St James Square
Gloria M Rigg
Thank you to GM Rigg for posting this message in the
EdinPhoto guest book:
can't remember the name of our local
church hall used for Brownies, Girl Guides, Sunday School, etc.,
but I think it would have been owned/run by Greenside Church,
which was next door to the Playhouse cinema/theatre."
that we had a really nice American girl
called Hazel Berry who ran the Sunday School,
as well as outings and picnics (We
went to Peebles, once.)
was training for the ministry. When she left,
she bought each child a Bible and gave
each of us an American 1 cent coin
bubble gum !"
Message posted in EdinPhoto
Guest Book: Gloria M Rigg, New Zealand: April 7, 2009
Gloria M Rigg
Thank you to GM Rigg for
adding these further memories to the guest book:
businesses around the St James' Square & Greenside areas that I
remember from the late-1950s and early-1970s
the Ladies Hairdressers. This was
where I had my hair cut as a child, and
my mum had her perms done.
It was situated at the Leith Walk
clock tower junction, just off
London Road, just around the corner from Rankins the
fruit & vegetable shop.
barber's shop off St James'
Square, on East Register Street
at the Princes Street end. This is
was where my brothers had their hair
It was accessed down a wide flight of
steps, and there was a huge model of a
bear on a striped pole over the door.
I'm pretty sure I saw the bear on the
pole at Huntly House Museum years later.
big pharmacy on Elm Row that still had all the Victorian jars,
bottles and drawers that you would
expect to see in a museum now.
White's, the chemist
shop opposite Jerome's "THE" photographers.
- Valvona &
Crolla on Elm Row. This was everyone's
as we kids used to call it. It's
a lot posher now than it was in the 1950's.
- The Dolls Hospital, opposite St
Mary's RC Cathedral, in the basement, if memory serves.
It was between the Deep Sea &
Meiklejohn's, the grocer.
have a vague recollection of the Doll's
Hospital being near the West Port.
I also noticed, many years ago,
that there was a Doll's Hospital at
Dalry Road, Haymarket. It has now gone
Colinton Mains, Edinburgh
May 8, 2009
Tony Ivanov replied:
"I can remember the Doll's
Hospital in the 1950s. It was actually in the Grassmarket at
the foot of the West Port.
To be more precise, at the
foot of the West Port turn left and it was just a few doors along."
Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness,
West Lothian, Scotland:
May 11, 2009
The only other shop I can remember in
the street was a pharmacy (or similar) as it had medical
instruments in the window, presumably to
sell to the many medical students lodging in the area
Message posted in EdinPhoto
Guest Book: Gloria M Rigg, New Zealand: April 25, 2009
Betty Fraser (née
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Betty Fraser wrote:
St James Square -
"By the way, does anyone remember the
'YW' - the YWCA club
which was in a hall in St James Square circa 1945-48.
It was run
by Mrs Masters?"
Betty Fraser: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia:
November 8, 2008
Alan R Hall
Sedgefield, County Durham, England
Thank you to Alan R Hall who wrote:
mother will be particularly interested to see the square as it is
now because she knew it well during the late 1920s when she, her
parents and her brother used to attend St James' United Free
Church in St James' Place.
She was also a member of
the Brownies there, before the family moved out to Morningside and
The Church building still
stands immediately behind St Mary's Cathedral, although I
understand that it's no longer used by the Church of Scotland and
may possibly be used by the Cathedral."
mother recalls my grandfather saying, back then, that some of the
houses in the square had wonderful staircases. It
would be interesting to know if any survive in the remaining
section of the square although I guess the houses may well have
been sub-divided in the intervening period."
own memories of the square are from rather later, of course, when
the SMT buses coming down the Bridges used to sweep over the
junction at the Post Office, up East Register Street, through the
square and down the top of Elder Street into the 'new' bus
Alan R Hall,
Sedgefield, County Durham,
England: June 29, 2012
Gloria M Rigg
Thank you to G M Rigg for posting this
message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook, in response to Alan R Hall's
'Recollections 4' above:
St James' United Free Church
"St James' United Free
Church was closed (as a church) in 1933.
born in 1954 and only remember it as the GPO Parcel Sorting
believe that it is now a storage facility for the John Lewis store
at the St James Shopping Centre."
Gloria M Rigg, New Zealand:
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook: May 2, 2013
James M Wilkins
Thank you to James M Wilkins who wrote:
was interesting to read the comments above on Greenside.
served my time as a blacksmith, starting in December 1965 at
A T Brown. They had premises at the very bottom of the
stairs that led down Greenside Place, beside Lady Glenorchy Church.
William Leitch & Co, soft drinks, were just along the road at
lived in Easter Road and walked to work every morning via London
James M Wilkins, Northampton,
Northamptonshire, England: August 13,
Thank you to Cathy Robertson who wrote:
"Greenside holds many happy memories for me:
We used to stay in Greenside Row.
My Granny lived there before being re-housed at West Crosscauseway.
My dad also lived at Simpson's Court, Greenside"
"On a Sunday my dad played
football in Simpsons Court with his brothers and many others.
My sister and I would sometimes be
the lookouts in case the police turned up as you were not allowed to
play football there on a Sunday.
If the police turned up the
team used to scatter. I remember my
grandmother, who lived in Simpsons Court, would open her door and in
would pile some the footballers escaping the police."
Cathy Robertson, Brunstane,
Edinburgh: August 17, 2013
Cathy was re-housed from Greenside
to Craigentinny, and writes "We could not believe that at
Craigentinny we had an inside toilet and more than two rooms."
Thank you to Doug Richardson who wrote:
Black with a Gramophone
some of the 'Recollections' pages on this site
has brought back to me several
memories of the Edinburgh of 1950s.
One (which I don't think is mentioned on
the site) is that of a lady dressed in black who used to sit on a
folding chair at a location near the kerb just up the road from the
Playhouse cinema, and play records on an old-fashioned wind-up
She displayed a sign that claimed
that she was suffering from a severe nervous breakdown.
"At least she had more style than the
'busking bagpipers' I saw in Edinburgh during a visit in the 1990s."
Doug Richardson: February16,