Reproduced with acknowledgement to Craig
Herbertson, Witten, Germany
Photograph taken 1987
1960 to 1990
Goldbergs department store
was ahead of its time when it opened at High Riggs, Tollcross, Edinburgh
in 1960. It was a modern construction on five floors, with roof
garden, nursery and menagerie.
The store, with its copper
sculptures at either side of the entrance at the top of a flight of
stairs, was originally closed on Saturdays due to the owner's Jewish
It was intended to be the
showpiece in a new road system for Tollcross, but the new roads were never
Competition from elsewhere in
Edinburgh, particularly the new St James Centre at the East End of Princes
Street in the 1970s, made trading conditions difficult. Goldbergs
finally closed in 1990.
New offices for the Bank of
Scotland have now been built on the site.
Shops, Past and Present' [Malcolm Cant] AND
Edinburgh Evening News, October 14, 2005 [Grant Scott]
Thank you to Craig Herbertson, Witten, Germany, for supplying
the photograph above, and for his recollections of Goldbergs.
"I remember being taken by mother up the escalator at
Goldbergs - the only escalator in the world as far as I
There was an exotic rooftop where you could have a coffee.
My mum would sit with my aunt and chat. I sensed, for her,
this was high living on a par with being in a Bond movie. That could well have been 1969."
Craig Herbertson, Witten, Germany: April 28, 2006
Thank you to Dorothy Jeremy, now Dorothy Land, for sending me her recollections of
"My grandmother, Dorothy Aspey, took
me to Goldbergs store just after it opened, possibly in 1961. I
remember two things:
- a magical display of
leather gloves on a 'tree', the gloves arranged to look like
leaves. How surreal and avant garde was THAT!
- I think the doors were
automatic? There was a family story, going the rounds, that my
Uncle Tommy rushed at the doors to open them, they opened
automatically and he fell through. It sounds unlikely, but
he WAS accident prone to an alarming degree!
It was indeed a glamorous,
adventurous place to shop."
Dorothy Land, (nee Jeremy), Suffolk, England: May 31, 2007
Thank you to Lesley Maasdorp for adding her memories of
Goldbergs to the EdinPhoto Guest Book.
Lesley lived in Balgreen, Edinburgh. She emigrated to
South Africa in the 1970s and is now living in England.
"I have such fond memories of Mum
taking me Christmas Shopping, and letting me ride on the
merry-go-round at Goldbergs - and the entrance at
Christmas with all the robot Disney characters.
Oh to be a child again. Thank you so
much, not only for that memory, but all the others that came
flooding back, Newhaven, Musselburgh, Portobello etc."
Lesley Maasdorp, nee Gillies, England: October
Fiona Palmer (nee
Brighton, Sussex, England
Thank you to Fiona Palmer who wrote:
"I was born in Edinburgh
in 1960 and regularly went to Goldbergs at Tollcross as we lived
I remember there was a blue and gold
macaw parrot in the roof garden which was the highlight of our
Fiona Palmer (nee Jack), Brighton, Sussex, England: November 19, 2011
Haltwhistle, Northumberland, England
Thank you to Nicola Hancock who wrote:
"It was great seeing this photo of
My nana worked in the store for many
years and I used to love going in when we picked her up from
work. It was like a fantasy land for a child.
I loved getting a Fondant Fancy in
the restaurant on the top floor and then going out on to the
roof and seeing the birds and fish.
My nana is now 91 and we still talk
about the days when she worked at Goldberg's. It
would be great to see more photos"
Nicola Hancock, Haltwhistle, Northumberland,
England: February 18, 2012 (2 emails)
Joy Mikulandra (nee
Thank you to Joy Mikulandra who wrote:
Goldbergs with Mum
"I loved seeing that photo of Goldbergs Dept store.
What a wonderful place it was!
I lived in Hailsland, Wester Hailes, from 1971 to
1974, from age 6 to 9. Mum, Agnes Wyatt (nee Agnes Forbes McKenzie) was from Leith.
She married a Kiwi. She loved to take us into town for special
occasions like Christmas."
"I remember, I had a photo, now lost, of my sister
Fiona and me, all dressed up in our winter coats. Mine was a maroon maxi
with a fur trim on the wrist and hemline. I think there may have been a hood as
well. Boy, I loved that coat."
Christmas Window Displays
"On the photo, we
were standing in front of the Christmas window displays.
I loved gazing in at them, as they were automated."
Joy Mikulandra (nee Wyatt): February 5, 2013
Evelyn Macrae (nee
Thank you to Evelyn Macrae (nee Wright) who wrote:
"I worked at Goldberg's Department Store in the
1970s as part of the display team. There were about twelve of us.
There were a lot of floors to cover and it was an exciting place to work.
My floor was Ladies' Fashion, which included the
'She She Boutique'. I loved creating displays to the sound of Deep Purple
in the background.
We were very fit, either up a pair of ladders or
zooming between floors via the beloved escalators. The staff were great
and let us try on hats or wigs when we skived."
remember a white cockatoo called Joey and the exotic parrot on the 5th floor."
"I have lots of happy memories of Goldberg's."
Evelyn Macrae: May 24, 2013
Thank you to Margaret Smythe who wrote:
"It was great to read the recollections of
Clerk of Works
"My dad was the Clerk of Works for the
Goldberg stores. He loved to reminisce about how the Edinburgh store was built
with a tiny budget. 'Modern health and safety rules would have scuppered it', he
would say with a big grin
"One of my
favourite memories is of a staff Christmas party one
year with a gorgeous dolls' house with electric lights and an elegant garden
with a fountain.
Billy the Parrot
"Another favourite memory is, of course, of Billy
the blue and yellow parrot who lived in the roof garden. Dad told me that
when the store closed one of the tradesmen who had built his heated cage took
Billy home with him. I was glad to hear that.
"Much later in his career, when he had a far
better job, my Dad bought an Alfa Romeo because he had so admired Mark
Goldberg's all those years earlier!"
Margaret Smythe, Edinburgh: October 22, 2013