Poems and Songs

The Search for EPS Premises

Renting Property

For its first thirty years, from 1861, EPS rented rooms in central Edinburgh for its meetings and exhibitions. 

In 1884, West of Scotland Amateur Photographic Association set up a darkroom in Glasgow - so the campaign began for EPS to acquire its own premises with  darkroom in Edinburgh. 

A plea for Premises 

The  poem was read at the 1885 Annual Dinner in honour of the EPS President, John McKean RSA. It included a plea for EPS to obtain its own premises.  The title:

-      Mr McKean’s Recitation

Further demands were made for EPS to: 

"become possessed of a local habitation [where members ] would be able to spend an evening in congenial company, to both their pleasure and profit; to have ready access to both the literature and other property of the Society; to have use of a commodious, well-equipped darkroom, and many conveniences including refreshments - temperance at least”.

In 1892, EPS finally acquired its own premises on the top floor of 38 Castle Street for £920.  The rooms were converted to include kitchen, library, reading room and darkrooms.

A plea for better Premises nearer the ground!

Within a few years membership had doubled, and reached about 500.  By 1898, the Castle Street premises were already too small, and it was agreed that the proceeds from EPS Popular Evenings should be devoted to a fund for acquiring new and better premises.  It took a long time to find suitable premises.

In 1911 at least one member made an appeal for premises nearer the ground in the poem:

-      Dessus de l’Escalier. 

Unfortunately for this member, EPS remained at 38 Castle Street until 1925, when the Society moved to premises in Edinburgh shared with the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, first at George Street, and later at Royal Terrace.


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