On the road from the centre of Edinburgh to Portobello



Bill Gall

Colinton Mains, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bill Gall who wrote:

Street Party

"I grew up in Meadowbank Crescent, and I would like to see again the cine film of the street party laid on by my parents and held for the Coronation in 1953

I don't know who took the film, but we all went up to Parsons Green school to view it later.

There must be other photos going about.  It would be nice to see them."

Bill Gall, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh:  October 12 + 15, 2010


Do you know anything about this film, or any photos of the street party?  If so,  please email me.

Thank you.      Peter Stubbs:  October 16, 2010



Rob Fender


Thank you to Rob Fender who wrote:

Before the Commonwealth Games

"I remember Meadowbank before they built the new stadium for the Commonwealth Games.  There was a running track where my pal Gus Gilroy and I used to go up and do a bit of training.

Edinburgh Eastern Harriers used to use the same place and on occasions we used to train with them.   There were no seats there,  just grass enbankments.

Over the  back of Meadowbank was Leith Athletic football ground which then became the home of Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway.   Many times on a Saturday, I used to be there right up against the fencing, with my goggles on, along with a load of other kids.   I remember it well.

My grandparents used to live across the road from Meadowbank, in Dalgety Street.

Robb Fender, England:  March 27, 2011



Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Rob Fender who wrote:

Smokey Brae

"This was so named because of the railway bridge over it and the adjoining railway yard at Meadowbank.  The steep slope was great for guiders"

Kim Traynor,  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 24, 2009



Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Laurie Thompson replied:

Smokey Brae

St Margaret's Steam Loco Depot

"Kim Traynor's comments (above) about Smokey Brae are generally quite rightHowever, the 'railway yard' mentioned was in fact the old St Margaret's steam locomotive depot  at Meadowbank/Restalrig/Piershill.  The easternmost wall of this depot was the tall stone wall that still forms the right hand side retaining wall of Smokey Brae, going up.

Above the retaining wall on the other side are the Piershill Square West flats, and as the prevailing wind there is often from the west, they and the Brae often received the product of dozens of steam locomotive fireboxes, particularly on Sundays, when many of the resident locos were having their fires prepared for traffic on Monday."

The Fug

"The ex-railwayman writer Charles Meacher, in his very readable but now out-of-print book 'LNER Footplate Memories', makes mention of the fug that was produced in this way, and as a frequent Sunday train-spotting visitor to the shed myself in the early 1960s, I can personally attest to it.

The smoke from the newly-lit fires was often yellowish-brown, and seemed to move sluggishly, presumably because the fires were not yet hot enough to create a strong through-draught between firebox door and chimney."

Summer 1964

"Here is one of my own photos taken at the depot.  It was taken on a clear midweek day in the summer of 1964, when most of the locos were 'off shed', working.  It shows the proximity of the loco shed to the Piershill flats.

Loco 60027  'Merlin'   -  St Margaret's Depot  -  Summer 1964

Loco 60027, 'Merlin'  -  Photographed at at St Margaret's Depot, Summer 1964

  Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  June 27, 2014

 (The middle driving wheels of the pictured loco have been removed for attention in the adjacent workshop building, by the way - hence its odd appearance.)"

Notice for Enginemen

"The railway authorities were always aware of how their engines could adversely affect their neighbours, and a few years ago I came across this notice on the subject, a copy of which was no doubt a permanent fixture on the notice board in the enginemen's signing-on area at St Margaret's depot.

St Margaret's Depot  -  Notice to Shed Staff  -  "Avoid Excessive Smoke"

St Margaret's Depot  -  Notice to SDhed Staff  -  Avoid Excessive Smoke

  Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  June 27, 2014

However, burning coal in a freshly-lit fire inevitably makes smoke, so with the best will in the world, this notice couldn't hope to defeat the laws of combustion."

Now Long Gone

"St Margaret's loco depot is now long gone, replaced by a cluster of office blocks, so presumably the present residents of the Piershill flats don't have to worry about sooty specks on their washing any more, and also don't need to clean their windows as often as the previous residents did!"

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  June 27, 2014



Jill Dew Dickson

Wyoming, USA

Than k you to Jill Dew Dickson who wrote:

Marionville Road


"I've enjoyed reading all the memories and reading about all the characters above.   I have many, many happy memories of the Meadowbank area.

My Grandmother

"My grandparents lived in Marionville Road for over 50 years.  My Grandmother,  Mary Amos, lived at No. 22 , First floor, right opposite the brewery bowling green.

She used to send me to Yardleys Dairy in Marionville Road for well- fired rolls that came in trays."

My Mother

"My mother, Thelma Amos, would spend her sweety coupon rations at Miss Martin's shop, around from Dalgety Avenue, opposite Cambusnethan Street. "

Jill Dew Dickson:  Wyoming, USA:  April 26, 2015



Around Edinburgh