramophone
record. I lost my front tooth there while running in the playground.
We were given plastic 1d tokens for the buses and trams. I was often
picked up by our lodger who had a lorry, much to the envy of others
waiting for the tram at lunch time. Others in the class I remember
were John Smart, Andy Kinghorn, Frankie Thorburn, Terry Marr, Betty
Hastie, Mary Bell, Jessica Wilson, Mary Sinclair."
"In 1952 I moved to Tynecastle secondary school in Mcleod street
next to the Hearts football ground, teachers I recall were Mr
Chapman (Maths), Mr Baird (Head of Maths), Miss Davie (English),
Miss Combie (French), Mr Don ( Geography), Mr Dalziel (Music), Me
Stephens (Science), Mr Miles (Technical Drawing), Mr Stirling
(Woodwork), Mr Young (PE), I can't recall the name of the teacher
who took us for Metalwork and Mechanics. Miss Dowdeswell was the PE
mistress and Head Mistress. She would stand on the Balcony on the
south block and watch my friends and I flying model aircraft at
lunchtime. The railway running behind the south block in now a
relief road. During the coronation of the Queen we were given time
off to watch the events. Annual end of term concerts were held in
the Usher Hall and sports days at Megetland, as the school had no
playing fields of its own. At the end of the third year were three
memorable trips, 1) To the Fleet Air Arm base at Doniebristle on
the fife coast, 2) HMS Vanguard moored just east of the Forth Rail
Bridge as it was too tall to pass under and 3) the Scottish History
Museum in Queen Street."
"This was a happy Edinburgh suburb separated from the tram route
with its own bus service that ran from Oxgange Avenue To Firrhill
and tram connections. My father met up with three other men who
started a Sunday School, first in the park, then in the barn of
Oxgangs Farm, and when built Oxgangs Infant School in Oxgangs Road
North. Each year they would hire four single decker Coaches from a
garage in Colinton. Destinations included Harlow Farm Balerno and
Buckstone near Fairmilehead. Each child was given a bag of pies and
cakes. Races and games were always fun, preparations for the day
always involved heating a large urn for tea, and checking the fields
for cow pats. The Band of hope run by others was held in the Church
of Scotland hall next to where the present church stands.
Shopping was done at the Co-op in a corner of the park. Mr Fowlis
was the manager. Other shops in Colinton Mains Drive were Neals the
grocers, a Chemist, a hairdresser, Edinburgh & Dumfrieshire Bakers
and Dairy and Sorleys Newsagents. The doctor was Dr Motley who had
lived and worked from Colinton Mains Road off Oxgangs Terrace, until
he built a house and surgery just above the police station which had
been the Oxgangs Farmhouse.
Reference has been made to the closure of St Johns Church. It was
the summer of 1949 that a man with a shovel was given the task of
levelling and preparing the ground for the church's foundations in
Oxgangs Avenue. It was just too good an opportunity to miss when the
contractors installing the waste water pipeline to the proposed
Oxgangs Farm site, turned up with a bulldozer. A fee of 10 shillings
and the site was levelled during the drivers lunch hour. Every one
was happy. Watching the installation of that pipeline taught me a
lot which was to come in very useful when I became involved in the
water industry. The park or 'field' as it was known was a great
place to fly model aircraft with its long grass at the Morningside
end before the flats were built."
"My father worked as an umbrella maker with Alexander Gibb & Sons in
I would love to hear from any who knew of his work. He would bring
home Shepherds crooks to be polished, I would get 2/6d for each one.
The royal garden parties were always a busy time for him and men
would come into the shop just to get their umbrella rolled neatly,
completing the attire of a well dressed gentleman."
Robert McDonald, Cranleigh, Surrey, England
(for the past 57 years, and Edinburgh before that)
12 May 2017
Thank you to Derek Laing who
Stenhouse Avenue West
lived in No 4 Stenhouse Ave West. The families in our
tenement were the following Hoatsons, Ramseys, Knights, Farquersons
went to Stenhouse School before and during the war."
two sisters Betty (dead) and Margaret. My father was Fred and my
mother was Lizzie.
My wife's maiden name was Anderson After finishing school she worked
for the Post Office in the Rose Street main telephone building
to Heriot's school. My wife, Margaret lived in Murdoch
was a member of the Gorgie Salvation Army band.
It was good
to see Louisa Clark's name . I knew her brother and sister,
John and Mary."
The War Years
"My father joined the Royal Scots at the beginning of the war and
was posted to Dunbar for the whole war period - favorite meal
white pudding suppers.
My mother was employed by the railroad at the top of Ardmillan as an
engine boiler cleaner and worked on night shift.
My sister and I were evacuated to Keith for three years.
I remember that we walked everywhere in Edinburgh. We did have
the tram cars but it was nicer to walk home from Gorgie Road to
"We emigrated in 1956 and now live in Reno, Nevada USA.
I still have
great memories of Gorgie."
Derek Laing: 19 June 2017
Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Thank you to Jenny Rutherford who
moved away from Edinburgh in 2004, and now live in Stirling. I do
though miss living beside the sea. I find it really quite
I can remember the teachers at Leith Links School.
Mr. Kenneth Hislop, headmaster, had been the Headmaster at
Castlebrae Secondary school in Craigmillar. My two older brothers
had him as their headmaster at that school, and I had him as
headmaster Leith Academy Secondary.
He was extremely strict, and believed that we should believe in our
school motto, persevere. It has stuck with me ever since.
In fact both the primary school and secondary school had strictness
running through them. Mrs Lumsden was also strict and this was
at the time when the belt was on offer. No, I never received
it though I only very narrowly missed having it, but that is
another story I do not wish to go into.
I where standing beside you, I could point out every classroom that
I went into at Secondary School.
I have learnt that the school was sold off for private flats. The
building, I know, is very much a listed one, because of its Georgian
Another thing I know about the secondary school is that prior to it
becoming a state school, in either 1921 or 1922, it was a private
school, that rich kids in Edinburgh attended.
When the boundary was altered and Leith came a part of Edinburgh,
the school was turned into a state school, and remains that way
"Leith Links, itself, you may know is where golf was invented.
A small plaque at the bottom of the links, outside tennis courts,
tells the story of it. The plaque was erected in 1985.
"I recently graduated from university. I done some social history
and housing, and some of this covered the cooperative movement in
As I mentioned above, Leith was once an independent town, which
exported into Edinburgh.
The north end of Leith, Great Junction Street, Commercial Street,
Bernard Street, around the Dock area, was very working class.
Most of the housing was owned by landlords and rented out to several
families at the same time.
could result in two or three families sharing the same flat at the
The working classes, would have lived in squalor, little lighting or
ventilation, and basically very poor housing conditions.
why some of the houses which still stand in Leith are of large
proportion. Leith was heavily populated with a mix of immigrants,
of different Faiths.
of the male population would have been working in the local Dock
area in heavy industrial work. Women would have been employed
within the Whiskey bonds
children in the family, the amount that a family could earn in a
week was an important element. If they could not earn enough,
they risked being evicted by landlords who were ruthless, and there
were no laws at that time to protect tenants. The government was
heavily in favour of the landlord.
Jenny Rutherford, Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland:
11 + 12 February 2017
Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Thank you to Richard Vivian who
lived at 26 Greendykes Avenue, set back from the road opposite the
pylon and we were one of the first families to move in to the new
My dad was a keen gardener and we had a lovely prize garden which
people from far and near visited. "
"I went to Peffermill primary school. We played in the Skinny
Woods and sometimes, when we were feeling brave, we went to the big
woods where the 'green lady' lived."
"We shopped at Densley's and at a great grocers shop and played
football behind the store van where the bonfires were built and
The kids from Craigmillar Castle estate used to come over the hill
behind the woods and try and raid our bonfire and we had fierce
stone fights with them."
"We also climbed the steel fence with barbed wire between us and the
Thistle Foundation to play football and built 'guiders' to race
each other down the hill next to the Skinny Woods."
"We went to the County pictures at least once a week including the
Saturday matinee Happy days that I will cherish forever."
Richard Vivian, Barnsley, South Yorkshire: 22 January 2013
Thank you to Ian Wood who
"Here's much of what I remember from my time at Calder Drive:"
"We moved to Calder Drive in 1947 (or it could have been early 1948.
Certainly I started in primary one at Murrayburn School because
Wester Hailes School wasn't ready yet.
I have memories of visiting our prefab before we moved in, of
running from room to room and being pleased to be getting my own
room (being an only child had that advantage).
I remember too registering that my mother was happy to be getting a
proper kitchen. With built-in fridge! (albeit tiny by modern
Our house was one of the aluminium ones, with a primitive glass-wool
insulation that we picked at and got itchy fingers as a reward.
Across the road the houses were built of corrugated asbestos sheets.
In retrospect I think of them as well planned. Now, as a
pensioner, I would have liked to have one, with upgraded insulation
"We had quite a big garden. I know that at least a part of it came
when the next door neighbours on our left (Burton) 'passed over'
part of theirs.
Shortly after we moved in, father hired a couple of German ex-POW's,
who were still held in the camp that lay where the biscuit factory
is now, to dig over the garden. I remember them as cheery men in
rather drab, anonymous, uniforms.
Over the years the garden provided lots of both veggies and
"Wester Hailes School was a pretty basic construction where two and
two classrooms shared a cloakroom. To go anywhere else, you
had to go outside, and the toilets were in a separate building in
the middle of the playground.
Painted brick walls offered protection against wind and rain, but
not much else – winter was spent feeding the stove in the corner
next to the teacher, which offered some comfort to those close to
it, but little to those of us toward the back of the room.
The teachers were a mixed lot. Some were good, others
distinctly scary - I have later wondered if they were among the
reluctant recruits to the profession."
"Turnhouse was still a military airfield and we were under a flight
path, so we initially were over-flown by Spitfires, quite low, on
their approach. I remember too the first time I experienced a
Gloster Meteor coming in.
I was playing in the garden when suddenly an explosion of noise
passed overhead and a totally new (to me) air-plane shot across the
line of vision. Later came Javelins and others, but the impact of
the first jet remains."
"Groceries we bought on the whole from Bennet's (green wooden
building) or Grieve's (stone/concrete?).
Toys involved a pilgrimage up to the petrol station on the main road
– the Calder road – where Dinky toys were laid out in the window.
Perhaps not all that imaginatively, but very clearly.
Any pocket money that I didn't spend on books, I spent there.
I see now that had I hung on to some of the models I bought then,
they would have been worth a minor fortune now. Ah, well..."
"I remember the play environment as fine. There was a field
where we played football and another where cattle were kept,
presumably on their way to the slaughterhouse at Slateford. We went
to that field, probably when it was cattle-free, either to play at
the Murray Burn, or on our way to the canal.
We moved to
Redhall when I was 16, and I took with me good memories – everything
was of course so much better in the old days...
Ian Wood, Norway: 1 February 2017
Thank you to Graham Marshall who
are a couple of my memories of St. Margaret’s Convent from a
slightly different perspective.
George Smith, who I think may have been in my class at Boroughmuir,
I did manage to find out a bit about St. Margaret’s.
spent my childhood in Marchmont within a hundred yards of the
playing field and attended Warrender Church from infant Sunday
School to Full Member between 1954 and it’s closure, St. Margaret’s
was very much part of my childhood.
Like all of the Marchmont kids I viewed it with some awe. Unsure
what happened behind these incredibly high walls. As we grew
up, the mysteries of the playing field were exposed as we grew tall
enough to find our way
onto the wall which ran along the side of Warrender Baths.
there was a black-robed figure in sight the visit would be a short
one as they were terrifyingly strange figures to us.
we discovered these girls who were locked behind the walls were
let out to sleep and one of their houses lay opposite the hall of
Warrender Church. It was always a difficult choice whether to
encourage the guides to stray from their organised activities or
persuade the boarders of St Margaret’s out of their beds.
Girls being girls, we achieved both objectives but for either,
the evening could end with us being chased - by the Girl Guide
leader or by a nun.
Gillespie's Primary School
"During the 1950s, one of my closest friend was Ronnie Froud, son of
the janitor of James Gillespie’s Primary School for Girls. The
family lived in a flat on top of Bruntsfield House which gave Ronnie
and me the run of the grounds outside school hours.
was during this period my interest in history was awakened and I
started to write about Bruntsfield House, I must have been about ten
at the time. I wrote about the phantom coach, the Green lady and the
more mundane history of the house.
the manuscript of the book is long gone but maybe one day I’ll check
the Evening News for the articles which they published on my writing
of the ghost stories."
was part of my research. It sounds grand for a ten year old
but it must have been my first foray into research, which took me
first through that iron-studded wicket gate, a gate with no
In these days, entry was achieved by ringing the bell and Sister
Porter would open the gate, a crack but only a crack, and if you
were not expected or if you were a stranger you waited outside while
she enquired whether you should be let in.
A friend had told me there was an old nun living in the convent who
would have memories of Bruntsfield House while it was still a family
home. It seemed logical to me that I should ring that bell and
discover the truth of the claim.
I can tell you I nearly turned back, at speed, when I rang that bell
since it was no electric buzzer but a mechanical bell which seemed
to toll a death knell.
"Luckily, I waited and waited and waited. Sister Porter, it seemed,
never hurried to open the wicker. I told her my story and did
as bid and waited some more before a firmly closed wicker. After
what seemed like hours I was ushered inside to a visitor’s parlour
where I waited some more.
I remember all this waiting because what should have been a short
visit ended with me in trouble for being late home from school for
Eventually, this very short lady appeared, dressed as a nun but like
no nun I had ever seen. She was smiling as she came into the
room. We chatted and she recounted memories of Admiral Sir Victor
George Scott Warrender the last private owner of Bruntsfield House
driving out in his carriage and pair.
She told me how the flag flew when he was at home, how Bruntsfield
House was then the next building to St Margaret’s in Whitehouse
She recalled at that meeting, and at many more after, how she
remembered the building of Lauderdale Street and bits of Thirlestane
Mother Cuthbert greatly encouraged my interest in history and opened
doors for me which would otherwise have remained firmly closed.
She was then a retired Mother Superior and lived at St. Margaret’s
until failing health relocated her to Craiglockhart where she died,
I believe in the 1970s. She also fostered my belief that doors only
remain closed when not knocked. My friend must have been one of the
last Victorian nuns in Edinburgh, perhaps Scotland."
Graham Marshall, Southern Spain: 7 February
Thank you to Patrick Clinton who
The Tin School
John Vianney's in Edinburgh between
1964 and 1966. It was a Catholic primary school.
It was replaced by St.
Catherines at Gracemount about 1969. I moved into Southhouse
(Broadway) as a 10-year-old and went straight to 'the tin school' as
it was called.
sure when it became St John
it was when Southhouse primary moved to Gracemount primary.
Presumably in the 'pre- tin
school years' there was no other Catholic primary in
Patrick Clinton, Alkmaar, Holland: 22 Feb
Thank you to Bob Davidson who
"I am now 74 years of age
When I finally managed to
escape from Boroughmuir Penitentiary, I started my first full time
employment with Bertrams of Sciennes, not in Leith. I did not
know that there were more than one.
The hours of employment
were 44 hours per week for which at 15 years of age I received the
handsome stipend of 18 shillings, which did nothing for my hip
pocket by the time most of it had gone on board and lodgings.
This was bad enough, but
after what I assume was a probationary period I was called up to the
office and invited to register my indetureship as an apprentice
On completion of the
necessary forms, I was asked for the sum of £2. Well, you could
have blown me over with a feather - 'Where the hell am I going
to get 2 quid when you pay me a miserable 18 bob a week?' .”
National Coal Board
That was it for me.
Although I went to work each day, I kept an eagle eye on the paper
and landed an apprenticeship with the National Coal Board, where
they paid for everything and also paid me in excess of 5 quid a week
to sit my bum down in a classroom, learning all about mine safety
and first aid.
I was in the original
engineering gang on site installing machinery and slipper guides at
the then being sunk Bilston Glen Coal Mine, and as I was earning
more than twice what my father earned. He got the bright idea
to come to Australia, and for family reasons I had to tag along,
which was fortunate for me."
Davidson, Australia Apprenticeships: 20 March 2015
Thank you to Bobby McEwan for sending me his memories below.
My Memories of Living
in Niddrie/ Craigmillar
"I have lived in Niddrie
all my life. I can remember the good and the hard days."
A New Estate
"The good days were when
Niddrie was first built. HRH Princes Mary was the VIP guest on
17 Sep 1939. I can remember back to the 1944 War days.
Niddrie / Craigmillar was a
safe and healthy place to bring up a family. In those days
families went out and left their house doors open. there was
no fear of the house being robbed as everyone knew each other.
It was a close community.
Everyone helped each other with any problems they had. No
matter what it was, help was always at hand.
It was a safe place because
most of the traffic was horse-drawing carts or wheelbarrows."
"Our entertainment was a
- from Stevie
Cadonie, a one-man-band
- to The Salvation
- to The Rio Picture
House to see 'Batman and Robin', 'Flash Gordon', or 'Superman'.
I remember the adults went:
- to the pictures at
'The Whte House' or
- for a dance at the local
hall that starred 'The Dickie Knox Trio'. This was the local
Niddrie Tenants' Band."
"When the war siren went,
we all went to the Anderson Shelters. We were packed into the
shelters like sardines in a tin with very little food or clean
clothing. It was Hell!
Most of the food was in
powder form, such as eggs, milk, soup, etc. Most of the food,
sweets and clothing were rationed. I remember the old Ration
Books and the sweet coupons and clothing coupons.
The food was bought at St
Cuthbert's Store in Craigmillar. Most of the clothing was
- Mr Gordon's shop in
- Peggy Duncan's in
- Parker's store in
"The area has changed over
- The Salvation Army
Hall and Scout Hut in Niddrie Mains Terrace
- St Aiden's Church
- The Dumfriesshire
- St Cuthbert's
These were all in Hay
Drive. They have all become history like
- our old schools,
- pig farms
that we had in our area."
"I'd like to say that part
of our important history was the Duddingston Prisoner of War Camp
There was also General
Andrew Gilbert at the Wauchope Family Estate. I believe that
the family ownership goes back as far as the 16th century.
Although Niddrie Marischal
and Niddrie House has been built on, I can still remember the
Wauchope land and historical family mansion that was a very
special attraction for local people and tourists.
It was surrounded with
flowerbeds nd fruit trees and was a haven for wild life.
Unfortunately the mansion and land was bought by the council
All that remains to remind
us of the General's family is the tomb, graveyard and a memorial
cross that stands in the garden of the local Niddrie Mil School to
remind nature generations of the General's bravery.
The General was killed on
11 Dec 1899 as he led h is men into battle at Magersfontein during
the Boer War."
"There is much more that I
could add, but I am in the process of writing a book. I'd like
to ask if any of the readers can remember the first shop in Niddrie
It was at the side of
Bingham Tunnel and was a caracvan on wheels. I believe that
the owner was Mr Walker. that was before Mrs Flockhart, Lettie
and Mrs Gibbens."
McEwan: 15 January 2013
Reply to Bobby
"If anyone wants to know anything else
about Niddrie, I would be quite happy to help bring back memories
that have long gone but will never be forgotten."
If you'd like to send a message to Bobby, please email me to let
me know, then I'll pass on his email address to you.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: 7 July 2017
Thank you to Elaine Grierson who wrote
Grierson, Wardie, Trinity
"Hi, just came across
your site on Edinburgh and wanted to provide some more info on
Edwards (roll shop) and also to reply to Steve Morrison
"I was born in 1958 and
went to Wardie school from 1963 to 1970 with Lorraine Edwards whose
father owned the bakery."
"You could never beat the
taste of warm scotch rolls (as they call them now I am living south
of the border) straight from the oven, and most visits ended with me
being collected by dad to walk home with a bag of roles and another
bag of pies or bridies.
Edwards also owned a bakery
opposite Trinity Academy School and every lunchtime the queues of
kids would stretch down the outside of the shop waiting for their
pies and beans or sausage rolls served by Betty!"
"I lived in Grierson Square
and from our bedroom window we could see the damage done to Steve’s
flat with the gales.
Steve said he delivered
papers for Graham’s newsagents, it was a brother and sister
partnership, Jacky and Margaret Graham (previously run by their dad)
and next door was a butchers."
"I think the store (co-op)
was underneath Steve’s flat and up the road, opposite Wardie School,
was Killin's the grocery shop, and at the top of Granton Road,
Rinaldi’s the Italian ice cream shop where we used to go and have
iced drinks made with his home made ice cream"
"We used to go to the Youth
Club at the Wardie Residents Club every week and play badminton,
table tennis etc."
"I, too, went to Trinity
academy from 1970 to 1974 with Mr Brodie as headmaster. I was
taught by Mr Sampson, too!
There was a Maths teacher
called Mr Campbell who was really, really strict."
Gilbertson, England: 6 March 2013
I've passed on the latest
email address that I have for Steve Morrison to Elaine. I hope
that Steve is still using the same email address now, and that they
will be able to get in touch with each other.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: 14 July 2017
Thank you to Bill Aitchison who wrote:
"I was doing a search
for Moray House School Motto and came across this page and photo on
the EdinPhoto web site."
Moray House School - Class 3B -
Reproduced with acknowledgement to Ann Blissett (née Mackie),
Photographer not known
"You have a contribution
from George Robinson, who we knew as Dod. I recollect
him as being a fantastic cartoonist.
I was in Class 3A and
recognise most of the people in the class 3B photo - although
can’t name too many of them."
definition (from Australia) for Snowball is:
ice cream, with
marshmallow base in between wafers, with a layer of ice cream on top
and then another single wafer.'
This is actually a
description of what we used to call called a 'black man' ice-cream,
My mum used to send us out
for ‘two black men and three sliders’ The 6p black men were for mum
and dad and the three 3p sliders were for us kids."
(or Fry’s) Walnut Whips have been mentioned.
Duncans had a factory in Sighthill. I got my first ever paid
job there when I was 15, working the ‘back shift’ - 5pm till
sounds very cliched, but most of the people who worked that shift
were married women who (as they told me) were keeping out of the way
whilst their men were at the Silver Wing pub.
Because of this, they were pretty relaxed and spent as much time
chatting as doing anything else."
"The work was piecework. We were paid a pittance and then 6p a
hundred for anything over the basic quota.
job was to put the spirals on top of the chocolates - no fancy
machines, just a big ‘icing bag’ hanging on a pulley and we swirled
the chocolate on manually.
There were two people on each belt, one either side. There was a
knob on the machine which controlled the speed for your belt. I was
on a belt with a girl who was saving to get married and I was paying
my way through Leith Nautical College so we kept speeding up the
machine to earn more money.
After a couple of weeks we were doing twice as much as the women, so
the women called in the union who had us sacked because they were
scared we were pushing up the quota."
"I've been reading the sections of the EdinPhoto web site on:
POW Camp and
Airport, which in my day was called Turnhouse.
lived on Calder Road in a tenement block of 10 houses. Our block was
bounded by Parkhead Terrace, Parkhead Avenue and Parkhead Place."
"Just opposite us was the Shaw Estate, which was originally a grand
old house with a pig farm attached. The gate house, just
across the road, was occupied by ‘Old Ned’ who’s job it was was to
keep everyone out of the property."
Calder Road Coronation Party was held in the field behind Old Ned’s
House in 1953. The property was changed into some sort of
administration building and then most of it became a housing estate,
Broomhouse, mainly (we were told) for people being displaced from
the Gorbals in Glasgow and re-housed in Edinburgh.
"The open areas to the east, down towards Stenhouse and opposite the
Saughton Prison Farm was also a housing project which we called ‘The
Orlits’ (I think that was the building company name) and then became
the west towards Sighthill was the POW Camp. The inmates used to
walk around freely and I remember seeing them in the street but we
were told not to talk to them."
"During the war, German planes that were on the way to Leith Docks
used to just drop their incendiary bomb loads anywhere if they could
not get to the docks, and the fields across the road in what is now
Broomhouse were often set on fire. I don’t recollect anyone being
aircraft shot down and it crashed in the field opposite the Silver
Wing and the local shops. As the story goes, the on-duty Home Guard
men captured the army observer (the pilot had died). My father
‘souveniered’ his leather belt and used it for years as a razor
stop. I still have it, along with the ‘Got Mitt Uns’ buckle."
went to Murrayburn School from 1946 to 1952, then went to Moray
House. I left school at 14 and attended Leith Nautical College,
before joining the New Zealand Shipping Company as a Radio Officer.
Over the years I have done many things and lived many places
including New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, USA and South Africa.
I'm now back in New Zealand.
Aitchison, New Zealand: 31 January 2017
Gloria M Rigg
Thank you to Gloria Rigg who replied
Craigentinny Primary school
"I attended Craigentinny Primary school in the 1960. We used
the Abbeyhill school pool for swimming lessons. I remember the
teacher at that time, Mr Carrigan - I think.
I also remember the black rubber brick we had to retrieve from the
deep end of the pool but I don't remember the contraptions to help
learners to swim described by Duncan Reid in his
Abbeyhill School Recollections 15.
Death of Kennedy
"I was in the wee shop near the school (buying my favourite cinnamon
flavoured chewing gum) when I heard about the assassination of JFK
on the radio."
Swimming and Ice Skating
"When I progresses to Leith Academy Senior Secondary school, we used
the pool at Dr Bell's school on Great Junction Street, but by
then I no longer enjoyed swimming as I had moved on to ice skating
at Murrayfield with Gillian, Rose, Valerie and Marilyn from school.
Gloria Rigg, New Zealand 16
Thank you to Gloria Rigg for responding to Bill Aitcheson's
Recollections 11 (above)
Biscuits and Walnut Whips
"Whilst a pupil at Leith Academy Senior Secondary, our classes paid
visits to various factories - McVitie's digestives was
one and Duncan's walnut whips was another. Both were within
walking distance of the school.
The line at McVitie's was making fully-coated, individually wrapped
milk and plain digestive biscuits and the line at Duncan's were
making walnut whips as described by Bill above, all hand-made !!!"
"Our ice cream came around in a van. The different ice
cream shops each ran their own vans in different areas of the city.
As for the Ice cream, yes - an extremely un-PC 'Black Man' was a wafer,
a layer of vanilla ice cream and a mallow-filled double wafer with
chocolate edges. A 'Double Black Man' was 2 mallow filled chocolate
edged wafers with vanilla ice cream sandwiched in the middle - pure
"An oyster was a clam shaped wafer, each half of the shell half
dipped in chocolate and coconut, with one half filled with mallow.
The ice cream was scooped into the centre of this.
"A snowball was 2 wafers with vanilla ice cream and a Tunnock's
snowball smashed into the centre with the ice cream."
"Bongos were hard frozen balls of ice cream on a stick & coated with
Ice Cream Vans
"Our ice cream came around in a van. There different ice cream
shops, each running their own vans in different areas of
moved around Edinburgh from St James' Place, to Muirhouse (for less
then a year) then to Craigentinny. All the various
vendors used the same names for all of these ice cream treats, even
although their companies all had different names.
Even on a visit to Granny who lived at at Harthill, I found that the
ice cream man used the same names for these treats, and his
van came through from Glasgow. He was called 'The Cappochi
Please also see here for
further recollections of sweets, drinks,
snacks and cakes sent to me earlier by Gloria and
Gloria Rigg, New Zealand 16 +
17 October 2017