From early-1900s


Family History


Katherine Fraser Bailey

Katherine Fraser Bailey wrote:


Catherine Fraser Carbray and her kids

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Catherine Fraser Bailey

"This postcard is of Catherine (Kate) Fraser Carbray and her kids:

-  Annie.

-  Robert F


There is no date or photographer's ID on this postcard, but  perhaps you can recognise the backdrop."

Katherine Fraser Bailey:  March 14, 2008


Christina Fraser and Catherine Fraser Carbray

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Catherine Fraser Bailey

"This postcard is of:

-  Christina Fraser.
She had a tobacconist shop on Bath Street.

-  Catherine (Kate) Fraser Carbray (my g.g.aunt).
She was listed in the census as a hotel keeper.  She owned the Comfort Tea Rooms at 56 Bath Street.

Are there any photos of the block in Bath Street including No. 56, where the shop fronts are visible?

Both Christina and Catherine were born in Canada and both died in Portobello.  This photo was taken in Portobello, but there is no date or photographer's ID on this postcard."

Katherine Fraser Bailey:  March 14, 2008


Katherine added:

"I'd like to hear from family members, as we are basically a lost branch of Frasers who remained in Canada when the rest returned home to Scotland."

Katherine Fraser Bailey:  March 14, 2008

Contacting Katherine

Please email me:

-  if you to recognise the backdrop or the chair in photo 1.

-  if you know of any photos or postcards of the shop fronts in Bath St.

-  if you would like to contact Katherine Fraser Bailey.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  April 7, 2008


Request for Old Photos


John Simpson

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

John Simpson tells me that he spent many happy hours on holidays at Portobello with his grandparents.

John asks:

Marine Gardens


"Are there any pictures of the wooden roller coaster or motor cycle speedway at Marine Gardens?

A star was Olly Hart.  He was still racing at Meadowbank in 'Monarchs' days."

John added:

"I understand that they once raced 'trams' at Marine Gardens.  I once read an article about it."

John Simpson, Calgary Alberta, Canada:  October 6, 2009


Request for Old Photos





Figure Eight Railways

The wooden roller coaster that you mention would be the 'Figure  Eight Railway' at Marine Gardens, Portobello.

This should not to be confused with the Figure Eight Railway at Fun City, Portobello, beside the Open Air Bathing Pool that  can be seen in the background in the photo below, taken in 1935:

Valentine Postcard  -  The Call of the Seaside, Portobello

Marine Gardens

Margeorie Mekie has a good photograph of the Figure Eight Railway at Marine Gardens in her book 'Old Portobello' (Page 22) together with a brief description of some of the amusements at Marine Gardens:

"Diversions included the river caves, aeroplanes, mountain slide, royal mountain scenic railway, katzenjammer castle, great joy wheel, Parker's shooting range and, for the not so lily-livered, the figure eight railway.

Each car held twenty-eight people and the switchback was three tiers high.  The run took between four and five minutes, and on the dip the car travelled at approximately fifty miles per hour.  The track, which was one mile long, was illuminated with over 3,000 electric light bulbs."

Margeorie Mekie, Portobello, Edinburgh, 1999

I cannot recall having seen any photos of the motor cycle speedway at Marine Gardens.  The 'tram' racing there sounds interesting.  I've not heard of that before.

More Photos?

If you know of any more photos of the subjects that John mentions above, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.  Thank you.

 Peter Stubbs:  October 6, 2009


Request for Old Photos




Thank you to Bart Fischer who replied:

Marine Gardens Speedway

"John Simpson asks (above) if there any pictures of the wooden roller coaster or of  motor cycle speedway at Marine Gardens.

There is an the aerial shot of the speedway track in the History section of the Portobello Beach web site.  Click on this link then go to 1934 to see it.

Bart Fischer



Dennis Lynch

Thank you to Dennis Lynch who wrote:

Buchan Pottery

"When browsing, I came across the items about potteries in Portobello and I was reminded of the fact that my grandfather James was a foreman in what became Buchan Pottery before the first World War.

He was responsible for paying the men's wages.  To do this, he would lead them up to the Foresters' Arms in the High Street. The story goes that he would slap a sovereign down on the bar and the drink would  flow while he  paid the men

It's not surprising that my granny left him, taking their nine sons with her, as he became an alcoholic and apparently didn't confine his drinking to Saturdays!"

War Deaths

"Sadly three of the boys  were killed during the war.

In memoriam, James had a pot thrown with their names and details of where they were killed.  My younger brother, Paul, still has it. It must have been a heartbreak for Granny to lose three sons.

Rather oddly I came across a grave stone in Mount Vernon cemetery with a woman's name which I didn't recognise and below it was his name, James Lynch, and a carved note saying 'buried in Portobello Cemetery'.  That's a bit of a mystery."

Ice Cream

"Granny lived in Adelphi Place, Portobello.  I just remember her there, as my Dad used to take me to visit on Sunday afternoon.

She would give me a cup and a penny and I would go down to the High Street at Portobello to an ice cream parlour where I would get the cup filled with ice cream.

My granny died in 1937."

 Peter Stubbs:  October 10, 2009



Colin Kemp

Selkirk, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Colin Kemp who wrote:

Buchan Pottery

Two Pint Pot

"I have discovered a two pint pot with 'Mrs Buckham Selkirk Be canny wi the butter' in my attic. It is dated 1896.

It has A W Buchan & Co Portobello Scotland on the side."

Colin  Kemp, Selkirk, Scottish Borders, Scotland: Oct 4 (2 emails) + Dec 4, 2012



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from 1960s


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