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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.  

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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

Gracemount

South Edinburgh

BACKGROUND

There was a closed order of nuns in a convent on the east side of Lasswade Road at Liberton.  Father Hamilton (mentioned in the recollections below) was the chaplain at this convent.

I would assume that he would also have helped out with Mass at the church just round the corner at Captain's Road, Gracemount, St Catherine of Alexandria.

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  October 24, 2009

Please click on one of the links below, or scroll down this page.

1.

Jim Gilmour
Corby, Northamptonshire, England

St Catherine's Church

Breakfast

Father Hamilton

2.

Danny Callaghan
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Father Hamilton

3.

Tony Ivanov
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Father Hamilton

4.

Danny Callaghan
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Convent at Liberton

5.

Danny Callaghan
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Mount Alvernia Convent

6.

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Mount Alvernia Convent

7.

Malcolm Robertson
Sighthill, Edinburgh

Found under the Floor Boards

8.

Ronnie Brown

Kenny Blackwood

Footie

Radio

 

Recollections

1.

Jim Gilmour

Corby, Northamptonshire, England

Thank you to Jim Gilmour who wrote:

St Katherine's Church

"I was an Alter Boy serving Mass to Father Hamilton who was the resident priest at St Katherine's Convent for many years.

He was my mentor from about age 11-15 and helped me in the local scout group at St Katherine's Church at Gracemount.

I was brought up in Gilmerton Dykes Crescent (Hyvots Bank) and went to St John Vianney's RC school.  So I had to walk from home to the convent for 7.30am Mass every morning."

Breakfast

"After Mass, I was allowed into the convent where the Poor Claire nuns, who were a closed order, made me my breakfast of porridge and tea with fresh round rolls."

Father Hamilton

"After breakfast, I used to sit with Father Hamilton in his sitting room, talking about scouting.  He took me out on my first 7 mile journey.

He had lost his leg on the Normandy beaches, and was shot in the arm as he was being transported back to a landing craft on the beach. 

At the High Altar, his metal leg would squeak, and he always had great difficulty in standing up, but he had a automatic Hillman shooting-break car which he drove like a madman!

I believe he is buried down near Melrose where he spent his last years.

He used to give one Hell of a sermon at St Katherine's at the first Mass on a Sunday.  My mother was always frightened by him, but she always encouraged me to go to the convent."

Jim Gilmour, Corby, Northamptonshire, England:  August 15, 2008

 

Recollections

2.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who wrote:

Father Hamilton

"I too have vivid memories of Fr Hamilton (Hammy),   He was originally at St Mary's Cathedral in Broughton Street but due to his health moved to the convent.

I have, on more than one occasion, sat in the back of Hammy's Hillman Husky estate with his spare leg beside me.

I had my arm twisted by Hammy to help run the Gracemount Scout troop and that was a real learning curve for a 17 year oldI used to cycle or bus it from Broughton to Gracemount.  

Like Jim I was mentored by Hammy and enjoyed some great suppers provided in Hammy's lounge by the sisters.

Hammy was no lover of women and his sermons could be very damming.

Hammy was a member of the Hamilton and Inches family of jewelers."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  October 24, 2009

   Recollections

3.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov who wrote:

Father Hamilton

"The posts about Father Hamilton, above, brought back memories.

I used to be in his company a lot as an alter boy at St Katherine's church.  I was also in the scouts and he was the scout chaplain at the time.

He was quite a character.  He would often invite us to kick his 'gammy leg' to see if we could hurt him which of course we couldn't.

He had this habit, when saying Mass, of turning round to view any late-comers with distaste and calling out to them to come right to the front and sit there.  They wouldn't be late again."

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland:  October 24, 2009

 

Recollections

4.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who added:

Convent at Liberton

"The convent on the east side of Lasswade Road at Liberton has now been converted into very fancy flats and houses.

There was a big bit in press when they were doing the conversion, as they were going to have to move the graves of the nuns buried in the grounds.

The nuns used to grow a lot of their own produce and sold eggs.  My girl friend's brother-in-law used to go there for eggs for his mother.    There was a church in the convent but I don't know if it was open to public."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

 

Recollections

5.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who did a little more research into the convent at Liberton, then wrote:

Mount Alvernia Convent

"I've now had confirmation back from the Chancery of Archdiocese of St Andrew & Edinburgh regarding the name of the convent in Lasswade Road were Fr Hamilton (Hammy) was the chaplain.

Convent Closed 1992

It was called Mount Alvernia  and was the Convent of the Poor Clare Colettines.   The convent was closed in 1992 due to falling numbers of sisters.  It was then extensively damaged by vandals and fire.

Redeveloped as Housing

There was a big uproar when the Catholic Church wanted to exhume the bodies of 24 nuns to allow for development of the site.

The council granted the planning application it  Dec 1998, but made it a condition that the graves should remain and that they must be maintained.

There was further uproar when in Sept 2000 the headstones of the nuns were reputedly uplifted and stored against a wall."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 5, 2009

 

Recollections

6.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson for looking into what has happened to the former Mount Alvernia Convent, beside Liberton Hospital in Lasswade Road.

Bob provided three photos of Mount Alvernia, all taken on December 9, 2009. 

Bob wrote:

Mount Alvernia Convent

Gravestones

"I've just re-read the piece about the Mount Alvernia convent and the complaints when they proposed moving the bodies from the small graveyard adjacent to the convent  (Recollections 4 + 5 above).

I walked all around the old convent building and could not find the gravestones, not even propped against a wall as was suggested might have happened.   ***  But see UPDATE below

The attached photos, taken yesterday, show what a nice sympathetic redevelopment it has been.

Mount Alvernia, Liberton, Edinburgh  -  Looking North     Mount Alvernia, Liberton, Edinburgh  -  Looking NE

Cemetery

"But I'm sure that the car park in this photo is in the position where the old graveyard used to be.

Mount Alvernia, Liberton, Edinburgh  -  Looking East

I used to see the small gravestones from the top deck of the bus, or on the odd occasion when I was asked by one of my paper round customers to go to the convent for eggs

Google Earth View

Please click on the image below to enlarge it and see where the three photos above were taken from.

Google Earth  -  View of Mount Alvernia + key

*** UPDATE:  Bob added, after looking at the Google image above, that he believes that the gravestones may be against the wall of one of he new buildings in the photo.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  December 10, 2009

 Recollections

7.

Malcolm Robertson

Sighthill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Malcolm Robetson who wrote:

Found under the Floor Boards

"I have been doing a bit of DIY in my house in Sighthill and under my floor boards I have found a wallet with lots paperwork in it dating from 1964.

The wallet belonged to a man called George Laird from the Gracemount area

Within the wallet -there were:

-  A membership card for the PLACE JAZZ CLUB.

Some love letters from a woman called Sandra

-   Photos and negatives of different people and of  1960s cars.  My dad thinks the photos were taken down at Portobello."

Where is George Now?

"I would just like to know if anyone knows of or remembers this George Laird.  I don't really know very much about the 1960s, as I was born in 1979, but it has been great finding out about that era.

I'd just like to give these memories back to George, whoever or wherever he may be.  He was an aerial rigger for Maitland Radio, Gayfield Place and his address was 50/11 Gracemount Drive.  He should only be in his 60s now, as on the paperwork it says he was 19 in 1964.

Maybe we'll find George, and maybe even Sandra."

Malcolm Robertson, Sighthill, Edinburgh:  November 13, 2011

Reply to Malcolm?

If you have known George Laird, or have any idea where he might be now, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Malcolm Robertson.

Thank you .

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 14, 2011

Update

Success!

George has now been found.  He has been married to Sandra mentioned above for the past 43 years, and now lives in East Lothian, Scotland.

It was George's brother in Australia who read the message from Malcolm Robertson above and passed on the news to George.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 10, 2012

 

Recollections

8.

Ronnie Brown

Thank you to Ronnie Brown who wrote:

Kenny Blackwood

"I have great memories of where I was born, at Dumbiedykes,  and of going to primary school with Kenny Blackwood."

Footie

"We moved to Gracemount, where we played footie with Roy Kay, the Hearts legend from the 1970s.  He always got the ball.  You could tell then that he had talent."

Radio

"Being a DJ has been a big part of my life, and I can now be heard daily on The Superstation in Orkney.  So life has turned out ok for boy born in the Dumbiedykes!"

Ronnie Brown:  July 18+26+27, 2013

 

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

 

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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