About 1.5 miles SE of the centre of Edinburgh




Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay, who grew up near the plumber, Charlie Walls, for writing:

The Walls Family

"Alan Raeburnís recollections of James H Walls' plumbing business at Tollcross bring back many memories for me.

From the age of six, I lived in Kirkhill Terrace in the Priestfield areaCharlie, Jimmy Walls and his wife lived in the next street, Kirkhill Gardens.  They were our neighbours across the back garden fence.

Mrs Walls was originally from Blackpool.  She was never known by her first name.  I think it was Sarah.  My mother and her were good friends."

Charlie Walls

"As Alan says, Charlie Walls always had a Vauxhall from the SMT, usually a Wyvern, I think.

He spent a lot of his time at the bowling club between Leven Terrace and Melville Drive, near his plumber's shop.  He would come home from his work for a short time then, most evenings, summer and winter, he would zoom off to the bowls at a great rate of knotsThere is a bench dedicated to him, very close to the bowling club entrance on the edge of Bruntsfield Links.

My lasting memory of Charlie is seeing him in his three-piece suit with his trilby hat parked on the back of his head."

Charlie continued to live in the same house in Kirkhill Gardens, close to his granddaughter and daughter-in-law.  I last saw him at the funeral of his son, Jimmy, in 1984."

Jimmy Walls

"Jimmy was a couple of years older than me.  He trained at a plumbers in Forrest Road before going in to the family business.   Sadly, Jimmy died quite young.  His funeral was in Rosehall Church, Dalkeith Road."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  April 26, 2010




Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

After reading about Leslie Thomson finding the remains of clay pipes in his garden at Moredun, Bryan Gourlay wrote:

Clay Pipes

"My grandfather, Gourlay, always smoked a white clay pipe.  He told me he had tried all sorts of other 'posh wooden' versions over the years, but none of them was a match for the pleasures of the auld clay pipe.

Growing up in the Priestfield area, we occasionally came across bits of clay pipes when digging in the garden.

Local legend said they came from Bonnie Prince Charlie's army which was camped in the Prestonfield/Priestfield/Duddingston area for a few weeks leading up to the battle of Prestonpans in 1745."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  April 30, 2010


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