I was born and brought up in Juniper
Green. That was the best place to bring up children. As
a family we left when I was 16 years old. I only have fond
memories of growing up there.
I try to make a point of visiting
Juniper Green whenever I am home
I was baby sitting for my twin nieces on
the night of the fire, New Year's Eve. My Aunt and Uncle had
gone out for the evening. I was 15 years old at the time.
The blaze was seen all over Edinburgh
- by the party goers on Princes Street, even.
I have been thinking of who was living
there at that time who would be alive to day - perhaps only
the children, and they would possibly be too young to remember.
There was a baby born that night, the mother went into labour as we
were walking up Gypsy Brae.
I woke to choking smoke. I left my 5
year old nieces in the bedroom so they would not catch cold, then
went to every floor to waken the residents. Most had been
partying and did not want to get out of their warm beds.
I then ran up two flights of stairs to
put something warm on the twins. My face was on a few papers that
morning but it was nice to think no-one was hurt.
One of the Survivors
One of the residents who lived in a
basement flat came through the smoke carrying her mattress and
"The Lord says: 'Pick up your bed
House destroyed by the Fire
Granton house was a lovely building and
was mostly made of wood and was set in beautiful grounds. To
see it burnt to the ground was so sad. It burnt very quickly.
The only wall remaining was an
outside wall that had been my Aunt and Uncle's flat. It had a
picture of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus and it never burned.!!!
Taken to Craiglockhart Poor House
We had to meet at a specific place and
get on buses to take us to the Poor House at Craiglockhart. We got a
hot meal and it was warm there.
Everyone was given warm clothes and a
bed for the night except me because I had a home to go to.
I asked for money for the S.M.T bus to
go home to Juniper. They could not give me money so I had to go
around and ask these poor unfortunates who had just lost everything
they owned, if anyone had bus money.
That devastated me more than anything
and I cried all the way to the bus stop.