Easter Road
Leading from Leith Links to Regent Road

and some surrounding streets




Mal Acton

Liverpool, Lancashire, England

Malcolm Acton posted two messages in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Malcolm  wrote


Gran and Grandad

"It's very long shot, but does anyone remember a shop at 350 Easter Rd owned by Mr & Mrs Buchan in the 1940s and 1950s?

They were my Gran and Grandad."

Malcolm Acton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  November 16, 2009

Malcolm  added


"I can't remember much of my Grandad, apart from photos, but know that he lived at 350 Easter Rd.  I believe he died of a heart attack on a tram going to work at British Oxygen in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I think he was buried or cremated at Seafield."

Mal Acton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  November 17, 2009

Reply to Malcolm?

If you'd like to send a reply to Malcolm, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  November 17, 2009





Malcolm Acton

Liverpool, Lancashire, England

Malcolm Acton  wrote again, almost three years after he asked the question above, to let me know about the progress he had made in his research into his gran and grandad.

Malcolm wrote:


Gran and Grandad

"In May this year, I met my cousin who I last saw in 1966.  During our talks, I discovered that on November 30, 1943, our grandad (John Duthie Buchan) died of a heart attack on a tram at the junction of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street, Leith.  He was buried in Seafield Cemetery.

He lived at 350 Easter Road, and my cousin is certain that he had a coffee shop at College Street, though he can't remember the name of it.

Malcolm Acton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  August 14, 2012

Reply to Malcolm?

If you'd have any other information about Malcolm's grandparents, please email me,.  Then, I'll pass on your message to Malcolm.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  August 14, 2012






Dot Scott


Thank you to Dot Scott who replied to Malcolm above.

Dot wrote:

350 Easter Road

"350 Easter Road is actually a tenement building and the entrance to a stair with flats.  I stayed in 348 Easter Road as a child, which was the main-door flat underneath the tenement.

It may have been the shop directly across the road which was owned by Mr & Mrs Cavers that your gran and granddad ran, but before my time!   Sorry."

Dot Scott, England:  December 29, 2011






James Armstrong

Liberton, Edinburgh

Thank you to James Armstrong for replying to the message from Malcolm Acton, above.

James wrote:

350 Easter Road

"I lived at 350 Easter Road, Leith until 4 December 1943. There was no shop or shop front there, then.

Immediately opposite, and across the then cobbled street, there was a wee shop, which is still there now.  In 1943 it was run by a Polish chap whose name (as children) we could not pronounce. and so called him  'Polly Wonskie'.

The flats were built by the Heriot Trust around mid-1800's and are still perfect.

In the tenement at 350, lived the Armstrongs, Cairns, and Herkness, (who was a funeral director) and perhaps four other flats' occupants.

I visited 350 Easter Road only last week and, apart from the front street door which is slightly worse for wear, the place was in good condition,   The stairwell is clean and spacious and there is a remarkable curved oak (original) banister.  I have memories of sliding down it as a child, and of sheltering under the stairwell when there was an air raid warning in 1943."

James Armstrong, Liberton, Edinburgh:  22 May 2016




Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote

The Singing Street

"A very famous film, 'The Singing Street'  included shots of the Easter Road area in the 1950s.  It was made by two teachers at Norton Park School in 1951 and screened at the Barcelona Film Festival the following year.

It shows a collection of children's street games filmed in the back streets of Edinburgh, accompanied by traditional children's songs. It includes shots of children with skipping ropes and playing singing games.

The Scottish Screen Archive in Glasgow sells copies of the film on DVD.

Here is an indication of the locations used:

The Singing Street






Pan of Old Town to Castle from East Princes St. Gardens


High shot of Crawford Bridge, Albion Terrace


The Singing Street” title chalked up on wall


Albion Place


Girl gazes into shop window and sings to herself


Albion Terrace


Street games in Albion Terrace


Top of Leith Street


High shot of two girls skipping across Crawford Bridge towards Bothwell Street


 Singing game in Bothwell Street drying green


Pan up from Bothwell Street to Salisbury Crags


Pan down to girls skipping in St. John Street, Canongate


Girls playing ‘In And Out The Dusting Bluebells'


Leith Street


Abbey Mount with ‘steamie’


Girls singing ‘The Wind Blows High’ in Carlton Terrace


Girls skipping down Royal Terrace to Blenheim Place, Greenside


Leith Street and Calton Road


High shot from Waterloo Place


Boys singing while seated on steps at Maryfield, Abbeyhill


Skipping game and girl on roller skates in West Norton Place


Victoria Street


Girls playing hide and seek on Victoria Terrace


Edinburgh rooftops


Girls skipping outside the Eastern Cemetery gates, Drum Terrace


More rooftops


One girl skips along Victoria Terrace; another down Victoria Street to the Grassmarket


She emerges at The Shore, Leith


Shots of the Old Bridge, Sandport Place


End title

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 16, 2009



Joyce Gardner (née Ward)

Kelty, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Joyce who wrote:


"I came to Edinburgh from Rothesay, Isle of Bute, in 1954 and we stayed in 108 Easter Road.  I attended Abbeyhill School until 1956, I think.  I then moved on to Norton Park School for three years."

Norton Park School -  Girls

   Group of Girls at Norton Park School, 1956-59 ©

"This photo was taken, some time between 1956 and 1959, at a Sports Day at Hawkhill.  That's where we were taken to from Norton Park School for hockey and sports.  We also walked round to the Annexe for Art Classes."

Please click on the thumbnail image above to enlarge this photo and read more about it.


"After leaving Norton Park School, I worked in:

-  Maitland Radio in Elm Row, for a year, then

-  Laing's pork butcher in Easter Road, for a year, then

-  Jim McKellar's, butcher at 55 Easter Road for another year

-  Jack McKellar's butcher 55 easter road for another year.

I walked to work along Montgomery Street every day."

Other Memories

"I had a ball living in the areas.  I remember:

I went to dancing at 'The Palais', and was never away from 'The Eastway' and 'The Regent' cinemas.

-   I played in London Road Gardens and in Holyrood Park, and had chums in:

-  Milton Road

-  Beggs Buildings

-  Waverley Park

-  Rossie Place.

-  I got my hair done every week by students in Regent Road school.  I let them practise on me.

-  I dated Hibs footies.

Joyce Gardner (née Ward), Kelty, Fife, Scotland (since 1967): November 2, 2010



(John) Douglas Loch

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Douglas Loch for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guest book.  John wrote

Iona Street

"I grew up in Iona St ( off Leith Walk ) Edinburgh, and have so many happy memories of people and places there.

I left in 1960 with my 'new bride' to come to Australia. We still come back to visit 'Auld Reekie'.  It's now different but still wonderful."

Douglas Loch:  Message + email address posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, May 2, 2011




Patrick Lindsay

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Thank you to Patrick Lindsay for sending two photos of Easter Road.  Please click on the thumbnail images below to enlarge them.

Patrick wrote:

Footballer's Arms

"I found this picture in my Auntie's Craigentinny house.  It has been dated on the back by Kodak  - 1974.

Easter Road - 1974

   The Footballer's Arms at the corner of Easter Road and Thorntree Street  -  1974 ©

It shows my uncle's pub, 'The Footballer's Arms' on the corner of Easter Road and Thorntree Street.  That's the corner one up from Manderson St, near the foot of Easter Road."

Manderston Street Railway Line

"Interestingly, the photo it also shows the old LMS rail bridge over Easter Road. This was the continuation of the line which crossed over the lower part of Leith Walk on a similar bridge

Leith Walk

   Bridge near Jane Street, near the foot of Leith Walk ©

 then ran along the arches on Manderson Street towards the bridge over Easter Road."

Manderston Street

   Manderston Street and the Arches of the Caledonian Railway ©


"I was back in Edinburgh this last autumn and went down Easter Road looking for the pub, and took this photo:

Easter Road - 2011

   The Footballer's Arms at the corner of Easter Road and Thorntree Street  -  2011 ©

I took the photo from as near as I could to where the 1974 photo was taken from, except there were cars and big rubbish bins blocking my field of view from the original pavement location.

The remains of the left hand side of the old rail bridge are now completely gone and a relatively new building now occupies the space.  The pub has now reverted to dwellings, I think."

Patrick Lindsay, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:  December 30, 2011



Douglas Bold

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Douglas Bold wrote:


Territorial Army

"Does anyone recall the Territorial Army training complex in Easter Road?  I was a member there in 1954-55.  I was in C Company 15th Scottish Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

I would be interested to hear from any ex members from around that time, and to discover what happened to the place in later years."

Douglas Bold, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia: 
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  February 12, 2012

Message for Douglas Bold

Hi Douglas.  I have received a message from Bob Henderson.

See 'Recollections 7' below.

He tells me that he has some photos of the old timers that he will send to you if I can tell him your email address.  Unfortunately, I don't have that.

So can you please email me, then I'll pass on your email address to Bob.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  February 18, 2012




Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson for replying to Douglas Bold's question above.

Bob  wrote:

Recollections 6

Reply 1

'C Company'

"I was a member of 'C' Coy from 1958 to 1966, so to late to know Douglas.  However, if he looks at  this  Lothian Branch 3rd Bn Parachute Regiment web site and goes to 'News and Views' on that site he will find photos of some of the old timers:

Jim Armstrong

Dougie Cadow

Stan Gray

Toots Rae

and others who came to the company on its formation."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  February 13, 2012




Ian McMahon

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Ian McMahon for replying to Douglas Bold's question above.

Ian  wrote:

Recollections 6

Reply 2

'C Company'

"I am e-'C Company', ex-Lorne Street.

There is a Parachute Regiment Association (Lothian Branch) web site.  Jonny Owens is Branch Secretary."

Ian McMahon, Townsville, Queensland, Australia:  February 20, 2012




Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you, Kenneth Williamson, now living at Silverknowes, Edinburgh, for writing about the time when he shopped with his granny in Easter Road.

Ken wrote:


Butcher, Baker, Grocer

"I used to live with my granny.   Going shopping with her in Easter Road was interesting. I wonder how many people remember:

the butchers, McKellar's, Lang's (Porky?) and Doig's.

the bakers,     McGill's, McCainsh and Mathieson's.

the grocers,    Smith's, Gunn's, Johnson's and Dryburgh's.

Smiths was were you bought butter from a large slab which was patted into whatever size you wanted.

The Meadows

"There was a shop called The Meadows who lit up eggs to see if they were okay before you bought them.  They also sold broken biscuits." **

More Shops

"There was also:

the drysalter, McIntyre's

-  the chip shop, Miele's chip shop who stopped selling fish suppers because fish became too expensive.

-  Rankins, Burrows,  Bobby's Bookshop and probably a few other shops which have now gone.

Nobody ever bought all their butcher meat or cakes etc in the one shop, but traipsed up and down Easter Road using all the shops."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh, May 2013

**  Kenneth also told me:

Broken Biscuits

"In some of the shops, kids used to break some of the biscuits on display when the shopkeeper was not looking.  They went back later and bought them as 'broken biscuits', reduced in price!"

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh, May 2013




Bill Glasgow

Thank you to Bill Glasgow for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Bill wrote

198 Easter Road

"I was born and spent my early years at 198 Easter Road, just round the corner from the junction with Albion Road. My top floor window overlooked Easter Road goods station."

Stable Building

"I seem to remember a stable building between the goods station and Albert Street. This would be around 1945-50.

Does anyone know if there was in fact a stables there (possibly for horse drawn milk carts which I do remember clearly) or is my memory playing tricks?  Any information would be appreciated."

Bill Glasgow:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  July 15, 2013




Peter Stubbs


Hi Bill.

 I think I can help to answer the question you ask above about the stables.

Photography Project

"In the 1990s, I carried out a personal photographic project.  I went to as many places as I could (over 200) to photograph the many different types of work being carried out in Edinburgh.  I kept copies of the photos for myself and also gave copies to the companies that I visited.

I've now added some of my photos to the Edinburgh at Work section of the EdinPhoto web site.

George Christie & Sons

Stable Building

"One of the places that I visited was George Christie & Sons (Leith) Ltd, sheet-metal workers producing chimney and flue products at No.93 Albert Street.

Here is a photo of their yard with some of their chimney and flue products in the foreground and their works in the background.  The brown lines on the walls of the works show where the ramps used to go up to the upper floors.

I was later told by Geoff Hunter, a worker that I met at Sunblest Bread (another place that I visited for my photography project) that he remembered hoses being led up those ramps to their stables."

Edinburgh at Work  -  George Christie's Building Yard  -  Albert Street, off Easter Road

©  Copyright: Peter Stubbs                                                                                       Photograph taken 8 April 1996

History of the Site

"No.93 Albert Street is not one of the addresses that is listed in my copies of the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directories, so I have not been able to discover for how long George Christie was based at this address, or who was there before them."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 15, 2013




Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Cowan's Horses

    Edinburgh at Work  -  George Christie's Building Yard  -  Albert Street, off Easter Road ©

"The George Christie page on the EdinPhoto web site already includes contributions from Russell Young and Michael Rankin  about Cowan's horses.

I remember Cowan's horses well in the late-1940s and early- 1950s.

We used to see them around Easter Road and Abbeyhill, often pulling two-wheeled carts. They sometimes needed a tracer horse or two to heave the load up the hill to London Road from Abbeyhill station.

The horses could also be seen being led back to the stable at night without carts and walked up the ramps to their stable."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  July 16, 2013




Lilian Young

Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

Thank you to Lilian Young who wrote:

Cowan's Stables

"My Great Uncle Robert Wightman lived at 26 Albion Road and when we visited him my brother and I would walk over to the intersection of Albion Road and Easter Road to watch the horses going into the stables.

I think the name was Cowan's Stables.  The horses were led into the ground floor and then taken to the runway that led up a couple of stories and let loose.  They ran up the runway to the various stables.

I think most of the horses must have been Clydesdales or close relations as I recall the hairy fetlocks.  As they ran on the concrete, sparks sometimes came out when the hooves hit the concrete.

We loved to watch this nightly ritual every time we visited Albion Road"

Lilian Young, Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA:  July 19. 2013




Joe Jordan

Gracemount, Edinburgh

Thank you to Joe Jordan for posting a reply to Bill Glasgow's comments in the Edinphoto guestbook.

Joe wrote:

Cowan's Stables

"I was at St Anthony's School during this era, around 1945-50)

In fact, there were stables in Easter Road, almost opposite Albion Road.  You could see them from the single decker bus.

I cannot remember the name of the contractor, but does the name Harper or Harkness ring a bell with anyone?"

Joe Jordan, Gracemount, Edinburgh:
 Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, uly 16, 2013




Bill Glasgow

Thank you to Bill Glasgow (who wrote Recollections 10 above) for commenting on some of the replies that have been received.

Bill wrote


"Peter and Joe:  Thanks for their replies re stables at Easter Road. I can't recall the name of the stables but relieved to know that my imagination wasn't working overtime"

Horses and Ramps

"Peter:  the photo that you posted does indeed show the marks on the building walls where the ramps for horses were.

    Edinburgh at Work  -  George Christie's Building Yard  -  Albert Street, off Easter Road ©

I vaguely remember seeing horses going up in the evenings, on their own with no handlers as I can recall.  It's fantastic to see the building again.

Now, the only bit of the puzzle left is: "Who owned the horses and what work were they used for?"

Maybe some of your website visitors with long memories will be able to enlighten us."

Bill Glasgow:  Two messages posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  July 15, 2013




Kenny Robertson

Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Kenny Robertson who wrote:


"I remember going down Easter Road on a regular basis with my mum as she shopped at Saint Cuthbert’s, just down from the stables.

This would have been in the early-1960s. There was a coal merchant there and the coal was loaded onto the carts which were drawn by horses. They left the yard either through the pend in Albert Street or up the ramp and onto Easter Road.

The ramp is still there, and now and is used to enter the car park for the flats that have been built on the site.

I assumed the coal was delivered to the yard from the railway goods yard which was next door."

Kenny Robertson, Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 16, 2013




Russell Young

Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Thank you to Russell Young for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Russell wrote


"The stables in Eater Road were Cowan's Haulage.

My Grandmother daughter of George Oman, photographer) used to live directly opposite at 206 Easter Road.

When I visited from Ormiston, I spent hours watching the horses and all the different types of carts.2


Russell Young, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, 17 August 2013




Duncan McDonald


Thank you to Duncan McDonald for replying to Bill Glasgow's comments in Recollections 15 above

Duncan wrote

198 Easter Road

"I was fascinated to read the message from Bill Glasgow who lived on the top flat  at 198 Easter Road, as I lived there myself from 1944 (born) until 1951 .

I'm sure I recall the Glasgow family along the landing, with the Smiths at the other end."

Cowan's Yard

"Cowan's yard was over the road from our flat.  I recall one occasion when they had to put a horse down in Cowan's yard and the wall was packed with spectators for the gruesome spectacle.  There was no telly in these days!

I ended up driving for British Road Services for six years, about 1970, at the Seafield depot.  There was also a depot half way down Easter Road.  Some of the old hands there had been  carters at Cowans."

Duncan McDonald, Edinburgh:  4 September 2013




Duncan McDonald

Berwick on Tweed, Northumberland, England

Thank you to Duncan McDonald for writing about living in Easter Road, close to the Hibernian (Hibs) football stadium.

Duncan wrote:


"When I lived at Easter Road, football was still a working man's game, for fans and players alike.

I can't remember seeing much violence, for instance."

Duncan McDonald, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  September 10, 2013




James Armstrong


Thank you to James Armstrong for replying to the question asked by Mel Acton, in his Recollections 1 above, about the shop owned by Mr & Mrs Buchan at 350 Easter Road.

James replied

350 Easter Road


"I lived at 350, Easter Road, Leith, from 1940 until 1943.  I can't remember Mr Buchan.  Our tenement was solely flats with no shop.

Opposite, there was a small shop (still functioning) which we affectionately knew as 'Pollywonskie's'.  The owner, I guess, was Polish.

I remember his cat in the window and the sales offers that he wrote in white chalk across the glass."


"We lived on the first floor as did a Mr Harkness who was an undertaker.  During an air raid, we would shelter in the stair well"

James Armstrong, Edinburgh:  June 2, 2014




Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson who wrote:

Bobby's Bookshop

A Brammer!

"In his Recollections 9 above, Kenneth Williamson makes a passing reference to Bobby's Bookshop.  i don't know who Bobby was, but his idea for a bookshop was a brammer!

Old Comics

"You'd take into him your old comics that you'd read and were finished with, and he'd give you a credit slip for a sum of money (I can't remember how it was worked out - a percentage of cover price maybe?) that was obviously designed to give him a profit when he re-sold them, and you then spent the credit in the shop, buying other used comics that OTHER people had brought in on the same exchange basis."

American Imports

"He bought and sold only (as far as I can remember) clean and undamaged "quality" American imports (Dell / DC, 10 cent comics, for example, not Dandies and Beanos) and his stock was arranged in tidy racks, like LP record racks, so you could flick through them easily."

Satisfied Customers

"You'd go home with maybe only half the number of comics you'd brought in, neatly rolled in a taped brown paper wrapper, but that seemed perfectly reasonable. You'd top-up for a future exchange visit by buying new comics from a conventional newsagent.

A recycling/exchange centre, half a century before it became trendy and popular!   A man ahead of his time!"

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  June 10, 2014



James Wilkins

Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

Thank you to James Wilkins who wrote:

Move to Easter Road

"After living in East Thomas Street for a couple of years, we moved to 108 Easter Road.  I remember:

McGill's the bakers, opposite us.

St Cuthbert's supermarket and drapery shop.

The Tiffin.  Who remembers that?

Mac's Bar further down the road.

RBS and Middletons pub on the corner of Edina Street.

- The chip shop on the corner of Edina Place.

Ah the memoriesI could go on for ever, and it is some 50 years since lived there."

James Wilkins, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England:  April 28, 2015



(John) Douglas Loch

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Douglas Loch who wrote:

Cowan's Stables

"My grandad lived at 95 Albert Street (next to 'the pend') into Cowan's stables. For a while, he was one of the horse handlers /drivers. I remember sitting up on the dray with him on a delivery down Easter Road around 1950."

St Cuthbert's Milk Delioveries

"I also used to deliver milk from the St  Cuthbert's store.  I pushed the large wheeled barrow on the slippy cobble stones in winter."

Toni De Marco's Ice Cream Shop

"My favourite store on Easter Road was Tony De Marco's ice cream shop.  My father and Tony were best of friends.  My dad was in the plumbing business in Albion Road."

Douglas Loch, Queensland, Australia:  12 August 2015



Kathleen Knox

 (née Kinghorn)

Juniper Green, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kathleen Knox who wrote:

Albion Road

"I was born in Albion Road, Leith and attended Leith Walk Primary School".

Easter Road Shops

"I remembering shops in Easter Road.

Burrows at top of Easter Road is where  I bought a pair of seemed stockings, marked 'slightly imperfect'.  They certainly were. One of the seams only went up two or three inches from the ankle!

-  I remember 'Big Dom' who had Crollas Ice Cream shop with his sisters, Olive and Gloria. They were always generous to me with their portion size of ice cream.

-  There was also a tobacconist shop near Crolla Ice Cream shop. 

-  I can’t remember the name of the toy shop, but I remember my Mum paying a small amount of money each week in the months before Christmas in order to buy me a ‘walkie talkie’ doll. 

I still have that doll, 65 years later.  That’s how precious it was as I knew how tight money was.  The doll is actually in a carrier bag in bits, head off, arms off, etc -  but I just couldn’t put her in the bucket!!

Laings, the Pork Butchers had the most wonderful sausages and also rissoles.. I’ve never seen rissoles in any butchers since.

-  I think it was McAinshe the bakers who, on a Wednesday, would sell some of their products at half price."

Bothwell Street

"My Grandad, John Kinghorn, stayed in Bothwell Street.  I used to go in to see him every day on my way back from Leith Walk School where he always had a piece of jam ready for me (crusts cut off) but on a Wednesday it was 'the works'.  A whole donut to myself.  I thought I was in heaven."

Elgin Terrace

"I remember playing in the swing park at Elgin Terrace. Someone would sit on the swing and then we would stand on it, feet either side of who was sitting, and would beam it up 'till it was very high and at an exact moment when the swing was on its way up, we would jump off and run under it!!!  How there were no fatalities or at least serious head injuries then, I have no idea.

What a wonderful childhood, though. No money, but a real appreciation of what was afforded."

Kathleen Knox, Juniper Green, Edinburgh:  6 October 2017

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