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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

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Edinburgh Recollections

The Wisp

 

Recollections

1.

Winnie Lisowski
Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Bankfield Cottages  Question

2.

Winnie Lisowski
Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Bankfield Cottages  Jean's Story

3.

Dick Martin
Borders, Scotland

Bankfield Cottages  The Huts

4.

Simon Capeldi
Sheriffhall, Midlothian, Scotland

Bankfield Cottages  1894 Map

5.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Bankfield Cottages  Later Maps

6.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Bankfield Cottages  Photos 2014

7.

George Lewis
Southampton, Hampshire, England

Bankfield Cottages  Tin Houses

8.

Lyndsay Montgomery
Old town, Edinburgh

The Wisp  Living at The Wisp + Families

9.

Winnie Lisowski
Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Bankfield Cottages  Thank you 1+2

10.

Colin Foster
Edinburgh

Bankfield Cottages  Fire

11.

Gordon Davie
Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

The Wisp  My family + Gas Works

 

Recollections

1.

Winnie Lisowski

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Winnie Lisowski wrote:

Bankfield Cottages

Questions

"Do you know anything about Bankfield Cottages or the history of these cottages?  Seemingly, there were about 8 to 10 cottages.  They were on Lady Walker's Estate, The Wisp, near Portobello, Edinburgh.

I met a 75-year-old lady in Dunbar this morning who was born in the cottages in 1939 and lived there until she was 8-years-old, in 1948.

She has never been able to find out anything about the history of these cottages.  She would be delighted if somebody could come up with a photo of the cottages."

Acknowledgement:   Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  August 12 + 13, 2014

 

Recollections

2.

Winnie Lisowski

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Raymond Mooneye, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for sending Photo 1 above to me.

Parson's Green School  -  Before the 1958 Fire ©

Raymond wrote:

Bankfield Cottages

Jean

"I've now received  a ''Life Story' of the 75-year-old  lady that I met in Dunbar.  Her name is  Jean Kinnear."

Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  August 19 + 20, 2014

Jean's Story

My Family

"My name is Jean Kinnear, née Rafferty.  I was born at the Wisp near Portobello, at the start of the war in November 1939.  My father worked in Woolmit pit.

We stayed in the Bankfield Cottages on Lady Walker's estate**.  We were surrounded by woods.  My mum had a baby nearly every year and life was tough.  There was not much food about.

I remember going to the snares in the field in the early  morning to get the rabbits out.  They were still warm.  I had to take them home.  I hated doing that, but we had to eat.

I also went to the potato pits to get the spuds for dinner, and the coal slag heaps for coal for the fire, and we collected hen and ducks' eggs out in people's gardens.

** = but see 'Recollections' 3 below:  Lady Wauchope estate.

The Woods

"I had a 'gang hut' in the woods when I was little.  It was like a tree house, and I had a pet owl.  It was beautiful.  I just loved staying near the woods.  There was so much life in there  -  all the birds and animals.

I used to be there for hours.  Mum would come looking for me.  I would wash in the little burn before I went home.  I was always black.  I remember there used to be potatos in the fire ash plan, all lack, but when you took the black skin off, they were great, the best tatties ever!

Birthday Present

"My dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday when I was about six.  By this time, there were another two in the family.  I said I would like a doll's pram.  I was so excited.  I imagined a large Silver Cross style.  I could not sleep that night. 

When I got up in the morning, my pram was a shoe box with a wire coat hanger over the top with a piece of cloth as the hood.  I was so disappointed, but told my dad it was lovely, and I have never forgotten that gift.

School and Chapel

"There were not so many cars and people about in those days.  There was only one bus.  It came in the morning and went back at night.  I went to school at Portobello.  I used to have to walk to school.

We went to Chapel at St Theresa's in Craigmillar."

The Area

"During the war, I can remember hearing the planes coming, and having to go into the air raid shelter which was in the back garden.

It was a lovely area to live and play in.  We had greyhound dogs and used to race them up the fields.  In the summer, everybody came to Portobello for their holidays.

Pit Helmet and Lamp

"I remember my dad's pit helmet, and he had a lamp.  I would have been about 7 or 8 years old, and had to go to the shop for him to buy the carbide for his lamp.   When you lit the carbide, it came out in a big flame.  That was the only way that miners could see when they were down the pits.

So, I was always sent to buy the carbide, and I used to take a couple of my little brothers or sisters and a pal.  We had a game.  We all put a piece of carbide in our hands, and we used to spit on it and it started to burn, and we used to run to see who could run the furthest before they dropped the carbide.  By the time I got home to the house, there was no carbide left..  My dad used to go mad!

Leaving The Wisp

"We had to leave the cottages at The Wisp as we were overcrowded.  Our little house was full.  There was only one bedroom that I can remember.  Life was tough but there was a lot of love in that house.  There were 5 kids by then.  I didn't want to leave as we were all happy there.

I remember we flitted in a coal lorry, up over the Wisp in the bad winter of 1947/48.  It was freezing and everything was wet with snow.  We moved to Danderhall.  It was a different community.  People came from all over to work in the Woolmit pit.  We went to school in Dalkeith.

Jean Kinnear, née Rafferty:  August 2014

 

Questions

Do you have any Memories
or
Photos of these Cottages?

"I only wish I could find a photo of Bankfield Cottages or any information at all about them, as it would make Jean so happy.

 Seemingly when the cottages were burned down, accidently, the families who lived there were moved to Danderhall.

I'll be seeing Jean again in 3 weeks' time.  It would be absolutely great if somebody out there could come up with some information for her, or if any old photos of the cottages could be found."

Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  August 19 + 20, 2014

Workers' Education Association

Gilmerton Recollections Group

While searching the Internet today, looking for for more details or photos of Bankfield Cottages or Lady Walker's estate to pass on to Jean Kinnear, I discovered that the memories that Joan has provided above are also included, together with other memories on this Gilmerton Recollections Group web page.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 21, 2014

 

Message

3.

Dick Martin

Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Dick Martin who wrote:

Bankfield Cottages

'The Huts'

"My wife, Jeanette, née Carey, was born at The Wisp in 1941 and lived there for 4 years until the family moved to the Jewel Cottages.  Her father was a coal miner at the Woomet pit.

Her memories of 'The Huts' (as Bankfield Cottages were commonly known because of their wooden construction) are only of:

-  the burn which ran past the end house and

the white link-chain on the bank, which I take to have been an early 1940's safety device.

Bankfield Cottages were within the Lady Wauchope Estate.  Could I suggest that Jean Kinnear has misheard the name of the estate?

Move to Niddrie Marischal

"In 1951, my wife's family moved to the new housing scheme in Niddrie Marischal, which was part of the Lady Wauchope Estate.

At that time the original Wauchope House was still standing, although in ruins. The children of Niddrie Marischal used the estate as a play area, mainly for cycling and 'Hide and Seek.'

The Estate Manager spent most of his time chasing the kids from the grounds."

Dick Martin, Borders, Scotland:  August 21, 2014

 

Message

4.

Simon Capeldi

Sheriffhall, Midlothian, Scotland

Thank you to Dick Martin who wrote:

Bankfield Cottages

Map

"I cannot find any photos of Bankfield Cottages, but they do appear on the six inch to a mile Ordnance Survey map of 1893, 2nd edition."

Simon Capeldi, Sheriffhall, Midlothian, Scotland

 

Message

5.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Bankfield Cottages

Maps

Ordnance Survey
25 inch and 6 inch maps
1914, 1932, 1932, 1938

"As Simon Capeldi says in his Message 4 above, buildings at Bankfield appear on early Ordnance Survey maps. 

However, it looks as if Bankfield Cottages where Jean Kinnear lived (- see Recollections 2 above) may not have been built until some time after 1914.  See the Ordnance Survey large scale maps below:

-  Map 2 ('25 inch', 1932) shows 8 houses which I assume are the cottages where Jean lived.  They are near the upper-left corner of the map,  (1932) below  below shows a block of 8 houses at Bankfield in 1932.  They are near the upper-left corner of the map, to the left of the word 'Bankfield.

Map 1 ('25 inch' 1914) however, shows no houses yet built in that location.

Map 3 and Map 4 ('6 inch', 1932 and 1938) zoom-out to show the position of Bankfield Cottages at The Wisp in relation to their surroundings.  They are about one mile ESE of the then recently built (and now recently demolished) houses on the Craigmillar estate.

Map 1

  Ordnance Survey Map
'25 inch to 1 mile'

1914

Old shaft:  Gasometer: , Railway lines:
Bankfield without Bankfield Cottages

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1914

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Map 2

  Ordnance Survey Map
'25 inch to 1 mile'

1932

Old shaft (gone):  Gasometer (gone):  Railway (re-aligned):
Bankfield including Bankfield Cottages

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Map 3

  Ordnance Survey Map
'6 inch to 1 mile'

1932

Bankfield Cottages are 2/3 of way down this map, near right-hand side.
They are 1 mile ESE of Craigmillar and 1/2 mile SE of Niddrie (empty fields + school)

The Wisp  -  6 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Map 4

  Ordnance Survey Map
'6 inch to 1 mile'

1938

Bankfield Cottages are, again, 2/3 of way down this map, near right-hand side.

Houses are now planned for  Niddrie and the school has been extended.

St Theresa's Chapel (mentioned by Jean Kinnear above) has been built at Niddrie.

The Wisp  -  6 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1938

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 29, 2014

 

Enlarge these 4 maps

To read more detail
on the 6 inch maps

 

 

Message

6.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

The site of

Bankfield Cottages

2014

"After looking at the row of 8 houses shown on Map 2 above, that I assume to have been Bankfield Cottages,  I decided to visit the location to see what it looks like now.

I had a look around The Wisp on 29 August and found that there now appears to be a car park for the 'R Arcari' ice cream factory on the site where Bankfield Cottages once stood.  See the 4 photos below."

Photo 1

Location of the Photo 1

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932 showing the location of The Wisp, Photo 1

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to
National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Looking SW towards the site of Bankfield Cottages

The site of Bankfield Cottages at The Wisp, Edinburgh  -  Photo taken August 2014

©  Peter Stubbs    Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                       Photo taken: August 29, 2014

Photo 2

Location of the Photo 2

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932 showing the location of The Wisp, Photo 2

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to
National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Looking NNW towards the site of Bankfield Cottages

The pale green cottage beside the road, beyond the ice cream factory in this photo
is the building that appears on the map above immediately to the north of Bankfield Cottages

The site of Bankfield Cottages at The Wisp, Edinburgh  -  Photo taken August 2014

©  Peter Stubbs    Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                       Photo taken: August 29, 2014

Photo 3

Location of the Photo 3

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932 showing the location of The Wisp, Photo 3

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to
National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Looking NNW towards the site of Bankfield Cottages

A similar view to Photo 2 above, but taken from a little further south on The Wisp

The site of Bankfield Cottages at The Wisp, Edinburgh  -  Photo taken August 2014

©  Peter Stubbs    Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                       Photo taken: August 29, 2014

Photo 4

Location of the Photo 4

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1932 showing the location of The Wisp, Photo 4

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to
National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

Looking NNW towards the site of Bankfield Cottages

View across the fields from Millerhill Road.
Industry has gradually taken over this section of The Wisp

The site of Bankfield Cottages at The Wisp, Edinburgh  -  Photo taken August 2014

©  Peter Stubbs    Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                       Photo taken: August 29, 2014

 

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 31, 2014

 

Message

7.

George Lewis

Southampton, Hampshire, England

Thank you to George Lewis who wrote:

Tin Houses

"I can't remember the the Bankfield Cottages, but do remember the 'Tin Houses' up The Wisp because I had a friend at St Francis' School, and his family lived in one.

The last time saw Danny they were living in Danderhall that must have been in 1950's."

George Lewis: Southampton, Hampshire, England, ex-8 Niddrie Mains Drive, Edinburgh
 August 29, 2014

 

Message

8.

Lyndsay Montgomery

Old Town, Edinburgh

Thank you to Lynsay Montgomery who wrote:

Living at The Wisp

"It's been a while since I was last on the EdinPhoto web site, but I now see that someone has been talking about the Wisp and asking about some huts on it, I lived all my young life (till I was 14 )at the bottom of said Wisp, played and built gang huts on it and often walked upit and along past a farm and cottages and round by Cradle Brae ( a steep hill heading towards Newcraighall), and no huts to be seen, so maybe by the time I was 6 or 7 they had been pulled down.

 

"I lived all my young life, until age 14, near the crossroads at the bottom of The Wisp.

I played on it and made gang huts on it

-  I often walked up The Wisp and along past a farm and cottages it to go to play on Cradle Brae, a steep field on the way round to Newcraighall

but at no time was I aware of any huts anywhere on it.   Perhaps by the time I was six or seven, around 953 or 1954, they had been pulled down ** ". 

**  In fact, 'The Huts' (Bankfield Cottages') were near the northern end of The Wisp, a little further north than the area that Winnie describes above. 

Bankfield Cottages survived until, probably, around the late-1960s.  See Recollections 10 below

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 1, 2014

The King Family

"As for the Lady Wauchope Estate, my mother knew the King family who lived in the farm cottages next to the big house.

-  Mr King was a worker on the estate and  Mrs King worked at the big house as the cook

When she wasn't working, I think  Mrs King used to go to any weddings or funerals in the area, even if she didn't know the people.  She was very religious, and was also a teacher at the Mission just along near the school.

-  She had a son and daughter called Jimmy and Marion, both of them much older than me.  -  Jimmy would have been called 'slow' then. He had very bad eyesight and wore thick-lensed glasses.  He was a lovely man.

- When the occupants of the big house died, the King family bought a house up the street from me, on the road to Newcraighall.  They must have been reasonably 'well off' for the time, as their house was quite a big one."

The Vessie Family

"My mother was also friendly with an elderly couple Mr and Mrs Vessie.

-  They lived in the lodge at the gate of the Estate on the Wisp,

-  I remember, once, when I visited them with my friend, Julia, to take messages to them.  When asked a question, Julia stuck out her tongue.  Even I was shocked!"

The Vass Family

"The Vass family lived farther up the Wisp, behind the big gtes on the left-hand side of  the road, going The Wisp.

-  I knew Mrs Vass From seeing her, every day, at the co-op, down the street from me.

-  They had a son who was a bit older than me.  He went to Portobello High School, as it was then. They lived behind these big gates on the left side going up the Wisp."

Other Families

"There were another 2 or 3 houses, together on the opposite side from the road from the Vasses, but I didn't know much about them other than that the lady who lived in one of the houses had a terrier called Judy who was blind and who used to bang into things on her way up and down the road."

The Anderson Family

At the bottom of the steep part of the Wisp, there was a row of houses.  The Anderson family lived in one of the houses.

-  Alan was the boy.  He worked for Bernard Hunter, then later for young Bernard,.  He now has a haulage company.

Growing Up

My knowledge of the Wisp ends there.  As I grew up, my interests turned to pop music and boys.

Lyndsay (formerly Linda) Montgomery, Old town, Edinburgh:  August 30, 2014 (2 emails) 

 

Message

9.

Winnie Lisowski

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Winnie Lisowski emailed me, thanking me for contributions to this page.

Winnie wrote:

Thank You - 1

"When I meet Jean, this weekend, she will be over the moon with all the details Bankfield Cottages and pictures of The Wisp that I now have for her.

Can you please thank Dick Martin and Simon Capeldi for the information about Bankfield Cottages that they have provided? It has been so helpful."

Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  September 1, 2014

Thank you to Winnie for writing again, after reading more contributions to this page.

Winnie wrote:

Thank You - 2

"I am honestly overwhelmed by the number of posts that have been added to this page.  I find it so interesting to read all the stories people have written about their lives at The Wisp when they were young, and the information you have found about the fire and fire stations.

Thank you to George Lewis, Lyndsay Montgomery & Colin Foster for their stories.  It's like they’ve turned the ‘clock back in time’."

Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  September 2, 2014

 

Message

10.

Colin Foster

Edinburgh

I looked in The Scotsman digital archive to see if I could discover when and how the fire that destroyed Bankfield Cottages occurred.

I found no report of the fire in The Scotsman archive, so decided to visit Colin Fraser, a former fireman to see if he remembered the fire. 

He was in attendance at The Museum of Fire, in the old fire station at 76-78, Lauriston Place, so I met him there today.

Incidentally, he told me that he joined the Fire Brigade in Edinburgh on September 1, 1964.  That was 50 years ago today!

When Colin joined the Brigade, these fire stations were all operating in Edinburgh:

-  Lauriston Place

-  Leith

-  Stockbridge

-  Angle Park

-  London Road

-  Sighthill (new).

These fire stations had not yet been built:

-  Tollcross

-  Liberton

-  Macdonald Road

-  Marionville

-  Newcraighall

I asked Colin about the fire at Bankfield Cottages.  He immediately recalled the fire.  Here is story as he remembers it:

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 1, 2014

Bankfield Cottages

Fire

Ball Lightning

"I remember the fire at Bankfield Cottages.  It was caused by ball lightning that hit the roof of one of the cottages, then rolled along the roof spaces of the other cottages, that were of pitched, boarded and slated construction.

The properties were destroyed, but there were no fatalities."

Fire Crews

"I was on duty at the time and remember hearing the fire services' radio calls concerning the fire, though I was not called upon to attend it.

The area around The Wisp lay in something of a 'black hole' then, the nearest fire stations being in Dalkeith, Musselburgh, London Road and Lauriston.

Now, fire stations have been built much closer to The Wisp.  They are at Liberton and Newcraighall."

Year of the Fire

"The year of the fire would have been some time between about 1966 and 1972, possibly in the late-1960s."

Colin Foster, Edinburgh:  September 1, 2014

 

Message

11.

Gordon Davie

Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Davie who wrote:

My Family at The Wisp

"I’ve been following the thread on The Wisp with some interest. 

My grandmother was born there in 1897, though we are not sure in which house the family lived.

My great-grandfather worked in the buildings shown just to the left of the gasometer in this 1914 map

1914 Map

The Wisp  -  25 inch Ordnance Survey Map, 1914

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National LIbrary of Scotland Map Room

This was where the gas was actually manufactured.

However the gasworks had closed down about ten years before the map was drawn, which was when the family moved to Portobello, so they were long gone by the time of the memories being posted.

Gordon Davie, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2014

 

Portobello Recollections  1920s-50s

Portobello Recollections  from 1950s

 

__________________

 

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