Gibson's

109 Leith Walk

1903-1915

Cycles and Aeroplanes

 

Recollections

1.

Keith Davies

Bonnybank, Leven, Fife, Scotland

I met Keith Davis, postcard collector and dealer, recently at a Postcard Fair at Berwick.  He told me that his father used to work for Gibsons, a company in Lieth Walk that made aeroplanes.

I had previously come across this company in the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directories, so I was interested to learn more.

Keith told me what he had learnt from his father:

Assembly of the Planes

"Gibson's used to make parts for their planes in Leith, then take the out by cycle to Balerno where the planes would be assembled.

Cycles

For most of the time that the company was in business, Gibson's main activity appears to have been making cycles. 

Their work on planes lasted for about four years, and was immediately before the outbreak of World War 1.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2014

On one occasion, Gibson's could not find a suitable material for covering a plane's wings, so they used paper!  The plane was destroyed when it caught fire.

Leith Office

At one time a propeller from one of the Gibson planes was on display in their office in Leith.  This was subsequently given to the Museum of Flight and is now part of thier collection at East Fortune."

Keith Davies, Bonnybank, Leven, Fife, Scotland:  August 23, 2014

 

Recollections

2.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh:

Post Office Directories

"I don't have any personal knowledge of Gibson's company, but I've learnt a little about the company from the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directories published in the early-1900s.

These directories were published annually from the early 19th century until 1973.  I've found them to be an invaluable source of information about the early industries of Edinburgh

Here's the info they give for John Gibson and his company."

John Gibson

"John Gibson, describing himself as 'Cycle and Motor Engineer' moved his business from 122 Leith Walk to 109 Leith Walk in 1903.  There, he opened his 'Caledonian Cycle Works'.

The business at 109 Leith Walk was:

John Gibson:

-  1903: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1904: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1905: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1906: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1907: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1908: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1909: Cycle Makers + Dealers

-  1910: Cycle Makers + Dealers + Aeroplane design + build

-  1911: Cycle Makers + Dealers + Aeroplane design + build

-  1912: Cycle Makers + Dealers + Aeroplane design + build

-  1913: Cycle Makers + Dealers + Aeroplane design + build

-  1914: Cycle Makers + Dealers

John Gibson & Son

-  1915: Caledonian Motor Works.

1916, John Gibson & Son moved to 193 Dalry Road

Advertisement

Here is a two-page adverts for 'Gibson's Aeroplanes' that appeared in the 1910 edition of the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory

Advert - Page 1

Gibson's Aeroplanes Advert - from Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory, 1910

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National Library of Scotland
and made available by NLS under Creative Commons License

Advert - Page 2

Gibson's Aeroplanes Advert - from Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory, 1910

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National Library of Scotland
and made available by NLS under Creative Commons License

 

Today

109 Leith Walk

Shops at Nos. 99-109 Leith Walk

Shops at No.99 to No. 109, Leith Walk, photographed in August 2014.  No.109 Leithj Walk was the address of Giibson's Aeroplane Works in 1910

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                    Photo taken August 28, 2014

"Here are shops on the east side of Leith Walk, near the foot of The Walk, where the old railway bridge used to cross The Walk. The shops are Nos.99-109.

The Salvation Army shop is No.109.  That was the address of Gibson's Cycle works and Aeroplane works in the early-1900s."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2014

 

 

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