Lonsdale & Dutch

Tinsmiths  -  Lantern Makers

Howe Street, Edinburgh New Town


Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths, Edinburgh  -  1992

©  Copyright:  peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                                           Photograph taken May 6, 1992


Enlarge this photo

    Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths, Edinburgh  -  1992 ©


Lonsdale & Dutch

Here is Arthur Dutch, working on lanterns in his basement workshop at Howe Street in Edinburgh's New Town.

The old photograph on the wall, on the left,  is of Messrs Lonsdale and Dutch, resting on a hot summer day, before Mr Dutch retired from the business.

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1992, using colour slide film, then converted to sepia on the computer using Photoshop.




Alex Ellis


Thank you to Alex Ellis, Edinburgh, forwriting about Arthur Dutch and some of his neighbours who worked nearby.

Alex wrote:

Lonsdale & Dutch

Photos on the Wall

    Lonsdale & Dutch  -  Tinsmiths, Edinburgh  -  1992 ©

"There are two pictures hanging on the wall here:

 the left-hand one is of Sax and Arthur, as you know.  It would have been taken just in front of Arthurs workshop.

On sunny days the two workers Messrs Lonsdale and Dutch) would often be seen catching a few rays and enjoying each others company.

-  Arthur told me, if my memory serves me correctly, that the other picture is of a Rolls Royce that belonged to Lord Migdale.

Willie Heath


Jamaica Street Lane.

"Another character from the area was Willie Heath, a mechanic of the old school who had a garage in Jamaica Street Lane.

He would look after the Roller when Lord Migdale was in town. On one occasion Willie got a phone call from Lord Migdale who needed to be picked up in a hurry, I believe from Waverly Train Station.

Willie dropped everything, jumped in the Roller and proceeded up to the station. At the busy station Willie got out of the car to open the door for the Lord who was somewhat taken aback by Willie’s attire and passed comment to Willie.

Willie replied that he had been working when he received the call from Lord Migdale so he had thrown on an old overcoat over his boiler suit and put the chauffeurs cap on his head and as the Lord was in a hurry, that would have to do.

They both had a laugh and all was well.  Willie and his garage had gone before I arrived ‘on the street’ (Howe Street) and this story was related to me by one of my older work colleagues."

Edina Paint Co

Painting by Sax Shaw

"I worked for thirty years at The Edina Paint Co. in Howe Street and we had a storage unit almost directly opposite Sax Shaw’s home.

One day Sax came in to our shop, up the road at number 10 Howe Street, with a painting of myself and my boss, Ian Watson, carrying tubs of paint out of our store.

The painting was in what I think is called ‘Impressionist Style’ but we knew who the figures in the painting were. Sax told Ian he could have it for £20 which he declined passing some comment like ”20 quid for that, you must be joking.”.

Some time later, Sax came in again with a similar painting and gave it to Ian for free informing him that he had had an exhibition in the town and had sold the first one for £200.  I wish now that I could have afforded to buy that first one from him.

Years later Sax gave me a simple line drawing of what appears to be a Sumo wrestler but states in Sax’s handwriting “I am not a Sumo wrestler”.

Alex Ellis, Edinburgh:  October 28,2014 (1st email)




Alex Ellis


Thank you to Alex Ellis, Edinburgh, for writing again.

Alex wrote:

Sax's Wife



I know that you met Sax, but did you ever meet Maisie, his wife? 

Sadly, I only met Massie briefly, and never had chance for a good chat with her.

- Peter Stubbs, 18 Oct 2014)

I knew Massie for as long as I’d known Sax, but it wasn’t till after her death in 2012 that I found out about her past.  Here are some extracts from her obituary -  very interesting."

Maisie Shaw

Extracts from


Published in 'The Scotsman'


"Maisie Shaw, one of the real-life Edinburgh residents who inspired Muriel Spark’s world-famous novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, has died at the age of 93.

A pupil of the formidable Miss Christina Kay at James Gillespie’s High School in the 1930s, Maisie – along with Muriel Camberg (later Spark) – became a member of the teacher’s “creme de la creme” inner circle and a recipient of her distinctive brand of cultural and personal education.    ...

Poetry and Art

"From the beginning, Maisie displayed a strong artistic talent and became a serious rival to Muriel in school poetry competitions.

Maisie established herself as one of the Capital’s leading arts personalities.

Her interest in illustration and book production led her to enrol as a student at Edinburgh College of Art, where she later produced an illustrated collection of poems."


"It was also during this period that she met her future husband and leading artist, Sax Shaw.

The early period of the relationship brought challenges after Yorkshire-born Shaw, a conscientious objector, was exiled to farm work in the Borders and later took a scholarship to study in Paris.

But the couple were finally able to marry at the end of the Second World War, and both settled into their respective careers."


"Maisie had trained as an art teacher at Moray House – and was later posted to some of the toughest schools in the Capital – while her husband took on the directorship of the Capital’s Dovecot tapestry studios and also won a long-running tenure at Edinburgh College of Art."

Home and Family

"The couple’s home quickly became an oasis for Edinburgh’s artistic elite. The film-maker Jack Shea and writer Bryan Appleyard were among the many personages to grace Maisie’s New Town flat. After giving birth to two sons – Kevan and Christian – Maisie’s art gradually took a back seat to family life.

But her interest in culture continued. In September she was present at a memorial exhibition of her husband’s work at the city’s Whitespace gallery.

As well as having two sons, Maisie was also a loving grandmother to Felicity and Andrew, and, this year, a great-grandson, Dylan."

Obituary:  The Scotsman:  November 13, 2012

I've done a little editing of this obituary and have added the paragraph headings above.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 28, 2014


Alex Ellis, Edinburgh:  October 28, 2014 (2nd email)


Lonsdale & Dutch:    Background     Photos

Edinburgh at Work