"The three casual friends in the
foreground in this photo are anonymous as is the fifth person that
everybody overlooks: the photographer.
"I can still remember the lady
photographer in question, trying to coax me to join the group, but to no
avail, as I clung resolutely to those railings."
"On another occasion, I remember
catching my head in the railings and having to be set free. I can't
help wondering how many New Town kids went through that particular 'rite
The photo would have been taken
around 1945/46. At least in those days, we had the freedom of the
streets and back alleys to get into such scrapes; just look at the
state of the knees and shoes of the boy on the right!
They say that what doesn't kill you makes you strong so let's hope the
gang are hale and hearty and may, even yet, recognise themselves and get
Who are the Children?
Please email me if you recognise yourself or any of the other
young children in this photo.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: July 3,
Prams and Toys
"There is an impressive line-up
of prams: none of them mine, I should add. My toys at this time would have
been acquired second-hand and, like some of the prams, have seen better
"There was one notable exception.
It was not a toy as such, but a large fully-functioning model of an
outrigger yacht, it's name gave a clue as to its provenance: "Miss
During the second world war my
mother ran a grocery shop at 2 Albany Street. Part of a sign reading
'Cigarettes & Confections' can be seen in the photo.
At that time, there was a hostel
in York Place for forestry workers from the likes of British Honduras, and
some would have been customers. One of them possibly made the yacht
to while away his off-duty hours in Edinburgh.
Most would be leaving for home at
about the time that the photo was taken. The boat was probably judged too
cumbersome to be shipped out, so it was presented to my mother.
In my hands it eventually sailed
the cooler waters of Inverleith Boating Pond, before being passed on to
some other lucky youngster."
Alan Watson, Edinburgh: June 29, 2012