Around Edinburgh

Restalrig Rope Works?


Rope Workers

Photograph from an old post card  -  Rope workers, possibly at Restalrig

   Reproduced with acknowledgement to Scott Wishart


Restalrig Rope Works?

Photograph on a Postcard

The photograph of rope workers has been provided by Scott Wishart of London, whose who tells me that both his  Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandfather were both Rope Spinners at James Ross & Co. Restalrig Rope Works, Leith.  It is possible that the photograph above may have been taken there.

This photograph has been printed on an old postcard, which unfortunately has nothing else printed on it other than the central line and stamp area.  The central line enables the postcard to be dated to 1902 or later.  Perhaps the photograph was taken around the time that the postcard was published; perhaps it was taken earlier.


Can you suggest where and when this photograph might have been taken?

My personal view is that that it may have been taken around 1902-1914 and used to promote the company's business.  I have seen other similar photographs in trade catalogues of the period, where the entire workforce appears to have been included in the photo.

If you can help with this query, please email me.                       Thank you.




David James Ross

Thank you to David James Ross for replying to Scott Wishart who sent the photograph above.

David wrote:


Restalrig Rope Works

   Photograph from an old postcard  -  Rope works possibly at Restalrig

"How nice to find this picture. I'm sure this is the 'new' rope works on Restalrig Road showing new machinery. My great grandfather would have been at the helm then."

The Ross Family

"My grandfather took over after the first world war having served as a gunner in the Royal Navy throughout the war.  The company continued until the mid-1980s with my Uncle Douglas as manager before the business was sold to British Ropes and the property sold off.

At some point after World War 2, the company changed its name to James Ross and Buncle.  Mr Buncle retired shortly before the company was sold.

My Grandfather worked at Restalrig from age 14.  He died in his nineties some twenty-five years ago. He was still to be seen in the warehouse in his late-eighties. Douglas Ross is well.  He retired after the sale.

I still have the company ledgers of this period and a fine clock presented in 1925 by the Leith Liberal Association to James Ross, for services as secretary at the time when Captain Benn (Tony Wedgwood Benn's father) was Liberal MP for Leith."

David James Ross:  February 14, 2013