Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins)

Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

Thank you to Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins) who sent these recollections of Joppa.  She hopes that others might respond with their own memories of Joppa.

Dorothy wrote:

Growing up in Edinburgh

"I've read with interest on your web site, what was like to live and grow up in areas such as Granton and the Dumbiedykes, I found it all very interesting.  It makes one think about ones own area, and perhaps how small and different in comparison - but at the same time how special."

Move to Joppa

"Our family moved to Joppa in 1947. I was 10 and my brother was 13.  It was an established community, with very few young families."


"There was only about 15 kids ages 9 to 12, all living within 4 or 5 streets from our house, unlike where my husband grew up in Granton where he said there were so many kids.

We all played together.  Our meeting place was Forsyth's Bakery, at the corner of Morton Street and Joppa Road. We played every street game imaginable, and had so much fun. The days were never long enough

We all got an very well can't remember any fights, or arguments, a bit of pushing and shoving, but all in good fun."


"In the summer, usually on a Sunday,  we would all meet outside Forsyth's Bakery then cycle to Gullane for the day.  It was terrible for anyone who did not have a bike.  They felt left out.   I remember being in that position myself a few times.

The sandwiches we took were usually in some state by the time we got there, but we were so hungry, anything tasted good. Arriving home at night we were so tired, I remember I could hardly peddle my bike. In those days there was very little traffic to worry our parents, and we all looked out for each other.

One of the older boys was called Harry Potter.  He always seemed to watch out for all the younger ones.  A nicer fellow one could never have known.  Now his name is famous."

Pocket Money

"Joppa had about 16 shops.  Several of them such as the 2 newsagents, 3 grocery stores and the dairy, all required delivery boys. None of the girls did this, but we gladly gave the boys a hand with their paper routes.

The girls ran for messages for neighbours and walked the local dogs, my favourite thing.  And when a new baby arrived, it was almost a fight to see who would get to take it out in their big Pedigree pram.

We all seemed to be able to earn a bit of pocket money for trips to the sweetie shops, or for an ice cream."


"Going to Portobello was necessary.  Our schools were there. Once or twice a week it was Portobello Baths, especially Monday for mixed bathing, and during the summer the Portobello outdoor pool, which was unbelievable."

Portobello Bathing Pool  -  Valentine Postcard ©


"Most of the adults, including the local Bobby seemed to know all of us kids by name.  Most of the time we were good, but sometimes we did get into mischief.

Joppa had many big gardens with nice apples trees, we would keep our eye on them, but could never wait till they were ripe. The girls were the lookout and the catchers. Many walls had glass chips along the top, I suppose to keep the likes of us out, but to no avail.

The boys were up and over in a flash, and throwing the stolen goods to us, which we would catch in our skirts.  Nine times out of ten we would be seen, by the house owner who would come out screaming.

It was a mad panic, especially for the boys to get out before being caught. We sure could run and, honestly, I cant remember anyone being caught.

What I do think about, is why our Mothers never wondered why we had sore tummies.  I guess we groaned in silence."

Broken Leg

"One summer, on the first week of school holidays, my brother fell down the sand pit in the estate between Joppa and Musselburgh and broke his leg.

He was laid up in the house for six weeks, couldn't get out as there was 28 steps from our house to the street.

The following summer he repeated this miraculous feat and broke the same leg in the same sand pit.

This time, however, he was fitted with a metal hoop on to his stookie (called cast today) which allowed him to hobble about."

Another Accident

"My brother's first outing was a catastrophe.  It was on a Sunday.  He was a bit of a celebrity, and all the kids were having a look at his broken leg as he was leaning  on the ledge of Forsyth's Bakery window.

Someone decided to give his metal support a kick, and crash he went right through the window. Everyone scattered including me.  How he was not seriously hurt is unbelievable.

The next morning, men were there boarding up the huge hole. Our parents and the police were never any the wiser, John kept a low profile for a few days.  (I hope the authorities won't come looking for us now.)"


"As we became young 'teens, we graduated from street games and just liked to hang out together. In the evenings we would end our day by playing 'Truth and Dares'.  I'll not go into detail, but I am sure many will remember with happy memories."


"I attended the 'kinderspiele', a young people's group Joppa, twice a week.  I wonder where the name 'kinderspiele' come from."


"The adults in charge of the group organized a concert every year, at Saint Phillip's Church, Joppa.  These were always a great success.  We had such a wonderful time.

Here are photographs of 'A Country Girl', the concert held in 1949.

Players in the concert 'A Country Girl' staged at St Phillips's Church Joppa in 1949 ©    Players in the concert 'A Country Girl' staged at St Phillips's Church Joppa in 1949 ©

I wondered if anyone has photos from other concerts.  I  would love to see them."

Dorothy Addison (née Jenkins), Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada:  June + July 18, 2007



Tommy Johnston


Thank you to Tommy Johnston for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

Tommy wrote:


"I've been fascinated by all the memories of people who lived in the local area around 1940 to 1960.

I lived in Joppa with my dad Eddie, my gran and my 2 brothers George and Roy, but sadly I am the only survivor.  

I've loved going back up to Scotland.  I live down south now, but visit relatives in the Borders when possible."


"I remember Dorothy Jenkins who sent the message above.  As kids, we grew up together.  She was the girlfriend of my brother, George.

These are the names that I remember:

 Angus Lynd

Archie McCowat

Harry Potter

Jimmy Sherry

Michael Black.

John Shillington and brothers.
dad was a conductor on the old trams.

They are all scattered over the world now.

Remember Me?

"I'd love to hear from anybody who went to Towerbank School and Portobello High School, 1943-1954.

All the kids' stuff that Dorothy mentions above was very true.  I would not have changed a single moment of those early years.

I hope some of this will jog some memories."

Tommy Johnston, England:  Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  30 October 2013

Reply to Tommy

If you remember Tommy and would like to send a reply to him, please email me, then I'll pass on his email address to you.

Peter Stubbs:  October 30, 2013


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