After putting in 50 years of sterling service at
Churchill Photography, George McLeod has decided to retire.
Although George's parents hailed from Aberdeen,
they had already upped sticks for Edinburgh before George was born in
Pilton on July 11, 1942.
A young George attended Wardie Primary and Ainsley
Park schools and it was at the latter that he developed a keen interest
He was already practising it as a hobby at home
with his father and, when his science teacher at Ainsley Park started
holding after-school photography workshops, George discovered a talent
which would sustain him for his entire career.
George left school at 15 to take up a post at
Wilson Groat Photography in Churchill Place, Morningside, and he still
has the letter his father received outlining the contract and conditions
of the apprenticeship.
Wilson Groat was contracted to take photographs
for the Army and, as part of this arrangement, he had the privilege of
taking photographs of the Royal Family during military engagements in
He was also on the last ferry from South to North
Queensferry in 1964 when the Forth Road Bridge was opened to traffic.
George's work also included progress photographs
during the building of the Forth Road Bridge - a task that required him
to climb the towers.
Wilson Groat ran a reliable 24-hour service and,
as such, the Evening News and The Scotsman often relied upon George when
their own photographers were busy.
As well as covering social engagements and family
gatherings, George has also captured personalities and celebrities such
as Sean Connery, Jools Holland and the Bay City Rollers during their
visits to Edinburgh over the years.
George's approachable and light-hearted nature
belies a hard-working and highly professional modus operandi. In
all his years of work, he has only ever registered one absence and even
then he had to be persuaded by his family not to go back in on the same
day after an operation.
George is married to Hazel, whom he met in
Edinburgh and then wed at the Congregational Church on the 20 October,
They have two children, Jennifer and Christopher,
who are both in their 30s. Hazel has also recently retired.
Jennifer works in human resources for the Scottish Government, while
Christopher is head greenkeeper at a golf course in Fife.
George also became a grandfather this year and he
is looking forward to spending some of his retirement taking lots of
photos of baby Malaika.
Reproduced with acknowledgement to 'The
(I've not discovered the date of this article!)