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Tanfield

Canonmills

and surrounding area

 

1.

Robert Hepburn

Cornwall, England

Canonmills Hall

2.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Canon Street

3.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Whisky Bond

-  Monumental Masons

-  Restaurants

4.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Tanfield Shops

5.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Morrison & Gibb

-  Scottish Daily Mail

6.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Souness & Spiers

7.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Whisky Bond and Cooperage

-  Distillery then Cooperage

8.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Shops and Whisky Bond

-  Wilson's the Butcher

-  Howard Place

9.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Shops and Whisky Bond

-  Wilson's the Butcher

-  Howard Place

10.

Dougie Bryce

Pilton, Edinburgh

Barber's

-  Launderette

-  Chemist's

-  Whisky Bond

11.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Tanfield

12.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Shops

Tanfield Hall and Tanfield House

13.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

-  Shops

Tanfield House

-  Tanfield Hall

14.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Porteous the Butcher

-  Cockburn's Hardware Shop

-  The Coop

-  Grocer and Newsagent

-  Brandon Terrace Toy Shop

15.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Barber's Shop

-  Apprentices

16.

Alan Wilson

Trinity, Edinburgh

Painting:  View from Canonmills

17.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Shop and Whisky Bond

-  Barbers

-  Warriston Playing Fields

18.

Gordon Rankin

Portobello, Edinburgh

Hairdresser

-  Other Hairdressers

-  Brandon Terrace Shops

19.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh, Scotland

More Tanfield Photos  1986-87

20.

Donnie Graham
Zwickau, Germany

Wilson the Butcher

21.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Wilson the Butcher

-  Warriston Place

-  Warriston Playing Fields

22.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Shops at Tanfield

23.

Douglas Bryce

Pilton, Edinburgh

Foundry

24.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Posh Folks

25.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Dundas House, Brandon Street

-  Wilson's Butcher

-  Souness & Spiers

26.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Whisky Bond

Recollections

1.

Robert Hepburn

Cornwall, England

Thank you to Robert Hepburn, now living in Cornwall, England for his recollections below.

Robert wrote:

Canonmills Hall

"I lived in the area of Beaverbank Place up till 12 years of age and Canonmills Hall was the centre of my universe.

Capt Tom Curr had activities going for the 46th Boys Brigade most nights.  Hundreds of boys must have gone through the ranks.

The Bible class on a Sunday Morning and the loud singing  must have woken up the local residents!"

Robert Hepburn, Cornwall, England:  February 9, 2007

Recollections

2.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Canon Street

"When I was a child in Canonmills there were two  distinct and opposite experiences for me in Canon Street (a slum in my day, inhabited by children who often wore cast-off clothes, who lacked shoes, and who sported 'candles' on their upper lips throughout the winter months).

ColdOne was the ice factory which periodically, in the summer, would dispose of excess ice by throwing it onto the cobbles of the street where it would soon melt away.  We children would swoop upon these chunks of ice and suck them to cool ourselves down. They were also beautiful to behold, with long air bubbles internally gracing their smooth external shapes, and we used to vie with one another over whose was the best.

-  Hot:  The other was the bonfire on Guy Fawkes night which was constructed out of detritus and waste such as old mattresses and large pieces of timber like pallets (if such things existed in those days). These bonfires were constructed in the middle of the road and traffic was unable to pass for about a week. One bonfire attained such a temperature that it caused the paint on the door of a nearby shop to blister. No authorities ever intervened in such activities which would not be tolerated now."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  February 5, 2010

 Recollections

3.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for writing again with more of his memories of Canonmills in the 1940s.

Allan wrote

Whisky Bond

"When I was a child, living at Canonmills, we had a whisky bond at the foot of our drying green.

There was also Morrison & Gibb's printing works (at the end of Tanfield Lane (now defunct) which became part of the Standard Life site."

Monumental Masons

"McGlashen's monumental masonry works was located beside the bridge over the Water of Leith."

Restaurants

"These premises became:

a very good Spanish Tapas restaurant (recently defunct)
an Indian takeaway (still there) and
a fireplace shop (also still there, but now closed).

The Loon Fung Chinese restaurant used to be a baker's shop in the 1940s. What used to be an electrician's shop to the left of the Northern Bar is now part of what is now called The Orchard Bar."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England: 

 Recollections

4.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to  Allan Dodds for sending me more memories from when he lived at Canonmills.

Here are two photos of the building that is now on the south side of Howard Street (part of Inverleith Row) at Canonmills.

1987
Back of the Building

   The building that was to become Standard Life's Admin Office -  Tanfield House at Canonmills ©

1993
Front of the Building

   Standard Life's Admin Office -  Tanfield House, Canonmills, after resotration ©

-   In the 1987 photo, the site behind the old building had been cleared to make way for the  development of Standard Life's new Administration Offices.  These would include refurbishment of the old building.

-   The 1993 photo shows the frontage of the completed development for Standard Life.  The photo was taken three years after the Standard Life Administration Office opened.

The building has now been sold by Standard Life and divided internally to create a number of separate smaller offices.

Allan wrote:

Tanfield Shops

"When I was a child, in front of this building lay a number of shops, similar to those of Pitt Street  - no architectural merit, sheds almost.

One was a shoemaker's shop; another was a tobacconists. At the age of eight I purchased a churchwarden's pipe there in order to smoke tea leaves, which was a fashionable activity among young children in the early-1950s.

When I removed the pipe from my mouth, the best part of my lips was to be found hanging thereon . I was later informed that I should have rubbed the end of the clay pipe in butter to obviate the labial amputation. Ouch!

These shops were subsequently demolished to reveal the building that we now see."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  August 31, 2011

 Recollections

5.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny Callaghan replied to Allan Dodds' comments above, giving more information about two of the buildings at Canonmills.

Danny wrote:

Morrison & Gibb

"The building that fronted onto Inverleith Row was Morrison & Gibb Tanfield Works.   This was quite a nice building in red sandstone which had an arched gated entrance in the middle onto Inverleith Row.   It was demolished at the time of building the Standard Life Complex. 

    Morrison & Gibb, Printers & Bookbinders at Howard Place, Canonmills  -  1986 ©

Behind it you can see part of the building that was refurbished by Standard Life.  It is now referred to as Tanfield House."

Scottish Daily Mail

"There was a lane that ran around the back of the Morrison & Gibb building.  It went to the printing works and probably offices of the Scottish Daily Mail.   I don't know whether these were part of Morrison & Gibb or totally separate.

The Scottish Daily Mail used to be printed late in the evening before the paper was published.   You could get a copy at about 11 pm  from the works or news sellers in the city."

Danny Callaghan:  September 2, 2011

 Recollections

6.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny also sent more of his memories of Canonmills:

Souness & Spiers

"I worked for Souness & Spiers on Warriston Road in the early- 1960s.  They were a timber merchants.

They felled their own trees at Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith, and other locations.  They then  cut and 'naturally dried' them in large open timber sheds which ran along the wall opposite the Water of Leith. 

Their office was a small brick building, now the entry to Boat Green flats.

Warriston Road at Boat Green ©

The cottage to the right of entry road is now a photography studio.  It was the original railway cottage and was occupied by our cleaner and yard caretaker."

Public Toilet

"On the bridge over Water of Leith at bottom of Brandon Terrace was a public toilet.   I believe still there.   I always wondered if the waste just ran into the Water of Leith in the 1950s.   I hope not, as that was one of my playgrounds, although still alive to tell the tale."

Yes the public toilets are still there, as is the old Police Box beside them.

Outlet of Mill Lade

"On Warriston Road, just past the car park used by the shops on the bridge, there was a large arched outlet into the river.  We were always told this was the outlet of the Canon Mills lade."

Yes, that seems likely.  The mill with the water wheel was nearby, in Canon Street, beside the Esso filling station.

Barbers

"On Brandon Terrace, about opposite Glenogle Road, there was a barber's where I was taken as kid.  I continued continued to go to into my teens in the 1950/60s. 

As a kid, I had to sit on plank on the arms of the chair then, as I got older, I progressed to the seat. 

I got my first 'crew cut' and 'flat top' there, with a big wide comb with a spirit level bulb in it.   One time, it was crooked as I had not sat up straight in the chair.   I think that was the last time I went there.

I believe that the barber had a very unusual name.  Does anybody remember what it was?"

Launderette and Wash House

"At the bottom Brandon Terrace, Huntly Street, on the corner was what I believe to be one of the first Bendix Automatic Launderettes in Edinburgh.

No one had hardly seen washing machines in the mid-1950s, and here were these gleaming machines which you put your money in, I think 2/6 in the slot, and then sat in amazement and watched the whole washing programme.  Once it was finished, you then loaded it into one of two huge machines at the end of shop and then went through the process again of watching the washing drying.

My mother tried them a few times but decided there was nothing like the wash house in Henderson Row and went back there again.  She used the wash house right up till it was closed, when she joined in the protest to 'Save the Wash House'.   She appeared in an Evening News photograph of the protest, standing in the front row, wearing her head scarf."

Danny Callaghan:  September 2+6, 2011

 Recollections

7.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny Callaghan added:

Whisky Bond and Cooperage

"Allan Dodds makes mention of a whisky bond.   I cannot remember this.  However, there was a cooperage on Glenogle Road, just down from Brandon Terrace, were Standard Life had their car park entry,

I'm sure it was called William Lindsay & Sons.    When I worked at Souness & Spiers in Warriston Road we used to supply them with American White Oak which is very water-resistant and rot- resistant, and ideal for barrel making.   We used to ship in the logs, cut to the thickness required then cut into short lengths."

Danny Callaghan:  September 6, 2011

Hi Danny:

I certainly remember passing the cooperage in Glenogle Road, on my way to work in the mid-1960s.  There appeared to have also been a distillery on this site in the 18th century.  I don't know for how long it survived.

I have an atlas that includes a map showing 22 mills and works situated beside the Water of Leith between Balerno and Leith Docks.  Its entry for Canonmills reads:

Distillery then Cooperage

"Canonmills Cooperage, operating on this site of the ancient cornmills, established here in the 12th century by David 1 for the Canons of Holyrood and which formed the nucleus of the old village.

Later, a distillery was established on the site, and was the scene of the 'meal riots' of 1794.

Today, the product is casks for the brewers and distillers , made from white oak imported from North America through Glasgow.  Side-products are oak chips used for kippering and oak sawdust used for ham curing."

'An Atlas of Edinburgh'
Publ.  Edinburgh Branch of the Geographical Association, c.1961.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 7, 2011

 Recollections

8.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny Callaghan wrote again:

Shops and Whisky Bond

"After reading Allan's comments in 'Recollections 4' above:

1.  I cannot think what he was meaning about the shops in front of the now Tanfield House, and them being like sheds. 

2.  I don't know where the whisky bond was.  I suspect it would have been next to the cooperage.  I can recall some other blank building along Glenogle Road, possibly where there is now new housing.  

I hope Allan comes back with info."

Wilson's the Butcher

"Wilson's the Butchers was on the corner of Inverleith Terrace and Summer Place.    It's now a solicitor's and estate agent's office.    My mother often bought her butcher meat there.   What I remember most, and still even taste as I write this, is their mutton pies, they had a wonderful taste."

Howard Place

"For a number of years in the 1950s, my mother used to clean a house in Howard Place in the mornings.  I think it was No 14, which was a few doors down from Robert Louis Stevenson's house.

Occasionally, probably in school holidays, I would go with my Mum.  I remember that the house was owned by an old lady who lived there on her own.   It was 3-storey with basement, ground floor (up a few steps) and first floor.

The house seemed to me to be full of lots of big old furniture.  The one thing I remember well was a huge curved chair with no back, which I imagined came from an Egyptian tomb or similar.

The lady then moved to a flat in Brunton Place on London Road and think my Mum worked there for about 6 months."

Danny Callaghan:  September 8, 2011

Recollections

9.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote again about the area around Brandon Terrace.

Allan wrote:

Barber's

"I too attended the barber's in Brandon terrace, although the name is long forgotten.

On one occasion the 'product' was of such poor quality that my father dragged me back to the shop to have the 'handiwork' rectified: a mortifying experience. An Edinburgh Street Directory of the day would reveal this."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 8, 2011

Barber's

Reply

Allan:  I've checked a couple of Post Office Directories that I have at home (1950 and 1961).  They both list a hairdresser at 10 Brandon Place named Cecile.  Was that the place?

Peter Stubbs:  September 12, 2011

Launderette

The launderette is still extant.  My mother's first washing machine, a Bendix, came from there via the offices of our neighbour, John Kerr, the service engineer.

He had it reconditioned before writing it off as scrap and selling it to my mother at a knock-down price!  He said that Bendix bearings were made out of phosphor-bronze. That machine gave service for about twenty years and was still working when my mother upgraded it!

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 8, 2011

Launderette

Reply

Allan:  You are right.  The launderette is still there.  It can be seen in the background of this photo taken last year:

Police Box at Howard Place, beside the Water of Leith, on the corner of Brandon Terrace and Inverleith Row - Photographed October, 2010 ©

Shortly after the photo was taken, the launderette caught fire, and had to close for several months, but there is now a large sign at the door saying that it has re-opened,

Peter Stubbs:  September 12, 2011

Chemist's

"At the foot of Brandon Terrace was the chemist's shop owned by Miss Bryson. It had these huge glass vases in the window, filled with different coloured liquids.

Inside the shop lay a vast range of mahogany drawers and cases with Latin names on the drawers for the contents. Gregory's Powders were bought there by my mother on a regular basis to keep me 'regular'!

The shop; is now a trendy Café."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 8, 2011

Whisky Bond

"The whisky bond was at the end of our drying green, at No.7 Howard Street.  I watched with awe one week during the school holidays as joiners fitted a huge, heavy door to it.

They told me that the wood was lignum vitae, the densest wood available, and that it would sink if placed in water.  Presumably this was designed as a fire precaution.

My father always said during the war that if one of Gerry's bombs landed in our drying green, we would be blown to kingdom come on account of the whisky bond."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 8, 2011

Recollections

10.

Dougie Bryce

Pilton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Dougie Bryce for providing some of the answers about the buildings at Tanfield.

Dougie wrote:

Tanfield

"I worked in Morrison & Gibb 1962-1982.  Although M&Gs and The Scottish Daily Mail occupied the same buildings, they were separate companies.

The Mails presses were at the foot of Tanfield Lane and the Editorial and other departments were on the second and third floors of the building in the photograph that was taken in 1987.

 There was a whisky bond, also in Tanfield Lane, to the left of Morrison & Gibbs.   Further down, there was Morrison & Gibb’s paper and printed sheet store.  This was built on the site where the First General Assembly of The Free Church of Scotland was held in 1843 - 'The Disruption Assembly'.

No, Peter I wasn’t there!"

Dougie Bryce, Pilton, Edinburgh:  September 8, 2011

Recollections

11.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who replied to Danny Callaghan's comments about the buildings at Tanfield, in his 'Recollections 5' above.

Allan wrote:

Tanfield

"Thanks for the clarification. I used to play around these buildings when I was young but could not recognise them in the photo.

They were accessed via a lane running down the side of Morrison & Gibb which no longer exists."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 9, 2011

Recollections

12.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for writing again, replying to the question about shops, asked by Danny Callaghan in 'Recollections 8' above.

Allan replied:

Shops

"The shops in front of Tanfield House lay to the north of Morrison & Gibb's red sandstone building.  I believe that there were only the two: the tobacconist's and the cobbler's, but I could be wrong.  (Again, the Street Directory will correct this).

These shops are not figments of my imagination because my parents used to take their shoes to one and I bought a clay pipe at the other!

The cobbler and his wife were very aged.  Every morning, one could see them hobbling arm in arm along the road to open the shop. The cobbler wore a large leather apron and his wife lacked a number of teeth. Her name was Margaret, but I never found out her husband's name. (They could even have been brother and sister, for all I know.)"

Tanfield Hall and Tanfield House

"There seems to be some confusion about Tanfield Hall and Tanfield House. The Disruption was ratified at one of them but not the other."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 13, 2011

Recollections

13.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Shops

"I've checked the Post Office Directory for 1950.  It lists the following all under the heading 'Tanfield' ** :

       -  Tanfield Bonding Co

       -   Edinburgh Corporation Gas Department

       -   Morrison & Gibb Ltd Printers, Tanfield Works

       -   Turnbull & Spears

       -   Scottish Daily Mail

No.5,   Arthur Simpson,

No.6,  George A Burns, Tanfield Dairy

No.7,  A G Sinclair

No.7,  Miss J Archibald

No.7,  Mrs S Ratcliffe

No.8,  Daniel Budge, Newsagent

No.9, DS Johnston,

No.10, James Wallace, Plumber & Gasfitter"

 

** Note

Most entries in the Post Office Directories are listed under street names.  However, I think that 'Tanfield' was probably not the name of a street, but was the name of the district.

This would be the district around Howard Street and further back from the main road, where Tanfield House (see below) now stands.

Update

On closer inspection of  street names on old photos and street signs still in place, I see that Tanfield was, indeed, a street name. 

Tanfield was a short section of the western side of the road from Canonmills to Goldenacre.  These were the three sections of road immediately after leaving  Canonmills:

-  Howard Street (starting at Canonmills junction)

-  Tanfield (starting in front of Morrison & Gibbs building)

-  Summer Place  (from the junction with Inverleith Terrace Lane)

The road then became Inverleith Row, all the way from the junction with Inverleith Terrace to Goldenacre.

Tanfield House

"Tanfield House is the building that now faces onto Howard Street, part of Inverleith Row,  i.e. This is the building that was restored to become part of the Standard Life Administration Office in 1991.

Tanfield House was sold by Standard Life in the early 2000s, and has been refurbished internally to create a number of smaller offices."

   Standard Life's Admin Office -  Tanfield House, Canonmills, after resotration ©

Tanfield Hall

"The Disruption was ratified at Tanfield Hall.  That is the building with the two round towers a short distance further upstream, seen in this old engraving.  Tanfield Hall has been demolished."

Engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  Tanfield Hall ©

Maps

"This page has two maps and a recent aerial view of Canonmills.  Tanfield is upper-centre in each of the images.  They are:

1844 map:  Tanfield Hall (named Tanfield on the map) can be seen here on the north bank of  the Water of Leith.

1925 map:  Tanfield has been developed for industry.  Gas works appear to have been built on the site of Tanfield Hall and on the opposite bank of the Water of Leith.

2001 Aerial View  By the time this photo was taken, all industry had vanished from Tanfield.

In this view, the area is dominated by the outline of the new Standard Life  Admin Office with its three domes and roof-top garden.

Another Standard Life building, a Computer Centre, can be seen immediately to the SW of the Admin Office, on the opposite bank of the Water of Leith."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 13+16, 2011

Recollections

14.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for writing about the shops in Howard Street, the short stretch on the west side of Inverleith Row between the junction at Canonmills and where the Morrison & Gibb office used to stand.

Allan wrote

Porteous the Butcher

"Next door to our home at No.7 Howard Street was Porteous the Butchers. Their back-shop fronted onto our drying green.  One summer when I was playing in the green I looked into the back- shop through an open window to see, with a child's curiosity, what went on in there.

I was rewarded by a good hosing down from one of the backroom butcher's boys. My mother immediately went downstairs and read the riot act to the butcher and never went into his shop again. The shop is now an Indian takeaway, and a good one too the last time I tried it when up in Edinburgh."

Cockburn's Hardware Shop

"Next door to the butcher's shop was the Cockburn's shop.  It was run by two brothers, but was always known as 'Jimmy Cockburn's'.  One could purchase almost any conceivable item of hardware there.  

I think a piano shop now occupies that site, but you'd better check that."

The Coop

On the other side of our home at No.7 was the Co-op where one queued endlessly during the War for the little fresh produce they had.  They never had any bananas, as I recall.

Then came Tanfield Lane.

Grocer and Newsagent

"Still in Howard Street:  coming from Brandon Terrace, the first shop across the bridge was Mr Murray's grocer's shop, now an Italian restaurant.

Next door was Mr McDonald's, the newsagents, which is still there, though it is no longer Mr McDonald's.  I remember buying a yo-yo there when the craze first came over here. They also sold Dinky toys so that shop was always popular with us lads."

Brandon Terrace Toy Shop

"There was a proper toy shop in Brandon Terrace which has now become a coffee shop. I cannot recall its name, but my 'rich' uncle from London bought me a very expensive toy car there when he visited us in his Austin  Sheerline limousine which was immediately surrounded by envious lads, much to my satisfaction."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 13, 2011

Recollections

15.

Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns who wrote:

Barber's Shop

"References above to the barber at Brandon Terrace brought back memories of when I was an apprentice in R & R Clark printers in 1959-65.

The local barber (in Henderson Row or Pitt Street) was always referred to as ‘The Indian’, due to his ‘scalping’ tendency."

Apprentices

"The apprentices would only use this barber in desperation, and usually regretted it immediately!

The youngest apprentices were regularly sent to the sawmill to buy a bag of sawdust.

It was nice to be reminded that the firm was Souness and Spiers."

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  September 13, 2011

Recollections

16.

Alan Wilson

Trinity, Edinburgh

Thank you to Alan Wilson who wrote:

Painting

View from Canonmills

"I've been reading with interest the recent Canonmills Recollections.

They reminded me of this painting in National Gallery of  Scotland by John Knox (1778-1845), showing a view of Edinburgh from Canonmills.  I thought it might interest you if you haven't already seen it."

Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  September 14, 2011

 Recollections

17.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny Callaghan wrote again:

Shops and Whisky Bond

"Thank you to Allan Dodds for confirming the position of the shops and whisky bond.  I'll have a closer look at what is left next time I'm down that area." *

* Danny:  Very little remains from the old buildings, apart from the frontage of Tanfield House.   However, I have a few photos of the area that I took in the late 1980s.  I hope to add these to the web site soon.

Peter Stubbs:  September 15, 2011

 

Barbers

"The name 'Cecile'' (in Reply to 9 above) does not ring bells.

A friend has just told me that there used to be a barber there who called himself 'Mr Smokey', but that would be after my time.  His real name was Gordon Rankin."

Warriston Playing Fields

"When I was at St Mary's York Lane Primary School in the 1950s, we used to be taken down to Warriston playing field behind Brandon Terrace for sports days.  The football team also played school league games there.

At that time there used to be a pavilion with a terrace out the front at the eastern end of the park.  It backed onto the railway line.   You can just see the pavilion and a bit of the terrace balustrade in the background in  this picture:

St Mary's School, York Lane  -  Football Team, mid-1950s ©

As I remember the park was gated and used only by schools."

Danny Callaghan:  September 15, 2011

 

 Recollections

18.

Gordon Rankin

Portobello Edinburgh

The name, Gordon Rankin, was mentioned by Danny Callaghan in 'Recollections 17' above.  In fact, I know Gordon.  He is still an active member of Edinburgh Photographic Society.

On reading the comments above, Gordon wrote:

Hairdresser

"Barbers?   Hairdressers, please!

I ran a hairdressers at Nos.13/14/15 Brando Terrace from 1970 as Mr Smokey's, later just Smokey's

The gentleman who ran it before me was Harry Ormonde who had it for the previous thirty years.  He originally lived in the back-shop at No.13, before moving to Swanston.*

* Gordon:  Before Harry Ormonde, there was a Thomas Sutherland, ladies and gents' hairdresser, based at Nos.14/15, Brandon Terrace.

[Source:  Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory, 1940-41]

Peter Stubbs:  September 15, 2011

 

Other Hairdressers

"I only remember there being three hairdressers in the area when I started.  The other two were in Rodney Street and Henderson Row.  I don't remember their names."

Brandon Terrace Shops

"I also remember Sports Tune, a few doors further down (now Forth Furnishings?) and the motorcycle shop at the other side.  It was a coffee shop last time I looked., "

Gordon Rankin, Portobello, Edinburgh:  September 16, 2011

 

 Recollections

19.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

More Tanfield Photos

I've now added ten more Tanfield photos to the EdinPhoto web site.  I took these photos in 1986-87.

View over the Water of Leith to Tanfield from Bradon Terrace ©

Please click on the thumbnail image above to see thumbnail images of all ten photos.

Gordon Rankin, Portobello, Edinburgh:  September 16, 2011

 

Recollections

20.

Donnie Graham

Zwickau, Germany

Thank you to Donnie Graham who wrote:

Wilson's the Butcher

"I read Danny Callaghan's recollections of 'Wilson's the Butcher' on the corner of Inverleith Terrace and Summer place.

I remember they would hang 'game' (pheasants, rabbits, rabbits, etc) outside on hooks above the shop.  As a kid I found this quiet impressive but at the same time eerie and would quicken my pace every time I walk past there.

If you look now, above the estate agents' windows, you can still see traces of where the fixtures were."

Donnie Graham, Zwickau, Germany:  September 14, 2011

Recollections

21.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for writing again.

Allan wrote

Wilson's the Butcher

"My memory has been jogged by Danny Callaghan's mention of Wilson's the Butchers. The Wilsons lived next door to us in Warriston Avenue.  When my wife and I announced that we were getting married they bought us a beautiful Susie Cooper coffee set with the 'Glen Mist' design on it.  On her way to our house Mrs Wilson lost her footing and fell, together with the china!

Only one cup was slightly cracked, but I managed to replace it last year with one off eBay - how sad is that !  The set still graces our hall display cabinet.

Wilson's was certainly the best butcher's around. My mother, being very pernickety, would never purchase ready minced meat, but she would buy half a pound of round steak and then ask Mr Wilson to mince it for her!  He never complained, but I can just imagine what a butcher's boy would say to a customer nowadays when faced with such a request!

The best butchers in the area now are Crombies in Broughton Street and Bowers in Stockbridge.  Each has an excellent range of produce that Nottingham people would be envious of."

Warriston Place

"Across the road from Howard Street (that eastern section being called Warriston Place) was:a baker's shop (now the Loon Fung).  I was often sent over the road to buy a 'pan loaf''.

Next door was Mr Coya's ice cream parlour (now also part of the Loon Fung). No-one ever entered his shop as far as I was aware.  To the immediate left of the Loon Fung was a plumber's shop but I can't remember the name."

Warriston Playing Fields

"Warriston playing fields, off Warriston Crescent, were indeed gated, but we lads used to play there every summer evening because you could get into them from the path that led down to the Bowling Club.

I remember that the Kemp and Kuenssberg boys would make model rockets fuelled by Jetex engines which they launched from Meccano launch pads, much to the envy of us 'poor folks'.

Robert Kemp was a playwright whose son Arnold became Editor of the Scotsman and who sadly died at a relatively early age.

Mr Kuenssberg was a scientist or something like that. (I'm guessing that Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC Journalist is one of the Kuenssbergs that I played with all those year ago.

The posh families in Warriston Crescent tended not to mix with us toerags from the tenements, but Mrs Kemp always said 'Good morning' to my mother when she met her in the baker's shop.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 15, 2011

Recollections

22.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote again about the shops at Tanfield that he had previously mentioned in Recollections 4 above

Allan wrote:

Shops at Tanfield

In your photograph of Morrison & Gibb (1987) there is a white van parked to the right of the picture.

Morrison & Gibb's Building, Tanfield ©

Above it you can just see the roof of the tobacconist's shop that I referred to.  The style of the shop was very similar to that of my Grandmother's shop at 83 Pitt Street These develop-ments must have been commonplace in their day.

McGlashen's (Dionikus, a restaurant recently defunct) was of similar architectural demerit.  It will be interesting to see if that row of buildings will also suffer the same fate in the near future.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 19, 2011

Recollections

23.

Douglas Bryce

Pilton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Dougie Bryce who wrote again.

Dougie wrote:

Foundry

"It's great to see the old photos of Morrison & Gibb's.  They take me back.   This old building was the foundry.

Morrison & Gibb Foundryt at Tanfield ©

That's is where the stereotypers made the printing plates for the Letterpress machines.  When Letterpress printing was replaced by Litho this building became the ink store.

The buildings you call the offices was in fact the paper and printed sheet store and was known as Tanfield Hall.

Douglas Bryce, Pilton, Edinburgh:  September 19, 2011

Thanks Dougie I've just updated the captions on these photos, now that I know what the buildings are:

Morrison & Gibb Foundryt at Tanfield ©            Tanfield Hall  -  Morrospm & Gibb's Paper and Printed Sheet Store ©            Morrison & Gibb Offices and other buildings near the Water of Leith at Tanfield ©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 19, 2011

Recollections

24.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Allan Dodds added:

Posh Folks

"Although the posh folks of Warriston Crescent tended not to welcome us guttersnipes from the tenements across the road, I remember that Christina Kemp, the playwright's daughter, once asked me, around the age of seven, what my father did for a living; presumably by way of vetting me for suitability as a potential playmate.

I told her that he was an Insurance Clerk, whereupon she upstaged me by informing me that her father was a Playwright. 

With my usual alacrity I 'corrected' her, saying that she meant to say a play writer! The look of disdainful contempt that she silently flung me yet burns in my soulI did not then know that one day I myself would become an Author."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 19, 2011

 Recollections

25.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

I mentioned, when I added this photo to the Tanfield page on the EdinPhoto web site that the sculpture, Axis Mundi', seen on the left  of this photo had been moved from the entrance to Standard Life's Tanfield Offices to the Perth Street entrance to the company's Dundas House offices at 20 Brandon Street, Canonmills.

Tanfield House  -  Administration Offices for Standard Life, seen from the rooftop of Tanfield House, 1993 ©

Thank you to Danny Callaghan for sending the comments below.  They include comments about the Standard Life's Dundas House offices at Canonmills.

Danny wrote:

Dundas House

Brandon Street

"The building that Standard Life took over on the west side of Brandon Street was initially a printing company R & R Clark. 

It then became the HQ of the Post Office Philatelic Bureau, sending first day covers etc all over the world.   When the Post Office moved out to Sighthill, it sat empty for a while until taken over by Standard Life probably mid-1990s

There was also another modern building behind it, in Perth Street.  This was used in the 1990s by the Scottish Office for various government depts. including the newly formed East of Scotland Water Board (now part of Scottish Water).

Standard life then took over both buildings and worked some magic on the them, turning them into a wonderful workplace with an atrium which served as a dining area and meeting areas.    Certainly from my experience of offices, this is ranks among the best refurbishments of old buildings."

Wilson's Butcher

"Our neighbour Andrew McMahon in 50 Broughton Road used to work in Wilson's.   One of his tasks was to make their sausages and mix in the blend of whatever to give the Wilson sausages their special flavour, which was quite unique. 

Like Donnie Graham, I well remember the game hanging on hooks outside, what would health and safety say today?"

Souness & Spiers

"I worked in the office at Souness & Spiers from 1960 to 1962, although I spent lots of time in the yard and sawmill, before the days of 'Health & Safety'.

Souness & Spiers specialised in home timber, beech, oak, sycamore, poplar, larch, etc., etc.   Much of the timber came from Newbattle Abbey estate.    They also had another sawmill at Hardengreen, Eskbank close to Newbattle Abbey.

When I worked there, the owner was a Mr Spiers who lived in Inverleith Row and drove a Rover 90.    His two nephews, Maurice Spiers and Peter Spiers, both worked in the business.  They were educated, if my memory is correct, at George Watson's school and would now be in there late 70s.

Maurice left the business to become, in 1961, a representative with McVities Biscuits.   He had at that time to wear a bowler or Anthony Eden hat and was supplied with white shirts and 5 detachable collars which had to be starched.

If Maurice or Peter are reading this, it would be good to hear from them.    The sawmill foreman was Walter.  He used to work the logging saw which was run off steam from a boiler powered by the waste wood shavings, etc."

Danny Callaghan:  September 15, 2011

Recollections

26.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Allan Dodds added:

Whisky Bond

"This photograph from Brandon Terrace, looking across the Water of Leith, shows vey clearly the whisky bond at the foot of our drying green.

When I was a child it didn't have the skylights that are shown in the picture."

View up the Water of Leithfrom the bridge at Canonmills ©
 

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 19, 2011

 

Recollections
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