Whitehill and Bonnyrigg


Whitehill, a small village on the A68 about 2 miles the beyond Dalkeith on the
A68 from Edinburgh.  Dalkeith is about 7 miles SE of the centre of Edinburgh.


Matt Rooney
New Cumnock, Ayrshire

-  The wee Village of Whitehill

-  Football Team

-  Dobbies

-  Granny


Craig Statham
formerly Whitehill, Dalkeith, Midlothian

-  Football Team

- Whitehill Hospital


Matt Rooney
New Cumnock, Ayrshire

-  Football Team

-  Other contributors


John Hadden

-  Football Teams

-  Whitehill Village


Matt Rooney
New Cumnock, Ayrshire

-  Football Team


Ian Thomson

-  Bonnyrigg Rose


Bob Henderson

-  Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith

-  Dancing


Donald Grant
Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

-  Fever Hospital , Whitehill


Donald Grant
Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

-  Fever Hospital , Whitehill

-  Other similar Hospitals

-  St Joseph's Hospital, Rosewell

-  Rosslynlee Station



Photos of Whitehill

1.  Matt Rooney who wrote the recollections below is looking for an old photo of the village of Whitehill.

2.  Shirley Mushet tells me that she now has the school in Whitehill Village and would like to restore the bell tower that was on it, so is looking for any old sketches or photos that include it.

Do you have any old photos of Whitehill or know of anywhere else that has any?  If so, please e-mail me so that I can pass on the news to Matt and Shirley.

Thank you.

- Peter Stubbs:  April 10, 2007



Photos of Whitehill

Thank you to Craig Statham who used to live at Whitehill and has been studying photographs of the area, for e-mailing me with the message:

"If Matt Rooney or Shirley Mushet are looking for photos of Whitehill, they would be best to start at the Dalkeith Museum in Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith.  It's open Tuesdays mornings, from 10 to 12.

Failing the Museum, they should try the Local Studies Library in Loanhead.

By the way, Mushet is an old Dalkeith name.  They owned the iron foundry."

formerly Whitehill, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland:  February 1, 2008




Thank you to Matt Rooney, New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, for the recollections below.

Matt wrote:

The Wee Village of Whitehill

"In the Early 1900's Whitehill was quite a thriving wee place. I think it was mainly farming but the colliery at Newtongrange wasn't that far away."

Newtongrange colliery is now a  mining museum.

Football Team

"Whitehill had a Junior Football team which did very well for themselves.  In the season of 1910 to 1911, they won the Junior Cup.  The reason I know this is that my Dad played for them.  There is a photograph of the event but or the life of me I cannot find my copy of it."


"Dad was a jobbing gardener and served his time with the original Dobbies near Melville Castle. Dad unfortunately Died aged 45 in 1936 of pneumonia.

The only apparent cure at that time was supposed to be Champagne or something similar, so all his friends, and there were many, clubbed together to buy Him 'The Cure'.  The Story goes that Dad, being teetotal, refused it."


"I think I take after my paternal Grandmother who went blind aged 67.  Granny Liked a wee dram and I would listen to her for ages as she related her stories.

Granny was Married Twice and with her second husband, Mr. Forsythe, owned a soap factory, funnily enough off Beaverbank Road where Safeways built their store a few years back."

Matt Rooney, ( now aged 73), New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland:  August 2005




Thank you to Craig Statham for sending me more details of the Whitehall and Woodburn areas of Midlothian, near Dalkeith.  Craig lived at Woodburn

Craig wrote:

Football Team

"In regards to the football team, I think there is probably some mix up here. The Whitehill team is probably Whitehill Welfare who play out of Rosewell.

I'd be very surprised if there were enough young men in the village to constitute a football team - especially one capable of winning the Junior Cup."

Craig:  -  I think you are going to be surprised!   See 4 below.

Peter Stubbs:  February 6, 2007

Whitehill Hospital

"This is the only postcard that I know of showing the old fever hospital at Whitehill around the time of its opening in 1910. 


It is likely there are other old photographs of it, but I can't remember ever having seen any,"

formerly Whitehill, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland:  January 6, 2008




Thank you to Matt Rooney, Ayrshire, who replied to Craig Statham's comments about the football team above.

Matt wrote

Football Team

"Thanks for your comments, Craig.  But I know that the football team that my Dad played for was Whitehill, not the team from from Rosewell.

And it was Whitehill that won the Dalrymple Cup in the 1910 to 1911 season.  There is a photograph of the team with their cup, but I've not been able to find it.  I'm told that it's 'in somebody's attic'.

At one time the village of Whitehill was a thriving wee place.  My Dad played for the team, even though, at that time before his marriage, he stayed at Airfield a hamlet near Cousland, where the Rooney family originally settled."

Other Contributors

"To John Hadden - thank you for delving into the Dalkeith Advertisers archives and sending me 42 sheets of information.

To Shirley Mushat - I wish you well in your endeavours regarding the restoration."

Matt Rooney, New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland:  February 3, 2008




Thank you to John Hadden, Edinburgh, for providing more background to the football at Whitehill.

John wrote

Football Teams

Whitehill Fern

Whitehill Vale

Whitehill Welfare

"Matt and I did a bit of research into his father's football team in 2005.  We found that there were several Whitehill named teams around at a similar time; for example Whitehill Fern and Whitehill Vale, but Whitehill Welfare (at Rosewell) was not started until the 1950s."

Whitehill Athletic

"However, we found that the team Matt referred to was called Whitehill Athletic and we also traced a photo of the team that had appeared in the Dalkeith Advertiser some time in the 1980s. In the photo Matt was able to identify his relatives.

Whitehill Athletic won the Dalrymple Cup in 1910-11 and were winners of the Midlothian Juvenile League in the same season.  We did not conclusively find where they were located, but found no evidence to suggest that it wasn't Whitehill village .  They may have used the village park."

More Teams

"Generally there appeared to be a lot more active football teams and leagues than at present, but often the teams only lasted a season or two."

Whitehill Village

"It may surprise some folk (as it did me) to find out that Whitehill itself used have a lot more houses, until the miners were gradually moved to the newly built housing at nearby Newtongrange.

 An 1895 report by the Sanitary Inspector reported there to be 45 houses and a population of around 250 (with 12 privy seats between them!).

I also had a genealogical incentive for researching this particular location as, in 1900, there were at least five households of Haddens (that I know of) living at Whitehill."

John Hadden, Edinburgh:  February 3, 2008




Thank you to Matt Rooney, New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, for adding the following, with acknowledgement to John Hadden.

Matt wrote

Football Team

Whitehill Athletic

"Whitehill Athletic beat Loanhead Renton 3-0 in the Dalrymple Cup Final at Dundas Park Bonnyrigg, on the 13th of July 1911.

They were also presented with the Midlothian Junior League Cup as League Champions of 1910-1911 in a Smoker after the match.

There is also Reference to a match played on the Monday night where Whitehill Athletic beat Bonnyrigg Bluebell 4-2 in the Semi-Final of the Bonnyrigg and District Cup."

Matt Rooney, New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland:  February 3, 2008




Bonnyrigg Rose

Thank you to Ian Thomson for sending me this photograph of his Bonnington Rose football team,  and for sending his recollections of playing with the team.


Ian wrote

The Howard Cup - 1953

"Here is an old picture of the Bonnington Rose side, taken in 1953, the year that the team won the Howard Cup.  The final was at Tranent and I scored twice in 4-2 win.  I played with the team for two years.  I'm on the extreme right of the front row.  We played at Dundas Park, Bonyrigg in the Under-21 Juvenile League."


"There were three Edinburgh players in the side.  We travelled by SMT bus for training etc.  Old Willie Purvis, committee man, used to give us a half crown for the bus fare.

We used to travel in the team bus to all the junior grounds.

-  The best team at the time was Musselburgh Union.

-  The best pitch was Arniston Rangers

It was a top league, with many stars of the future."

After the Football

"Some nights, after training, we went to the jigging at the Regal in Bonnyrigg or the Empress in Dalkeith.

Those were the days!"

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia: April 27+28, 2008




Thank you to Bob Henderson who added to Ian's comments above:

Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith

"I was delighted with today's update as so many of the places mean a lot to me.

With regards to Whitehill there was a colliery in Rosewell that bore that name, and the mention of the Regal ballroom in Bonnyrigg and the Empress in Dalkeith brought back so many memories for me."


"Ah those were the days!  There were so many places to go dancing in the fifties, we were spoilt for choice.

The Regal was, at that time, also a picture house and in the basement they had a television viewing area."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  April 27, 2008




Thank you to Donald Grant who wrote telling me more about Whitehill Fever Hospital.

Donald wrote:

The Fever Hospital, Whitehill

"I was astonished to look at the site this morning and see all the information on Whitehill village, particularly the photo of the fever hospital.  This email is being written from that very place!

Postcard  -  Dalkeith  Hospital  -  photographed around the time of its opening in 1912

I see that Craig Statham dates it from around 1910. I can tell you that there is a stone above the entrance to one of the buildings bearing the year 1912."

I've now changed the postcard heading to read 'Around 1912'   - Peter Stubbs.


"Some time after the hospital closed, the buildings were used as a school and indeed some of our passengers told me they attended the school here. I work for Handicabs and the building we are in was apparently the janitor's house."


"One of my colleagues whose family still live in the village told me that he used to get chased by the janitor when he came down scrumping for apples.  The tree is still there and last year we got a bumper crop of cookers. A message to readers though: 'Hands off.  This years apples are mine!'"

Adult Education Centre

"After use as a school one of the buildings became an adult education centre but I don't know about the rest."


"Currently we have one building, a joinery business has another (the old mortuary) and the rest are occupied by a company called DiaMed who make medical equipment.

The buildings are now collectively named Whitehill Business Centre.  Coincidentally our Bathgate office is based at Whitehill Industrial Estate in Bathgate so Whitehill is obviously a well used name throughout the Lothians."

What Else is Known?

"I can't tell you any more about the buildings than that but I'll watch with interest to see if there's any feedback."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  April 28, 2008




Thank you to Donald Grant for sending me two recent photos of the former hospital at Whitehill.

Postcard  -  Dalkeith  Hospital  -  photographed around the time of its opening in 1912

The first photo show the plaque above one of the doors, showing that the building had been erected as Dalkeith Fever Hospital in 1912

The second shows the hospital as it is today (2008).  It has now become Whitehill Business Centre.

Plaque above a door at Dalkeith Fever Hospital, Whitehill, Midlothian     Whitehill Business Centre  -  2008  -  formerly Dalkeith Fever Hospital

Donald wrote:

The Fever Hospital, Whitehill

"You'll see from the photos that outwardly there are very few changes in the buildings between 1912 and 2008.

One chimney stack has gone from our building, which is mostly obscured, and the rest are just cosmetic changes as DiaMed had their admin building painted recently.  That's the one the plaque is on so I guess it always was used for offices or possibly accommodation for the nurses.

It's reasonably remote now but in 1912 it was really isolated, which of course is why it was built there."

Other Similar Hospitals

"Whitehill is just one of three similar hospitals in Midlothian. The others being:

- Gorebridge, which is now flats

- Loanhead which is still in use as a geriatric unit.

There may have been others but I'm not aware of any.  I know that in the 1940s my late brother was sent out to Loanhead Hospital when he had pleurisy.  The family were living in Leith at the time so it seems reasonable to assume that the other two played host to the contagious sick from Edinburgh too.

I should say, incidentally, that my brother had a healthy normal life after he recovered from his bout of pleurisy.  He survived until he was sixty."

St Joseph's Hospital, Rosewell
Whitehill House

"Whitehill House (St Josephs Hospital, Rosewell) used to specialise in accommodating children with severe disability: what used to be called spastics but are now known as people with learning difficulties and special needs.

In those unenlightened days, there was a social stigma when a family had a child that 'wasn't right'.  They were shoved away to places like St. Josephs.  Frankly it was a glorified asylum and the kids (mostly from Edinburgh) were there for life."

Rosslynlee Station

"A personal bonus for me over the last couple of days is that I've managed to locate the former Rosslynlee Station, thanks to the National Library website maps and Google Earth.

I've been passing the place for months without realising it, as there is no trace of the track bed. Would you believe it?  As the crow flies, it's about half a mile away from Rosslyn Castle  Station!

Rosslyn Castle Station


Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  April 29, 2008


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