Little France

The district of the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

About 4 miles SE of the centre of Edinburgh

 

Recollections

1.

David Bain
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

-  Dalkeith Coop

2.

Robert Thomson Kerr
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

-  Camp Site

3.

Val Brown
Edinburgh

-  Camp Site

-  Tree

4.

Bryan Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

-  Tree

5.

David Bain
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

-  Caravan

-  The Kerr Family

-  Royal Infirmary (RIE)

6.

David Bain
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

-  Photos 1955/56

  Recollections

1

David Bain

Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

Thank you to David Bain who wrote:

Dalkeith Coop Mobile Shop

"When we lived at Little France in the late 1950s, I remember seeing the Dalkeith Coop's horse-drawn mobile shop. I don't know how it ever got back up the hill at Craigour."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  July 27, 2010

 

Recollections

2.

Robert Thomson Kerr

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Robert Thomson Kerr wrote

Camp Site

"I'm proud to have been born on 'Little France Farm' in July, 1958, where my Grandad (Bert Kerr) ran the caravan and camping ground for many years.

It also used to be known as 'Petty France', possibly a corruption of Petite France, home for Mary Queen of Scots French servants, while she lived at nearby Craigmillar Castle in the 16th Century.

Robert Thomson Kerr, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  June 30, 2011

 

Recollections

3.

Val Brown

Edinburgh

Val Brown replied

Camp Site

"It's changed days from the camp site, which as I remember was always busy in the summer. Now it's the site of the Royal Infirmary. I live in Gilmerton and we have sirens going all day, back and forth.

Tree

A postcard view by J R Russell, Edinburgh  -  Little France ©

Do you remember the hoo-ha about a tree that the developers wanted to chop down, apparently it had an historic link to the site.

Val Brown, Edinburgh:   Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  June 30, 2011

 

Recollections

4.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Bryan Gourlay added:

Tree

"I well remember the tree Val Brown mentions.

A postcard view by J R Russell, Edinburgh  -  Little France ©

It was an old tree at the roadside close to the entrance to the caravan site and the row of cottages nearby.

My dad used to call it Mary Queen of Scotsí tree. Legend had it that it was planted in her time, when she lived at Craigmillar Castle.  He reckoned it was planted by the Queen herself."

Here is a piece from the Edinburgh Evening News (Nov 19, 2009):

Queen Mary's Tree

I remember a tree on Old Dalkeith Road known as Mary, Queen of Scots tree. It was at the site of the new hospital. What happened to the tree?

David Thomson replies: The old tree known as Queen Mary's tree was at Little France and was enclosed by a metal fence and had a plaque attached. I believe this was removed during the building of the new ERI.

Terry Dolan replies: It wasn't at the site of the new Royal, but just south of the petrol station. It was vandalized over the years and the plaque was stolen 30 years ago, it was just a blackened stump beside the farm buildings.

Edinburgh Evening News:  November 19, 2009

 

Here are extracts from the RCAHMS Canmore web site:

Queen Mary's Tree

1.  A large sycamore tree measuring about 16 feet in circumference around its trunk. Tradition states that it was planted by Queen Mary during her residence at the nearby Craigmillar Castle.                          Name Book, !852

2.  The tree is in an advanced state of decay and has been cut, leaving only a stump about 3 meters high. It bears a tablet reading 'This tree was planted by Mary, Queen of Scots about 1561.'                    Visited by OS (JFC), 14 Dec 1953

3.  This tree has been removed. The site is covered in scrub.                                                                   Visited by OS (SFS), 14 Dec 1975.

4.  The tree's location is marked on this map if you zoom-in.

 

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  June 30, 2011

  Recollections

5

David Bain

Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

David Bain wrote:

Caravan

"Robert Thomson Kerr's note (Recollections 2 above) took me back!.  We lived in a caravan on the camp site there for a while when we moved back to Edinburgh from the Isle of Man around
the time that Robert was born.  Queen Mary's tree was a scruffy six foot length of rotting timber by that time."

The Kerr Family

"I remember Bert Kerr and his sons Robin and Dundas. He had daughters, too  -  Hazel and Heather?

Although they had Little France Farm, they lived at Cairntows farm, Craigmillar."

Royal Infirmary

"Looking at aerial photographs of the old site, I estimate that the position of our van is now marked by one of the RIE's car park lamp standards.

The New Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Little France, Edinburgh ©

The van was owned by the owner of the Kasrok Bar and Lounge in Spittal Street -  a Mr Fraser?"

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  July 1, 2011

  Recollections

6

David Bain

Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

David Bain for following up his comments above with two photos.  Please click on the thumbnail images below to enlarge them.

David wrote

Photos  -  1955/56

"Here are two photos taken at Little France  caravan site, probably in about 1955/56.

Little France Caravan Site  -  David Bain and Susan Bain on their Father's Motorbike ©            Little France Caravan Site  -  David Bain, Peter O_Hara and Susan Bain, Caravans and Hay Stacks ©

My sister, Susan, and I are in both.  The second boy is our neighbour, Peter O'Hara.  His father was a gaffer - in the theatrical sense - at the Empire Theatre."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  July 1, 2011

 

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