Edinburgh Recollections

The Pentland Hills

The Pentland Hills lie beyond the City Bypass,
about 5-15 miles SW of the centre of Edinburgh.




Bob Wyllie

Brussels, Belgium

Thank you to Bob Wyllie who wrote asking a question.

Bob wrote:

Sphagnum Moss Question

"My mother was a young Leith lassie during the Great War.  She has told me how the children used to go up to the Pentland Hills on Sundays to collect Sphagnum moss for the war effort. It was used as a wound dressing

A Web search confirms that Sphagnum moss is or was a valuable pharmaceutical aid. Has anyone else heard of this children's war effort?"

Bob Wyllie, Brussels, Belgium:  August 25, 2008.


If you'd like to send a reply to Bob, please email me then I'll pass on your message to him.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  August 26, 2008




Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian for sending me this photograph together with his recollections of fishing in Glencorse Reservoir in the Pentland Hills.


    Glencorse Reservoir in the Pentland Hills  -  Trout fishing

Ian wrote:

Glencorse Reservoir

"Here is an old postcard-size picture from my mother's album, taken around the late-1940s of my father fishing in Glencorse Reservoir in the Pentland Hills. 

This snap is on the south side,looking towards Edinburgh. It brings back memories of a fine Sunday walk over the hills to Colinton."

Trout Fishing

"Occasionally, with a Water Board Fishing Permit, we headed out on the SMT bus from St Andrew Square to Flotterstone, and  walked up to the reservoir where we had a boat for the day.

As a boy with plenty of energy, I was the chief rower.  If we were lucky, 2 brown trout were destined for the frying pan that night, not forgetting a refreshment at Flotterstone on the way home.

Neither dad nor I could swim a stroke at the time.  We both learned in later life, in Australia.

I look back with fond memories of these days, without a doubt one of the most beautiful spots in the Edinburgh district."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia September 5, 2008




Ian Thomson

Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Ian for sending me more memories of time spent fishing for trout near the Pentland Hills.

Ian wrote:

Harperrig Reservoir

"I have happy memories of Harperring Reservoir, at the foot of the Pentland Hills, to the west of Balerno.  It was the source of the Water of Leith."


"In the 1940s, Dad and I used to fish here on a summer's morn .  We use to bike up through Juniper Green, turn off just before Balerno on to the Lanark Road, past the Lang Wang, usually with a west wind blowing in our faces."


"The gate was on the left side.  Then we went then down to the caretaker's house.  There was no boat here.  We fished from the sides.  The wind blew most days, and the trout were hard to catch."

Return Home

"We came home in the evening on the bikes, absolutely starving, but still managed a stop at the Juniper Green pub, for Dad's pint while I sat outside with my lemonade.

There was hardly a car to be seen.  I tackled all the hills on my old Raleigh with 3-speed gear.  These were peaceful days, without the hustle of today."

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia September 10, 2008


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