Thank you to
Frank Ferri, now living in Newhaven, Edinburgh, for
sending his memories of Leith in the 1940s and 1950s.
"I remember the
old lady that used to sit outside the church next to the Playhouse
playing an old gramophone for money, in wind sleet or rain."
mornings was the time for the street singer to call and give a
performance in Ballantyne Square, touting for penny offerings.
One singer used
to paraphrase the lyrics of one song in particular, hand to his
right ear and sing:
My Last Woodbine, Aggie”
from the old song:
“Loves Last Word
is Spoken, Cheree”
or something like
Many of these people, in those hard days,
would busk at all the picture house queues."
Bands and Parades
"The Salvation Army silver band would play in
the square on a Sunday morning, and the Sunday parades of the Life
Boys and Boys Brigade with the skirl of their pipe bands were quite
was the rag and bone man who came around the street, announcing his
I remember a
turban-wearing Asian gentleman named Abie. He would call round the
houses with suitcase in hand, selling shirts, ties, women’s
underwear, blouses etc.
If you didn’t
have cash, you paid at half-crown a week, no documents or agreements
Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh: April 11,