Photograph by Norward Inglis

View from Salisbury Crags


Around 1950

View from Salisbury Crags

Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s.

©   Reproduced with acknowledgement to Norward Inglis and his daughter, Barbara Simpson


View of Dumbiedykes

I have added a key to the photograph above.

Thank you to Bob Henderson, Edinburgh for providing additional details.

Bob wrote:

The Scotchie

"This view contains a perfect picture of the Scotchie as I remember it. If you go to the right hand side of the picture and come up a quarter of the height from the bottom, it is the flat area bounded by:

-  the Pleasance Trust and Little Theatre at the top

-  the old brewery buildings on its right

- Arthur Street on its left

and the slope down to Prospect Street at its bottom."

Cowans to Young Brothers

"Coming from the centre bottom on a slant to the left, you have:

-  Cowans,  then the two rows of tenements of East Arthur Place.

-  then two rows of Middle Arthur Place,   then the single half row of West Arthur Place  with the rear of Young Brothers Bakers on the left .

I can even see the window of the place I called home until about 2 years before this shot was taken.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 2, 2008



Map of Dumbiedykes

The view in the foreground of this picture can be seen on the lower portion of this map below.

The photograph was taken from close to the lower -right corner of the map below, looking approximately west.

   Edinburgh and Leith map, 1925  -  The area around Arthur Street, Dumbiedykes

©  For permission to reproduce please contact



Remove the key

   Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©

Remove key and enlarge

   Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©

1940 photo + key

Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©



on the Dumbiedykes Photograph



Messages from Eric Gold

known to many as Eric McKenzie

East London

On seeing this picture, Eric wrote:

"I opened my mailbox and they say it is 4 weeks to Christmas.  Well, my Christmas has come just now.  What a great photo."

The Scotchie

(The open ground and hill at the far-right of the picture)

"I have walked all over it the Scotchie,  up and down the brae (ha ha ha). On Sundays, all the men would play a great game of football on the Scotchie.

There is a wall beside the Scotchie, far right.  I remember I cut my knee on that wall.  When you go over the wall into the brewery and walk for about 2 minutes, there is another wall (not in shot) which separate my school St Patrick's in St Johns Hill from the brewery.

I used to climb both walls then run down the Scotchie back home to Arthur Street as it was the fastest way, rather going up the brae then down the Pleasance.  Mind you, we were reprimanded by the headmaster (ha ha ha)

The Scotchie used to be a small tranquil park until they knocked down the houses on the west side of Prospect Street.  I don't know how 'The Scotchie' got its name."

Arthur Street

"You can see my Nan's window and my Aunt's window, too, in the photo;  also Cowan's paper factory."

St Patrick's Chapel

"St Patrick's Chapel in the Cowgate where we all used to go is the building with the dome on the far-right of the photo.  Next door to it, masked out by another building, is St Ann's School that I used to go to."

Eric Gold, East London:  November 25, 2006

 Eric added:

"I noticed that all the lums (chimneys) had no smoke, so the photo was probably taking during a hot summers day.   I can well remember  the smoke coming from the lums in the winter.

Eric Gold, East London:  January 2, 2007



Messages from Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh


Thank you to Bob Henderson, who lived at 17 Arthur street from 1938 to 1948 for telling me about the factory at the foot of Arthur Street, opposite Prospect Street. (bottom, centre-right) on the photograph above:

Bob wrote:

"The building was Baxendales, the cardboard box makers' factory.  But see UPDATE below.  As children, during and just after the war, we used to look in at the ground floor windows, which were always open, amazed by the roaring clanking monsters that were the box making machines."


Eric Gold wrote:  "I knew it as Cowan's paper factory."

Norman Forsyth wrote:  "It was Cowan's envelope works."

Then Bob Henderson  wrote:

"Of course, everyone else is right. It was Cowan's.   I knew that fine.  I just got a little confused!"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh: November 24, 2007

Thank you also to John H Wheeler for telling me about

 Cowans' Cragside Works,


Bob added

"The Scotchie was not the hill you see but the flat area on top where the older boys and young men used to play football."

Bob tells me that he now lives at Burdiehouse, Edinburgh.  He moved there when  the scheme was built, just after World War 2:


Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh: December 2, 2006



Reply from Eric Gold

known to many as Eric McKenzie

East London

Eric replied:

Paper Factory

"Bob Henderson mentioned the paper factory at the bottom of Arthur street.  He called it Baxendales but I knew it as Cowan's paper factory. I had a grandmother who worked there many other relatives and they called it Cowan's.

Maybe Bob is right and Baxendales sold it to Cowan's but that would be many years before Jean and I set foot on this planet.  I will ask my sister about it when she comes home from her holiday.

I've checked in the Edinburgh & Leith Trade Directories for 1950-51  and for 1961-62.  Both show the factory as being Alex Cowan & Sons Ltd, (Craigside Works).  The only Baxendale listed in these directories is a plumber's merchant in the Grassmarket.  -  Peter Stubbs:  Dec 3, 2006

The Scotchie

 As far as I knew it the Scotchie was the whole area,  not just the flat top.  I also remember the men playing football, I can still remember the men including my older brothers playing football as if it were today.

Eric Gold, East London:  December 3, 2006



Messages from Jean Rae (née Aithie)

South Side, Edinburgh

The Scotchie

Thank you to Jean Rae, South Side, Edinburgh, who wrote:

" I, too, played at the Scotchie and ruined many a pair of jeans, bought from Ellen's Drapery in the High St, climbing up and sliding down the slopes with my palls.

It was funny to see the marks left on the hillside by the many footsteps and backsides that used it."

Jean Rae, South Side, Edinburgh: December 3, 2006



Messages from Norman Forsyth

Currie, Edinburgh

Norman Forsyth was brought up in Dumbiedykes and lived the top flat at   9 Prospect Street.  He left there in 1932 at the age of 14.

Thank you to Norman  for sending me the recollections.  Norman wrote:

The Scotchie

"It's a long time to cast my mind back io those early days, but what wonderful memories they evoke seeing these pictures and comments.

I spent many an hour in the "Scotchie", having to climb two walls first (nearly 10 feet in all) to have a game of football under cover in an area beneath a building called the New College Settlement."

Cowan's Factory

"In answer to the query about the building with the skylights beyond the end of Prospect Street, it was Cowan's envelope works."

Norman Forsyth, Currie, Edinburgh: December 4, 2006



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