Edinburgh's Camera Shop
Edinburgh Camera Shop
onwards, George G Morrison,
then George Morrison
(Was this his son?)
had studios in
Edinburgh, Leith and Portobello.
From 1939 until 1952, their studio was on the ground floor of 55 Lothian
Road - the eastern side of Lothian Road, opposite the Lothian Road
railway goods yard, now vanished and replaced by the junction with the
Western Approach Road.
The business at 55 Lothian Road was
acquired by William Russell in 1952. He continued to offer
commercial, press and wedding photography, but had plans to develop the
retail side of the business.
From 1952 until 1956, the company
traded under a joint name
- The Edinburgh Camera Shop' (or similar name).
The Morrison name was dropped from the
business in 1956, when the premises had a major re-fit.
Cameras and Equipment
the 1950s, the business at 55 Lothian Road changed from being one of
Edinburgh's photographic studios to being Edinburgh's only dedicated
to the 1950s, cameras had been sold by departments of major opticians,
such as Lizars and JB Watson.
However, an increasing interest in photography and relaxation of the
rules for importing cameras from Europe and Japan offered the
opportunity for WG Russell to create a specialist retail business for
selling cameras and photographic equipment to both the wholesale and
business expanded, moving taking over the floor above the ground floor
that offered a wide range of materials for processing.
one time Edinburgh Cameras employed 25 staff. One of the employees
was John Semple. He worked at 55 Lothian Road for about 47 years,
first for George Morrison then for Edinburgh Cameras.
Following the death of WG Russell, around 1961, the business was
initially in the hands of his three sons.
In 1973, Edinburgh Cameras
acquired premises at 30 Dean Street from Francis Inglis, and used these in
connection with their wholesale business.
One of the sons of WG
Russell, Denny Russell, has been the sole proprietor of the business since
With acknowledgement to Denny Russell for
providing the background details above.
Reproduced by courtesy of
Edinburgh Cameras is still in business now, in the early 2000s. For a short period
opened a branch at Clerk Street, but today it has just one shop, at 219
Bruntsfield Road, about a mile to the south of the West End of Princes
The shop at 219 Bruntsfield Place is near 'Holy Corner' (a cross-roads
between the centre of Edinburgh and Morningside that has a church on each
of its four corners).
The company now operates on a smaller scale. It no
longer has a wholesale side to the business, but it still sells cameras
photographic equipment, both new and second-hand and offers film
In 2002 the company celebrated 50 years in business.
Reproduced by courtesy of
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh c.2003
to Denny Russell for contacting me to bring the details above up to date.
"Edinburgh Cameras has now moved
from Edinburgh to 7 Waughton Steading, East Linton, East Lothian EH40 3DY.
From here, I still do most of the same
things (but I no longer do developing and printing).
- Camera + Binocular sales
(new and second hand).
- Camera Repairs."
Denny Russell, East Linton, East Lothian,
Scotland: April 12, 2014
The Russell Trophy
WG Russell was also a keen amateur photographer.
He followed a long tradition of professional photographers supporting
Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS).
He presented 'The Russell Trophy', which is awarded each year for the
best colour transparency in the EPS Members' Exhibition.
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote
Edinburgh Camera Shop
"The Edinburgh Camera Shop in Lothian Road
used to be one of my favourite shops as they always seemed to have the
latest in photographic equipment in the 1960s."
"As a Medical Photographer, I always demanded
the best available and I placed many orders with Brian Wishart who headed
their professional department upstairs.
Blair, Denny and Stuart Russell, the joint
proprietors, were always welcoming and we developed a lasting friendship."
"Many years after I had relinquished
photography for academia, I happened to attend a conference in Melbourne,
Australia, to which I had been invited as Keynote Speaker.
On an afternoon off I happened upon a classic
camera shop in whose window was displayed a number of old Leica cameras,
described as 'The Blair Collection'.
On entering the shop, I enquired as to
whether the cameras were those of Russell Blair, who I knew had been a
keen Leica collector in Edinburgh.
The answer came in the affirmative and I was
informed that Blair had emigrated to Oz a number of years before.
Armed with Blair's Melbourne address I
dropped in on him completely unannounced after twenty years of mutual
absence. His surprised welcome was endearing and we enjoyed reminiscing
over our early days in Edinburgh and our equally changed circumstances."
Allan Dodds: March 19 + 23, 2014
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Edinburgh Camera Shop web site.