Thank you to Jim Macfarlane who wrote:
Return to Leith Fort area
returned to have a look
around the Leith Fort area this summer. I found that the Fort
wall has been preserved as has the guard house - but this was always out
of bounds to me as a child, and not an area I ever entered inside."
Jim MacFarlane, Edinburgh: September
Thank you to Marc Day who wrote:
"I lived in Edinburgh for
three years from 2004. I greatly miss
the city and people and am
now very eager to return to make it my home.
Leith Fort - 2006
I met someone who lived
in Leith Fort. They became a good friend.
The first time I visited them, I thought
Leith Fort was an extraordinary place
- the preservation of the old walls and gatehouse to become the
Leith Fort has been described on one web page
as 'quite the most hideous 20th century social
housing block with a few pitiful attempts to preserve it's history with
reproduction cannons scattered around the grounds'.
Others have described it as 'notorious' and
given other negative descriptions.
Well true, it isn't the most salubrious of
places, but really it isn't that bad once you
get in the flats themselves. The residents are
friendly to strangers visiting and largely know each other.
To me as an outsider I thought the place was absolutely unique.
The Fort is being demolished in a year or two,
I will be very curious to know if the residents choose to rehoused in the
new flats to be built there or
if they choose to take their chances elsewhere!
Marc Day, Bristol, Avon,
England: September 28+29, 2009
County Durham, England
Thank you to John Cavanagh who wrote:
"I left Leith aged 17 to join the Army.
Now, 40 years later and part-retire,
I take a keen interest in anything to do with my birthplace.
looked everywhere for information and photos of Leith Fort.
Being being brought up in Hamilton Street we were in the shadow of
the fort walls, but when I was young the fort
was still occupied by the Army and was a 'no go'
people who lived in the top flats would have had a bird's
eye view of inside the fort. It was just
my luck to live in a ground floor flat."
John Cavanagh, County
Durham, England: September 27, 2010
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Thank you to Ronnie Elder who wrote
"During national service I spent the last
few months of service attached to the RASC (run away someone's
coming) detachment in Leith Fort."
"I was the British
On reporting for basic training I weighed seven stone, and stood
just over five foot in height.
into full equipment and greatcoat, my blood circulation ground almost to a
halt, making it impossible for me to lift my rifle (weighing around 10
pounds or so) to the shoulder arms position.
This drove the regimental team, from lance
corporal up to adjutant, puce with frustration. I suffered accordingly,
but in due course the army answered the problem by posting me into the
depths of Surrey, to languish as the forgotten soldier.
I settled down quite well, and relished the
quiet sanctity of this particular small camp, until one day the chief
clerk ( known as the iron duke for some obtuse reason) informed me that I
was to be cross-posted to Scotland, no argument
- or else!"
Transfer to Leith Fort
"It turned out that
I was being posted to be Leith Fort, only a tram
ride from my late father's home, which, as I
found out on arrival, was little benefit, as he had already moved to Ayr a
month before. Our letters were few and far
Petrol, Oil and Lubricants
"Leith Fort was
hilarious. I was just as useless there
also, but for some unknown reason I was put in charge of the petrol, oil,
and lubricants (POL) stores, issuing such to many other Edinburgh units,
many of them exotic, such as the army kinematic corps who each day brought
their small trucks loaded with Jerri cans to be filled, as they produced
signed chits, I accommodated them. Of course I didn't realize until later
the scam being indulged."
"Being on overnight
guard duty wasn't unduly tiring.
One could manage plenty of rest, for nothing stirred in Leith Fort
during the night, especially the Duty Officer.
If you happened to draw the
'final gate shift' before standing down,
after reveille, you might here a hissing noise coming from outside. This
would be the provost corporal who lived next door to the Fort, he would in
a loud whisper ask if the adjutant had come on duty.
(His office was in the guard room area.)
always said no, as the adjutant was never known to surface before ten in
the morning. The provost would sidle into the guardroom, and ten minutes
later would sally forth suitably decked in all his martial glory ready for
action, first to receive a volley would be us poor gate guard.
you, get yer hair cut or ah'll put you on a
charge.' As we always helped him to arrive late
on duty without anyone being aware, we thought this was rather unfair."
"I managed to
survive until release came along, but the army did manage to increase my
weight to nine stone and I gained almost four inches in height.
Leith Fort was a wonderful military relic of
bygone days, it should have been retained as was, and developed as a
Ronnie Elder, Kandy, Sri
Lanka: September 28, 2010
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Thank you to Barry Rafferty
is looking for an old photo of Leith Fort.
Leith Fort School
years ago I was a school kid at Leith Fort School. That was about
1953. I know because we all got Coronation Mugs.
dad was in the army and was in Leith Fort and our married quarters was
next to the back wall of the school. If I forgot my 'piece' my mum
would lean out of the window and throw it to me. (We lived about 3-4
am trying to get pictures of my life while I living in Scotland, Yes I
know it was almost 60 years ago but I hope you might know were I can find
Barry Rafferty, Windsor, Ontario, Canada: March 24, 2011
Reply to Danny
If you go to the
web site and search for Leith Fort, it will being up a few images.
There may be something of interest there.
Peter Stubbs, Edinbrgh: March 27, 2011