Recollections  -  Edinburgh Old Town


Jeannie Veitch's shop



Recollections by

George T Smith

British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to George T Smith for providing many recollections of Edinburgh.  More can be found on the Contributors page.

Here are George's comments on one of the shops in Causewayside:

Jeannie Veitch's shop


"Reading the 'shops and factories' recollections in Dumbiedykes area brought to mind a shop in (I think) Crosscauseway called Jeannie  Vietch's where toffee apples could be had in both plain and coco-nut toffee coverings.

I believe she made a lot of the other confectionery  on the premises.  I favoured the plain toffee apples as the coconut  tended to stick between the teeth.

My grand daughter raises the same objection to coconut today - must be genetic!"

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada



Recollections by

Mary Kerr


Mary Kerr also remembers Jeannie Veitch's toffee apples.  Mary wrote:

Jeannie Veitch's shop

South Clerk Street?

"Wasn’t Jeannie Veitch’s sweetie shop in a street off South Clerk Street or Nicholson street?

I, too, loved the toffee apples and I think she also sold fudge. That was in the late thirties and wartime early forties, before rationing set in.  I was 12/13 years at the time.  

Anyway, looking back, the mothers deserved a medal for how they coped.  We were never hungry!!"

Mary Kerr, Holland:  February 4, 2007



Reply from

George T Smith

British Columbia, Canada

George T Smith has replied, giving more details about the location of the shop.  I believe that George and Mary are both remembering the same location.

George wrote:

Jeannie Veitch's shop


"To my recollection Jeannie Veitch's shop was in a building  about 40 yards down Crosscauseway on its left hand side going  downhill from Nicholson Street.

The building was set back a bit from  the street and seemed of newer (Corporation style?) construction than  Nicholson Street or the remainder of Crosscauseway"

George Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  February 5, 2007



Reply from

Eric Gold
known to many as
Eric McKenzie

East End, London

Did Jeannie Veitch, perhaps, move her shop from South Clark Street, round the corner to Crosscauseway?

George T Smith's description of the location in Crosscauseway (above) is very precise.  I went to the area last week and found the building that he describes.

However, Eric Gold, now living in East London sent me the message below:

Jeannie Veitch's shop

South Clerk Street?

"I was on the phone to my family and sister in Edinburgh today and they can confirm that Jeanie Veitch's toffee apple and candy store was in South Clerk Street by the Old New Victoria Cinema (Odeon), my old stamping ground in the Southside of town.

Although this was before my time, I have heard it  being mentioned by several people in Edinburgh when I was wee.

I do remember a  joint  similar to Jeannie Veitch's.  It was in St Mary's Street at the bottom, and was  called Toovie's."

Eric Gold, East London:  February 8, 2007.



Message from

Janice Brodie

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Janice Brodie, Australia, who wrote:

Jeannie Veitch's shop


"Jeannie Vietch's shop was indeed situated in East Crosscauseway.  My husband Raymond Brodie, was brought up in number 80 East Crosscauseway, and I can remember clearly Jeannie Vietch's shop.  It was in the 'newer' part of the street, next to the newsagents.

 Number 80, where my husband lived, was the older part, above the pub called the Gold Tankard on one corner and the Jewish bakers on the other ***.  I have written to you before, having lived at 76 Lower View Craig Row for the first 16 years of my life."

***  See also Recollections 8 below

Janice Brodie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia:  March 13, 2007

Janice lived at 76 Lower Viewcraig Row, Dumbiedykes for the first 16 years of her life.



Message from

Cathy McKinsley (née Calvey)

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

Thank you to Cathy McKinsley, who wrote:

Jeannie Veitch's shop


"George T Smith, is correct about the location of Jeanie Vietch's Sweet shop in Crosscauseway.  I can also recall the mouth-watering display of striped candy walking sticks and various toffee and sweets on display in the window.

Cathy McKinsley, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England:  Sep 6, 2007

Cathy has also sent her recollections of other shops in Dumbiedykes.



Message from

Dick Martin

Borders, Scotland

Thank you to Richard Martin who wrote:

Jeannie Veitch's shop

"During World War II (1939-1945), I stayed in East Thomas Street.  I regularly spent weekends with my grandparents, (Alcorn) at 21 Salisbury Street.

I remember well Jeannie Veitch's sweetie shop in Crosscauseway.  My main memory of the shop was that it was the only place I could get sweets without a ration book or coupons.

The system was that customers would hand over a bag of sugar and Jeannie would sell you a bag of her home- made boilings."

Dick Martin, Borders, Scotland:  August 1, 2008



Message from

James Veitch Paton

Bergen, Norway

So far, There have been recollections from Australia, Canada, Holland, England and Scotland about Jeannie Veitch's sweet shop in East Crosscauseway.

Here, James Veitch Paton writes from Norway:

My Granny's Shop

"Jeannie Veitch was my granny.  She opened the shop in East Crosscauseway in 1872. Her two daughters, Jessie (also called Sally) (my aunt) and Jean (my mother) then ran it when she died in 1953.

Some years later they opened a second shop in Clerk Street, just opposite the New Victoria Cinema (subsequently the Odeon).  I spent many a Saturday morning at the New Vic matinee, well stocked with sweets from my 'own' sweetie shop!

Your contributors' comments certainly brought back many memories from those long bygone days.  

My aunt and mother continued to run the business for quite a few years until it became too much for them. My aunt died in 1993 and my mother in 1995. Both were laid to rest in Liberton Cemetery.

I live in Norway. Whenever I am in Edinburgh I always walk past the 'old shop' and remember some of the best times of my life!"

Jewish Baker

"By the way, the name of the Jewish baker in East Crosscauseway was Kleinberg.

He made wonderful rolls!"

James Veitch Paton, Bergen, Norway :  September 28, 2010


Message from

Peter Simpson

Lakeside, Ulverston, Cumbria, England

Thank you to Peter Simpson who wrote:

My Granny's Shop

"I was interested in Jimmy Veitch Paton's message above about his Granny's shop.

In 1967/8, I rented a flat owned by a widow, Sally Simpson, who with her sister ran a sweet shop in Clerk Street, nearly opposite the Odeon.  This sounds like the same shop that James refers to.  Sally always referred to it as 'the last homemade sweet shop in Edinburgh'.

I did not return to Edinburgh for a long time and by the time I did her sweet shop had gone.  Now the fashion for homemade sweets has returned, thank goodness.

I'd love to find out whatever happened to Sally, and how /if she fits in with Jeannie Veitch.  Is she the same person James refers to as 'Jessie (also called Sally) (my aunt)'?"

Peter Simpson:  Lakeside, Ulverston, Cumbria, England:  December 5, 2010


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