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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Recollections

Preston Street

School

1

Irene Beaver (née Brown)

Kirkliston, Edinburgh

Pupils

Teachers

After Preston Street

2.

James Morton-Robertson

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Age 5

Flip Charts and Slates

3.

Robert Sharp

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Friends

School Days

Games

Entertainment

South Oxford Street

Gordon Thompson

Egypt

Emigration

4.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Exam Results

Schools

Shops in the Past

Shops Today

5.

Ian Young

Borders, Scotland

Concrete Structure in Playground - Q

6.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Concrete Structure in Playground - Ans 1

7.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Concrete Structure in Playground - Ans 2

8.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Concrete Structure in Playground - Ans 2

9.

Robert Stamp
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Classmates

10.

Jim Vandepeear
York, Yorkshire, England

Leaving Preston Street School

Friends

Holidays

Games

Edinburgh Street Names

11.

Robert Sharp
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Names from the Past

Football

Games

Edinburgh Police

12.

Yvonne Gibb
Naples, Florida, USA

Photo of my Class

 

Recollections

1.

Irene Beaver (née Brown)

Kirkliston, Edinburgh

Irene Beaver wrote:

Pupils

"I've just been looking at the photo of the pupils in class 2C1A, 1961, James Clark Secondary School.

School class 2C1A at James Clerk School, St Leonards, 1961 ©

Charles Williamson, far right at the back, Anne Davidson, 4th from left in the front row and Norma Pollock, far right, both in the front row had been in the same class as me at Preston Street School from March 1953 until June 1960."

Teachers

"Our teachers were:

-  Miss Dickson, a sweetie pie.

-  Miss Spalding who left, thankfully, before she put me right off education.

- Miss Falconer who, although strict, was an excellent teacher and who gave me a love of English, History and Nature Study, as it was called then."

After Preston Street

I loved Preston Street School and was very sorry to leave.  I never saw most of my class mates again as I went to Boroughmuir.  I hope that they have all had happy and successful lives."

Irene Beaver (née Brown), Kirkliston, Edinburgh:  January 22, 2009

 

Recollections

2.

James Morton-Robertson

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

James Morton-Robertson who wrote:

Age 5

"I went to Preston St School for 9 months, then was admitted to the Royal High with the fees being paid by the Ministry of War Pensions as my father had been killed just after my 5th birthday. 

At first, Preston St School was being used by the army so we went to a church, down a side street on the right hand side, down the hill towards the Pleasance.

On the first day, I assumed that the morning break was the end of the day and toddled home only to be dragged back again by Mother.

Flip Charts and Slates

I remember the flip charts which were a linen fabric with a very glossy surface and a strong odour of linseed oil.  Each sheet had two letters of the alphabet with a picture, A for Apple etc.

The whole school sat on pews or, like us, on the floor with our slate boards and slate pencils and, if we were lucky, boxes of pastels to use on scraps of paper."

James Morton-Robertson, Sevenoaks, Kent, England:  October 4, 2009

 

Recollections

3.

Robert Sharp

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Robert Sharp wrote:

Friends

"I was born in 1935, and raised at 4 South Oxford Street, ground flat right. I lived there with my parents and older sister Betty.

My childhood friends were:

-  the Scott brothers from 6 South Oxford Street

Andy Nicol from 27 East Preston Street

Brian Smith 26 Oxford Street

Ian Taylor from West Preston Street, who left for Australia when about 14.

Some of the girls in South Oxford Street, then, were:

 Helen Wagstaff

Elma Mitchell

Yvonne McNish."

Because my sister was six years older, I got trailed around with her at an early age, and thus got to know well the older boys.  My particular hero was Forbes Laird who lived above us at No 4."

School Days

"I went to Preston Street School, and later to Boroughmuir.  School days were all bad for me as I hated every day I went.

Jim Vandepeear mentioned Mrs Boyd at Preston Street.  She was famous as the wicked teacher of everyone's nightmares.  I met Mrs Boyd later in life when  she was a customer in the garage I worked in.  She and her husband were two of the nicest people I ever met, and a complete contrast in her other life compared to her professional one."

Games

"Our days and nights were a combination of football in the school playground or getting chased by the groundsman at Nelson's Park football fields at Park Road.

Again, the same person, different environment. Old Davie who lived in Preston Street was seen as an ogre. I met him later when I was in the police and we played our games at Nelsons Park. Nice man!"

As kids we spent lots of time around the street, playing:

 hessy

-  kick the can

-  aleveoy, (never did know how to spell that)

-  collie bucky fights.

Entertainment

"The treat of the day was to go down to Sandy's chip shop, get a bag of chips, and run through the adjoining stairs, one in Blackwood Crescent, one in West Preston Street.

The culminating act of courage was to enter one door of the Junction Pub, run through to the next door shouting You're beer's made o' water. Such bravery, such originality.

As a boy, Wednesday night and Saturday night were movie nights.  La Scala changed feature films on Mondays and Thursdays.  These were the war years with blackouts, so after the movies my Dad and I would walk home and he would give me lessons on the stars which were visible because of the darkness."

South Oxford Street

"The picture that was published with Ian Sneddon, and Ronnie Mackay surprised me somewhat. I didn't think I was that much older than them.  I knew both sets of parents very well.  They were very nice people.

Children from
South Oxford Street

   Seven children at South Oxford Street, 1957 ©

Gordon Thompson

There was another boy around their age.  He was Gordon Thompson from 32, East Preston Street.  I was surprised and flattered when he was home on leave.  His mother told my  mother, 'Gordon just idolises Robert.'

Tragically Gordon who became a musician died quite young,  I believe in a motor vehicle accident in Germany."

Egypt

 "I knew Jim Vandepeear very well.  The last time I saw him, and he will correct me if I am mistaken, was in Ismailia Egypt in 1954. I was in the Scots Guards and was out with some guys on a Saturday night.

Two Military Policemen came towards us and I am sure one was Jim. I think it was realised by both under the circumstances that it was better not to make contact.  RMP and squaddies were not always on the best of terms."

Emigration

"I have been here in Canada since 1967, I first lived in Richmond and worked in the Port Police for 23 years.  I retired in 1991 and moved to Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley.  I since moved to here in Kelowna. I love Canada, am really not to interested in trips back to Scotland, but will never forget my years, especially childhood, in Edinburgh."

Robert Sharp, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada:  May 23, 2010

 

Recollections

4.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Exam Results

"It’s that time of the year when school results come out – and those authorities responsible say how wonderful they are – and businesses say young people can’t read, write or do simple arithmetic."

Schools

"My great grandmother, who went to school somewhere in St Leonards between 1870 and 1882, could read, write (copperplate) and add up speedily.

My dad, who went to Bruntsfield primary, and never went to secondary school for some reason, could do exactly the same.

I like to think I’m in the same category due largely to a daily diet of the 'Three Rs' at Preston Street primary school – with great emphasis on ‘mental arithmetic’.  I can’t recall any of my school mates struggling much on this front."

Shops in the Past

"The proving ground was everyday life.  My mother often went to Rankins on the corner of West Nicolson Street and Nicolson Street for her fruit and vegetables.

Here, the staff were skilled in weighing potatoes in stones, half stones or forpits on one type of scales, and everything else in pounds and half pounds on another type of scales.

They then had to multiply the outcome by the appropriate shillings and pence per weight and keep a running total in their minds – no problem. ‘That’ll five shillings and thrupence please’.

Along the street in the Home and Colonial Stores, the staff did exactly the same thing in pounds, half pounds, quarter pounds and ounces for cold meats, bacon, butter and cheese etc. – slicing, cutting and wrapping the produce at the same time all the while keeping a running total. All this was done in good humour, with a smile and a bit of crack . . . "

Shops Today

"Fast forward 50 years and today’s counter staff blandly (rarely a smile) swipe through the goods and repeat the total due that’s displayed on the screen – counting out the change the machine tells them according to the amount tendered."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  August 28,2011

 

Recollections

5.

Ian Young

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Ian Young who wrote:

Question

Concrete Structure in Playground

"Can anyone tell me about the concrete shoring in the playground of Preston Street primary school?  It seems very elaborate for the purpose."

Ian Young, Hawick, Scottish Borders, Scotland:  September 7, 2011

 

Recollections

6.

Bryan Gourlay

Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Reply 1

Concrete Structure in Playground

"The huge concrete construction erected in Preston Street School's east playground facing on to Dalkeith Road is attached to the side wall of the tenements on the north side of the school.

I always assumed its only purpose was to shore up the end wall of the tenements and stop it collapsing into the school playground.

It’s difficult to imagine what else it could be there for.  It’s a real eyesore and seems like a ‘hammer to crack a nut’. There must have been some other way they could supported the wall.

It wasn’t there when I left the school in the mid-1950s, but I think it was built not that long afterwards so it must have been there for about 50 years or so."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  September 12, 2011

Recollections

7.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Reply 2

Concrete Structure in Playground

"Ian Young asked, above, about the large concrete structure in the Preston Street Primary School playground.

I've just had a look at it.  It's not a pretty site!  Here is a photo of it that I took last week.        (Please click on this thumbnail image to enlarge it.)

Preston Street School and concrete structure ih playground ©

I think there is no doubt that the purpose of the structure is to shore up the tenement building adjoining the school playground.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 19, 2011

 

Recollections

8.

Bryan Gourlay

Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay for sending a Google Streetview image of the concrete structure in Preston Street Playground.

Bryan added:

Playground

"I notice they have taken down a bit of the wall between the boys’ and girls’ playgrounds – although ‘play’ might now be off the agenda to prevent skint knees and someone being mortally injured by a conker !"

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  September 12, 2011

 

Recollections

9.

Robert Sharp

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Replying to Ian McGregor's 'St Leonard's District - Recollections 11' in which Ian spoke of being born at No. 24 St Leonard's Street in 1935, Robert Sharp wrote:

Classmates

"Ian: 

I suspect that I went to school with you at Preston Street.

Was St Paul's the church we used to go to for school dinners?

Other classmates were:

 George Wilson

-  Davie Scott

-  Billy Robertson

-  Brian Smith."

Robert Sharp, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada:  Reply posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook on April 18, 2013 in response to message from Ian McGregor posted in the guestbook on the same day.

 

Recollections

10.

Jim Vandepeear

York, Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Jim Vandepeear who wrote:

Leaving Preston Street School

""I came across the notes from Irene Beaver and Robert Sharp in Recollections 1 and 3 above.   Irene’s remark about leaving Preston Street School and losing touch with all her school friends struck a chord.  I lost touch with all class friends after leaving Preston Street School, I think because they did not all go to Boroughmuir, and they did not all live around the corner at Preston Street.

Almost immediately after my wedding, I left Edinburgh, and have never managed to get back permanently.

Friends

"I remember:

Robert Sharp as beings a big boy from South Oxford Street.

- Gordon Thompson, one of the Thompsons lived on the landing above us. 

Alex Thompson, Gordon's big brother.  I knew  Alex, better than Gordon.  Alex was my Best Man when I married at Duddingston Kirk - but he was a  Roman Catholic so he went to some distant school, and was not among the crowd when Preston Street School ejected the pupils in an afternoon. He did not join in the daily round of play, being ‘kept in’ until his father had been home for tea.

Helen Wagstaff.  She had a boyfriend, in her ‘teen years, who had a trials or scrambles motor bike, a ‘DOT’, I think.  Some evenings, she and her beau would meet at the corner of Oxford Street and Preston Street, when the motor bike would get a lot of attention from the boys.

- Yvonne, I think, lived in the same stair as Andrew Nicol at  No.27.

Andrew Nicol was a good friend until we both went into the army.  He and I, as near delinquent teenagers, got into a lot of minor mischief around Edinburgh cinemas, and around the Sunday crowds at The Mound.  I heard of him in Bradford some years later.

- Brian Smith was, perhaps, one of a family which arrived during the war.  They were, it is said, escaping from the blitz in London. There was a younger sister, Mary, maybe. The arrival of that family introduced a lot of new games for us.

Holidays

"I remember John Bissett.  He was another pupil at East Preston Street School, about 1939-40.  He lived at the corner of West Preston Street and Causewayside.  His grandmother lived in Aberdour.

On on some holidays, when I was with my Aunt at Aberdour, John and I played in Humbie Woods and all the way along to the Silver Sands, and around the harbour.

We got into trouble with John’s gran when we ran to the outside privy in her garden, flung the door back, (in a hurry) to discover gran inside reading a newspaper.  We reversed and departed, but the ticking off was only delayed.

John’s Dad had a connection with the fishing industry at Eyemouth, and that may have been why I remember him as a 'Dad at home' all the time. At that time, Dads were a rarity.  Other Dads were either unfit or in reserved occupations, so maybe Mr Bissett was a fisherman.

I also remember the clarity of the stars during the blackout. Wonderful night sky, white with stars, a real milky way, which I would really like to see again

Games

"I don't remember ‘Hessy’ as a game, but I probably joined in at some time. The game which I remember as 'Relievo', or similar. It was one of those games which was fun to play, but hard to define any rules for.  It involved a great deal of running around the streets, and there was no distance limit.

I can recall being ‘captured’ by the other team somewhere near Tollcross. It was a chase and capture game, and a favourite for the long summer evenings.  There were at least two teams, one to chase the other and capture members to bring back to a prison which was usually the front entrance to a stair in Oxford Street, one of those with a long entrance to the stair door.

It was possible to release members of your team by tempting the prison guards away from the stair entrance, allowing all within to start running around Edinburgh again, unless they were called home before dark."

Edinburgh Street Names

"I started looking at the influence of Bartholomew Maps on Edinburgh streets.  I know that the top man t Bartholemew Maps took it upon himself to rename streets in Edinburgh if they didn't suit his taste.

The road from Dalkeith Road to Holyrood Park is now named 'Park Lane'.  It used to be named 'Gallows Lane', but when Bartholomew moved into the Parkside Works of Thos Nelson, he decided that 'Gallows Lane' was not correct for his company address."

Jim Vandepeear, York, Yorkshire, England:  9 December 2015

 

Recollections

11.

Robert Sharp

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Robert Sharp for writing again after reading Jim Vandepeear's Recollections 10 above.

Robert wrote:

Names from the Past

"I've just read Jim Vandepeear's message above.

The last time I think I saw Jim was in Ismailia Egypt.  I was out with some fellow Scots Guardsmen.  We passed two Military Policeman and I swore to myself that one of them was Jim.

 In his Recollections 10 above, Jim mentioned so many names from the past, beginning with me then Gordon and Alex Thompson.

-  I didn’t know Alex so well, but his brother Gordon I knew very well.  He was quite a bit younger than me.  When I was in the army his Mum told mine that 'Robert was his hero'.

When I came back, I got to know him and gave him a number of things from my past. Sadly Gordon died quite young, in Germany I believe, where again I believe he was part of a band.

I remember Andy Nicol but I don’t remember him being part of the Mound wanderers on a Sunday night.  I was certainly with Stanley Paul and a number of others.

Brian Smith lived at No.26 Oxford Street, a long time family in the district. His Dad owned a butcher's shop in Marchmont.  Brian and I were long time boyhood friends and went to Boroughmuir together. My fondest and greatest memory of Brian and his family was just immediately after the war when they had a big party for all the Smiths returning from service,  I was invited to keep Brian company.

Brian's brother, Jim Smith, joined the Police, as did I later. For whatever reason, after leaving school Brian and I grew apart and never did reconnect.

 Yvonne McNish lived in No.27 East Preston Street.   She had been an evacuee in the States during the war

Helen Wagstaff lived at No.6 South Ocky, and I lived at No.4.  Our our houses were back-to-back and our mothers used to communicate through the pantry wall.  When toddlers, Helen and I were baby sat together.

Her old Grandfather would be the watcher, he had on his wall an African mask of a face.  It was the ugliest, most terrifying thing that a three or four year old could see.  He called it 'Ugly Bugly'.  When I acted up and he was fed up of my presence, he used to tell me Ugly Bugly would get me.  That was my cue to run home howling!"

Football

"I'm not sure about Jim’s description of the childhood Robert.  I was younger than him and I don’t remember being a 'big boy' although I did grow into being a a pretty big man.

My childhood evolved around football in the Playground, Nelsons Park and West Meadows.  Games at the school and Nelsons Park games generally ended with being chased by the Police. 

The Meadows was in the summer, and you just went along and joined in. There had to be two of you, and sides were decided by a choice of 'a cock or a hen'.  No one was refused and there were times it looked more like the Battle of Bannockburn than a fun game of Fitba’.

Our treat after a night of football was to go down Causewayside and into Sandy's for a threepenny bag of chips with salt, sauce, and vinegar, then up West Preston Street for the obligatory quick visit to the Junction Pub to shout “Your beers made of water” whilst running in one door and out the other."

Games

"Halcyon days:

-  Hessy in South Oxford Street,

-  Aleavo in Oxford Street,

-  bicycling in Oxford Street,

apple theft forays through the cemetery

-  to the Bulldog, a garden in East Newington Place,

-  up to all sorts of nonsense, nothing bad or wicked, but just enough spice to make it memorable."

Edinburgh Police

"When I joined the Edinburgh Police, I was stationed in 'A Division'.  I often worked the beats in the old neighbourhood.   Kids were often surprised when the Bobby knew about the secret passages used to escape, like the stair leading from Blackwood Crescent to West Preston Street.

Ah, the memories -  nothing like them."

Robert Sharp, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada:  28 + 29 December 2015

 

Recollections

12.

Yvonne Gibb

Naples, Florida, USA

Thank you to Yvonne Gibb who wrote after finding a photograph of herself as one of the pupils in a class photo.

Yvonne wrote:

My Class

"I've just looked at James Clark School then Preston Street School on the EdinPhoto web site.  I found that and Joan Hogg sent in a picture, and I was surprised, amazed and couldn't believe my eyes.

First, I didn't know anybody in the picture but thought one scraggly child could be me; than I scrolled down and someone had sent in the names of most of the children and, yes, the one I picked out was indeed me.

I'm the last of 9 children and during that time not many pictures were taken. I do not have any of myself at a young age.  Imagine my surprise that the only child I picked out that I knew was me!

 I live in Naples, Florida US, and miss Edinburgh all the time.  I've been in the US since 1955. Thank you most profoundly for letting me believe that I did somehow survive those days; and of course thank you to Joan Hogg, June Dougherty and Nancy Jamison, all friends back then.

What fun!

Yvonne Gibb, Naples, Florida, USA:  29 December 2015

Reply to Yvonne Gibb

Hi Yvonne:

After receiving your email, I had a look at a few of the photos of school classes, and found you on two of them.  If you click on the links below, you will be able to scroo down the pages to see lists of the pupils' names including your own name!

Photo 1.

James Clark School, Around 1955

You are 10th from the left in the middle row on this photo

A school class at James Cark School, St Leonards, 1955

©  D & W Prophet, Dundee.                                        Reproduced with acknowledgement to Joan Martin (née Hogg), Beckenham, Kent

Photo 2.

Preston Street School  -  Around 1952

You are 3rd from the left in the row behind the front row in this photo

A photograph  by Prophet of a class at Preston Street School around 1952

©  Prophet.    Reproduced with acknowledgement to Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:

      Best wishes:

                       -  Peter

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  29 December 2015

 

School Photos

Edinburgh Recollections

Contributors

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks