43 Primrose Street
"I was born in Primrose Street in 1927.
We lived at No.43 and I attended Lochend Road school.
Our back room window overlooked Burns Street
where therewere more flats and a yard where we took our accumulator to
had a walk along Primrose Street, on a trip home to Leith and, of
course, found that all the old flats had been demolished. I
couldn't relate to the street now as new flats have been built along one
side of the street only.
'Johnny aw thing'
"There was a small 'Johnny aw thing'. mid way
along the street that sold odds and ends where mum sent me to buy a gas
mantle. That was the only light we had in our flat and when the
mantle burst it wouldn't shed the light properly. I had to carry
it home with great care because mantles were very flimsy. I think
they used to cost a penny each."
used to also be a chippy on the brae going down to Leith links at the
end of the street. The owner used to skim little pieces of fried
batter off the fryer and put them into a little newspaper poke and give
them to the kids."
At the Ends of our
"At the end of our street, near Lochend Road,
there was a large house with iron railings round it. The family
had an autistic child who played in the yard and the 'keelies' taunted
the child as they passed."
At the other end was a grocer shop who let the
kids take the old potato sacks which we made into tents and played
'Cowboys and Indians' near the Giants' Brae. When I got home I
got heck for smelling so bad."
"Mum took the weekly wash down to the steamie
in the Links in a pram. While she was washing the clothes in the
boilers I played on the swings, see-saw or the merry-go-round outside
until she was finished, then we'd walk home with the washing which had
been put through the mangle but was still wet.
we got home mum would hang the wet clothes on a line outside the
window, or if it was raining the clothes were hung from a pulley that
dropped down from the ceiling in the kitchen. Guess I could go on and on
but I better stop so hope this wee bit of nostalgia will be read by the
Peter Sellar, Mississauga,
Ontario, Canada: 20 June 2013