About 10 miles SW of the centre of Edinburgh
and 3 miles west of Balerno




Patricia Russell
(Pattie Robertson)

Miami, Florida

-  School

-  Return Visit to Kirknewton

-  Football

-  Travel to Kirknewton


Al Lorentzen
Inverness, Illinois, USA

-  Grave Site


Bill Newton
Missouri City, Texas, USA

-  US Air Force

-  Scottish Education

-  Our Home

-  Entertainment

-  Return to Texas




Patricia Russell

(Pattie Robertson)

Miami Florida

Thank you to to Patricia Russell who wrote:


"My father was in the USAF, stationed at Kirknewton.  I lived there from 1962 to 1967.

My sisters and I attended St Mary's RC school at West Calder.  I remember riding to school in a double decker bus, and using my lunch money to purchase fish and chips wrapped in newsprint."

I made my First Communion and my teacher was Mrs. Robertson (ironically) in the early 1960s."

Return Visit to Kirknewton

"I used to reside at 17 Roosevelt Road, Kirknewton.

 I returned to Kirknewton recently, and was surprised to see how little it had changed.  In fact I was able to find my home quite easily and there was a big field across from my home where we used to fly kites and such, and it was still there undeveloped!"

Patricia Russell (Pattie Robertson), Miami, Florida:  February 12+13, 2012




Al Lorentzen

Inverness, Illinois, USA

Al Lorentzen was based at Kirknewton near Edinburgh, while serving with the US Air Force, 1959-62.  Al has already sent me several recollections of Edinburgh.

Here, he asks for information about a grave site that was close to the air base at Kirknewton.

Al wrote:

Grave Site

"Can anyone help to solve this mystery?

There was a grave site close to the RAF base at Kirknewton.  Here is a photo of it taken by a young forces chap, E J Ledet, who came across the grave in 1954."

A Grave site close to the RAF base at Kirknewton, 1954

©  EJ Ledet + acknowledgement also to Al Lorentzen for providing this miage and question.

Al added:

"Our group, all former intelligence people, immediately began trying to work out whose family burial ground this might have been.  You can see from this photo that the area was being maintained.

There is also another memorial on the wall in the background, but we can't read the inscription on that one either."

Al Lorentzen, Inverness, Illinois, USA: September 9, 2013

Reply to Al?

If you have any information or comments that you'd like to pass on to Al, please email me, then I'll give you his email address.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 22, 2013




Bill Newton

Missouri City, Texas, USA

Thank you to Bill Newton who wrote:

US Air Force

"My father was a US Air Force physician stationed at RAF Kirknewton, Scotland from 1964-1967."

Scottish Education

"When we arrived at Kirknewton, I was too young for public school so I spent my first year at the little family services pre-school.

-  The following year I rode a blue Air Force bus to Parkhead Primary School.  My kindergarten teacher was a wonderful lady named Mrs. Stuart. 

-  My first and second grade teacher was Miss Borthwick.  She gave me a toy MG when we left! 

-  I recall the 'sweet line' where we could buy candy for a ha’penny.  

-  When it snowed on the school playground, we would run and slide on the same patch until it turned to ice, then it was really fun! 

-  There were a dozen “ice slides” going at once and we waited in line to go on the best ones. 

-  When I first walked into the dining hall at Parkhead, I was nauseated by the smell of Scottish food, but I soon discovered that it didn’t kill anybody and learned to love it. 

-  It was the same for the milk bottles we got mid-morning; they looked hideous with the thick goo on top.  That was the best milk I ever had – it tasted like melted ice cream! 

-  I still count the way we were taught in Scotland; with a square of four dots and a dot in the middle.  Two sets make 10.   Easy to keep track of things.

-  I remember we all stood when the Headmaster entered the room and we recited the Lord’s Prayer each morning. 

Our Home

"We lived at 13 Churchill Way which was on the top of the hill across from the water tower.

The view was beautiful in every direction.  The wheat fields looked like waves of gold when the wind was blowing. 

We could peek into the villagers’ gardens and see snapdragons, poppies and sweet peas blooming. 

My parents kept in touch with our babysitter for several years after we got back to Houston.  She brought us vegetables from her family garden. 


"The hill is all fenced now, but in the 1960s it was completely open (except for the house of Col. Donnely, the Base Commander) so it made a perfect place to ride our sleds. 

After the several inches of snow got packed down, we were off to the races!  I was always disappointed to come home from school the day the show melted.

Once, we had a 'White Christmas' which seemed to make all the moms happy. 

I learned how to make buttercup chains in the field between the base and village. 

 Every Saturday a blue bus would take us to the movie theater, which was the highlight of the week!   We saw 'Zorro' and 'The Lone Ranger' serials before the feature.

The only movies I remember were 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Follow That Dream' with Elvis Presley. 

Once or twice we walked back to base through the woods.  We thought we were Louis and Clark!

Return to Texas

"All the American kids were talking about 'Batman and Robin' being on TV back in the states. 

One by one, the kids would disappear until one day a blue station wagon came for us. Back to McGuire AFB and then home to Texas. "

Bill Newton, Missouri City, Texas, USA:  16 September 2016


Edinburgh Recollections